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June 1699 – Proof of Treasure #CaptainKiddHistory

Posted by Katie L. Carroll on September 25, 2017 in #CaptainKiddHistory, Books, History, Middle Grade, Nature, Pirate Island |

Here is the next installment of #CaptainKiddHistory. These historical tidbits about Captain William Kidd are told by Billy, the main character of my upcoming middle grade adventure PIRATE ISLAND. Billy discovered and wrote down these tidbits while doing research to find Kidd’s lost treasure but before he actually looked for it on Pirate Island. Let’s give a big welcome to Billy!

June 1699 – Proof of Treasure

by Billy Bonny

Credit: Doc Seals via flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/docsearls/285538232/ Image of Gardiners Island
Billy’s comment: I’ve spent a good deal of time staring at pictures of a different island. Bet you can’t guess its name!

If you think I’m crazy for believing that Captain Kidd could have buried treasure (not pirate treasure because Kidd wasn’t a pirate—see my entry “December 1695 to September 1696 – Privateer, Not Pirate”) on a tiny island in Long Island Sound, I wouldn’t blame you…knowing you probably haven’t done the research. The proof of me not being crazy was found on Gardiners Island, a small island off the coast of East Hampton, NY, where Kidd really did bury some of his loot.

The stash included gold dust, silver bars, Spanish coins, rubies, diamonds, candlesticks, and porringers (shallows bowls with small, decorative handles). He also gave Mrs. Gardiner a gold cloth and a sack of sugar. Apparently, sugar was really valuable at the time, which is crazy when you think about how much sugar is in one can of mine and Andy’s favorite energy drink. And we buy those pretty cheap at the grocery store.

When Mr. Gardiner was ordered by the government to turn over the treasure as evidence against Kidd, one diamond somehow remained in Gardiner’s possession, which he ended up giving to his daughter. Sketchy stuff if you ask me, but nobody ever charged Mr. Gardiner with a crime.

In this time period, Kidd spent 20 days roaming the waters of Long Island Sound. If he had treasure in addition to what he buried on Gardiners Island, this would have been a great time to unload it. Just saying!

PIRATE ISLAND blurb:

A thrice cursed island, a legendary pirate treasure, and one not-so-brave boy. What could possibly go wrong?

For centuries, the whereabouts of Captain William Kidd’s lost pirate treasure has remained a mystery. When Billy’s best friend, Andy, proposes they look for it on nearby Pirate Island, Billy thinks it’s just another one of their crazy adventures. It’s usually Billy who ends up in trouble as a result, but he goes along for the ride…like always. The more he delves into the life and death of Kidd, the more he thinks the treasure is real and that it might be buried on the small island in Long Island Sound. Billy—nope, call him William—becomes obsessed with the captain of the same first name. He even believes he’s possessed by Kidd’s restless soul. Now he and the spirit of a long-dead pirate are leading the crazy adventure on Pirate Island. And what they find is far bigger than the treasure they imagined.

Now available for pre-order! Get it on  Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Kobo, IndieBound, and many other of your favorite book sellers.

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Celebrating International Talk Like A Pirate Day

Posted by Katie L. Carroll on September 19, 2017 in Anecdote, Books, Holidays, Middle Grade, Pirate Island |

September 19 is International Talk Like a Pirate Day (see the origins of this auspicious occasion here)! With a book called PIRATE ISLAND coming out in less than a month (Eeeek! Less than a month!) was there any doubt that I’d be celebrating?

Billy, the main character in PIRATE ISLAND, and his best friend, Andy, naturally enjoy talking like pirates. Andy even has a book that tells you how to talk like a pirate (and, I might also have a book like that as well–it’s called The Pirate Primer 😉 ).

For your entertainment, here are some of Billy’s and Andy’s favorite pirate talk and insults:

Get yeeself to the poop deck and fetch me some grog.

I’ll squeeze yer squeezy cheese-head off yer body.

There is more of life in me little finger than in all yee carcass.

Yee be a bilge-sucking, cutthroat tarrmagant.

Why don’t ya use yarr swivel-tongued mouth ter scrape thee barnacles off thee poop deck.

Yarr a hen-hearted curmudgeon.

And finally here’s a lovely toast from Billy himself:

To success on arr ventures. To fortunate preeceedin’s an’ gooder friendship. Let us drain a garrblet, clink cannerkin an’ toss a pot ter thar great makees of Chinese grub. Drink arrp, me hearties, yo ho!

Happy International Talk Like Pirate Day! Arrrgghh!

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1698 to April 1699 – A Privateer Prize and the Return of the Archenemy #CaptainKiddHistory

Posted by Katie L. Carroll on September 11, 2017 in #CaptainKiddHistory, Books, History, Middle Grade, Pirate Island |

Here is the next installment of #CaptainKiddHistory. These historical tidbits about Captain William Kidd are told by Billy, the main character of my upcoming middle grade adventure PIRATE ISLAND. Billy discovered and wrote down these tidbits while doing research to find Kidd’s lost treasure but before he actually looked for it on Pirate Island. Let’s give a big welcome to Billy!

1698 to April 1699 – A Privateer Prize and the Return of the Archenemy

by Billy Bonny

Credit: Howard Pyle, via Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain.
Billy’s comment: This is pretty close to how I imagine Kidd looked while burying treasure, not doing himself but supervising.

