Kerry Lynne – Author Interview

If pirates and adventure are your taste, you’ll enjoy this interview with author Kerry Lynne.


What genre(s) do your write? Historical fiction has always been my fascination Pirate-Captain-Kerry Lynneand fixation. I was more into the Westward Movement in my younger days, but I’ve branched out.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Oh, dear. I don’t easily talk about myself. I’ve had a number of different careers, and finally wound up in the decorative painting field for 30 years. But nothing is more useless than a painting teacher with a hand that doesn’t work, so I had to find a different creative outlet

How long have you been writing and what inspired you to begin writing? Like many, I started as a teenager, when the imagination was running rampant. I was told by teachers and college professors that I should try to get published, but life got in my way. Much, much later in life, the writing found me again, but only recreational. Then an online friend started pushing for me to write a book.

What is the last book you read? The Whiskey Rebels. Besides the historical aspect, it’s a great example of establishing character voices.

Which writers inspire you? Diana Gabaldon, categorically. From her I learned that I could write the way that came the most naturally: patchwork. I didn’t have to start at Chapter One, page one, with this monstrous outline, rough drafts and character spreadsheet. Gads, if I had to do all that (as it seemed everyone told me) I would have never started.

Where did you get the idea from for your novel, “The Pirate Captain“? The obvious: Pirates of the Caribbean. It was odd. I had always been a history and sailing buff, but had never been a pirate fan. I think it was one of those “right place at the right time” things.

Comparing my pirate, Nathanael Blackthorne, to Jack Sparrow is going to be inevitable. What other pirate has there been in pop culture for the last 60 years? They are similar, by way of both are pirates, captains in the West Indies and loveable jerks, but I hope the reader will find a vast difference from there. Nathan is far more lethal, perhaps because life has been far rougher.


Can you tell us something about the story? Sure. It takes place in 1755. Well, perhaps I should let Captain Blackthorne tell you.

“I am Captain Nathanael Blackthorne.

Please defer your accolades regarding me legend and accomplishments to another day. Instead, I pray you will allow me to present “The Pirate Captain,” a historical novel about meself—I blush—and one Cate Mackenzie, through whom’s eyes this story is told. Since the day I had the misfortune of kidnapping her—wrong person, easy mistake, you understand—and she lay shivering and puking on me deck, me life has gone arsey-turvey. She is, however, a woman with savvy and grit. Both are necessary for what Providence is about to bestow upon her as I take her on a journey of revenge against an unholy alliance of two corrupted men.”


Who do you think will like reading your book and what other novels do you think are similar to it? That’s been a challenge. I (nor any of my colleagues) have been able to find anything that resembles or compares to The Pirate Captain. It’s not a bodice-ripper romance and it’s not a Treasure Island wannabe. If I had to make a comparison, I guess it would have to be Pirates of the Caribbean meets Master and Commander, with not an “argh!” is uttered.

            So far, men and women have enjoyed it equally, sailor and landlubber alike. It’s for anyone looking for an escape, who likes to become involved with the characters. And these are most engaging characters, if I may say so myself. <wry grin>
            I hope this book can be a bridge between the non-sailor and the seafaring worlds of Patrick O’Brian (of the Master and Commander series) or Forrester (of the Hornblower series.) There is a fascination with the world of sailing, but it’s a scary place, in terms of trying to understand what is being said. I’ve done my best to keep it accurate, and yet at the same time, not overwhelming. I’ve provided a glossary (for not only the nauticalese, but some of the 18th Century turns of the tongue) in the back of the e-book version and as a pdf on the website.


Are you working on a new book at the moment? The sequel. Without being too spoilerish, there is a cliffhanger ending. I already have people bugging me for “what happens next?”

Where can people go to read your work? There’s an excerpt at the end of this interview. There are more on our website and Facebook.

Which writers inspire you? In my early years, James Michener, because of his way of weaving fact and fiction together. And his books were wonderfully thick.
Diana Gabaldon was a revelation, in her writing and as a person. She’s a master of bringing her characters and their world to life in incredibly few words. Her scenes are as complex and multi-layered as her characters.

Do you have any tips for aspiring authors? Know your audience and write for them.  And, paraphrasing from Diana, “You can do anything, so long as you do it well.”

Good reviews, mixed reviews, bad reviews – what are your thoughts on each of those? They are the natural course of events. You’re never going to please everyone. And in the process of trying to please one group, you’ll tick off another.

