I’m so happy to have a return guest today. If you know him (and I hope most of you do), you know what a talented author he is, as well as what a generous blogger he is, giving much of his time and web space to helping the rest of us promote our work. If you don’t know him, now is your chance to make a valuable connection. Without further ado, I’m delighted to turn my site over to my friend and fellow author, C. S. Boyack. Take it away, Craig, and tell us all about your latest release.
Thanks for lending me your blog space, Staci. You’re always welcome over at my place too. I’m here to talk about my newest work, Voyage of the Lanternfish.
Lanternfish is a pirate fantasy. It’s set in a fantasy world. You would think that I could just make everything up, but nothing is further from the truth. There was a ton of research that went into this story.
I live in Idaho, so my knowledge of sailing is pretty limited. I’ve been on three seas, but always with a motor of some kind. I did a lot of digging into sailing and trade winds, even though the fantasy world could function differently. Most of this kind of research led to a line or two in the book. A bit here and there to keep things on course.
There are a couple of places I visited in my life that influenced this story. One of these was Fort McHenry. This is the place that inspired the American National Anthem. It involved a dirt-ringed fort being bombarded by the British Navy. Cannon are pretty useless under these circumstances, so the Brits resorted to ship-born mortars.
These are nothing like the tubes John Wayne uses to win World War II every Saturday on cable. These things are short, thick cannons, usually firing larger ordinance than the cannon of the day. Their job was to lob a shell over the walls that would explode inside the fort and kill all the combatants. I got to see chunks of shrapnel at Fort McHenry.
Cannon of the day usually fired a solid projectile called a shot. Mortars fired an explosive shell with a fuse that involved a bit of guesswork.
I decided to add mortars to my pirate ship. I wound up using them mostly ship to ship, which is a stretch of the imagination, but in a fantasy story it comes across pretty well. I had to do a lot of research into shell sizes, firing mechanisms, and more. Again, this may lead to a line or two, but it helps keep the story realistic.
I’m a big believer in as much reality as possible, even in a fantasy environment. I’m asking readers to suspend disbelief, but I want to reserve that for the places that really matter.
I also went on a ghost hunting tour in Portland, Oregon. One of the highlights was the Shanghai Tunnel system. This is where they knocked vagabonds (Or anyone else they wanted) over the head, then sold them as labor to merchant captains.
I always heard the legal process of Shanghaiing sailors was call pressing, carried out by a press gang. In Portland, I learned the process was called crimping, and was carried out by crimpers. This also led me to check out the symptoms of a concussion.
I threaded some of this into my story too, but the reality is more brutal than it is in my story. It helps me sell the idea of oppressors vs the oppressed.
There was a lot more research that went into this tale. I won’t bore you with all of it, but I thought a look behind the scenes might be enjoyable.
Voyage of the Lanternfish is available as a Kindle ebook. I hope your fans are intrigued enough to click the link and check it out.
An honorable man is mistaken for his disreputable father. Now he’s pushed into a political scheme to start a war that will spread across multiple kingdoms. James Cuttler’s fiancé is being held captive to ensure he goes through with the plan.
He soon decides his skills are at sea and procures a ship to wage war upon those who disrupted his simple life. He can’t do it alone, so he recruits a band of cutthroats to help him. But first, they need guns and munitions to outfit the ship properly. Deception and trickery will only get them so far. Eventually, they’re going to have to engage the enemy.
James’ goals aren’t necessarily the same as his crew. It’s a delicate balancing act to collect enough loot to keep his crew happy, while guiding them back to rescue the girl.
Voyage of the Lanternfish is filled with adventure, magic, and monsters. Lots of monsters. Hoist the colors and come along for the ride.
I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.
I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.
I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.
I love research posts. I’m always fascinated by how authors enrich their works with things they learn. I haven’t read Voyage of the Lanternfish yet, but I bought it the second it went live, and I’m really looking forward to this one. I hope you all check it out, too. In the meantime, why don’t you leave a comment for Craig below and share his good news with your social media contacts? I know we’ll both appreciate it.