The Pirates of Bair Island - A novel for children ages 9-14.
A story of adventure about two girls and their aunt, a woman of questionable morals and remarkable talents. It is exactly the kind of story I would have loved to read as a kid.
It combines three of my favorite subjects: time travel, magic and anything with pirates. There are also a good lot of gadgets and amazing inventions, which I still find entertaining.
PREVIEW: Chapter 7
Things Get Worse
The girls stood on the deck with Mouse, admiring the difference. The Tantrum was positively beautiful, and at least three times larger than she had been the day before. The crew had washed, polished, and waxed all the beautiful woodwork to a high gloss. Brass fixtures glinted in the sun. The Tantrum was really and truly a ship now.
Then Auntie Sue emerge from the half deck, and even she was different.
“She’s not old anymore!” Chloe whispered to Bella. Indeed, Sue was not old now. The cleaning had not only cleaned the ship of her magical camouflage, but Captain Sue as well. She was in the bloom of good health, with black hair, wrinkle-free skin, and sharp green eyes.
“It’s the time travel, you see,” Mouse explained. “She’s been traveling through time her whole life, so her inner clock never knows what age she should be.”
“You mean Auntie Sue can be any age she wants?” Chloe asked.
“Or, whatever age she feels,” Mouse said.
The captain of The Tantrum took a moment to admire her ship—and, perhaps, be admired a bit herself. She wore a tightly fitting bodice of blue and gold embroidered Turkish silk, with a wide short skirt and straight silk pants underneath. It was an outfit she was particularly fond of, having purchased it off a Dervish princess in Istanbul. She always wore it at the beginning of every great voyage.
“For good luck.” Sue preened.
Captain Sue took the wheel, which was now connected to the ship’s rudder, and raised her hands to the invisible crew below her.
“Hands to station for weigh anchor,” she shouted, with some ceremony, for the children were watching. “Raise the main sails!”
Bella watched a flurry of blurs pulling on the heavy line at the prow of the ship and quickly the anchor was up from the bottom, dripping and hanging at the bowsprit. Then crisp sails unfurled from the top of the two tall masts, caught the wind and billowed out. The Tantrum righted herself with a jolt as the keen breeze pushed her swiftly out of the cove.
The winds were strong and the ship sped through crashing waves. In spite of all that had happened, and the likelihood of even worse to come, it was a beautiful feeling to ride that ship into the wild blue. The sun was high. The sky and the sea the same remarkable cobalt. Below, a busy invisible crew trimmed sails and set the world to right. Or so it seemed in that moment.
A moment later, fear again.
From around the curve of the cove, another ship was sailing out into the seas. It was headed right for them.
“Blast,” Sue swore, “they’ve found us!”
“Who found us, Auntie Sue?” Chloe asked. Was the whole world was chasing them?
“Bartholomew Sharp, captain of the Most Holy Trinity of the mighty Spanish Empire.”
Everyone watched as this new ship came closer. It wasn’t a schooner like The Tantrum. This was a much, much bigger ship.
It had three masts, one more than The Tantrum, and too many sails to count. Also uncountable were the cannons that slid out of its side, pointed directly at them.
“Most unholy Trinity, you mean,” Mouse said, menacing the galleon with his tiny sword. “They’ve been chasing us for nearly ten years. How did they find us just now, I wonder?”
Mouse sounded like he didn’t wonder at all, but had a good idea how Captain Sharp and crew just happened to be a league off Bair Island, in the year 2013—only three centuries or so after they set sail.
“No chance of escaping, girls. They’ve cut us off. We shall have to fight!” Sue announced.
The Tantrum turned into the wind, sails luffing, facing her enemy. The crew were in such a fury of activity that this time Chloe could just about make them out.
“Oh dear!” Chloe gripped Bella’s hand. “Are they pirates, Auntie Sue?”
“No, darling. Much worse—they are crusaders. They are the Crimson Crusaders. Their mission is to rid the waters of French and English Protestants.”
“And pirates,” Mouse added darkly, racing past to give commands on the port side.
The captain was racing around quite furiously, yelling out things like “Come about,” and “hard a port,” and “clear for action!”
“Then we’re safe, right? We’re not French or English,” Chloe said with relief.
Sue's eyes glittered.
“That’s right, we’re not French or English…” She laughed.“But darling, I’m afraid we are pirates!”
And with that, a black flag emblazoned with a pirate’s skull and crossbones dropped from The Tantrum’s tallest mast, signaling their piratical intent to the world.
“For I am Disastrous Pirate Sue, Captain of The Tantrum, most feared (almost) of any pirate ship that sails the seven seas!”
11 x14" Posters look like this:
The T-Shirts look like this (order kid or adult sizes):
Risks and challenges
I have a master’s degree in creative writing and have published a bit. I also have several completed but unpublished manuscripts in my metaphorical desk drawer (okay, on Dropbox), and I write a blog about boring, grown-up stuff.
I have better credentials as an inventor and adventurer. I traveled throughout Asia as a child with my adventuring mother. I invent online gadgets for Google and other companies. And one day I plan to invent time travel for pirates, too.
I wrote this book about and for my two nieces, Chloe and Bella, who are awesome, brave, Steampunk girls. I don't know the origin of Disastrous Pirate Sue – she just came to me one day.
The manuscript is complete. I need to cover the cost of typesetting and publish. This Kickstarter campaign is to go towards those costs. The cover for the book (as you can see above) is ready to go – because that's the most important part, after all.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (19 days)