I know that most really good books have a long incubation period and the gestation of this book has been about twenty years. In 1998, when I was in my final year of college at the University of Melbourne, I met the man who would become my husband, Archie McIsaac. Archie was a reformed Gangster and Gang Leader turned Pentecostal Minister, and I met him in the course of my work as a canvasser for a local charity. He was quite poor and only had 25 cents in the house, but he was tremendously kind, and asked me if I would like a cup of tea. I politely refused, and turned to leave, but then the still small Voice of Spirit spoke to me and told me to have a cup of tea with this man.
To cut a long story short, we soon fell in love, and he began to speak with me about his past life memories. Apparently, they were as clear and as vivid in his mind as if he were remembering an earlier period in this incarnation. He spoke about how he was the Tee-Total Pirate King, although he couldn't remember his name. I was sceptical, but listened anyway, and when we did past life regression work, we saw that he was in fact an immensely wealthy and powerful pirate who only drank tea, and that I was his lover, a surgeon who lived in his cabin with him.
And we were in LOVE!
I was female in that life, but (for reasons we couldn't see at the time), had to pretend to be male, so all the world thought I was a man and that the Pirate King and I were homosexual lovers.
We knew nothing of the History of the Golden Age of Piracy, nothing of Bartholomew Roberts and his Pirate's Code. Of course, now it all makes sense, but back in the day, all we knew was what we could see. I didn't know my own name, either, but somehow, that wasn't important. What mattered to us, most of all, was our love for one another.
We saw that he became Captain after the previous Captain was killed in a failed false flag raid, of some kind, on a port. "Archie" saw the Captain’s (Howell Davis') assassination but was following the group at a distance and escaped. He returned to the ship and navigated the vessel out of the harbor moments before it was blockaded. During these events, he was shot, and I was the one who treated his wound, removing a lead ball from his leg.
This was how we became friends in that life and, later, lovers, but at that time, he had no idea that I was female.
To all outward appearances, I was an effeminate looking man.
I am aware of what the history books say, that Wilson and Roberts first met when he took the Tarlton, but there are so many things about the "Official Record" that make no sense. If the Official Account is true, then why does Wilson show absolutely no fear of Roberts during this interview? Why does Roberts laugh when Wilson tells him that John Tarlton is "indisposed", and say, "Ye'll be my Messmate, George Wilson!" On other occasions where Captains or Ship Owners refused to meet with Roberts, he bashed or tortured them, and their emissaries, and afterwards burned their ship!
So, it is at least possible, and even likely, that they knew each other before this incident...and Probably Really Well (nudge, wink!!!)
When Archie and I looked at the end of that life, I saw that "Archie" was not with me. I remembered seeing a lot of hangings. but I was standing on the ground, not swinging. I didn't see my beloved there, but I knew that he was no longer alive, and it was not a good feeling. At that time, I didn't see my own end,
History tells us that George Wilson died of a fever just six days into the voyage that should have taken him to the King's Bench in England, where his acquittal hearing was to be heard.
For some time, I have had the impression that I drowned, and it may be that I was not fully dead when they cast my body into the sea (in that era, it was common for comatose people to be declared dead). But in any case, I was buried at sea, as was my beloved Barty.
To this day, I cannot stand the feeling of cold water on my skin and because of this, I did not learn to swim until I was thirteen years old. As a child and young adult, I would also have a nightmare of being subjected to tremendous pressure against my skin, of being weighed down and sinking into a dark abyss and of being unable to breathe.
And so, it may well be that my not-quite-dead-yet body awoke, moments after it was cast into the deep and made one final, vain effort at survival before succumbing, inevitably, to death by drowning.
Every time I think about this, I have a deep feeling of grief, almost to the point of tears. even as I am typing this, I am almost crying. They were truly tragic times, but the most tragic part of this whole tale is this...
In the few years after Chaloner Ogle killed Bartholomew Roberts, the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade almost doubled in size, from 24,780 slaves being exported per year in 1720 to 47,030 in 1725.
So did the end of the Golden Age of Piracy make the World a Better, Freer Place, or not?
I wi'll leave that for you to decide...
In closing, I'd like to remind you all that this novel is a work of fiction. It is NOT a historically accurate account, I've had to mess with event timelines for the sake of plot flow, for example, the burning of the slaver (The Porcupine) happened a week before Robert's death, and not the day before, as in my book, and it happened at Whydah (Ouidah), not at Cape Lopez.
Just don't get hung up on it and take the novel for what I wrote it to be...a Swashbucklingly Good, Erotic, Pirate Adventure Romance!