Above painting: Louis Jean Francois - Mars and Venus an Allegory of Peace
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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Regency Pirates by Shana Galen

Welcome back to History Undressed, special guest author, Shana Galen! Congrats to Ms. Galen on another awesome release--THE ROGUE PIRATE'S BRIDE! (Love the cover!)I am a big fan of her books, and she is an avid history lover as well! Today she's talking to us about two of my favorite things: the Regency era & pirates!  Leave a comment for a chance to win a print copy of her new release, THE ROGUE PIRATE'S BRIDE. (2 winners, US and Canada only)


Regency Pirates

By Shana Galen



First of all, I want to thank Eliza for inviting me back. It’s great to visit with History Undressed again. And I’m especially excited because today is the official release of The Rogue Pirate’s Bride. This is the third in my Sons of the Revolution series and my favorite. I knew from the beginning of the series I wanted to write a book about a pirate. Actually, I’ve been wanting to write a book with a pirate hero for years. I was thrilled to finally get my chance and sat at my computer to begin this story with gusto.

And then I ran into one small problem. I realized I didn’t know anything about ships, sailing, or pirates during the Regency. I knew a little bit about pirates in the Caribbean. I’ve seen the movies with Johnny Depp and read the odd book here and there. But by the Regency the heyday of the pirate was all but over in the Caribbean, and I didn’t want to set my book there anyway. I knew my hero, Bastien, would have to return to England eventually, and I didn’t want to dedicate weeks of the book to the travel time between the Caribbean and the UK.

This is how my research usually starts. I wish I were the kind of writer who foresaw knowledge gaps, but I’m not. I research as it becomes necessary, and I usually start with the library. I can always look up a quick fact on the internet, but if I need to know anything in depth, I get a few research books and start there. So I ordered the books that sounded useful from the library’s online catalogue and then picked them up a few days later. The children’s books were the most helpful. It might surprise readers to know that children’s books are often the most valuable resources a writer can find when beginning research on a topic. They give a great overview and often have really interesting tidbits.

One thing I discovered during my research was that there were still pirates in the Regency era, but the piracy was concentrated more in the Mediterranean, and the pirates operated from the coast of North Africa. These pirates were called Barbary Corsairs. Unlike the Caribbean pirates, their main goal was not to plunder ships laden with riches. They were after slaves to sell on the slave markets in Tripoli, Tunis, and other North African locales. In my research, I read historians estimate that over a million Europeans were enslaved in about a two hundred year period by the Barbary Corsairs, and this period included the Regency.

Armed with this knowledge, I knew my hero Bastien would be operating in the Mediterranean and possibly working with some of these Barbary Corsairs. He wouldn’t be looking for slaves, though. He’d be looking for revenge. And he wouldn’t be a pirate. Bastien is French, and although there are a few accounts of Europeans acting as Barbary pirates, it was rare. I made Bastien a privateer. It’s an important distinction to him, but privateers were really little more than pirates with a letter of legitimacy from a country’s government.

I did know a bit about privateers and did some cursory research to fill in the gaps. Rhett Butler from Gone with the Wind was a privateer during the Civil War. Margaret Mitchell doesn’t go into detail, but Scarlett mentions several times she knows this is how he made his post-war fortune.

So I knew quite a lot about my hero, but not my heroine, Raeven. She’s the daughter of a British admiral, and she wants Bastien dead because he killed her fiancĂ©. Raeven has lived all of her life on ships, and she knows every aspect of sailing. Unfortunately, I didn’t know every aspect of sailing, and as I wrote in Raeven’s point of view, I realized the book was never going to work if I didn’t also do some research on ships.

I made another trek to the library, checked out another armload of books, and discovered those weren’t going to help me all that much. There was too much information, and I didn’t really know what in was looking for. After all, there are many types of ships and many different ranks in the British Navy. Pirates have a different system of ranking and preferred different sorts of ships than did the Navy. Clearly, I had to go to an expert.

And that expert was my dad.

I’m fortunate in that my father has had a lifelong love of sailing and has sailed and competed in sailing races for years. He was gracious enough to read through scenes with me and help me to add necessary details. We even brainstormed together. My dad does not read romance. I don’t think he even reads my books (they have sex in them!), but it was really fun to work with him on this book and to see his excitement when I showed him the advance copies with my acknowledgement to him in the back.

What’s your process when you start a new project at home or work? Do you dive right in or do you plan it out first?

