Avast, landlubbers! There be pirates here! (And also a free book offer. More on that later.)
When Barb Goffman, Marcia Talley, and I came up with Homicidal Holidays as the theme for the sixth volume of the Chesapeake Crimes short story anthology series, we figured we’d get a few Halloween stories. We ended up with five--from Tim Bentler-Jungr, Carla Coupe, Meg Opperman, Shari Randall, and Art Taylor. We weren’t surprised to get some Christmas stories--we have four, from Clyde Linsley, Linda Lombardi, Debbi Mack, and me. But to our delight, we were also able to include stories for Groundhog Day (Barb Goffman), Valentine’s Day (Rosemary and Larry Mild), President’s Day (E.B. Davis), St. Patrick’s Day (Shaun Taylor Bevins), and from Cathy Wiley, Talk Like a Pirate Day.
Wait--Talk Like a Pirate Day?
As soon as I got over a sudden, intense case of “wish I’d thought of that,” I read Cathy Wiley’s “Dead Men Tell No Tales” and gave myself a good talking-to about thinking outside the box next time.
I asked Cathy how she came up with the idea.
"When the Homicidal Holidays anthology theme was announced, I very much wanted to choose an unusual holiday," she said. "While flying home from a trip, I asked my friend Joe for suggestions for a unique day. When he suggested 'Talk Like A Pirate Day,' I pounced on that idea."
And being a savvy author who’s aware of the value of cross-promotion, Cathy decided that her story would feature the same protagonist as the series she writes for Zapstone Productions. (Dead to Writes and Two Wrongs Don't Make a Write are the first two books in the series.)
"I'm fairly certain that by the time the plane landed, I had already plotted out the basic concept of the story,” she notes. "I knew that the mystery would be solved by someone knowing facts about real pirates versus pop culture pirates. Cassie Ellis was a natural fit to figure that out, since in my series, she's a mystery author who is obsessed with accuracy and research."
"Since it was a short story," she adds, "I decided to have Detective Whittaker (Cassie's love interest and a Baltimore Homicide cop) be the protagonist and conduct the investigation rather than amateur detective Cassie. It was interesting to use him as the focus to the story rather than her."
Is Cathy worried that some people aren't entirely amused by Talk Like a Pirate Day? "I realize that there are real pirates in this world today, and they should not be emulated or celebrated," she states. "But TLaPD is a humorous homage to the fictionalized and romanticized notion of pirates. Arrrrrrr."
So does Cathy herself dress up on September 19th every year? "Not in actuality, but through the magic of photo manipulation I have," she admits. "I was an administrator of a message board that celebrated TLaPD, and we Photoshopped members' avatars to include bandanas, eye patches, even parrots." (Here's Pirate Cathy . . Aarrrrr!)
And Cathy has promised to dress up for the Homicidal Holidays launch party. Mark your calenders now--October 11, from noon to 2, at One More Page Books, 2200 North Westmoreland Street, Arlington, VA. See the Chessie Chapter website for more info.
Meanwhile, for more information on Talk Like a Pirate Day, check out the TLAPD website.They also have a search function that lets you look for TLAPD events in your area. And if you really want to get into the spirit, Facebook will let you change your settings from English to English (Pirate) for the day. For more information on Cathy, check her website.
And remember that free book I mentioned? We'll be giving out a free copy of Homicidal Holidays--paper or ebook, your choice--to the person who leaves the best comment in pirate talk. Have at it, me hearties!