I’m delighted to have good friend and SE colleague, Craig Boyack, on the blog today with his latest release, HMS Lantenrfish. I had a sneak peek of this in the development stages, and it’s a gem of an adventure—-pirates, creatures, high seas adventures, and root monsters! If you don’t know what a root monster is, you’re missing out on something special. 😉
And Craig not only has a splashy new release, but he’s running an incredible special to promote it. I’ll let him tell you the details, along with the deets of some thoroughly fascinating research he did.
Thanks for having me over, Mae. I’m here to talk about my newest publication, HMS Lanternfish. This is part two of an intended trilogy that began with Voyage of the Lanternfish. This is a pirate fantasy series, and I’ll get more into that at the end.
Right now, I want to get into some of the research I did for this book. I always have research, but a trilogy is a new situation for me. This means parts of the original book placed some limitations on what I could create here.
In the original story, Serang is from a country that is a stand-in for China. I mentioned this is a fantasy world, right? Her home country is at war with something they call the Island Prefectures. My intention all along was that this is pseudo-Japan.
I never intended to go much deeper, but the ship winds up stopping here and quite a bit happened. First was the name. The people there don’t see themselves as subservient to anyone else. Their country is Giapon.
Giapon was a no-brainer, because that’s what the early Portuguese sailors called Japan many years ago.
Then it occurred to me that Japan has some scary assed ghosts. This is where the research got kind of intense. There are many that are humorous as well. There’s one that approaches sailors and asks for a ladle. When someone gives it one it scoops the ship full of water and sinks it. Might not be your idea of humorous, but it is kind of outrageous. These didn’t make it into the story.
Honestly, there are so many I had to pick and choose. I went with some creepy tsunami victims. They mourn for their lost loved ones, and take the living back to wherever they came from as a kind of substitute. I made mine look pretty creepy, too.
The more important one is called tsukumogami. There is a belief that really old items can develop their own souls. As a result, the Japanese are extremely careful with personal possessions. They repair them and take care of them. They don’t want to irritate whatever might occupy the item.
There are all kinds of these. There are haunted baskets, water vessels, tea pots, and everything else. Some of them are embarrassingly humorous, some are scary. At this time, I needed to make up my own for my fantasy world. The research was kind of addictive, though.
I don’t want to spoil anything here, but I’m going to mention the samurai. Theirs was a life of servitude and loyalty. They served a master. Honor was everything to them. I used some of this to infuse the mentality of my own tsukumogami. It chooses a master and becomes fiercely loyal.
There is a conversation after it first reveals itself. Dishonoring it could be deadly. In this way, it becomes a responsibility and a bit of a trap. It was helpful, but is kind of like owning a pitbull. You need to know what you’re getting in to.
I couldn’t resist having my pirates refer to it as the black spot. It has absolutely nothing to do with the old pirate mark of the black spot, but in a fantasy world, this term kind of helps shore up the setting.
I hope I’ve piqued your interest in HMS Lanternfish. Just so you aren’t afraid of this being the second book in a trilogy, I’m running an incredible deal right now. You can get the first book free this week, and the new one for 99¢. Amazon won’t let me run a BOGO sale, but this is pretty darned close. 99¢ for two books.
The Lanternfish crew completed their original mission, but got exposed to a more global problem. An entire continent is at war, headed up by a head-strong young king with dreams of power, and pushed from behind by a mysterious religious order known as the Fulminites.
Rather than let their country fall under the iron boot of conquest, James and his crew set sail once more to see what kind of muscle Lanternfish can lend to the war effort. Acting precariously under an unofficial charter as a privateer, even his allies aren’t always his friends.
HMS Lanternfish explores new worlds on its way to war, and drifts considerably off course. It features an international crew of characters, and for fans of the first book, the root monsters are back, too. Tall ships, a few con games, martial arts, and everything you loved about the original book is all returning.
Hoist the colors and wheel out the guns. Lanternfish is taking to the high seas once more.
HMS Lanternfish: 99¢ for a limited time.
Voyage of the Lanternfish: Free until Friday.
WOW! Talk about a steal! A 2FER .99c can’t be beat, folks. I highly recommend going forth to one-click both these fun, fabulous tales. Hoist sail and join the adventure! Finally, don’t forget to use the sharing buttons below to help spread the word about HMS Lanternfish and Craig’s 2FER .99c deal! 🙂