Let’s welcome Jeremy McLean to the Scribbler.
I met Jeremy through our WFNB membership when I needed formatting done for my stories. His work is excellent and he is always there if any changes need to be made.
This is his first visit as a guest and I hope you’ll enjoy the Story Behind the Story.
Jeremy: I live in New Brunswick, Canada, with my wife, Heather, and our two cats, Navi and Thor. I started writing over ten years ago with my first novel, Blackbeard's Freedom, and have been working on the series and other side projects since. I enjoy sci-fi and fantasy books and playing video games in my spare time.
Working Title: Blackbeard's Family (The Voyages of Queen Anne's Revenge Book 4)
Synopsis: Blackbeard and Herbert leave the crew behind on a mission: Kill Calico Jack.
When Edward takes advantage of an opportunity to assassinate Calico Jack, they get far more than they bargained for in a revelation that sends waves of doubt through the young pirates.
Herbert leaves to finish off Calico Jack on his own, but Edward follows, and the two find themselves in the lion's den. Stuck on an enemy ship, surrounded by battle-hardened men and a fiery female captain loyal to Calico Jack, a single misstep lies between them and a watery grave.
Can Edward and Herbert keep their identities secret long enough to kill Calico Jack?
See Blackbeard behind enemy lines in Blackbeard's Family, book 4 of the historical fantasy adventure series The Voyages of Queen Anne's Revenge!
The Story Behind the Story: This book is the fourth in the historical fiction/fantasy series I've been working on, The Voyages of Queen Anne's Revenge. Writing this story was interesting for a few reasons, with the main reason being that it was initially meant to be two books.
Anyone who's written or listened to writers knows they're often classified into planners or pantsers, gardeners or architects, etc. One is a person who plans everything out, and the other writes and lets things happen. I fall into the gardener category because I have a plan for the beginning, sometimes the middle, and the end of the story and future books in the series, but I don't have plans on how each chapter will go. I like to let things happen naturally between big moments because it leads to a more exciting story when even I can be surprised by something.
When I was trying to write Book 4, I had an overall plan for it and Book 5, but I struggled to think of what I would do to fill the gaps in either story. I decided to try and push forward and write Book 4, but each time I started the first chapter, it felt forced and uninteresting. I kept re-writing and tried to think of an engaging hook that would grab the reader's attention, but it just wasn't working.
Somewhere along the way, I had an epiphany to combine the ideas from Books 4 & 5 into one to solve the issues I had with them. The hook I had in mind for Book 5 now served as the hook for Book 4 and was a great catalyst which would lead the characters down separate paths where I could go back and forth between the two stories.
As any writer will tell you, they try to make their newest work better than the last, and I feel I get better with each book I write. Blackbeard's Family is the best writing I've done so far, and I hope others agree.
A question for you, Jeremy, before you go:
What is your favorite part of writing and the part you enjoy the least?
My favourite part of writing is creating something that I enjoy reading myself. If I feel I've done that, I'm confident others will enjoy it.
My least favourite part is getting past the first hump of the story and into the meat. Establishing the setup to make it interesting for the reader is challenging and always takes me the longest, but once I get past that, I get into the flow it becomes a lot easier to write.
Thank you for being our guest this week, Jeremy. Wishing you all the best on your writing journey.
And thanks to our readers and visitors. Please feel free to leave a comment.