Thursday 20 June 2024

Pirate Anthology: Jack Wells

The Black Beacon Book of Pirates is sure to shiver your timbers when it's published on Friday the 21st of June. The Kindle version is already available for pre-order at just $1.99 instead of $3.99 and you can add the anthology to your Goodreads "want to read" list today. In the meantime, to get you in the mood for a spot of swashbuckling, we’re interviewing the contributing authors.

Hi Jack,

Why pirates?

I mean, why not? But, honestly, I grew up loving the old pirate tales, and watching films like The Goonies, where the child protagonists had to survive all sorts of pitfalls and traps in search of pirate treasure. I think young boys are especially drawn to swashbuckling adventures and that warped sense of brigand’s honor. There’s something appealing about the thought of leaving the rules and expectations far behind, living life on your own terms. And, aside from all that, as soon as I saw the cover of The Black Beacon Book of Pirates, I knew I wanted to be included.

Are there any pirate legends set where you live?

Sadly, no, as Utah is a landlocked state. There are plenty of tales regarding outlaws and rule-breakers, to be sure, but none of them involve the ocean.

If you were a pirate, what’s the first thing you’d do?

Try to find a deserted island to call my home base! I’ve always been an introvert, and the older I get, the further from the masses I want to be. Of course, it would it be pretty awesome to have a ship under my command… to be able to point the prow in whichever direction and be like "sail that way!". But, at the end of the day, a nice secluded place to call home, with no roads or bridges leading to it, would be heavenly. A place to bury the treasure, kick up my sea legs, and have a hearty swig of rum.

Have you ever found treasure?

Kinda. When I was young, my friend Greg and I were really into playing like we were in the military. We’d dress up in fatigues, grab our toy guns, put on face paint, and go wage war in the woods near his home. There were some older boys that used to hang out in those woods after school as well, and we steered well clear of them. One day, however, we found their stash of beer, dirty magazines, heavy metal cassettes, and a couple of switchblades. Greg and I were too young to have any interest in beer or boobs, but we sure were excited to find, and pilfer, those knives and tapes. Not that our parents let us keep either, of course, but it was a cool victory while it lasted.

What do you do when you’re not dreaming up tall tales?

I work full-time in government, doing my best to unravel all the red tape while keeping our military folks safe. I also have children, who are my world, so I spend a lot of time doing things with them. My house is an older home, built in the 60s, so there’s plenty of projects that keep me busy, and I have so many other hobbies besides writing. It’s actually kind of amazing that I get any writing done at all !

Where can we find you online?

I don’t have a website, though I probably should start working on that eventually. I’m on Facebook as Jack Wells, and Instagram as Jack_Wells_Author. I’m not on X or TikTok, and probably won’t ever be, as I barely have enough time or energy for socials as it is.

Wednesday 19 June 2024

Pirate Anthology: Karen Keeley

The Black Beacon Book of Pirates is sure to shiver your timbers when it's published on Friday the 21st of June. The Kindle version is already available for pre-order at just $1.99 instead of $3.99 and you can add the anthology to your Goodreads "want to read" list today. In the meantime, to get you in the mood for a spot of swashbuckling, we’re interviewing the contributing authors.

Hi Karen,

Why pirates?


Yo-ho, me hearties and a bottle of rum! Along with adventure on the high seas and buried treasure, who doesn’t love pirate tales? When I saw the cover reveal for Pirate Tales, my first thought was, I really really want to be in this book, the cover is magical and captivating! Feeling very privileged to have made the grade, thank you!

Are there any pirate legends set where you live?

Not that I’m aware of. I am more than twelve-hundred kilometers from the ocean so if there were pirate legends to be had, I wouldn’t think they’d be anywhere near me.

If you were a pirate, what’s the first thing you’d do?

I’d get me one swanky looking outfit with all the bells ‘n whistles—the white shirt, silk ‘n satin vest and leather britches (purple, my favourite colour), the knee-high boots, and a glorious pirate hat in addition to the cutlass and the flintlock pistols. Maybe a calico cat to keep me company.

Have you ever found treasure?

Just in books when I read amazing and wonderful stories.

What do you do when you’re not dreaming up tall tales?