Whole books could be written about Captain Kidd’s life (I know—I’ve read a bunch of them!). This was a particularly busy time for him, so I’m going to be brief and hit the highlights. In January 1698, Kidd finally catches a break when his crew spots a ship called the Quedagh Merchant off the tip of India. It was an Indian ship that was flying French colors and with French papers. England was at war with France at the time, so French ships were allowed to be taken by English privateers.

Turns out the captain was an Englishman, and Kidd tried to give the ship back to him. His restless crew wasn’t interested in that, so Kidd kept the ship and its good for him and his crew. Kidd’s ship the Adventure Galley had seen better days, so he set sail on the Quedagh Merchant and renamed it the Adventure Prize (another cool name for a ship!).

In April, Kidd arrived at Madagascar and ran into his old archenemy (the real pirate!) Robert Culliford. What actually happened between these two at this point is a bit of mystery with several different accounts being told of the events. The end result was that much of Kidd’s crew left him to join Culliford, and Kidd decided to go home. Meanwhile, rumors of Kidd having turned pirate had reach England, and he was in for a heap of trouble when he got back.

Kidd stopped in the Caribbean and learned he was a wanted pirate. He ditched the Adventure Prize, sold off some of his goods, and returned to New York. But not before making a stop on Gardiner’s Island and burying some real treasure!

PIRATE ISLAND blurb:

A thrice cursed island, a legendary pirate treasure, and one not-so-brave boy. What could possibly go wrong?

For centuries, the whereabouts of Captain William Kidd’s lost pirate treasure has remained a mystery. When Billy’s best friend, Andy, proposes they look for it on nearby Pirate Island, Billy thinks it’s just another one of their crazy adventures. It’s usually Billy who ends up in trouble as a result, but he goes along for the ride…like always. The more he delves into the life and death of Kidd, the more he thinks the treasure is real and that it might be buried on the small island in Long Island Sound. Billy—nope, call him William—becomes obsessed with the captain of the same first name. He even believes he’s possessed by Kidd’s restless soul. Now he and the spirit of a long-dead pirate are leading the crazy adventure on Pirate Island. And what they find is far bigger than the treasure they imagined.

Now available for pre-order! Get it on  Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Kobo, IndieBound, and many other of your favorite book sellers.

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September #InkRipples: Building a Fictional World

Posted by Katie L. Carroll on September 8, 2017 in Books, Creativity, Elixir Bound, Fantasy, Ink Ripples, Kai Strand, Mary Waibel, Pirate Island, WIP, Writing |

What exactly is world building (or worldbuilding if your prefer is as one word)? Basically, it’s the creation of a fictional world. More than that, though, it’s how that world is explained within the confines of a story. The imagining and creating is the easy part (in my opinion). It’s choosing which pieces to include in the story and how to include those pieces with out a big info-dump that is the tricky part.

The reader must be grounded in the world and be able to feel like they are immersed in it, but you don’t want to bore them with too many details and world-building elements that aren’t essential to the plot and character development. It’s highly subjective, too. One reader may love lavish descriptions and explanations of how one aspect of your fictional world works, while another may skim through all that to get to the action.

And world building isn’t just for fantasy or sci-fi writers. Even if a story takes place in a high school and most of your readers are in high school or have been to one, you still need to establish the world of your high school. There’s a lot already written on ways to execute world building, so instead of me blathering on with tips, I’ll leave some links at the end of the post for you to peruse at your leisure.

Some of my favorite world building exercises have been making a map for the ELIXIR BOUND (see the picture at the beginning of the post and the entry “Exploring the world of Elixir Bound”). For PIRATE ISLAND, part of my world building included creating a chart with realistic tides and moon cycles. So much of my world building goes on behind the scenes, but having all that information in my head makes for a rich world on the page, even if the reader only sees a small portion of what the world entails. Plus, those elements that don’t make it directly into the story are great for things like blog posts and bonuses for readers.

Okay, before we get to the links, I’d love to hear some of your world-building techniques in the comments!

“Tips on World Building for Writers — How to Make Your Imaginary World Real” by Chuck Sambuchino

“The Ultimate Guide to World-Building: How To Write Fantasy, Sci-Fi, And Real-Life Worlds” by Claire Bradshaw

“25 Things You Should Know About Worldbuilding” by Chuck Wendig

(Apparently people named Chuck have a lot to say about world building!)

#InkRipples is a monthly meme created by Katie L. CarrollMary Waibel, and Kai Strand. We pick a topic (September is all about world building), drop a ripple in the inkwell (i.e. write about it on our blogs), and see where the conversation goes. We’d love to have you join in the conversation on your own blogs or on your social media page. Full details and each month’s topic can be found on my #InkRipples page.

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Enter to Win a Signed Paperback of PIRATE ISLAND in a Goodreads Giveaway

Posted by Katie L. Carroll on September 6, 2017 in Books, Events, Middle Grade, Pirate Island |

A signed paperback of my middle grade adventure PIRATE ISLAND is up for grabs on Goodreads. But if you don’t want to take a chance on winning one, you can always pre-order a copy. The paperback is on sale at Amazon for $7.07 and at Barnes & Noble for just $7.09! I’m always happy to send a signed bookplate to anyone who purchases the paperback. Use my CONTACT page to let me know you want one.

Big props to anyone who shares the giveaway to help spread the word about it!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Pirate Island by Katie L. Carroll

Pirate Island

by Katie L. Carroll

Giveaway ends September 20, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

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