Today on the blog I am delighted to welcome Chris Rogers. Chris has written a lovely guest post about how her latest book, Paradise Lost, came about. but first a liitle bit about the new novel.
Captain Cord McKinsey, a pirate cursed in 1716 for doing a good deed, now operates his schooner, the Sarah Jane, as a cruise ship. Doomed to remain effectively ship-bound and within the Caribbean waters, Cord, 34, has often reinvented himself and his ship over these near 300 years.
Though long despaired of ever breaking his curse, he becomes entwined in solving similar problems for passengers, problems that require extraordinary solutions. When his new Jamaican first mate, Ayanna, confesses she has been cursed by a Bokor, Cord agrees to help her locate a powerful shaman.
But the Bokor’s plan is more heinous and far-reaching than anyone suspects. The lovely Ayanna fails to mention that her mind and body are changing, taking form as a ravenous reptile. Even with the help of a psychic passenger, Cord may lose the people he cares for as well as his ship, the only square footage on land or sea where pain is not his constant companion.
Chris Rogers, best known for her novels of pure suspense, has previously confined any supernatural excursions to short stories featured in her Death Edge anthologies. In Paradise Cursed, Rogers gives imagination full rein to explore life’s darker mysteries.
Confession Time: I can’t swim and I get seasick every time I’m on a ship. My first day on a tall ship I spent alternately hugging the toilet and hugging the cool tile floor of our tiny bathroom. In sea language that’s the “head.” In any language: I was miserable.
Yet once I got my sea legs under me, the experience was enjoyable and remains one of my favorite vacation memories. Back then I wasn’t yet a novelist. Later, I cast a romantic-suspense tale on that 4-masted schooner. The book never jelled, but the setting continued to intrigue me.
More years passed. Bantam Books published my Dixie Flannigan—Bounty Hunter series, which didn’t lend itself to a tall ship, though I did plan to send Dixie down Tortuga way to deliver a yacht. The series unfortunately was cancelled before I finished that episode.
As a reader, my favorite stories are dark fantasy, mystery-suspense and science fiction, in that order, so it was inevitable that I’d eventually turn my imagination to a novel in my favorite genre. Similarly, a favorite motif waiting to show up in a story was immortality. It fascinates me that virtually every human wants to live forever but no one wants to get old.
Forever is a terribly long time. What does a person do decade after decade for centuries? How would you protect your secret or endure the loss of loved ones? Living forever sounds exhausting.
When my rather eccentric brain began combining these thoughts with my long-ago experience, I envisioned the ship flying the Jolly Roger. Suddenly I knew my protagonist: a pirate from the 1700s who, along with his schooner, was cursed to sail the Caribbean for eternity.
Now the story had some juice. How could I not write it?
Chris became a writer the easy way: She read voraciously and filled blank pages with drivel until her fingers cramped and her brain defected. Eventually, she learned to craft a decipherable sentence. Author of the Dixie Flannigan series, Bitch Factor, Rage Factor, Chill Factor and Slice of Life, Chris has published stories and essays in, among others, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and Writer’s Digest.
While continuing to explore the literary venue, Chris inevitably embraced the creative form of paint on canvas, which allows her narrative flair and graphic origins to unfold in unison. While creating new canvases, she also participates in the design of her book covers. Her paintings can be found in private and corporate collections.
Paradise Cursed by Chris Rogers is published on 1st April and can be purchased from Amazon here
Thank you so much Chris,for agreeing to come and chat on readingwrites.