I spend a lot of time carousing around in my imagination, listening to my imaginary friends. I say this with a smile. ~wink, wink~ Having made it to retirement, it’s wonderful to simply do whatever I want, whenever I want. I also make photobooks, gathering photos from special events like holiday travels, etc., time spent with family and friends, my own treasured memories captured in a picture book. I love the outdoors, getting back to nature. Whenever I am able to do so, I immerse myself in the ahhhhhhh moment. It’s just so flippin’ lovely to be out there, in a forest, in the mountains, somewhere near a river or a creek, soaking it all in. For me, it kind of reenergizes the ol’ batteries. If I’m really lucky and make it to the ocean, I love the sound of the seabirds overhead, the scent of the salty brine, the seaweed and barnacles.

Where can we find you online?

I have something of a quasi-website: www.karenmkeeley.blogspot.com

Saturday 15 June 2024

Pirate Anthology: DJ Tyrer

The Black Beacon Book of Pirates is sure to shiver your timbers when it's published on Friday the 21st of June. The Kindle version is already available for pre-order at just $1.99 instead of $3.99 and you can add the anthology to your Goodreads "want to read" list today. In the meantime, to get you in the mood for a spot of swashbuckling, we’re interviewing the contributing authors.

Hi DJ,

Why pirates?

Pirates have a great deal of potential for exciting adventure and varied characters. My story, Sting of the Schorpioen, features some characters I created for an as-yet unwritten horror novel involving pirates and a mysterious island. Even though I have yet to write that novel, the pirates had their hooks into me and I ended up writing some stories featuring them, of which this was one. Quite probably, if I fail to get them to their destination, they’ll insist on my writing some more.

Are there any pirate legends set where you live?

Although Southend-on-Sea was once the location of Milton, once an important port on the Thames, and nearby Leigh-on-Sea long had naval connections, any pirates presumably sailed off elsewhere to seek plunder and didn’t leave any local legends. However, the area does have plenty of tales about smugglers, including legends of smuggler tunnels running beneath the city, including some said to be haunted.

If you were a pirate, what’s the first thing you’d do?

Being a fan of Gilbert and Sullivan, I would have to burst into song. Doubtless I would be as inept as the Pirates of Penzance and do poorly at the whole capturing ships and treasure, but at least it would be a merry experience.

Have you ever found treasure?

Sadly, no. There is probably some down in those smuggler tunnels, but the stories of what happens to those who enter them are enough to put me off searching. Still, a hoard would be quite handy, so if anyone has any old maps where X marks the spot, please do send them my way…

What do you do when you’re not dreaming up tall tales?

My hobbies include history, roleplaying, wargaming, and languages and conlanging, all of which come in useful for worldbuilding. I’m also the editor/publisher of the Atlantean Publishing small press, when I can find the time.

Where can we find you online?

You can find my website at https://djtyrer.blogspot.co.uk/ and my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/DJTyrerwriter/

Friday 31 May 2024

Pirate Anthology: Karen Bayly

The Black Beacon Book of Pirates is sure to shiver your timbers when it's published on Friday the 21st of June. The Kindle version is already available for pre-order at just $1.99 instead of $3.99 and you can add the anthology to your Goodreads "want to read" list today. In the meantime, to get you in the mood for a spot of swashbuckling, we’re interviewing the contributing authors.

Hi Karen,

Why pirates?

They’re a varied bunch, aren’t they? We find everyone from poor sailors to ex-Naval officers and wealthy landowners, male, female, English, Welsh, French, Dutch, Chinese, etc. There were privateers such as Francis Drake, who, although not noted as a pirate by English folk, was seen as one by the Spanish whose American settlements he plundered. There were buccaneers like William Dampier, who later explored parts of the coasts of Australia and New Guinea for the British Admiralty.

While rebellious, pirates were also skilled and disciplined, at least on the high seas. You can’t sail a brigantine or the like without either skill or discipline and taking other ships requires some level of organisation and guts.

Plus, there are so many legends about pirates. Much is written about Jacquotte Delahaye, the red-headed pirate in my story, “Les Femmes Sauvages”, but there is no proof she ever existed. Some stories agree (such as on her nickname, “Back from the Dead Red”), but others don’t (such as whether she continued to wear men’s clothing after she realised she was too feminine-looking to get away with pretending to be a man). These shadowy ‘facts’ give an author a lot to play with. And we writers love playing.

Are there any pirate legends set where you live?

No legends set where I live, but we had pirates in NSW. Two hours by car up the coast from Sydney is Stockton, whose original name was Pirate Point. In November 1800, a gang of 15 convicts seized the 25-ton sloop “Norfolk” in Broken Bay. They planned to sail the ship, laden with wheat, to Indonesia but ran aground in bad weather at what would become Pirate Point. They seized another smaller boat and set off again, this time with only nine crew. The Governor of NSW, Phillip King, sent an armed boat after the convict pirates. The authorities eventually captured them, declared them all guilty and handed down the death sentence. They hung the two ring leaders but gave the other seven offenders a last-minute reprieve. The penal settlement on Norfolk Island (ironically, the building place of the stolen ship “Norfolk”) became their home for seven years. The other six lived with Aboriginal people around Newcastle for the rest of their days.

If you were a pirate, what’s the first thing you’d do?

Steal a ship and find a crew who knows what they’re doing. I have some sailing experience, but not enough to handle an ocean-going vessel. And then I’d enact Bayly’s law (what I say goes or bear the brunt of my displeasure) to keep the motley crew in line.

Have you ever found treasure?

Does finding a $50 note on the pavement count? That happened in February this year. Also, the $100 in rolled-up $20 notes I found lying on a path through the bush twenty-five years ago must count.

What do you do when you’re not dreaming up tall tales?

I work in IT (for money, not love). I go for walks and birdwatch. I read and stream. I snuggle with my cats (or vice versa). I photograph with a DSLR camera and participate in groups on Flickr and Meetup. I plunk around on classical guitar and ukulele, sometimes murdering perfectly good songs by singing as well as playing. I used to dance a lot, but all my dance groups have disbanded, and I’ve yet to find new ones. When I get the chance, I love to go out on boats.

Where can we find you online?

My website (including blog): www.karenbayly.com
Other links: linktr.ee/karenbayly

Monday 27 May 2024

Pirate Anthology: Cameron Trost

The Black Beacon Book of Pirates is sure to shiver your timbers when it's published on Friday the 21st of June. The Kindle version is already available for pre-order at just $1.99 instead of $3.99 and you can add the anthology to your Goodreads "want to read" list today. In the meantime, to get you in the mood for a spot of swashbuckling, we’re interviewing the contributing authors.

Hi Cameron,

Why pirates?

In the history of criminal enterprise, pirates really are at the helm. There are so many great noir escapades featuring gangsters and Wild West adventures with outlaws riding into town, but nothing shivers your timbers like a swashbuckling pirate romp. The dangers of the high seas, the flamboyant language and dress, the prospect of hidden treasure, and the endless possibilities when it comes to trying to guess where the winds will take us. There's so much range when it comes to pirate tales... talking about range - look out! The canons are firing! 

Are there any pirate legends set where you live?

Brittany is rich in pirate tales. The corsaires of Saint-Malo, including René Duguay-Trouin and Robert Surcouf are famous around the world. Here where I live, on the Guérande peninsula, there are stories of piracy as well, including Alain Bouchart's taking of three ships of the coast of Belle-Ile in 1471. However, the greatest figure from Brittany, in my opinion, is that of Jeanne de Clisson, The Lioness of Brittany. She waged war against the French during the Hundred Years' War, capturing vessels and their riches. Her fighting force was known by her enemies as the Black Fleet.

If you were a pirate, what's the first thing you'd do?

Honestly, I'd try to make my way to the nearest port, shack up with a buxom maiden, and enjoy the simple pleasures of life as best I could with my feet planted on firm ground.

Have you ever found treasure?

I stumble across spare change every now and then. No Louis d'Or to date.

What do you do when you're not dreaming up tall tales?

I'm a heritage tour guide in the salt marshes of Guérande, Brittany. You know what they say, don't you? Salt always has been the true "white gold".

Where can readers contact you to tell you their timbers have been suitably shivered?

You can find me all over social media: https://linktr.ee/camerontrost but I'm most active on Facebook. I keep a Goodreads profile and have a website at https://camerontrost.com

Saturday 18 May 2024

Lost Books, Forced Housekeeping, and Sunken Treasure: S. B. Watson

 Lost Books, Forced Housekeeping, and Sunken Treasure,
Or,
How I Wrote ‘The Ghost’
S. B. Watson

