Pirate Master by Jules Radcliffe :: Re-Release :: Exclusive Interview ::
Title: Pirate Master
Series: Pirates of Port Royal # 3
Author: Jules Radcliffe
Publisher: Sinnamon Press
Published: 14 July 2020
Cover Design: DumneavoAstră
Length: 68,000 words
Keywords : Historical, Adventure,
Pirates, MM, Gay, Love versus career, swashbuckling, BDSM, pirates, romance,
Add To: Queer Romance Ink
The Golden Age of piracy—a time of terror on the high seas, of romance and intrigue, of dastardly deeds.
In Port Royal, a brotherhood arises. A society of gallant buccaneers and rough marauders who owe allegiance to no one but themselves. Fiery men of fierce passions who take what they want and love where they choose.
Set sail for swashbuckling adventure with the Pirates of Port Royal!
A strait-laced lieutenant. A free-living pirate. A hopeless love.
Quinn has never met a man quite like Perry. Stern and cold on the outside, burning up inside with secret passion. Yearning for a mastery only Quinn can satisfy. But Perry is no outcast—he’s a respectable officer in His Majesty’s navy. Reluctant to test his love for a pirate, Quinn baulks at asking him to give up everything he holds dear.
Though he has no regrets about their night of glorious sin, Perry sees no future with Quinn. Unlike the pirates of Port Royal, he isn’t free to love where he pleases. If word of his illicit affair came to the ears of Commodore Pobjoy, his career would be at an end. And the disgrace might mean he could never return home to England.
With war on the horizon, the Caribbean is a hotbed of intrigue. Quinn is betrayed and thrown into Monte Gris, an impregnable dungeon even the fearsome Brethren of the Coast aren’t strong enough to breach. Perry is stunned. Everything he valued is hollow and meaningless without his master.
Willing to risk all to get Quinn back, he refuses to abandon hope and plots a daring and dangerous rescue. But he can’t do it alone. He’ll need every scrap of ingenuity at his disposal to persuade the Black Wolf and the crew of the Audacious that his plan will work.
This time, it’s not just Perry’s career and reputation at stake. If he fails, men will die. And both he and Quinn will suffer a gruesome fate at the hands of a terrifying acolyte of the Spanish Inquisition.
With Jules Radcliffe
When did you know you wanted to write, and when did you discover that you were good at it?
I can’t remember a time I didn’t write or want to write. I’ve been told I was good at it since I was a kid.
When I was about five or six, my teacher called in my parents for a special visit because of my writing. Amongst other things, I used the word ‘bough’ for tree branch in a poem, which they thought was SO advanced. Clearly they never paid attention to the nursery rhyme ‘Rock-a-bye Baby’. Or maybe they though I never paid attention to it. Most teachers who taught me English thought I was talented, but I never considered making a career of it.
Because talent is one thing and harnessing it is quite another. Real writing is bloody hard work and requires a ton of discipline. Developing characters over the length of a novel is not even in the same ball park as dashing off teenage-angst poetry and two page stories about what I did in my school holidays!
How do you deal with writer’s block?
Actually, I don’t believe there is such a thing. At least, not as a non-writer would understand it. I think ‘writer’s block’ is really being sick of writing. The symptom I usually get is the plot starts veering off into a catastrophic event, like a huge fire that burns down everything and kills everyone. The End. Yep, then I know something’s gone wrong.
I get to this point for two main reasons. The first is that I’ve gone up a blind alley somewhere in the story, and I can’t get out. I usually read from the beginning until something makes me twitch, like a character saying something that’s just wrong for their character. When I get to that point, I go in a different direction and see where that leads me.
The second reason is I’ve just got sensory overload. To cope with this, I do something story adjacent to soothe my soul and get me into a better writing mood. This is where the maps for the Pirates of Port Royal came from—I sat in front of the TV for hours building them bit by bit. I was NOT catching up on Netflix, dammit, I was working.
How did you create those maps? They look old!