THE ROGUE PIRATE’S BRIDE BY SHANA GALEN – IN STORES FEBRUARY 2012

Revenge should be sweet, but it may cost him everything…

Out to avenge the death of his mentor, Bastien discovers himself astonishingly out of his depth when confronted with a beautiful, daring young woman who is out for his blood…

Forgiveness is unthinkable, but may be her only hope…

British Admiral’s daughter Raeven Russell believes Bastien responsible for her fiancĂ©’s death. But once the fiery beauty crosses swords with Bastien, she’s not so sure she really wants him to change his wicked ways…


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shana Galen is the author of five Regency historicals, including the Rita-nominated Blackthorne’s Bride. Her books have been sold in Brazil, Russia, and the Netherlands and featured in the Rhapsody and Doubleday Book Clubs. A former English teacher in Houston’s inner city, Shana now writes full time. She is a happily married wife and mother of a daughter and a spoiled cat and lives in Houston, Texas, where she is working on her next regency romance series! For more information please visit www.shanagalen.com, like her on Facebook, or follow her on Twitter. 


49 comments:

Ora said...

Just downloaded your book this morning, can't wait to start it, especially since I will have the morning to part of the afternoon to myself.
I have to think about a project beffore diving in. Depending upon what I am doing will depend upon how long I prepare, however I always make lists so I hopefully won't forget anything.

ShanaGalen said...

Thanks for stopping by, Ora. Enjoy your free half day!

girlygirlhoosier52 said...

Congrats on Release Day!!
I'm a planner/organizer for starting something new...

Callie said...

Your book sounds fascinating, and I love all the research you did. It was sure nice having a dad who knew sailing. I one time used a children's book for information on a story I was writing. It was clear, concise, and told me exactly what I wanted to know, with a bit of fun thrown in. A good resource, I agree.

AquarianDancer said...

I try to plan everything out if I can, but sometimes it just doesn't work out that way. I like lists. They don't cover everything and leave room for improvement.

Meljprincess said...

I'm so excited about your new book, Shana! I love pirate romances. I just read your newsletter and I hope I'm fortunate enough to win your 'Sons of the Revolution' series or a copy of PIRATES. I have a privateer in my ancestry. I want to write a book about him. He was French and sailed the waters around VA. I'm getting my second bursa injection in my arm today. Wish me luck! I wish you much success with your writing.

Meljprincess AT aol DOT com

Meljprincess said...

Forgot to say...as for a project?...I like to jump!

Meljprincess AT aol DOT com

May said...

Congrats on releast day! :)

I make lists... yes... I get made fun of a lot for my lists... I have rough copies of lists too... But it works for me!

mcv said...

I also make lists and prioritize my tasks. It helps to do this when I have loads to do.
I would love to read your book. I have heard of you, but haven't read any of your work yet.
Congrats on your new release.
mcv111 at hotmail(dot)com

Loreen Augeri said...

Congratulations on your new release. I work in a library and use children's books all the time to do research.

LadyRed said...

Thank you for the interview and congrats on the release! I am kind a fly by the seat of my pants girl on most things (I don't have a laundry schedule or a clean the bathroom schedule etc. I usually just do things when they need to be done). Our finances are a different story however, because I'm in charge of our budgeting (my husband has an accounting degree so HOW does this make sense that I, the one who SUCKS at math, get put in charge of the budget? LOL)and I can track each expenditure and income down to the ha'penny! I've just always been extremely anal retentive about knowing where the money is coming from or going to and what is a necessary expenditure or what is not (I've put off going to get my hair cut except maybe once every 6-8 months because I couldn't justify a $15 haircut). If we go grocery shopping I don't usually take a list (again, fly by the seat of my pants) but I set a limit on how much I spend and I plan out in my head what items I need for each meal but when it comes to when I cook each meal its flexible and there are times that I will just say "cereal for dinner" because I don't feel like cooking what I "planned" to make. These are the things that sometimes infuriates my husband but then when I DO become a stickler for lists and organization and I get upset that some how someone has thrown a kink into my organization he gets annoyed that I am not more "spontaneous" :-D So whenever I am faced with a question such as this, the fastest and most accurate response I can give is "I'm just me" LOL!

Barb H said...

Shana, The excerpt sounds delicious. I've always had a spot in my heart for pirates. Growing up I read some old 'swashbuckler' novels my uncle had and loved them. Looking forward to reading your new, more romantic, vision for the genre.LOL. Good luck with the release.

ShanaGalen said...

Girlygirlhoosier, I bet it helps you to accomplish it to. Thanks for stopping by.

ShanaGalen said...

Callie, I was very lucky to have my dad. it made things so much faster and easier.

ShanaGalen said...

AquarianDancer, I love, love love lists. I have a list app on my phone. If I was an app designer, I'd design my own list app. For some reason, I don't really make lists when i write, though.

ShanaGalen said...

Thanks, Mel, and good luck! Yes, I have on my list today to pick two winners from my mailing list. Good luck with the shot and the giveaway.

