Posted on June 24, 2011 in Historical Fiction
with 5 Comments
Please welcome Wendy K. Perriman to the blog! Wendy is the author of the just released historical novel, Fire On Dark Water, about Lola Blaise, Blackbeard’s 13th wife, and her adventures on the high seas!
Can you tell us a bit about your new novel Fire On Dark Water?
Fire On Dark Water is a historical fiction set in the Golden Age of Piracy. The story is narrated by the central character – Lola Blaise – an English gypsy who enters the New World as Anne Bonny’s indentured servant, and leaves it as the thirteenth wife of the infamous Blackbeard. She interacts with real characters in factual situations. Popular culture tends to romanticize this era, but most buccaneers were little more than greedy, bloodthirsty criminals with addictive or pathological natures. My account is a more realistic portrayal of the desperate women who took to a life on the account.
You have numerous scholarly works to your credit. What made you decide to write a fictional novel?
Teaching literature helped me to appreciate how the female voice has often been muted, silenced, or erased by male writers at key points in history. There are so many stories waiting to be told. So I put just as much effort into the research of a novel as I do for scholarly works, immersing myself in the time period to recreate the situation as authentically as possible – only now I enjoy a greater freedom of expression.
What was the most challenging part of writing fiction?
I think each book comes with its own issues. There has not been a serious pirate novel since Daniel Defoe’s original Robinson Crusoe, so the challenge with Fire On Dark Water was to shatter the familiar sentimental tradition, yet still produce a book with broad appeal. I believe the adventures of Lola Blaise will satisfy women readers who would not ordinarily buy a sea-faring yarn, but at the same time the male pirate-lover can enjoy a technically-accurate, historical novel that is grounded in nautical fact.
Is there anything that you need in order to write? Anything that gets the creative juices flowing?
I write best in the very early hours of the morning, when the house is silent and I am freed from the distractions of everyday life. My creative juices are always stimulated by travel – experiencing new cultures and places – and also by visits to museums. The inspiration for Fire On Dark Water came at The Pirates of Nassau Museum, during a trip to the Bahamas.
What are some of your favorite literary figures? Is there anyone that has particularly inspired you?
Every school vacation I would immerse myself in a particular writer and read whatever works were available in my local library. I recall the Summers of William Shakespeare, T.S. Eliot, Ernest Hemingway, William Golding, Sylvia Plath – and I learned something from them all. But the one writer who continues to inspire me is Toni Morrison.
When you are not writing what do you like to do in your spare time?
As many Zumba fitness classes as I can fit into my schedule! I also enjoy sailing, riding, reading, gardening, dancing, listening to music, and cooking.
Do you have any news of upcoming projects or events that you would like to share with us?
Author comments are in a darker gray color for you to easily identify the posts author in the comments
Leave a Reply