That’s because I used old maps as the base, so I wasn’t starting from scratch. I’m no kind of artist at all, and it started as a distraction and a bit of fun. I never intended to put them in the books. But I liked the end result so much, and an artist friend approved, so in they went.
To make them, I took a bunch of maps from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century, chucked them into GIMP, carefully cut out the bits I liked from each map, and put them together in one piece. A laborious process, but I never grudged the effort. The most amazing document I used was the Theodor de Bry’s Occidentalis Americae Partis map, dating from 1594. It’s so colourful and has gorgeous little details. I used his painstakingly drawn little waves, the sea beasties that dot his ocean, and the compass rose. One day, I might do another map and use his sweet little land markers, which are tiny mountains, trees, forests, and fortresses. No mythical land creatures, alas!
I really love the result of the Port Royal map. The oldest detailed map I could find was a blurry one from 1667, which didn’t have much on it. So I used my imagination to fill it to bursting! I had the best fun putting in new streets, little houses, shops, and warehouses, and marking places I mention in the series. Many of these aren’t real, but the docks, a couple of taverns, and the site of a blacksmith’s forge are based on patent documents and archaeological research.
What was one of the most surprising things you’ve learned in writing your books?
How the advent of automobiles cleaned up cities! It makes sense if you think about it. Horses produce a lot of waste, which attracts flies, which in turn spread diseases like typhoid, TB, and dysentery. Not to mention the sheer stink—just reading about it made me gag.
On the daily, a horse pees about a litre and poops between 6-15kg. In the late nineteenth century, New York City had about 100,000 horses. That’s more than a thousand tons of horse puckey a day!
Moving it to where it might be useful (ie farms) proved costly and ineffective. When I was researching this, I felt like politicians of the day lacked the will to do something concrete about the problem, possibly because those most affected were the poor and those most affected by proposed (expensive) solutions were their donors.
But when cars made an appearance, it seemed the problem was solved. The petrol pollution was nothing compared to the mountains of manure and oceans of urine threatening to overwhelm the cities.
What was the weirdest thing you did in the name of research?
Probably learning Irish. My local is run by an Irish family, two of whom have Gaelige. It didn’t really help much with the writing as I can’t spell it for nuts or even hold down a basic conversation, but at least I can pronounce it (with a Galway accent). I can order food—as long as the only meals are beef stew, cheese pasta, chicken sandwiches, and fruit. I can do drinks like a pirate, though. (A nice, polite pirate.) Fíon agus beoir, le do thoil!
The faint chime of watch bells sounded. Perry, still nine parts asleep, automatically counted two and one.
Not yet time to rise.
He subsided back into his lover’s embrace. Recalling whose arms were wrapped strong around him, whose heart beat slow and steady under his ear, Perry smiled drowsily.
Sometime later, he woke alone, the bed beside him cold. Disappointment gripped him. But when he lifted his head, he saw a pair of boots, the tops sagging to one side, and a shirt and breeches hanging from a hook. Quinn’s clothing from last night. Wherever the master had gone, he could not be far.
Perry stretched out stiff arms and legs, and rubbed his tender arse in idle memory. Thinking of last night brought a grin to his face. He climbed from his bunk and stuck his head through the stern window.
The harbour was smooth and still, and other ships and boats were faint silhouettes in the predawn gloom. With only a handful of men aboard and the watch changeover at least an hour away, he took the chance no one would be wandering about this part of the ship. Naked but for his shirt, he dashed to the wardroom quarter gallery.
He peered into the little mirror nailed to the bulkhead. If he stood in the right spot, he could see his whole face in its burnished surface. He was surprised to see looked much the same. He touched the scar under his eye and traced down to his lips with light fingers. Mayhap the customary tightness in his face was eased.
The crew would tease him mercilessly for last night, but it was a price he was willing to pay. He wanted more of Quinn’s kisses, both the rough and the gentle. Never had he dreamed they would be lovers, not after so many months of crossing swords. It had taken him so long to come to his senses. Too long, he thought wistfully. Because one way or another, his time with the Brethren of the Coast was about to come to an end.
