Wednesday, 6 October 2010

notes on Blood Tide (WIP)

Just a note on Blood Tide, the historical novel and work in progress/polish/submission. This work of fiction has been well researched – one of the reasons why I wrote it was to learn more about the 1700’s and about piracy in that century. The whole slave trade just happened to pop up in the story and it ended up with more elements than I’d initially intended.

On the ship that Amber is on when she is being deported from her plantation to a new land, some readers were getting muddled. They kept imagining the slave ships that were used to transport masses of human cargo to the Caribbean. This sort of slave ship is touched on by some of the plantation’s older residents and new recruits (Luke, also known as E had just come off such a ship) but Amber’s elders have done their best to repress those memories and the newbies haven’t yet learned enough English to share.

Amber’s ship is just a small merchant trading vessel – not fit out to hold slaves. Also, the captain hates the slave trade and is hoping to allow a better life for those he is transporting, despite only freeing Amber. This is not the sort of thing that is taught in modern lessons on history, but did sometimes happen according to my sources. A major point I’d tried to make with this book is that there are things in here that history lessons skim over or skip completely. This is not your typical slave or slave’s journey. It’s very important that people get this into their heads when they start to read.

In history, there were many slave ships that revolted. The only successful one was the Amistat, who’s slaves took power and did turn to piracy. They didn’t last long, however, and there isn’t much written about it (probably the ship’s owners would have preferred to forget about it and just noted down the monetary losses).

Really, this book is less about slaves and pirates and (even though they have a huge role to play in the book) and more about Amber finding her place in the world. She must decide if she wants a life of relative freedom in a surrounding of moral ambiguity or a life as a slave which is no life at all. It’s an impossible choice for her because she values life much more than her colleagues and if she were to remain a slave, she could do some good work as a healer on the plantation like her mother.

Anyway, those are my notes on the book.



1 comment:

  1. I will write something more interesting soon...promise.