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Pirates, Bureaucracy, and Magic? Oh, My: The Pirate Union’s Story

Skull wearing jester's cap with crossed swords underneath

When I was in college in the mid-1990s, I was lucky enough to find a roommate who had similar interests. When I was faced with the school’s illogical and uncaring bureaucracy, we decided to write a story: The Pirate Union. Now, I’m not sure that the bureaucracy was the reason for the story. It may have just been coincidental. I do know that my coauthor was smart enough to have suggested as a remedy, but there was no real cause and effect here. At least, I don’t think there was.

One Rule

We started out with establishing one rule: You couldn’t kill the other person’s characters. This would keep us from writing a section introducing a new character and having that character killed off in the next section because the other person didn’t like him, her, or it. It also made it more creative because, even though we couldn’t kill characters the other person created, we could write them so that the other person killed the character. We could also come dangerously close to killing the character. “’Three in the head, you know they’re dead.’ He fired the gun three times.” Technically, the person isn’t dead at this point.

That’s how my favorite character Chantel came about. I felt like my coauthor introduced her as a female lead, and I wasn’t ready to explore that area, yet. We went back and forth on her worth for several chapters. At some point, I realized I really liked her.

The Introduction

The other thing we did was that we wrote several introductory paragraphs. We wrote the introductory paragraphs at the same and presented them to each other. Then we came up with the best parts of the paragraphs and combined them.

We wrote back and forth for several months. We passed the story to one another and read it to our college friends once a week. At some point we even kept track of who wrote what, but that went by the wayside. Then the binder was lost, and I thought the story would never see the light of day, again.

Flash forward a decade, and I’m staying with my coauthor and his wife for a long time. He found the binder, and we completed the story. Now you can read it. “The Pirate Union” is a comedy with pop-culture references that combines pirates, bureaucracy, and magic. We hope you love it. You can order it through Amazon or from Penguinate.com.

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