The news flying around the port came to his ears as soon as he set foot on land yesterday. Governor Modyford, newly appointed and on his way from Barbadoes, intended to honour King Charles’ new accord with Madrid. The market was abuzz with speculation. If the governor revoked the marques against the Spanish, would the Brethren ships change allegiance? Would they go to the French colonies of Saint-Domingue and Tortuga, or even to the Dutch in Curacao?
The Audacious might not abandon Port Royal, but Perry was still a lieutenant in the navy. He would still have to leave. Making peace with Spain was a clear sign that the English crown had made its decision—war with the Dutch Republic. Sooner or later Perry would be recalled, returned to England to defend home shores. Belike he would be given a command. Not even Commodore Pobjoy’s spite would stop him being promoted in a time of war.
For years, Perry had dreamed of being a captain. For months, he had pined to return home. At last, he was on the verge of having his ambitions granted. He sighed at the irony.
Because last night, Quinn made himself Perry’s master, and everything had changed.
The ambitions he had once aspired to, the blocks on which he had built his lonely existence, the things he had long accepted as his lot in life, all had collapsed like a house upon the sand. Now his greatest wish was to stay in the Caribbean and serve aboard the Audacious. Even if he never rose higher than second mate, he preferred that to being half a world away from Gabriel Quinn.
But his native caution warned him to be wary. Not to put too much stock into Quinn’s sweet words of possession.Their shared passion might be as ephemeral as a candle: burning bright whilst the night lasts, naught but a puddle of cold wax in the light of day.
After all, the sailing master could do better than a charmless nobody. Perry stared at himself in the mirror. Staring back was a man all of drabness: mousy hair, colourless eyes, bland features. And there were deeper things amiss with him, things beyond the power of a mirror to show: tongue-tied in company, lacking any gentlemanly refinement, ignorant and uneducated. What could a man like Quinn see in him?
A complete mess is what he’ll see if I don’t clean up. Perry smoothed down his wayward curls in an attempt to look less freshly fucked. He grimaced, an expression that landed somewhere between smug and rueful. Even if Quinn did not fuck him into disarray again this morning, erelong every pirate in Port Royal would know the sailing master of the Defiant had tamed the uptight Mr Perry-grin.
He filled the basin and stripped, splashing his body and dousing his head. He scrubbed vigorously, feeling an energising tingle all over. Some parts of himself, however, were very tender, and he dabbed the cold water carefully on those raw places.
The door creaked. Snatching up his shirt, he pivoted to put his back to the wall. Quinn stood in the doorway clad only in his drawers, his magnificent chest on display. Perry’s breath caught, and he was tempted to drop to his knees. Instead, he dropped his shirt. Quinn knew his scars; last night he had traced every one with tongue and finger. Perry felt no shame before him.
At this show of trust, he was rewarded with the master’s sensuous smile. He returned the smile shyly and turned back to the basin. He sluiced his torso, washing off the remnants of soap. A new excitement buzzed in his veins when he heard Quinn’s breeches drop to the floor. Arms slid about his waist, and his heartbeat kicked up. A naked chest pressed to his damp back, kisses marked his shoulders. A firm prick prodded his bare buttocks.
“’Tis dangerous for a pretty boy to be wandering naked around a pirate ship,” murmured Quinn into his neck, kissing and nibbling.
Tilting his head, Perry leaned back into the embrace. “Am I in danger, Master Quinn? Surely you’d not take advantage of a defenceless sailor lad.”
Quinn bent him forward. Hands on the bulkhead, he pushed back as a hard length slid between his thighs.
“Only when he’s as saucy a piece as you, Mr Peregrine. I’ll be taking advantage of you at every opportunity.”
From the time I learned to talk, I told stories. From the time I learned my letters, I wrote the stories down!
I love vintage items, from advertising posters and pulp fiction covers to Art Deco furniture to Victorian sex toys.
I’ve lived, studied, and worked in several countries, but I always return to Australia. My home is near the beach in Queensland, where I live with my unconventional family. But I miss the cold winters and often dream of sitting by a blazing fire on a snowy night.