I’m often asked, ‘where did you get the idea for such-and-such story?’ The truth is, the birth of every story is different. Sometimes, I see the whole story, laid out in my headspace, and just write it out. More often, I have a basic concept, a little kernel, and draw it out and work it until there’s a tale to tell. ‘The Ghost,’ which appears in The Black Beacon Book of Pirate Tales this June, falls into the latter camp.
  My first idea was to do a modern piece on Somalian pirates in the Indian Ocean, telling the story from the viewpoint of a poor fisherman who turns to piracy. I still like the idea, however, there was a problem—it had a dingy tang of realism. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love gritty crime fiction. I’ve written a bunch of it. But in my mind, I wanted my story to have more in common with ‘Treasure Island’ or ‘The Gold Bug’ than Captain Phillips.
  So, I went back to the drawing board with nothing more than a theme. 
  And that’s when I remembered an old book, hiding somewhere in my personal library…
  Years ago, an old family friend downsized his private book collection. He had books on religion, history, science, the occult… Knowing that I collected books myself, he gave me around four crates of books. Among the volumes was a ragged little paperback of unusual size, entitled ‘The Burning of a Pirate Ship, La Trompeuse.’
  I remembered the book, from years ago… It was an unusual thing. It told the history of a treacherous Caribbean governor, and the pirate he sheltered, but did it entirely through official documents, court records, naval reports, and reproduced private letters between the different territorial governors.
  There was just one difficulty… I had no idea where the book was. It wasn’t on the shelf where it should have been, and I couldn’t find hide nor hair of it anywhere in my admittedly cluttered library. What resulted was two days of crawling all over my house, digging in boxes and uprooting piles of books and papers, looking for the darned thing. I even considered purchasing a new copy, out of desperation.
  Finally, after two days of forced house cleaning, I found it, not three feet from my bed, backwards, at the base of a pile of books, on a decorative bookshelf’s bottom shelf.
  Memory had served right. The tome was a goldmine of ideas. It told of the seedy Caribbean governor of St. Thomas, Adolph Esmit, and his politically devious wife, Charity. And it told of the rogue trader-turned-pirate, Jean Hamlin, and his voyages down the African Gold Coast and to Brazil.
  But the most impressive revelation came at the end. Adolph, his intrigue-laden wife, and Hamlin, all simply slipped away after their nefarious deeds. What became of them is a mystery. Some of Hamlin’s men can be traced through various pirates’ crews, but the man himself simply vanished.
  And the principal players weren’t the only things that vanished—To this day, Hamlin’s treasure is said to lie somewhere beneath the waters of St. Thomas. Some 24,000 pounds of silver, locked in a silty ship’s storeroom, at the bottom of the sea.
  All gone, lost, vanished, but not quite forgotten…
  And therein lies the tale I tell in ‘The Ghost.’ If you’d like to hear my version of what happened to the criminal kingpins of 1680s St. Thomas, and their treasures, be sure to pick up The Black Beacon Book of Pirate Tales this June!

Camille Pissarro, Creek in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, 1856

Find S. B. Watson online at:



Monday 13 May 2024

Pirate Anthology: Rose Biggin

The Black Beacon Book of Pirates is sure to shiver your timbers when it's published on Friday the 21st of June. The Kindle version is already available for pre-order at just $1.99 instead of $3.99 and you can add the anthology to your Goodreads "want to read" list today. In the meantime, to get you in the mood for a spot of swashbuckling, we’re interviewing the contributing authors.

Hi Rose,

Why pirates?

I sometimes like to think stories were invented so they could be told about pirates. At so many stages of innovation in the history of narrative, there’s a pirate ship somewhere - anchored just outside the text or sailing through it. We could say every story about pirates is also a story about stories.

Are there any pirate legends set where you live?

What, London? I expect so, aye. Probably. I should look into it.

If you were a pirate, what's the first thing you'd do?

Head directly to the galley and make a start on the potatoes. It’ll take longer then anyone expects, and whatever adventures await will feel better if we know we’ve at least gotten them going. Plus it’s a good place to get your allies. Did you know Treasure Island’s original title was The Sea Cook?

Have you ever found treasure?

Materialism will be your downfall, friend.

What do you do when you're not dreaming up tall tales?

When I’m not writing fiction or gigging, I’m most likely on another art project. I am currently co-writing a libretto for a new alt. Opera for cinema screen, premiering in July.

Where can readers contact you to tell you their timbers have been suitably shivered?

Contact me or you can find more through my website; do get in touch, I’m always looking for more collaborations and projects and conversations! I’m also still on a certain sinking ship, as @rosebiggin

Wednesday 1 May 2024

Pirate Anthology: Edward Lodi

The Black Beacon Book of Pirates is sure to shiver your timbers when it's published on Friday the 21st of June. The Kindle version is already available for pre-order at just $1.99 instead of $3.99 and you can add the anthology to your Goodreads "want to read" list today. In the meantime, to get you in the mood for a spot of swashbuckling, we’re interviewing the contributing authors.

