Actual Author-y Stuff!

Check it out!:


A shiny new book by me!  OMG!  And what’s extra-specially funny about this one is that apparently it’s been out since OCTOBER and I had no idea!  Because I’m a dork and don’t keep track of things.  But hey, shiny new book!

And the good news about not noticing that book one came out so long ago is that I can tell you book TWO is ALSO available now!  Apparently it came out in December!  Man, sometimes I need to stop writing and actually pay attention to what I’ve already written, don’t I?  🙂

Book Two!:


And yes, I’m using YET ANOTHER pseudonym for these books: Rob Kidd.  This time I’m a GUY!  Isn’t that funny?  Well, I’ll tell you why.  This series, Legends of the Brethren Court, is all about Jack Sparrow when he first became captain of the Black Pearl, before Barbossa mutinied and long before the movies take place.

But even before all that, teenage Jack Sparrow was the captain of a little ship called the Barnacle, and you can read all about that in a 12-book series called Jack Sparrow, which Disney published a couple of years ago.  And the writers who worked on that series used one made-up pen name (like we Warriors/Seekers gals use "Erin Hunter" for all those books), which was "Rob Kidd." 

And so I thought it would make sense if people who liked those books could go ahead and find more adventures of Jack Sparrow on the shelf right next to the old ones…so that’s why I suggested to Disney that they use "Rob Kidd" on these books, too.  Make sense?

Mainly, I just want people to find them and read them, whether they know I wrote them or not.  They’re super-fun!  At least, they were super-fun to write, so I hope you’ll like them!

Future Covers!:

 image       BrethrenCourt5 cover 

That’s actually book three and book five; mysteriously, I can’t find the cover of book four online anywhere.  But once I get it, I will post that as well.  And I’ll add them to my Books area, too…my goodness!  Things happening!  So exciting!

The funny thing about writing these books is that they’re kind of a mix of action-adventure, historical fiction, and supernatural fantasy (just like the movies).  I didn’t even realize how much history is in the movies until I started researching for these books.  The guys who wrote the movies really did their homework!

For instance, most of the Pirate Lords of the Brethren Court are based on real historical pirates, although a lot of them weren’t really alive all at the same time.  The East India Trading Company, of course, was totally real.  But the books & movies aren’t set in a specific year, so I have to carefully avoid some topics (has the American Revolution happened yet?  I don’t know!). 

But that all makes it really fun, because I can work in the best historical details without having to be tied to exact accuracy.  For instance, in book three, the pirates visit Sri Sumbhajee in India.  The real Sri Sumbhajee really did live in an island fortress outside Bombay, and he did have brothers like the ones I describe in the book.  But I got to make up all the details about his palace and his elephant stable and the nefarious plot to assassinate him (whee!).

Or in book two, the pirates stop briefly on Easter Island.  If you go to Easter Island nowadays, you’ll find that it was almost entirely deforested by the natives who lived there, so there are very few trees.  But from what I read, Easter Island used to have plenty of trees, so I figured it might have had them when Jack and his crew stopped by.  Sure, why not…it’s easier to abduct a shrieking pirate in a grove of trees than out on an open plain!

The other awesome thing about the whole Pirates of the Caribbean franchise is the supernatural element.  That makes it a lot easier to explain how Jack Sparrow is sailing around the entire world in, like, two months (the Black Pearl has supernatural speed!  Don’t ask questions!).  Or how, in book one, he manages to get from the north coast of Venezuela to, essentially, Macchu Picchu in Peru via a brief walk through some tunnels.  (They’re supernatural tunnels!  Don’t ask questions!)

But most of all, I hope I captured the spirit and fun and humor of the movies, since of course I totally love them.  Writing Jack Sparrow is a FASCINATING writing exercise.  He’s such a distinct character…I really hope I did him justice!  Just try to imagine Johnny Depp saying all his dialogue…that’ll help!  🙂

Anyway, so the first two are available now, and the third is coming in March (ACK!) and I just finished book four (ACK!) so I’m guessing that’ll be out in, I don’t know, June perhaps (yikes!), because Disney is crazy-talented at the fast publishing thing.  No need to wait a year for the end of the story!  It’ll all be coming soon!  There’ll be six books total in the series, so stay tuned!

ALSO!  The super-exciting Kids Heart Authors Day was this past weekend, and it was so much fun!  I was at Village Books in Roslindale, which is the cutest, loveliest store, and if you’re anywhere near there, you should go check it out!  (Especially if you’re looking for signed copies of books by, say, me!)  :-)  Lorie and Jane, who run the store, are everything I imagine an independent bookstore owner should be: smart, super-friendly and fun, in love with books, and happy to give you recommendations!  I came away with two very exciting grown-up books (yes, I read grown-up books sometimes) that I can’t wait to read.

And there were three other authors there, who were so cool and sweet and fun to talk to that it made me wish I could hang out with other authors every day!  But then none of us would get any writing done, so perhaps it’s best that we’re all squirreled away in our little writing holes.  I’m so glad we got to come out and say hi for a day, though!

Not only that, but I read their books ahead of time, and they’re all fabulous, so you should check out their websites and read their books, too!

Here’s me and Karen Day and Kathi Duble right when we first arrived:


This is long before I normally wake up in the morning, so I hope you can’t tell that inside my head I’m like: "Jeez, it’s so bright outside!  Where’s all that light coming from?  Why’s the moon so fiery all of a sudden?"  My entire goal in life is to get famous enough that bookstores will have midnight release parties/signings for me, since I would be a lot more awake then!  🙂

And here’s all of us around the BEAUTIFUL table that Lorie and Jane set up to showcase our books!:

IMG_5675Lorie, Jane, Marissa Doyle, Karen Day, Kathleen Duble, and me!

We even got to meet some readers (yay!), although none who’d read about the event on my blog (aww…what were you guys doing?  SLEEPING IN or something?).  ;-)  Including an exceptionally precocious seven-year-old named Tessie, who brought the book she’s working on to show us.  It’s all about a unicorn and she drew the pictures herself, which always impresses me because I personally have the artistic talent of a hamburger.  But Tessie’s book looks awesome — I’m sure she’ll be published one day, and then maybe we can all go to her signing!

All right, y’all — I spent the entire weekend writing like a madwoman (good lord, I have a tolerant husband!), so I need to stop yammering on and go accomplish non-writing things like laundry and sleeping and walking my dog (who is all recovered from her surgery!  Yay!  More on this next week!  I know, you can’t wait!).  😉

But I hope you all had a splendiferous Valentine’s Day, and I wish you happy reading (whether it’s about pirates or not!)!

Quote of the Day:  "Reading usually precedes writing, and the impulse to write is almost always fired by reading.  Reading, the love of reading, is what makes you dream of becoming a writer." — Susan Sontag