Blog Archives

Violence and Piracy

M.J.L. Evans Author Interview

M.J.L. Evans Author Interview

No Quarter: Wenches follows two characters; Atia Crisp as she finds herself imprisoned in the wickedest city on earth, and Captain La Roche who must find a way to liberate the woman he loves while waging a war against the English. What was your inspiration for creating a women’s adventure novel involving pirates in the 1600’s?

I am inspired by stories/movies with strong female characters, so naturally if I was going to write a story, I would be drawn to having strong female leads. I wasn’t particularly drawn to writing historical fiction until I read the original No Quarter Series (Dominium and Wenches) scripts written by GM O’Connor. He’s always been fascinated with history, particularly during the time of pirates. He asked me to read the scripts and I thought they would make a great book series. So we collaborated our interests and I became fascinated with getting all the details (locations, costumes, furniture, architecture, ships) as accurate as possible. We also use a combination of real-life inspired and fictional characters, which adds realism and adventure.

No Quarter crosses many genres. What books or authors were the biggest inspiration for you?

Moonfleet by J. Meade Falkner was the most inspirational book as it told the tale of smuggling, pirates, treasure, a sea voyage and a hurricane in 1898. It was very rich in details and I felt very transported by it, so I wanted to do the same for No Quarter. Also the book Port Royal, Jamaica by Michael Pawson was inspirational as it gives a glimpse of every day life in 17th century Port Royal and details locations, how they imported food/water and even what ships were around and what they were used for.

This is a very fun novel. Did you have fun writing it?

Yes, it was very fun writing this. My co-author GM O’Connor and I would have brainstorming sessions to come up with entertaining names and comedic dialogue/scenarios. Or sometimes we’d come up with something just buying groceries, watching movie or wake up at 3am with something hysterical and had to write it down before forgetting it.

No Quarter is the first volume in a series. Where do you take the characters through the rest of the series and how does the development of their characters progress?

Atia for example, is indentured, so she’s quite complacent, but she also has a rebellious side that hasn’t been fully explored yet. When she starts working at a Port Royal tavern, she starts to understand the workings of the city and she learns manipulation and eventually turns to being a spy. Basically, she grows up and becomes a fighter. La Roche is already set in his piratical ways, it’s in his blood, it has been since he was a child. When he meets Atia, he’s drawn to the idea of a “normal” life with marriage and children. His development hinges on his willingness to let go of violence and piracy. He wants to retire from it all, but that’s not an easy task, as situations arise which require him to be piratical. He eventually comes to peace with his internal conflicts and finds balance.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

No Quarter: Wenches - Volume 1In 1689, Atia Crisp finds herself imprisoned in the wickedest city on earth, Port Royal, Jamaica, while the refugees from Strangewayes’s plantation in the Blue Mountains are on the run and seeking a new home, deep in the Caribbean. Captain Jean-Paul la Roche must get them to safety and find a way to liberate the woman he loves while waging a war against the English with the pirate Laurens de Graaf. While besieged people suffer and starve, a group of women form a secret and illegal society deep from within the bowels of the city called: WENCH. A network that deals with smugglers, merchants, cutthroats and thieves. Dragged into the struggle for supremacy of the Caribbean, the women are divided and find themselves engulfed in bloodshed. The pirates of Port Royal and former enemies may be their only hope of escape. Hell hath no fury like a cross wench!Buy Now From Amazon.com

No Quarter: Wenches

No Quarter: Wenches - Volume 13 StarsNo Quarter: Wenches is a short novel that takes place in the late 1600s on the Caribbean Sea. It follows several characters of the pirate variety, but the main focus, in my opinion, is on Atia, a young woman captured by the English. The plot follows her troubles, and the troubles of the English, French, Spanish, and pirate groups, as she waits for Captain Jean Paul La Roche to rescue her from the prison in Port Royal.

The city of Port Royal is scrambling to defend itself against French ships and buccaneers, all while trying to sort out its military advances on the surrounding islands. Meanwhile, the pirates are struggling with their own political issues, adding more intrigue to the choices the characters make.

I really enjoyed the engaging dialogue, which was the strongest aspect of the novel, although the characters could use more development, their conversations were often witty and entertaining, finding ways that make otherwise boring topics fun to read about.

The setting is a perfect backdrop to deliver this exceptional story, I just wish I was given more of it so that I was fully immersed. The characters are fun and interesting, but beg for more depth because of this. These two things could be lacking because it’s a short novel, and designed that way, but I think it’s because there is exceptional writing here and I want more of it! More of the world, more of the characters. I’m probably just being greedy, and I suppose I’ll get all of that as the series continues.

There is an interesting dichotomy to this novel; it does not take itself very seriously in some spots (one of the characters is named ‘Lief Blower’) and this serves to keep the story light and engaging, but then parts of the novel is tense and thrilling. It’s an unusual blend that is a rarity.

Overall, this short novel has set up what might end up being a tale on an epic scale. Dozens of characters, all with varied political motivations, have been introduced, and there is still plenty of space for these plots to move forward. Hopefully the authors choose to develop and add depth to these characters, as I was just starting to get comfortable with them as the first volume of the series came to a close.

Pages: 123 | ASIN: B01HP7TOP2

Buy Now From Amazon.com

%d bloggers like this: