The Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Curse starts today! So you can go watch pirates and then read about them in M.L. Tyndall new book, The Redemption, the first book in the Legacy of the Kings Pirates series. Now read carefully because you're on a treasure hunt, but you won't know what it is until you get to the end!
MaryLu Tyndall is a wife, mother, former software engineer, and author of inspirational historical novels. Her current series, Legacy of the King’s Pirates is set in the 1600s and is about Christian Pirates in the Caribbean. Pretty cool, huh?
DM: MaryLu, thank you so much for being here. Tell us how you wound up writing stories about Christian pirates?
MLT: A few years ago after watching the Pirates of the Caribbean movie, I thought to myself: Why should wicked pirates have all the fun? Most people in the world—including some believers themselves—consider the Christian life to be boring. I, for one, have not found it to be so, and I decided it was about time we showed them the truth! What better way to do that then through the adventurous life of a Christian pirate roaming the Caribbean? Then, of course, you throw in a beautiful lady, a villainous pirate, a few tavern brawls, sea battles, a mutiny, and a prison break, and you have a great story surrounding the theme of God’s love.
DM: Tell us about The Redemption and the message this story has to share.
MLT: My story begins when the heroine, Lady Charlisse Bristol, sets off on a voyage in search of a father she never knew, only to find herself shipwrecked on a deserted island. After weeks of combating the elements, her salvation comes in the form of a band of pirates and their fiercely handsome leader, Edmund Merrick. While battling his attraction to this winsome lady and learning to walk a more godly path, Edmund offers to help Charlisse on her quest—until he discovers her father is none other than Edward the Terror, the cruelest pirate on the Caribbean.
The Redemption was born out of a difficult, personal journey. Like the heroine in my story, I too grew up without a father’s love and spent many years searching for acceptance and value. I rejected God and didn’t realize that only in His arms would I find what I was searching for. There is a deep part of my soul written in the path Charlisse, my heroine, must take to find God’s love—a path that I hope will provide a healing touch to many lives.
DM: As a new author, what’s been your greatest challenge?
MLT: My greatest challenge has been the pressure of meeting deadlines for the other two books in the series. It’s one thing to be creative on your own time and without anyone’s expectations put upon you, and quite another when you must create a great novel by a certain date. The pressure can be daunting at times, but it has been good for me in that it has driven me closer to God, and I lean now more fully on Him than I ever did.
DM: What’s your secret to keeping a balanced writing life?
MLT: Prayer. I start off my day with prayer. I pray before I begin to write, and I thank God for the writing I completed when I turn off my computer at night. God first, Family second, and then my writing. If I ever get those three out of order, then I start getting frustrated and anxious. Interruptions are a part of every writer’s life—especially mothers! I try to handle them by learning when to say yes and when to say no, and then looking at them as Divine appointments, not interferences. The Lord knows how much time I need to write, but He also knows when I need to rest. I try to follow His leading.
DM: Your books have a very strong faith element. Do you do that consciously or does this grow out of the characters naturally?
MLT: Both. Before I even write a word, I come up with a strong faith-related theme for my novel, and I develop my plot and characters around that. But as my characters move through the story and grow as individuals, they often add additional facets to the original theme or grow in their faith in a way I least expected!
DM: What comes first for you, the story or the characters?
MLT: Definitely characters. If you have deep, interesting characters, you can put them anywhere, in the middle of a desert or in a one room apartment, and you will still have a great story. I spend a lot of time developing my characters before I even have the details of my novel worked out.
DM: How do you develop your characters?
MLT: I do not enjoy long extensive character charts, so I developed my own shortened version which details out their physical appearance, goals, secrets, their past, main desires, fears, weakness, personality types and then mannerism and quirks. I try to find a picture from a magazine or the internet that looks most like them to me and keep that close at hand. Recently I have just begun to use the interview process, especially during a scene I’m writing. I walk right up to my character (which is really cool because they are usually on a pirate ship!) and I ask them how they are feeling about what’s happening, what do they think of so-and-so character? And what is their next step? Believe it or not, they sometimes amaze me with their answers.
DM: What kind of research did you have to do?
MLT: Because I cannot transport myself back to 17th Century Caribbean (DARN IT!), I was forced to do extensive research on the time period, the clothing, the mannerism, culture, food, etc. I purchased many textbooks on the subjects and also found a lot of great information on the internet. I also read a ton of books about pirates, both fiction and nonfiction, and watched every movie I could find that related to either pirates, sailing, or the general time period of my story. Having grown up in south Florida, I remember vividly what the ocean sounds like, how a warm breeze feels blowing through my hair, the crunch of the sand under my feet, and the feel of ocean spray showering over the bow of a sailing ship, and I used those memories in my book as well.
DM: MaryLu, thank you so much for sharing yourself and your inspirational stories with us. I’m looking forward to reading The Redemption.
MLT: Thank you Dineen for such great questions and for allowing me to share about my book. My prayer is that the Lord puts The Redemption into the right hands where it will not only entertain the reader but bless and encourage them as well.
Now here’s the best part. Leave a comment for chance to win not only a copy of her book but tickets to The Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Curse movie. Glass Road PR is slipping a pair of tickets into one of the books they will be sending out to winning participants.
Be sure to check out MaryLu’s website for more information about her books and her inspiring faith. And don’t forget to leave a comment here for a chance to win a book!
Attention Treasure Hunters: Clue #4: Who are the 3 contributors to this blog?