Case in point with this book was the whole sailing thing. I couldn’t avoid it, and the terms and language can be overwhelming for anyone who doesn’t sail. The problem was to either go 100% accurate (pleasing the historical purists, but losing a great number of readers) or keeping it readable (pleasing the general reader, while incensing the purist).

I opted for the latter in this book. Luckily, Cate, my main character, is a lousy sailor, so I could keep the sailing at a level anyone should be able comprehend (as proven by some of my land-locked readers). In many places, if you don’t entirely understand what a term means, it’s no great issue. The glossary should help fill in the blanks.

  • Links: Facebook @ Pirate-Captain
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Excerpt from The Pirate Captain tm
Chapter 4, Captivated © 2012

Isla de las Aguas de los Santos Sedientos.

It seemed a lofty title for such an inconsequential-looking piece of land.

As the ship paralleled the shore, Cate watched the massive black banner unfurl once more. Seeing the bold image of the haloed skull framed by the angel’s wings, she felt the same thrill and tug of pride as when the Nightingale had been bearing down, a sense of belonging; sudden and unfounded, but there it was.

“I would have thought you would desire the element of surprise,” she said, looking up at the flag.

Nathan smiled tolerantly. “Surprise them, and their first instinct is to fight and fight hard, in defense of hearth, family, and all that is dear. But,” he said, with an exclamatory finger and a knowing wink, “give them time and they commence to thinking. With that luxury, the mind sets to imagining how much they stand to lose, and how much pain—possible death—might be required in the process of defending said valuables.”

“Which means?”

“Which means given enough time, they’ll meet you at the dock with the keys to the treasury, their most virginal maids, and desire to know what took you so long in coming. Don’t care for that second bit, eh?” he laughed at seeing her wince.

“Isn’t there some way to circumvent that?”

“Not really,” he teased.

She didn’t know him fully, but Nathan didn’t strike her as a man who would refuse a maid if handed one. The fact of the matter was she considered it safe to say he was a man who had welcomed the company of many women. With his charm and dash, few could resist when targeted by that.

“Brilliant,” Pryce murmured in wonderment over his shoulder, once his Captain had strolled away. “Treasure given over volunteer-like ’tis just as shiny as that what come with spilt blood. The men appreciate that.”

“All of them?” She looked warily across the myriad of faces, Scarface and her earliest moments aboard still fresh in her mind.

He shot a loathing over his shoulder. “No, but those be the ones what tend to seek a cap’n what thirsts for blood ’n’ mayhem. Now mind, the Cap’n can be treacherous when he’s of a mind. I’ve seen ’im slit a man’s gullet and leave the poor bastard with his guts draped over his arm. The Cap’n keeps the rum plentiful, their bellies full, ’n’ the swag piles high, a-knowin’ a man’s dedication takes but two paths: his pocket and his stomach.”

“The men seem to love him.”

“Or respect,” Pryce was quick to qualify. “Don’t be a-confusin’ the two; there be a fair difference a’tween ’em. Them what don’t is long gone, either by choice, or otherwise.

The First Mate was gone before Cate could ask for clarification on the “otherwise.” On second thought, perhaps she was better off not knowing.

The thought of being a part of pillaging and destruction, maybe even killing, was wholly distasteful and disturbing. Death wasn’t new to Cate; she had witnessed a war first hand, but that had been in the spirit of King and country, not a quest for plunder and riches. But realistically, what else was she to do? These men were pirates before she had been brought aboard—no one could accuse her of being there by choice—and they would be pirates long after she was gone. But be damned if she would idly stand by and watch them bleed. If that was aiding and abetting, complicit by virtue of association, then piracy would be added to her charge sheet, and there was blessed little to be done about it.

When the ship opened the bay, a great gun firing—a quarter charge and without the benefit of a ball—announced them, just in case the townspeople hadn’t noticed that a 36-gunned black ship with blood dripping from its sails and decks and flying a prodigious skull-emblazoned banner, was in their harbor. There was a good deal of shouting, the rattle of chain, a splash, and the Ciara Morganse was at anchor. The decks, which had been so alive under Cate’s feet, went motionless for the first time in months. It was a novelty and a quite disquieting sensation.

She strained to see the little town nestled between the island’s mountainous backbone and the sea. It was the closest land since leaving England. Not having pondered it earlier, she now longed for the solidness of land under her feet, to walk on a surface that didn’t pitch and roll at every step.