Today I am so pleased to welcome Alli Temple to Joyfully Jay. Alli has come as part of the Coastal Magic Convention Blog Tour to talk to us about The Pirate & Her Princess. She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
7 Thing I Learned Writing About Lesbian Pirates for 5 Years
Yeah you read that write. 5 years. It’s been a long time. When I started, it was 2018.The Orange Menace was still the American president, we’d never heard of social distancing, and Black Panther was the #1 movie in the world.
From 2018 to 2023, I wrote a series called The Pirate and Her Princess…except in 2018 I didn’t know it was going to be a series. The whole thing took a life of its own. But here are 7 things I learned while writing three books in five years.
1. Be Careful What You Say On The Internet
Uncharted started out as a joke on Twitter. Something like “quote this tweet with the title of your favourite movie.” I said The Princess Lesbian. Then someone said they wanted to read it. Then someone else did. Then my agent did. Little did I know how one little joke was going to change the trajectory of my career.
2. You Can Pants a 3-Book Series…But That Doesn’t Mean You Should
Writers are divided into two species: Plotters and pantsers. Plotters make careful outlines before they write a single word. They know the beginning, middle and end. Panterss write by the seat of their pants.They run on vibes and regret.
It is possible to write a three-book series without knowing where the plot is going. Is there a treasure? Maybe. Who is the big bad at the end of everything? No idea.
It’s possible, but a few more notes up front helps.
3. Good Covers Go a Long Way
If you’re dipping your toe in a new niche and you don’t know how it’s going to be received or if you’ll be laughed right off the shelves at Amazon, hire a good cover designer. Cate Ashwood’s covers sold these books before anyone ever opened a page or read a blurb. Get you some covers with kickass ladies to make eye contact with readers!
4. Audiobooks are super cool!
I started listening to audiobooks in 2008. I was commuting to work and the news was depressing as banks collapsed. You know what’s not depressing? Sexy vampires and fated mates! When I started publishing my own books, I wanted to hear them in audio so badly, but it wasn’t until Uncharted was ready that I decided to take the plunge.
I wasn’t expecting much when I put it up for auditions, but then I heard from Emily Woo Zeller. She has only about a zillion audiobooks narrated, including This is How You Lose the Time War, The Poppy War and The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. And she wanted to narrate my book!
The final audiobook, Unleashed, just went live on Audible, and having the audiobooks available brings a whole new dimension to my stories. Emily was meticulous, sending me emails asking how to pronounce my made up fantasy names. It’s so cool to hear it all come together.
5. Don’t Forget The Side Characters
What’s a pirate without her crew? For every fan of George and Captain Cinder, there are just as many readers who were Team Maro, or who are still waiting for Ender and Rosie to get their own book series. Pirate stories are all about found family.
6. Just Because it was Written by a Woman, that Doesn’t Mean it’s YA
So I wrote a book about a lesbian pirate and her princess. I sent it to my agent. She said, “Hmm, this might actually be YA.” Then COVID happened. There was a parting of ways. I sent it to other agents. One came back to me and said she really liked it but she didn’t think she could sell it unless I rewrote it for Young Adult publishers and audiences.
I didn’t want to do that.
Women dominate YA fantasy, and if you’ve read more than a handful in the last few years, you know some of them are really adult fantasy with weird marketing. There’s a misconception that fantasy written by women can only be for younger audiences.
Uncharted (and many others) prove how wrong that thinking is. Women have (shocking, I know) their own grown-up fantasies.
7. You Can’t Go Wrong With Lesbian Pirates
At the end of the day, lesbian pirates are a showstopper. I’ve met so many people whose eyes light up as soon as I say the phrase. There are so many great examples of the genre, but I definitely suggest you start with Princess Georgina in Uncharted. She’s a 10, but she’s only in it for the booty.
Coastal Magic Convention is a casual reader weekend in Daytona Beach and takes place February 22-25, 2024. You can check out the website at http://CoastalMagicConvention.com if you want to learn a little more about the event. And if you are interested in signing up and joining us a the beach, you can register here.
Allison lives in Toronto with her very patient husband and the world’s cutest team of rescue pets. She tries to split her time between writing, exploring Toronto’s parks, and traveling anywhere that has good wine. Tragically, this leaves no time to clean the house.
Allison has brought an audiobook/ebook (reader’s choice) from The Pirate & Her Princess series to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Tuesday, August 1st at 11:59 pm ET.
- By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
- Winners will be selected by random number. No purchase necessary to win. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
- If you win, you must respond to my email within 48 hours or another winner may be chosen. Please make sure that your spam filter allows email from Joyfully Jay.
- Winners may be announced on the blog following the contest. By entering the contest you are agreeing to allow your name to be posted and promoted as the contest winner by Joyfully Jay.
- Prizes will be distributed following the giveaway either by Joyfully Jay or the person/organization donating the prize.
- All book prizes are in electronic format unless otherwise specified.
- By entering you are agreeing to hold Joyfully Jay harmless if the prize or giveaway in some way negatively impacts the winner.
- Readers may only enter once for each contest. Duplicate entries for the same giveaway will be ignored. In the event of technical problems with the blog during the contest, every effort will be made to extend the contest deadline to allow for additional entries.
- Void where prohibited by law.