ShanaGalen said...

May, you're a girl after my own heart. I make lists of the lists I need to make. And if I write a list it's always in pencil so I can revise. Thanks for stopping by.

ShanaGalen said...

Good luck with the giveaway, mcv. These are a great way to try new authors without risking anything. Glad you've heard of me, though!

ShanaGalen said...

Loreen, it may very well be librarian who gave me the idea to use children's books for research. I love librarians.

ShanaGalen said...

LdyRed, I think you like a little spontaneity. That's fun! But you should definitely get your hair done and spend way more than $15! You're worth it!

Carey said...

I usually try to plan. I like to make lists of things I need for the project. I hate being unprepared! Congrats on your new release! I cannot wait to read it!!!

ShanaGalen said...

Thanks, Barb. I do love a romantic alpha hero.

catslady said...

Big congrats on release day! Do you think your dad will read this one since he helped with the research (he can skip the sex parts lol)? I probably am a dive right in kind of person. I'm looking forward to this one!

catslady5(at)aol.com

Sue P. said...

So looking forward to this book. Glad release day finally here. I'm a planner. I'm a list maker. And when I usually get around to some of my projects, it's 3 in the morning! But it's amazing how much you can get done in a short time without interruptions! Good luck with this new release!

pennsdog(at)yahoo(dot)com

Kelli said...

Congratulations on the new book! The pirate theme fascinates me since I know NOTHING about them or about sailing (living in the landlocked Midwest!), so I look forward to reading this and imagining what it's like to live on a ship!

prolvaag@aol.com

Gail Nichols said...

I dive rigt in and just do it.In my house that's the only way things get done--if I do them.

Na said...

I like reading about pirates but when I think about it I don't know that much about them. Libraries are a great place to do research. Even with the internet sometimes a little old-fashioned research can be just as helpful. I agree that it can be hard to wade through the information unless you know what you're looking for. Congratulations on your release Shana :)

Cambonified[at]yahoo[dot]com

Renald said...

When I start a new project. Sometimes I plan it, other times I just jump right in and do it. I may have some extra time or I'm bored. But I know it needs to be done.
r.d1@myfairpoiint.net

Gayle Cochrane said...

I didn't think about Rhett being a privateer. Now that would have been a good movie, and maybe he could have met someone nicer than Scarlett.

Plan? I wish I had a plan.

Congratulations on the big day.

ShanaGalen said...

Carey, I hate being unprepared too. I also hate being late. I've found these two things happen to me a lot now that I have a toddler!

ShanaGalen said...

catslady, I am pretty sure he didn't read it. I don't think he feels comfortable reading sexy scenes written by his daughter.

ShanaGalen said...

Sue, you are so correct. That's one reason I often get up early to write. I get so much done in 90 minutes when everyone is still sleeping.

ShanaGalen said...

Kelli, I didn't know much about them either. didn't stop me, LOL! I'm originally from Michigan.

ShanaGalen said...

Gail, that's pretty much the only way things get done in my house too.

ShanaGalen said...

Thanks, Na. One of these days, when Baby G can read, I want to go and spend hours at the library like I used to.

ShanaGalen said...

Renald, extra time? What is that? But i always find that a busy person can get more done sometimes.

ShanaGalen said...

Oh, Gayle. Hating on Scarlett. Not cool! She'll get you for that :-) Really, you're not a planner? that surprises me. You seem so organized and focus.

Robin said...

I plan it out, dive in, do a little, take a break, do a little more...

Your book looks so good!

robindpdx(at)yahoo(dot)com

Tricia Schneider said...

Congrats on your newest release! The cover is beautiful! I love reading about pirates and the Regency era. What a great combination! Your story sounds wonderful! And, I agree, children's books are a great source for research. I discovered this by accident while I was working in a bookstore, shelving in the kid's section. :)

ShanaGalen said...

Robin, with an active toddler, I kind of work that way too a lot. Thanks for stopping by!

ShanaGalen said...

Tricia, I used to work in a bookstore too, and I couldn't believe all the cool children's books. Thanks for the comment.

ShanaGalen said...

And thank you so much to Eliza and History Undressed for having me today! I loved reading all of your comments.

bn100 said...

Congratulations on the book! It sounds very good.

bn100 said...

Congratulations on the book! It sounds very good.

bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

Renee said...

I love pirates and rogues! Combine the two and it's even better! I can't wait to read this!

Renee said...

I definitely jump right in. List making is for things I need to remember.

ShanaGalen said...

Thanks, bn100!

ShanaGalen said...

I completely agree, Renee. Thanks for stopping by.

Eliza Knight said...

And the winners are... MelJPrincess & Gayle!!!