Hi Edward,

Why pirates?

Why not pirates? I was born, grew up, and live in Massachusetts, along the coast of which, beginning in the early 17th century, any number of pirates practiced their profession (sorry for the alliteration). Dixie Bull was the first, and many followed. My story, “Dungeon Rock,” was inspired by the historical Thomas Veale, although I had my pick of a least a dozen other notorious buccaneers.

Are there any pirate legends set where you live?

The story of the Wydah is probably the best known. The pirate flag ship was wrecked off the coast of Wellfleet on Cape Cod in 1717. Its wreckage was discovered in 1984. Since then more than 180,000 artifacts have been recovered.

If you were a pirate, what's the first thing you'd do?

If I was a pirate, the first thing I’d do is try to escape. Many crew members of pirate ships were innocent men captured by pirates and forced to choose between piracy and death. Philip Ashton was a young fisherman from Marblehead, Massachusetts. In 1722 he was captured off the coast of Nova Scotia by pirates led by Edward Low but refused to join them. He was beaten, threatened, and otherwise ill treated for nearly a year before he was able to escape onto a desert island off the coast of Honduras. He remained a castaway for 16 months before being rescued.

Have you ever found treasure?

Alas, I’ve never found treasure, though not for lack of trying when I was green and tender.

What do you do when you're not dreaming up tall tales?

Not much of anything. I lead a dull life compared to when I rove the seven seas in my imagination. Oops. My wife just reminded me that I’m happily married. Yes dear, I’ll put it in writing.

Where can readers contact you to tell you their timbers have been suitably shivered?

I can be found at edwardlodi@hotmail.com.

Monday 29 April 2024

New and Mysterious Covers by Malgorzata Mika

We're proud to present the new covers by Malgorzata Mika for the first three volumes of "The Black Beacon Books of Mystery". The covers have been updated for the Kindle versions and will be updated for the print versions in the next few days. The first two volumes are available now and the submissions window is currently open for the third volume.



Tuesday 23 April 2024

Pirate Anthology: S.B. Watson

The Black Beacon Book of Pirates is sure to shiver your timbers when it's published on Friday the 21st of June. The Kindle version is already available for pre-order at just $1.99 instead of $3.99 and you can add the anthology to your Goodreads "want to read" list today. In the meantime, to get you in the mood for a spot of swashbuckling, we’re interviewing the contributing authors.

Hi S.B.,

Why pirates?

Why pirates? Because they’re basically the coolest thing ever. Seriously, though… I’ve always loved pirate stories, pirate legends, and especially pirate history. When I was a kid, I bought a dirt-cheap paperback of Treasure Island from a grubby lady selling books out of a camper van in a Wal-Mart parking lot… no joke. That copy was so beat up and filthy it could kill by second-hand smoke. I read it every year, until it fell apart. I still have the pieces in my library. Something about the romance of that story has never quite been topped, in my humble opinion. Having the opportunity to write my own pirate story, well… Just the process felt like a guilty pleasure, let alone seeing it in a whole book of pirate tales.

Are there any pirate legends set where you live?

I live an hour away from the Oregon coast, so, the West Coast of America. The Goonies was filmed and set just a few hours north of where I live. Lost Spanish galleons, mysterious wax cuneiform tablets that wash ashore every so often, Sir Francis Drake, searchers for the fabled Northwest Passage… Oregon has a handful of spooky coastal legends.

If you were a pirate, what’s the first thing you’d do?

I wouldn’t even know where to start. I’m tempted to say I’d crush my enemies, see them driven before me, and hear the lamentation of their women… But, considering most historical pirates tended to enter the state of piracy under less-than-ideal circumstances, my first concern would be getting a serviceable ship. Having attained that, and, I’m assuming, a workable crew that wouldn’t kill me the moment my back was turned, I’d evaluate what sort of shipping I could reasonably pester. Of course, you can’t be a good pirate if you don’t have a place to store your prizes and loot, or a way of fencing it into actual wealth—a hideout or friendly port or two would need to be found. I remember reading a theory somewhere that the old Caribbean pirates were really just shrewd businessmen, who operated outside the accepted legal structure. So, set up shop, then drive my enemies before me.

Have you ever found treasure?

