Thursday, July 9, 2015

MaryLu Tyndall on Time Travel and Pirates- Guest Post

Imagine for a moment you are a young woman living in the 21st century with all the modern
conveniences and technology we know and love, and you are suddenly transported back over 300 years to 1694. Egad! No indoor plumbing, no electricity, no refrigerators, no computers, TVs, cell phones, toothpaste, showers ... NO deodorant! Yikes! 

But it gets worse …

Now, imagine ending up on one of those majestic tall ships sailing in the middle of the Caribbean with tiny cramped quarters, no privacy, constant swaying and rocking, no fresh water or decent food, and the potential for hurricane-force winds to rise at any moment.

But it gets worse ...

Imagine that the ship is a pirate ship, captained by a fearless pirate with a crew of less than savory men who haven't had shore leave in quite a while. Oh, my!

But it gets worse ...

Okay, you say. How could things possibly get any worse?

Imagine you suffer from anxiety, depression, and OCD, for which you need daily medicine, and you don't have any with you. Also imagine you were recently diagnosed with liver cancer and were scheduled to start chemo within a few days.

This is the premise of my latest release, The Reckoning. And yes, I love to torture my characters. I've always wanted to write a time-travel story, ever since I first fell in love with Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series years ago. Yet, time travel stories have been so overdone that most publishers won't even look at a proposal for one these days. My response to that is that everything has been overdone. “There is nothing new under the sun,” the Bible says in Ecclesiastes 1.  The trick is taking an idea and putting your own spin on it. For me, that means unique characters and a crazy plot that keeps the reader guessing. 

In order to create that special spin, I start with a basic idea of sending a woman back in time to a pirate ship and then ask a ton of “What if” questions. “What if the heroine is a drug addict?” “What if she’s a black widow?” “What if she’s pregnant?” “What if she’s from outer space?” etc… Some of these are ridiculous, most I toss out, but there’s always a nugget in there somewhere. “What if the character has cancer and will die without treatment?” Ah, that’s a good one! Of course I added the OCD and anxiety because, hey, I have those issues myself, and I thought it would be fun to put someone like me through the most harrowing circumstances possible! What would I do if I was this woman? How would I react?


But, here’s another spin. What if I believed the entire thing was a spoof put on by my father to get my mind off my cancer?

The most enjoyable part about the whole process was imagining myself in a situation with every modern convenience completely stripped away. Not only that, but having to wear layers of clothing: chemise, stockings, petticoats, stays, skirts, bodice, etc… in the hot Caribbean! Food aboard a ship consisted of hard biscuits often infected with bugs, dried beef, and fish stew. Water was so foul they had to add liquor to it to make it palatable. And people in those days rarely bathed! I decided that if I had to choose three things I would miss the most, they would be my soap, toothpaste, and indoor plumbing. (I guess I’m a clean freak)

So, what three things would you miss the most if you were transported back 300 years to a pirate ship? (Besides your sanity and safety!)


Giveaway: MaryLu is giving away one copy of her book, physical for US or ebook for international.

Main Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

30 comments:

  1. I would love to win Mary Lu's book!

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  2. Without getting too detailed on ALL the things that come to mind, i will say- Loved ones, Pizza, My own personal Bible with all my writings and marks in it. :-)

    Camilla Uphaven
    CCreadywriter (at) Hotmail (dot) com

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  3. July 9th,
    Hey there MaryLu.
    I would love the chance to win your newest book "The Reckoning". It is on my 'wish-list' with Amazon.ca, but it's on the expensive side. Very much looking forward to reading the book .... everyone is raving about it ! (Preferring to win a paperback copy ... I do have a U.S. postal stn mailing address.) Thanks so much.
    Take care, and, God Bless, In Him, Brenda Hurley
    brennie7@hotmail.com

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    1. Waving back at ya, Brenda!! Hope you win!

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  4. I really love to read her books, I am instantly drawn in and can hardly put her books down. I would love to win! I would miss electricity, plumbing and my car.
    karenskrayons(at)gmail(dot)com

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  5. I would love to win! Can't wait to read this new book! I've read and collected all but the newest couple of your books, and reread several as well :)

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  6. However could you bear to wear layers of clothing after wearing a strapless sundress ?

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    Replies
    1. So true!! We are very spoiled in our day

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  7. What would I miss? Well, pizza is a good answer, but also, the internet for keeping in touch with friends far and near, and books. 300 years ago, they didn't have books as readily available as they do today. I would miss that.

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    1. Funny but I grew up without the internet... it's amazing how we survived back then without it... but now? I'm with you. I love it, am on it every day. :-)

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  8. I think what I would miss most would be easy access to books, being able to drive a car to get from point A to point B, and being able to wear shorts in hot weather!

    Cynder Black

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    1. Yes, books were rare... as was literacy! And you could never show your legs!! LOL Or you'd be a loose woman. ;-)

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  9. I would miss my tablet with all my apps and ebooks, my cat Daisy, and ice! :D

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    1. Ah yes, ice! No ice in the Caribbean!

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  10. WOW, only 3 - that takes some thought, lol!! Computer (access to a bible, books, music, friends, family & many other needs), electricity (for the computer, lol), unlimited money (for all the other things I didn't have & would order from the computer, + paid services from a very wise person that would figure out how to have all these things transported back in time to me, lol)!!

    Loved your post, MaryLu!! I have already ordered your beautiful "The Reckoning" - both ebook & paperback, but would love a copy for a friend &/or my church library!! Thanks for the giveaway opportunity & thanks for writing such wonderful books for us to enjoy!!

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    1. Thank you dear, sweet Bonnie! :-) Love your answer!

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  11. Cell phone, my family, and running water.

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    1. Yea.. indoor plumbing is a big one for me too. :-)

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  12. Indoor plumbing, toilet paper, and Benedryl spray for mosquito bites. I LOVED this book--so many surprises. Your creativity boggles the mind.

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  13. I would miss my family, toothpaste, showers, refrigeration, electricity, simple clothes, and so much more :)

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  14. I would miss a shower, family and electricity. I would love to win a copy of this book! I have loved all of MaryLu's books! And this one just sounds amazing! What a fun concept to imagine. Thankfully we don't have to live it though. Too comfortable with our modern conveniences! And wearing those layers and heavy dresses aboard a ship in the heat! When the reality of it all sinks in, it doesn't sound that great for the long term does it!
    Nancycooks4u[at]gmail[dot]com

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  15. After this past month in the desert in Jordan were we have very few of the things we love, I can tell you I really missing being able to use a toilet and watch Netflix. I would also miss A/C, but luckily, we still have that here!

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  16. I'd miss Internet, electricity and automobiles!

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  17. Oh this looks fun! I would have a lot of trouble adjusting to not having electricity and a shower, so this book looks so fun! katie07edgar(at)gmail(dot)com

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