There’s a free book available - see the purple (what ele?) arrow below
But first, let me give you a little something to whet your appetite.
With the captain dead in Melbourne, Australia, Alice Packard thinks the worst has happened, until she learns the crew has deserted her husband’s ship in favor of the goldfields. Only one old man, Gypsy Deak, sticks by her, but Gypsy alone can’t raise a crew from the depleted population. In desperation, Alice turns to the only source of plentiful workers: the women of Melbourne. In a bold move, she and Gypsy empty a brothel, promising the escaped women a new life. Her all-woman (save one) crew put their backs and hearts into the voyage, but Alice finds training her sailors much harder than she expected. Her faith is tested to the limit. With a cargo to sell, angry brothel and tavern owners in pursuit, pirates to evade, and a mysterious stowaway, will the seafaring women of the Vera B. survive to tell the tale of this daring adventure?
Welcome, Susan and Jim. I think this is a first for Whispers in Purple. I’m captivated by the synopsis above, and I can’t wait to read the book.
PEG: What made the two of you team up?
SUSAN: Jim was visiting my house, and we got talking about book plots. My usual output is historical romance or cozy mysteries. Jim enjoys writing fantasy and adventure. I told him the bare bones of a plot I had thought of and put aside, and he loved it. He started suggesting plot twists, and next thing you know, we were off and running.
PEG: I’ve never worked with a co-writer. How do the two of you do it?
SUSAN: In this case, we divided some tasks according to our strengths. Jim had spent some time earlier in Australia, so he did a lot of the research on that country. I knew more about some things, such as fashions, from previous research, and as the author of 60 previous books, I had a good grasp of structuring the book. We both boned up on sailing. When it came to the actual writing, we divided it by who had the strongest desire to write a particular section. For instance, I wrote most of the parts about Alice’s visit ashore in Brisbane. Jim outlined the pirate fight and wrote many of the scenes in Alice’s viewpoint, though not all, and Jim wrote most of those in Gypsy’s point of view. I wrote the scene where Kate and the other women escaped the bordello; Jim wrote most of the scenes where Lizzie is feuding with Ned. We shared the rescue party’s odyssey ashore. We live about 500 miles apart, so we spent a lot of time on the phone talking through each plot point and deciding who would write it.
PEG: As I said, this story intrigues me. Where/how did you come with the idea?
Susan: I had read about a real woman whose husband was a ship’s captain and died in a foreign port. She took the ship home. But of course, she had a full crew to support her and do most of the work. I thought, what if she didn’t? What if they all abandoned her and she had to find someone else to do it? And so the Seafaring Women plot was born.
PEG: I’ve read how England used to send women prisoners to Australia, most of whom probably ended up in brothels. But freeing the prostitutes to go sailing…? Tell us about that.
SUSAN: It’s fiction, to be sure. A couple of our characters, Nell and Brea, did arrive in Australia on convict ships. Most of the younger women were lured or forced into prostitution. As Alice and Gypsy seek for a new crew in the story, they learn that several women are desperate to leave their difficult lives in Australia. They are not legal prisoners, but their employers treat them harshly and will not let them leave the business. With the help of an enterprising tavern maid, Alice comes up with a plan to rescue them.
PEG: How much research did you have to do to learn about sailing ships for this story?
SUSAN: Tons. We both read Richard Henry Dana’s Two Years before the Mast again, because it takes place on the same type of merchant ship we were writing about. We also consulted his Seaman’s Friend and other books about sailing ships. We watched videos and consulted with people who work replica sailing ships. My brother, who is a retired Coast Guard officer and an avid sailor, was a great help. I also reread some old favorite books set on sailing ships, including Carry On, Mr. Bowditch, which tells of the real captain Nathanial Bowditch teaching his entire crew to navigate, right down to the cabin boys. But we’re not experts, and any mistakes are all ours!
Okay, Susan, now about the book details:
- · Title: Seafaring Women of the Vera B.
- · Publisher: Tea Tin Press
- · Release Date: Jan. 20, 2016 (e-book) and Jan. 31 (paperback)
- · Genre: Historical
- · Stand-alone or series: We are working on book 2! This is book 1 in the Hearts of Oak series.
- · Target Audience: Anyone who loves a good, clean historical adventure, with a hint of romance. The typical reader will probably be a woman in the 30-60 age group, but this book appeals to a wide audience.
PEG: Well, I can definitely say it appeals to me!
Give us the purchase Links:
- · Buy the paperback from Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/zvtr273
- · Createspace store: https://www.createspace.com/6006502
- · Kindle e-book: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01AVQ66UU
- · Nook e-book: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-seafaring-women-of-the-vera-b-susan-page-davis/1123295970?ean=2940158050534
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
James Samuel Davis is a writer who has traveled in Australia, China, Micronesia, and Alaska. He resides in rural Travelers Rest, S.C., with his wife and seven children.
Susan Page Davis, James’s mom, is the author of more than sixty Christian novels and novellas. Her historical novels have won numerous awards, including the Carol Award, the Will Rogers Medallion for Western Fiction, and the Inspirational Readers’ Choice Contest.
Where can readers find you?
Find us at:
- · Website: www.susanpagedavis.com
- · Twitter: @SusanPageDavis
- · Facebook-Susan: https://www.facebook.com/susanpagedavisauthor
- · Facebook-James: https://www.facebook.com/authorJamesSDavis/?fref=ts
- · Every month, Susan blogs on www.hhhistory.com on the 23rd day of the month.
We’re offering either e-book or print copy, with the paperback restricted to the U.S., but the e-book can be anywhere it’s legal. To enter, just leave a comment below, along with your contact email (in case you win!) Giveaway ends Friday, February 26, at Midnight, Central Time. Winner will be drawn via random.org and notified by email on Saturday or Sunday.
Thank you, Susan and Jim, for visiting Whispers in Purple blog. This has been a fascinating interview. Please come back for a visit when Book Two releases!