(Today I have a special guest. Lisa Burton is here to talk about C.S. Boyack’s newest book, Voyage of the Lanternfish. She’s brought both a new picture of herself and a look behind the curtain at one of the story’s colorful characters. Enjoy!)
“Thanks for having me back, Charles. This is getting to be a regular stop on Craig’s book tours. This visit, the new book is Voyage of the Lanternfish, a pirate fantasy. If you like the idea of monsters, magic, and artifacts mingled with flintlocks, cannon, and tall ships, Lanternfish might be just what you’re looking for.
“My specific topic is a character named Serang. She’s really cool, and a lot cooler than Craig makes her out to be. He’s making me bring you some of his own words to post, and since he signs the checks, here it is.”
There are a lot of wonderful things that happen when we write. Characters take over and turn the story in new directions we never planned. An image can form in your mind that’s far superior to what you had planned for a scene, and you let the story wander because it’s better than your outline.
I had a minor character show up, and insist she was worth more than flavor of the day background. Her name is Serang, and she walked down the dock and wanted to join the pirate crew.
I wanted a bit of diversity on my crew. They’re a bunch of misfits, and society looks down on them all. There are people of color, women in the position of officers, a man with a peg leg, and one with a serious speech impediment.
Serang is Asian in race, tall, beautiful, and deadly. Readers get a sip of her backstory, but it’s enough to get your minds flowing. She grew up pledged to a temple after her father’s fishing boat was taken by the dragon turtle. No trace of him was ever found.
There she studied martial arts and was on her way to some kind of priesthood. The Emperor decided to westernize, and part of that involved a purging of the old temple system. Young Serang was lucky to escape with her life.
She hires on as a sailing mate, and insists she has the skills to be a sailing master, but Lanternfish already has one of those. Eventually, she gets the new position of weapons master, even though she has no experience with pistols or muskets.
One of the things that draws me to her is her confidence. If she makes up her mind to do something, she does it. Kind of unlike a certain author I know. She winds up playing a valuable role in landing parties, and ship boarding parties. Her weapon of choice is a glaive. For those who aren’t familiar, this is a spear length weapon with a large single blade at the end. Think of it like a scimitar at the end of a pole.
She is the last person you want to try mugging in a dark alley, and I can already tell you didn’t bring enough help. She kills without remorse when needed.
She also has another side. She can be peaceful and meditative at times, but can also be a mean drunk. Some of this comes from her family, who did not know about the loss of her father, or her orphanage at the temple until later. Her uncle is the maker of rice wine, and his business is fairly successful. This alcoholic tie is how she frequently remembers her family.
I’m very happy with how Serang came out, and am toying with a different idea. Some authors like to write a prequel to their fantasy stories. The backstory of Serang makes an interesting tale. I like the challenge of it, because anything I’ve already published would be canon. Every word I write in a prequel would have to honor that. In thinking about it, there are some things that happen in Lanternfish, that could be resolutions to issues from the prequel.
I’ve already started drafting Serang’s origin story. It’s a wonderful challenge, and it’s shaping up to be a fun story on its own.
“Okay, Craig had his say. Serang and I have been hanging out a lot lately. It isn’t just Lanternfish, she came along when I posed for the new poster. It was fun representing her, and she corrected my stance a few times during the session. Now that she’s getting her own story, she’s sticking around to make sure Craig gets it right.
“We tried a few poses, and they were all interesting. I talked sean into adding the line drawings around the main poster. It’s kind of old school, but I like it.
“Here’s the poster, and your followers should feel free to put it on Pinterest, use it for computers and gadget backgrounds. That’s kind of what they’re for.”
“I’m taking a personal day to go into the city. New York is kind of famous for shopping, and it gets kind of lonely out at the writing cabin.
“Hopefully, your fans are interested in Lanternfish. I have all the details for you too. Thanks again, Charles.”
An honorable man is mistaken for his disreputable father. Now he’s pushed into a political scheme to start a war that will spread across multiple kingdoms. James Cuttler’s fiancé is being held captive to ensure he goes through with the plan.
He soon decides his skills are at sea and procures a ship to wage war upon those who disrupted his simple life. He can’t do it alone, so he recruits a band of cutthroats to help him. But first, they need guns and munitions to outfit the ship properly. Deception and trickery will only get them so far. Eventually, they’re going to have to engage the enemy.
James’ goals aren’t necessarily the same as his crew. It’s a delicate balancing act to collect enough loot to keep his crew happy, while guiding them back to rescue the girl.
Voyage of the Lanternfish is filled with adventure, magic, and monsters. Lots of monsters. Hoist the colors and come along for the ride.
Purchase Link: http://a-fwd.com/asin-com=B07MP8V633
I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.
I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.
I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.