Hello, and welcome. I thought some of you might like to know how the Sarafina series got started. Well, I’m not just a pirate author, but I’m a pirate too ~ a pirate re-enactor! I go to pirate festivals fully clothed in authentic looking attire equipped with cutlass, knife and flintlock pistol (all real working weapons) and entertain the crowd with jokes, bits of history as well as hand out coins to the little ones and pose for photo ops.
Now, you ask, what does that all have to do with becoming a pirate author? Glad you asked. I was at a pirate event and another pirate friend gave me this challenge. “See if you can compose a book like Nancy Drew meets Pirate’s of the Caribbean.” he told me. So I did. And thus the Sarafina Series was born!
Easy you think? Not. At. All. Although I have been writing since I was 12 years old, I only wrote short stories and poems along with children’s stories. So this was quite the task to take on! I worked very hard on it, went to other seasoned pirate re-enactors and asked a lot of questions, took a lot of notes, did a lot of reading up on the history and researched all I could about pirate life.
And it paid off. I have sold so many of my YA books to most of all my adult pirate friends and nothing came back except comments such as “Great book! Loved the story!” and “I stayed up most of the night reading it, wanted to see what happened next!” And others who are not pirate friends as I do a lot of book signings at events and libraries and Barnes & Noble as well as other stores.
So with many Five Star reviews and some great comments, I’d say I succeeded in my quest. I am quite happy with how it all came out. It was a lot of hard work but was also fun. But, mostly hard work. LoL!
And now… I have had a lot of people who have read my books approach me and say “So, when’s book three coming out?”
And all I can say is “Arrrgh, I guess I better get back to writing!
I have often thought it would be awesome to find some object or relic to send me to another time and dimension. But, after writing about it in the Sarafina Series books, I realized that it may not be all fun and games! First, there’s the problem of figuring out how to use the object so you can find your way back home. If, after you’ve had the experience, you do indeed wish to go home! Some might find that a hard decision to make, depending of course, where they are sent.
But, Sarafina does wish to go back home and does not know how. Although she has made several good friends, some even pirates. We follow her along her adventure through the eyes of modern day teen-ager in the early 18th Century. Be it in calm waters, a noisy tavern or the rolling seas, Sarafina learns new things everyday. She learns to cope with her plight and survive. And we learn of the ways of the pirates, about tall tales and sea legends right along with her.
So, I’m not so sure I’d want to travel outside my Century, after all I can always visit them in books!
Pirates loved the sea, tis true. But, how it all changes with the wind. Such a strong resource to be lucky enough to have. For without the wind the ship would be dead in the water. They would manage the best they could taking the slack time keeping up with cleaning guns and the sort. It was a time for story telling and carving pictures and scenes from a battle in the tooth of a whale or if not available into stone or even wood.
Yes, tis hard to separate the pirate from the sea. Many are great sailors and earned the respect of their peers to become Captain. A very difficult position to hold and keep. Whilst some become quite valuable such as carpenters, ships doctor and sail makers, not to mention the night-watch men, the cook and the one who climbs up past the top of the masts taking station in the crow’s nest looking for ships of every kind as well as land.
Sometimes the journey takes them to far away lands for spices, shimmering cloth and expensive wine and rum.
Rum was in great demand as fresh water was hard to keep fresh on board. Depending on who you were and your position greatly affected how much rum you would receive besides your daily rations.
So, pirates and sailors have much more in common than you might know. Consider the free spirit of life at sea, but know this, it was not easy.
As much as people would like to think of the glory and romance that follows pirates. There is a great deal more!
A ship. The ship. Is just off the harbor at anchor. Awaiting to unload it’s riches and re-stock on supplies. The night is cool but calm. You watch at a distance as the shirtless pirates load and unload the goods. You can’t help but wonder what they may be. What far off lands did they travel to, to find such wonders? And how much are they worth?
Your mouth waters as they begin to unload the chests of silver coins and small gold statues of what looks like Greek gods that must be worth a fortune! And at the delicious spices and sugars and exotic fruits in crates that appear! You can hardly wait to taste them as you creep closer in the dim light of the night.
As you stand in the twilight behind another ship docked watching the activity of the new ship, you can’t help but wonder the possibilities.
I often find myself wondering what great heroic feat should I bring to my main character to accomplish in my books. It’s not as easy as you might think coming up with something that fits your character and situation. I find humor works well. As long as it’s not life threatening. It’s a little harder when your character is a female, a young female, and accompanied by pirates.
