Monday, May 16, 2011

Message in a Bottle from Jane

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by Jane Yolen
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I was in seventh grade (or thereabouts) when I discovered female pirates. Or rather with a rather loud shout of AHOY! they found me. Our class assignment was to create a book and I decided to write about something I was fascinated with--pirates. And doing research I discovered Ann Bonney and Mary Read. They became the centerfold (I kid you not!) of my pirate book which I hand sewed and illustrated.

Were there more lady pirates? I hadn't a clue, but those stuck with me for years. And when in 1961 I decided to write real books, I made a leap of faith that where there were two female pirates, there might be more. I wrote a book proposal, titled it PIRATES IN PETTICOATS (a misnomer since for the most part they wore men's clothing--easier to sail and fight in, you see!) and sold the idea to David McKay Publishers as my very first book on my 22nd birthday. The book came out in 1963.

Ah, then I had to find more. With the help of something called Foul Anchor Archives, I did, indeed, find a bunch of possible lady pirates, including the world's greatest pirate, Madame Ching who actually ended up in one of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. However, I say "possible lady pirates" because years later, on closer inspection, I decided some of them were mythic and not real.

For years my first book was the only book totally about female pirates in the world. My next pirate book featuring Ann and Mary was BALLAD OF THE PIRATE QUEENS (Harcourt), written in rhyme and beautifully illustrated by David Shannon. And then over forty years later, I decided to totally rewrite, re-imagine, and rethink the first book and wrote SEA QUEENS (Charlesbridge). Again, Ann and Mary anchor the book.

They also have a cameo role in the book BAD GIRLS that my daughter and I have written which will be published next year (I hope) by Charlesbridge.

What next? Maybe a novel featuring them? A movie of my own? I haven't a clue. No X marks the spot. I only know that female pirates, buccaneer broads, swordswomen of the sea will not let me go!


Guest post created for ...and a bottle o'rum event by Jane Yolen
© 2011. All rights reserved.

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by Jane Yolen
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--~ Book Giveaway ~--

Avast, me hearties!

Winner's pick of...

Sea Queens:
Women Pirates Around the World
by Jane Yolen
illustrated by Christine Joy Pratt


The Ballad of the Pirate Queens
by Jane Yolen
illustrated by David Shannon

Open to all.

Offer ends: May 29 --> extended to June 12, 2011

Visit Jane's site and tell me something About or What's New with Jane.

AND, leave your email (if I don't already have it)


Contest has ended - winner is here


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