Not really, unless you count my wife! Thankfully she wasn’t buried when I found her, or our relationship would have been much shorter lived. I worked with a guy once who found an old doubloon while fishing out at Lincoln City. It was just sitting there, in the waves. He took it to a numismatologist, and the guy quickly authenticated it, then told him it was worthless! Apparently, period counterfeits were extremely common, so common they’re often found by beachcombers and are worth next to nothing.

What do you do when you’re not dreaming up tall tales?

Too much. I play acoustic bluegrass guitar; in the past I’ve performed at a semi-pro level. My wife and I play hardcore boardgames. Brass Birmingham, Castles of Burgundy, Scythe, and Wingspan are some of our current favorites… We also love Jamaica (keeping up the pirate theme, there). I collect books, and tend an ever-cluttered personal library (where I write). And, of course, we have five children, so I try to spend as much time with them as I can!

Where can we find you online?

I’m on X née Twitter at @SBWatsonMystery—that’s where I’m most active. I’m also on Facebook, and my website is SBWatson.com. Please, don’t hesitate to reach out and say hi!

Sunday 21 April 2024

Cover Reveal: The Black Beacon Book of Ghosts

Time to reveal the spooky cover for The Black Beacon Book of Ghosts! The cover for this anthology is provided by Meg Wright of Red Wallflower. We're thrilled to have this original and eye-catching cover for what will be a ghost story anthology unlike any other. 

This title will be released in the lead-up to Halloween, and as always, the Kindle pre-order deal will be available beforehand. 



Sally's in the Well - Sam Dawson
Effigy in Flagrante - Matthew R. Davis
The Spreading Rot - Leanbh Pearson
The Widow of Wood Forge - C. M. Saunders
The Ice Tigs - Rose Biggin
The Gospel of Abbott Wulfbald - Lawrence Harding
Red Dirt - Em Starr
The Yūrei of Old Stonybrook Lane - Michael Picco
Through a Looking Glass Darkly - Karen Keeley
Dead Angel Trail - Robert Allen Lupton
Where the Heart Is - Mike Adamson
Fiachra Conneally's Bargain - L. P. Ring
The Creeper - David Turnbull
Open Book - Cameron Trost
A Passage in Time - E. Michael Lewis

Wednesday 17 April 2024

Pirate Anthology: Michael Fountain

The Black Beacon Book of Pirates is sure to shiver your timbers when it's published on Friday the 21st of June. The Kindle version is already available for pre-order at just $1.99 instead of $3.99 and you can add the anthology to your Goodreads "want to read" list today. In the meantime, to get you in the mood for a spot of swashbuckling, we’re interviewing the contributing authors.

Hi Michael,

Why pirates? 

Pirates formed a counter-culture to the aristocracy of Europe and early corporations like the British East India Company. The letter-of-marque allowed sponsors to profit from piracy when it was convenient, and disavow their actions as needed. The War of Spanish Succession stranded thousands of privateers on the beach and it’s no surprise when they took to piracy. There are personalities who lived by constitutional articles of agreement, like Black Bartholomew Roberts or Ben Hornigold, as well as murderous psychopaths like Ned Low or Henry Every. Toss in Calico Jack, Anne Bonny, Edward Teach, or Henry Morgan blowing up his own ship while deep in drink, and you’ve got yourself a story.

Are there any pirate legends set where you live? 

On the Great Lakes it’s mostly timber pirates and rum runners, wool caps and mackinaws, so any attempt at swashbuckling or bodice ripping is best committed indoors. Roaring Dan Seavey is the only man formally charged with piracy on the Great Lakes, by which I mean he’s the only one who got caught. Liked to set up false lights to lure ships into shallow waters, and if that didn’t work he had a cannon on board. Debauched the crew of the Nellie Johnson, threw them overboard, and sailed to Chicago. Stole loads of venison and booze, thus the primordial Yooper. King Strang of Beaver Island led a religious cult, stole from the locals, set fire to sawmills, and got himself elected to the Michigan legislature before someone shot him in the back. It’s telling that no one thought to warn him. Our most successful pirate was John Jacob Astor, who made his wealth with a monopoly on Great Lakes fur and drug running into China. Made a large enough fortune to be promoted from opium pirate to entrepreneur in the history books.

If you were a pirate, what’s the first thing you’d do?

Run up the black flag and draw up a list of targets. 

Have you ever found treasure? 

Anyone who would answer that question is not a professional.

What do you do when you’re not dreaming up tall tales?

Don’t know what they told you but it’s a damned lie.

Where can we find you online? 

