Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Meet Bey Deckard, author of 'Caged: Love and Treachery on the High Seas'

What was the inspiration behind this book?

Caged was inspired by a few things but, first and foremost, by a line from a Decemberists song called Don’t Carry it All:

“Let every vessel pitching hard to starboard lay its head on summer’s freckled knees”

I know… seems a little odd, but it made such a meaningful picture in my head.

Before last June, the only things I’d ever written before were term papers, bad high school poetry, and something that could be considered The Lost Boys fan-fiction when I was 14.

When I suddenly started writing fiction, people liked it, so I decided to try my hand at writing what had already started taking shape in my head from those lyrics. When folks really liked it, I decided to go ahead and publish it.
Did you have to do any research for it?
Lots, actually.

The Ship: Captain Baltsaros’ ship is based very loosely on the HMS Beagle. As some might know, this is the ship made famous by Charles Darwin. It was a British Cherokee Class brig-sloop/sloop-of-war. Baltsaros’ ship differs in that I've reduced its length slightly and added a high quarterdeck, placing the captain’s quarters completely above deck. I call it a corvette, which is just another term for “sloop-of-war”. Where the Beagle was a 10-gun ship, Baltsaros’ only has 8, four carronades and four 16-pound cannons.

The crew should be about 80 people for a ship this size but I’ve cut it by half - which might seem crazy, or implausible, but I did my research and found records of smaller crews on bigger ships. Most corvettes and sloops of the 17th century were around 40 to 60 ft.

Captain Baltsaros’ quarters are a little larger than what would generally be afforded on a ship this size - but hey, it’s fiction, and he and Jon spend an awful lot of time in there. I didn't want it to feel too cramped.

The Language:
While Jon and Baltsaros both speak “proper” English (called Common), Tom (and other members of the crew) speak in “Pirate” English. All of Tom’s expressions are authentic expressions dating from the Golden Age of Piracy. On top of the dialogue, some of the chapter titles are expressions that, if you know what they mean, are closely linked to what goes on in the chapter:

I’ll give you an example:
Chapter 8: Nelson’s Folly = Nelson’s Folly is pirate speak for rum, referring to a certain Admiral Nelson whose body was preserved in a cask of it (after his death!) for the long journey home. The reference to rum is obvious when you get to the end of the chapter.
Which character spoke to you the most?

It’s really hard to say. They all have their own voices, but I have a real soft spot for Tom.
What is one of your favorite scenes?

I think it’s the storm scene in Chapter 20. I have been in storms at sea (though never in sailing vessels… always motorboats) and it’s both terrifying and exhilarating; but it’s what happened in the leeside of the quarterdeck staircase that makes me smile the most in that scene.
This is the first book in a series. How many do you anticipate there being? When is the second installment coming out? Any chance of a sneak peek?

I am hoping that I haven’t written myself into a corner calling it a trilogy. I’m about halfway through the first draft of the sequel – Beyond the Spires. I would like for there to be three, but let’s see where the second one leaves off. I don’t want to stretch the story out further than it is meant to be. If I keep to my schedule, I am hoping to publish it late August, 2014.

A sneak peak? It’s hard to post anything about the second book without revealing at least one big spoiler. However, closer to the publication date, I may offer up the first three chapters before the book comes out.
What are the ingredients for a successful BDSM/erotica novel?

Here’s where I start to flounder. Is Caged a successful BDSM/erotica novel?

My fans seem to think so. The problem is, I have never read a BDSM/erotica novel myself, and so I don’t know what makes mine better or worse. I’ve read exactly one romance novel (that I can remember) and that was a long, long time ago. I grew up reading the stories out of the Penthouse and Playboy magazines filched from my dad’s collection.
Describe your ultimate leading man.

Dark, dangerous, and in charge.
The romance genre tends to be dominated by women. How do you make yourself stand out?

I actually didn’t know this until after I published Caged and started looking around to make connections with other authors in the same genre. I’m still trying to figure that out!

I seem to be different in general; I’m covered in tattoos, piercings, and I have a mohawk. That’s definitely something that makes me stand out, at least in looks. I’ve been using this one really artsy picture of my back for my bio pic… I wonder how many people realize that it’s me.
What is something that really lights your fire?

Danger. *laughs* Someone who knows how to take control. Someone who figures out the magic combination that will make me beg.
You're passionate about sea. Where are some of your favorite seaside destinations?

Barbados, West Indies: You’ll find me there almost every winter, sitting on the beach with a drink in one hand and my Kindle in the other. I’ve been going for years and it’s a gorgeous gem of an island.

Nice, France: The beaches are interesting, all made of these little round stones. The seaside beach-chair rental services are expensive but worth it to have someone continuously bringing you drinks and food. Old Nice is a wonderful place to sit and have a glass of rosé and traditional Niçoise dishes.

Anguilla, West Indies: I have never been anywhere where the sand was so fine before. It was the consistency of flour. This is also a prime location to watch the Superyachts come in. If you don’t know what that is, take a look at the Cakewalk -

Torremolinos, Spain: The beaches here are so hot in the summer that you have to wear shoes to walk on it! It’s a great place to be as a jumping-off point for trips into different parts of Andalucía because you can literally walk to Málaga and catch a train to Córdoba or Madrid, or hop on a bus to the ferry to Morocco.
You are also an artist. Please tell us about that.

My mother was a landscape painter when she was younger. She gave me my own paints when I was seven. As a child I won award after award for my art. My parents wanted me to become a doctor, but I had different ideas. However, when I went to art school, my teachers were of the modern/abstract school and told me that I wasn’t going to go anywhere as an artist. They said I was not an artist but an illustrator. I don’t think those are different things, personally.

Right now, I mostly do portraits when I’m painting (acrylic and mixed-media) or drawing (digital portraits). I’m a very angry painter for some reason… all my partners have known to steer clear of me when I have brush in hand. However, working on my Wacom tablet doesn’t bring out the same fury. Now that I’ve discovered writing, my art is taking a bit of a back seat.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
To me, success is not selling a million books. It’s making that one person feel something – for the characters I write, for the scenes I describe. If I’ve managed to touch someone with my words… well then I am successful.
Thank you so much for your time!

About the author:

Born and raised in a small coastal town in northern Québec, Bey spent his early summers on his uncle’s boat and running wild on the beaches of the surrounding islands, lighting fires and building huts out of driftwood and fishermen’s nets. As an adult, he eventually made his way to university and earned a degree in Art History with a strong focus on Anthropology. Primarily a portrait painter and graphic artist, Bey sat down one day and decided to write about the two things that he felt most passionate about: sex and the sea.

Bey currently lives in the wilds of Montréal with his best buddy, a spotty pit bull named Murphy. Caged is his first novel.

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1 comment:

  1. I get sea sick - so the high seas & I would not be a good mix.


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