There just aren’t that many books out about girls and pirates. And, in “Sarafina and the Pirate’s Spyglass” you even get to time-travel! So I guess I’d say there is a little bit of everything in there. There’s mystery, legends, intrigue, a little puppy love and laughter.
I think Sarafina’s super power would be endurance. For she can withhold her own in a time that is far from her own and withstand many different cultures of people~ including pirates! All while trying to find her way back home.
So, while my super powers may only be simple, they are indeed, super to me!
Sometimes it is very hard to finish writing a book. Heck, it’s hard to even start writing a book! It gets tough when you run out of words to say. We throw in adjectives and adverbs to brighten things up a bit, but, occasionally you run into writer’s block. I have had this happen to me several times. I knew where I was going with the story and what I wanted to say, it’s just that the sentences were at a loss. Then you get discouraged and soon it becomes weeks since you’ve last written anything! No one ever said writing a book is easy. In fact, quite the opposite.
I have an idea for Book Three and know what I want to write about, yet, here I sit. So, sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you find yourself at a loss for words. But, the well won’t produce water until you pump the handle. So, I guess I better start pumping and get my hands wet!
Hello. I have another great story to tell you. I was at the Beaufort Pirate Festival in North Carolina just recently, signing books and a young girl came to my table with her mother. She looked up at me with big brown eyes and a smile a mile wide. Her mother had explained that they saw me at the Swansboro Pirate Festival which is a nearby town, a few months ago, and they had bought my book “Sarafina and the Pirate’s Spyglass’ the first in the series. She then told me that her and her daughter had been reading it together but then the little girl had taken it a few days later to read on her own and the mother said she was upset because she really liked the story and wanted to know what happened next!
She said she was so glad to have found me at this event so they could get Book Two and have me sign it. All the while this cute little girl was just staring at me like I was a Rock Star! I was so surprised that they had followed me to the next event. I smiled back at her while talking to her mom about my book and she gently tugged on my skirt and finally found the courage to speak. Those dark brown eyes so big, she said in a hushed voice “I really like your book.”
I wanted to cry I was filled with such love! I signed her second book and we said our good-byes. And as she was slowly walking away she looked back over her shoulder at me and I gave her a wink of my eye.
I was never so happy to be followed by someone!
Just have to tell you all about my exciting days at the Pirate Festival. It was so good to see my pirate friends again and re-connect with new ones. I was signing away in the stifling heat, when a young man at the age of eleven came up to my table. He had on a big beautiful smile and seemed rather shy. His mother told me that he is also a writer and has won several awards and reads at a high school level. I was very impressed and eager to hear more as I congratulated him. His mom said last night they were looking for more books to read and said that she was looking on Amazon and my books came up. She read a little bit about it and the young man recognized my photo from the Vero Beach Pirate Festival program that I was featured in. So, his mom said he was so excited and really wanted to get my books and meet me! I felt so honored.
There was also a young girl who was standing waiting to take her turn to pick from the treasure chest as it was at my table. She looked up and said “Hey, I have that book!” and pointed to “Sarafina and the Pirate’s Spyglass” just out of nowhere! I tell you, days like this make me so happy that I have been given the chance to enter into someone’s life! Just made my day!
Hello everyone! Just wanted to let you know that I will be doing a book signing at the Vero Beach Pirate Festival in Florida on July 28th thru the 30th. Here is a link to learn more about me. http://www.verobeachpiratefest.com/jaye-helm.html Please come out and have some fun with the Pirates, Treasure hunters and authors and enjoy the music and feast on the food while viewing the many wares of the vendors.
I would love to meet you and will gladly personalize and sign a book or two for you. So make your plans now, it’s coming up quick!
I’d like to think that this saying “You’re only one book away from a good mood” is true. Growing up I used to hate to read, mainly because I had a short attention span and couldn’t remember much of what I read. Now I love to read! But, I still have that problem but for different reasons! To me books are a magic portal that can take you anywhere, make you think, scare you or make you laugh. Even more! They are good for any age and I believe make the best gifts.
I like to read from all different types of authors and subjects. Gives me a good rounded perspective on things. I write for the young adult because I feel that field is lacking and something or someone needs to fill that void. Maybe get the kids off the video games, use their imagination and get lost in a good story so that they will want to read more.
I include real life historical characters as well as fictional ones. I like to color the scene with a variety of people and exciting places, but not to the point where the reader would get confused and lose interest.
So, if you find yourself in a bad mood or just with some empty time on your hands remember, you are only one book away from a good mood!