Get the scoop on Eleanor of Aquitaine and the Greek democracies at teacherspayteachers.com; Trojan War Confidential from Brooklyn Publishers; short pieces in anthologies like Uncommon Minds, with a couple of novels on the way.

Friday 12 April 2024

Pirate Anthology: Paulene Turner

The Black Beacon Book of Pirates is sure to shiver your timbers when it's published on Friday the 21st of June. The Kindle version is already available for pre-order at just $1.99 instead of $3.99 and you can add the anthology to your Goodreads "want to read" list today. In the meantime, to get you in the mood for a spot of swashbuckling, we’re interviewing the contributing authors. 

Hi Paulene,

Why pirates?

A good question, me hearty. What is the lure of pirates? Be it the peg legs and eye patches? No. Be it the long boots and gold earrings? Maybe. Be it the freedom of a life on the sea, sailing wherever the wind takes you. Aye, aye, Captain, that be it!

Are there any pirate legends set where you live?

I came across a legend recently (in my book, Black Tides, book 4 of The Time Travel Chronicles, set in the pirate era). Of Captain Morales, a Spanish pirate, who intercepted a ship belonging to a Mughal emperor. In its hold was the wealth of India, including a pink diamond, the size of a fist. As soon as he saw the shimmering pink stone, Morales fell under its spell. He wanted to possess it and not share it with his crew. So, one night, he called for the ship’s rum casks to be opened to celebrate and when all the men had passed out drunk, he rowed to a nearby beach and buried the stone, hastily making a map so he could return one day and reclaim it. At the first port, he gave the map to an illiterate man to keep until he passed by again. But his fear he’d never hold it again put him in a dark mood. He got into a fight with a man at a tavern was killed. The map and the illiterate man were never found. So the treasure is still out there, on a beach in the Caribbean, awaiting an adventurous child with a spade and a touch of pirate spirit to dig it up.

What’s the first thing you’d do if you were a pirate?

I’d put on one of those fantastic tricorn hats and say "Arrrrgh!"

Have you ever found a treasure?

I have found some beautiful shells on Sydney’s beaches, and a few deadly blue-ringed octopus. But no treasure…except my husband, who is a treasure to me! (Editors note: This calls for an "Awww!" rather than an "Arrrrgh!")

What do you do when you’re not dreaming up tales?

At the moment, I’m mid-way through releasing my six-book series The Time Travel Chronicles, about two Aussie teens who travel through history in a time machine. It took me over a decade to write, the characters visited five different historical settings (including one pirate setting) and telling the tale took over 500,000 words. I released three books in 2023 and the final three will come out in the second half of 2024! So I’m a very busy woman and spend my days editing, editing, editing. And making book promos on my favourite digital tool—Canva!

You can find Paulene Turner wreaking havoc in these waters:

https://pauleneturnerwrites.com/

https://twitter.com/PauleneTurner

https://www.instagram.com/pauleneturnertimetraveller/

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100028127063681

Saturday 6 April 2024

Pirate Anthology: Lawrence Dagstine

The Black Beacon Book of Pirates is sure to shiver your timbers when it's published on Friday the 21st of June. The Kindle version is already available for pre-order at just $1.99 instead of $3.99 and you can add the anthology to your Goodreads "want to read" list today. In the meantime, to get you in the mood for a spot of swashbuckling, we’re interviewing the contributing authors. 

Hi Lawrence,

Why pirates?

I think pirate tales are some of the most fascinating when it comes to historical fiction. Even the early explorers, like Columbus and Magellan employed some pirates. Their expeditions, the buccaneers who swabbed the decks, handled the masts, sailed for armadas to deliver spices in exchange for raw materials or silks, those who steered for uncharted isles only to find treasure (or find an early demise). It could be said that the pirate is an adventurer unlike any other. So when you follow their voyage you are experiencing firsthand what they saw. You’re living what they lived, only out at sea. You’re going out on their adventure, no matter the genre.

Are there any pirate legends set where you live?

Not that I am aware of. I find the Golden Age of Piracy particularly intriguing. Of course you have legends like Blackbeard. Everybody’s heard of him. The 1600s and 1700s are most interesting, I find.

If you were a pirate, what’s the first thing you’d do?

Sail for some uncharted isle. Have my principal officers or lackeys set up camp there. If I liked the region a lot, maybe live out my life there.

Have you ever found treasure?

No. The closest I’ve come to finding treasure is using one of those metal detectors when I was younger to locate old coins on a Long Island beach.

What do you do when you’re not dreaming up tall tales?

