I Found Something New And Exciting

Author Interview
Theo Clarkson Author Interview

Muddied Waters: Coda follows several characters as they explore different paths in life. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

In our previous interview concerning Muddied Waters, I mentioned how it didn’t feel right abandoning Chelsea’s character to the cutting room floor. Now that the novel is finished and I’m beginning to see the feedback, I’m very glad I wrote Coda. She is the most badass female character I could ever concoct and it was mostly to make things right for her, in my mind. Another big inspiration was my research on the Haitian Revolution, which felt like the missing piece I needed to set Coda’s atmosphere. Under no circumstances was I interested in retreading themes from the first book- I’d said all I was going to say about pirate culture. With this important piece of history, I found something new and exciting: musings about motherlands and their colonies, with comparisons to family dynamics, parents and their progeny.

What is one pivotal moment in the story that you think best defines Teague?

Excellent, excellent question! I never fully considered what defines my characters, likely because I’ve never really had that kind of introspection with myself. That being said, I believe a person’s character is defined many small moments, rather than just one or two cataclysmic events. Because Teague had seen and done so much in life, because he couldn’t think of a single thing left to carry on for, he spends the novel trying to find a way to die right, whether it’s by his own power or someone else’s. The terrier scene is directly inspired by a personal experience, so that holds a special place in my heart. I’m quite proud of the gallows scene as well. But when I read or watch movies, my favourite moments always tend to be the ones that at first glance are inconsequential, so I’ll say it’s when Teague throws Viceroy Belo’s destroyed pommel into Puerto Bello’s harbour. It’s the first real step he takes on his journey, and the first step is always the most important.

Were you able to achieve everything you wanted with the characters in the novel?

I believe so. I’m happy with how I wrapped up Teague’s saga, and positively overjoyed that I could present Chelsea to you all! Jonathan began as a sort of last-minute addition, and I hope he rose above the literary tool I initially created him as to better flesh out Chelsea’s arc. I purposely kept Rafael and Bernal bare-bones, to make it feel as if the reader was on the outside, witnessing a conflict that was none of their business. Teo Quintana was the perfect replacement for Ross Stone. The only character that I’m still not sure about is Alger: he seemed removed from the main story, though if I’m honest, he should be, given his circumstances. I had a very difficult time developing his perspective as it related to Saint Domingue; I wanted him to represent the social progress in Europe at the time (ie. powerful white men benefitting from the status quo who also recognize the societal cost), but not so much that he came off as bleeding-heart or…dare I say it…”woke”. Regardless, if I was going to properly conclude Teague’s story, I had no choice but to provide Alger the same service. I did my best to do that.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I have a major project, still in its early stages. It will be my attempt at a fantasy. I also have an experimental novella that explores solitude and paranoia. That one is more of a psychological horror. There is no timeline for their completion and if I do end up finishing them, I don’t see myself coming up with anything else. Never say never, though!

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook

“Aye, I was a pirate, ’tis true”

Years after pillaging the Nossa Senhora Do Abismo, ex-pirate Jackson Teague continues to struggle with the costly fallout from the ill-fated galleon’s bounty. Half a world away, a grownup Alger Moore finds equal difficulty in reconciling their shared past. But when a ruthless and diverse crew of bandits begin rampaging across the Caribbean, both will be inexplicably pulled back into a world they thought had been effectively ended by Europe’s perceived social progress. Navigating around a burgeoning culture of independence within the New World’s colonies, both will be afforded the rare opportunity to find closure with each other and themselves.

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on March 5, 2022, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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