Writing science fiction (with a dash of science fact). Faraway planets and other galaxies are terribly interesting to me. There’s so much out there among the stars, just waiting to be discovered. I like drawing. Occasionally relaxing to a nice fantasy or dark fantasy role-playing game. I even collect comic books. I am a man of many hobbies.

Where can we find you online?

I have a website of close to twenty years, where you can find my fiction work past and present, that’s at: www.lawrencedagstine.com I’m also on Twitter (which is my primary social media): www.twitter.com/ldagstine I’m on LinkTree for art and literature: www.linktree.com/lawrencedagstine


Monday 15 January 2024

Summoning Forth the Ghost Stories

It's time for an apparition! Yes, we can now summon forth the table of contents for The Black Beacon Book of Ghost Stories, due out in time for Halloween 2024. This is going to be a big book with things that go bump on every page! The original cover art is on its way... 


Sally's in the Well - Sam Dawson
Effigy in Flagrante - Matthew R. Davis
The Spreading Rot - Leanbh Pearson
The Widow of Wood Forge - C. M. Saunders
The Ice Tigs - Rose Biggin
The Gospel of Abbott Wulfbald - Lawrence Harding
Red Dirt - Em Starr
The Yūrei of Old Stonybrook Lane - Michael Picco
Through a Looking Glass Darkly - Karen Keeley
Dead Angel Trail - Robert Allen Lupton
Where the Heart Is - Mike Adamson
Fiachra Conneally's Bargain - L. P. Ring
The Creeper - David Turnbull
Open Book - Cameron Trost
A Passage in Time - E. Michael Lewis

Friday 12 January 2024

Let's Walk the Plank Together in 2024!

Our timbers are thoroughly shivered here at Black Beacon Books! We're thrilled to announce the table of contents and the publication date for our next anthology, The Black Beacon Book of Pirate Tales! 

A huge thank you to all the authors who submitted their work for consideration. For such a niche theme, the response was fantastic, and we're honoured to have brought together so much talent for yet another gripping anthology. Congratulations to the authors who made the grade and a big thank you again to Daniele Serra for the spectacular cover art. 

Are you ready to walk the plank? 

When: Friday the 21st of June

Who: Check it out! 


The Mutineer - Lawrence Dagstine
The End of All Tides - Paulene Turner
Poll Pirate - Michael Fountain
The Ghost - S. B. Watson 
And the Sea - Jack Wells
Dungeon Rock - Edward Lodi
The Avery Dog Has His Day - Rose Biggin
The Curse of the Emerald Eye - Cameron Trost
Les Femmes Sauvages - Karen Bayly
Sting of the Schorpioen - D. J. Tyrer
Beholden to No One - Karen Keeley


Tuesday 2 January 2024

Fortitude and Courage: Double Cover Reveal

Adventure time! All aboard! We're thoroughly delighted to unveil Malgorzata Mika's cover art for our first releases in 2024, two action-packed steampunk romps by Karen Bayly. These books are for all the readers who love airships, steampunk science, fantastic adventure, and an unforgettable and intrepid heroine - Artemis Devereaux! That means ALL readers, right? Out February the 13th. 

Find Karen on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

Find Malgorzata on Twitter and Instagram



Monday 1 January 2024

A Mysterious Year: Anthology Submissions

Welcome to 2024! Black Beacon Books has another big year planned in terms of publications and submissions windows. First up, let's announce two anthologies that will be open for submissions. This year, we're getting more mysterious than ever! 


Steampunk Sleuths

Deadline: October 31st, 2024

The genre of mystery is designed to get the cogs cranking, but let's not forget that steampunk is all about cogs too! Why not bring them together? Steampunk Sleuths will be an anthology of four novelettes (15 - 20,000 words) featuring detectives in a steampunk setting solving peculiar crimes. The only requirements for submission will be that the means of committing the crime (murder, theft, kidnapping...) must be clearly steampunk and the reader must be given the tools to crack the case before the solution is revealed. Think Agatha Christie and Jules Verne getting kinky together... um, actually, please don't. ;) 

* Previously unpublished only

* Double the standard rate for this one: $50 USD


The Third Black Beacon Book of Mystery

Deadline: July 31st, 2024

You've all read the first two volumes, right? The idea of this anthology series is to make each volume more gripping, more memorable, and more mysterious than the last. We're looking for short stories with an unforgettable protagonist and a clever puzzle to solve. Standard anthology conditions apply as per the Submissions Page



Please read and follow our guidelines on the submissions page.