Girls Write Out
Thursday, March 22, 2007

Today, our guest is fabulous swashbuckling writer (and member of my local writers' group) MaryLu Tyndall. Please welcome her:

Ahoy, all you ladies (and gentlemen) out there, I need opinions—and I know you have them! What is wrong with pirate romance stories? I’ve written a trilogy entitled Legacy of the King’s Pirates, two books of which have already been released, The Redemption and The Reliance, and this is what I’m discovering. Although the books are getting great reviews from both media and readers alike, I have been astonished to find that some people absolutely abhor pirate stories. Being a pirate lover myself and an avid fan of Pirates of the Caribbean movies, as well as any pirate romance that comes along (except the really sleazy ones!), I must say I’m in shock! Now, I admit, there are some pirates who need a bath pretty badly, along with some expert dental work, but what about those dashing heroes, who by some miracle of God have all their teeth and have somehow found a bar of soap while scouring the Caribbean for treasure? In my latest book, The Reliance, the heroine takes on the role of pirate captain to rescue her wayward husband. And she actually makes the pirates on her ship bathe. Now who could ask for more than that? Honest opinions, please?

For more information on MaryLu Tyndall and her books, visit
posted at 9:27 PM  
  Comments (21)
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At 9:36 PM, Blogger Kayla said...

Ooh! This looks exciting! I think a trip to the bookstore is in order this weekend. :)

So I'm guessing your favorite holiday is Talk Like a Pirate Day?

At 9:41 PM, Blogger Sabrina L. Fox said...

MaryLu, I thought your imagery in The Reliance was fabulous. I felt like I was in the scene with you. I even commented to my girlfriend that your research was evident in the way you were able to describe things so well.

Having said that...I'll admit I wasn't sure I'd like the book at first because it was about pirates & I'd never had any desire to see the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. I was so pleasantly surprised with your book that I have The Redemption on my list to purchase. ;)

At 11:46 PM, Blogger Anna Marie said...

Your Book sound's wonderful.
A love story about pirates is something new to me. I would love to read you book.

At 12:33 AM, Blogger Shauna said...

What?! There are people who don't like pirates? What's not to like? Daring. Dashing. Dangerous.

I say you line up those people and make them walk the plank. LOL!

At 2:03 AM, Blogger Kristin said...

My son is obsessed with pirates and he loves your website MaryLu, I don't know if I ever told you that. I think the Pirates were the early Bond for men. LOL What do you think Allen, you out there?

At 2:04 AM, Blogger Singles Out Loud Team said...

Perhaps a picture of Johnny Depp or Orlando Bloom on the front cover would convert anyone into a pirate fan.

At 10:23 AM, Blogger Kristy Dykes said...

Remember the old version of The Frenchman's something or other? "Woman"? "Cove?" It starred Joan Fontaine. That was very romantic.

At 10:27 AM, Blogger Liz said...

Pirates!!!! I love pirates and swashbuckling tales of the open sea. I could imagine Elizabeth Swann making her pirates take a bath if she were captain. I'm going to have to check these books out.

At 11:18 AM, Blogger Angie said...

Hunky pirates?? Mmmmm. MaryLu, I really don't think you could ask for more than that. I'm putting your books on my short list!

At 11:51 AM, Blogger Kellie said...

I have to admit that when I think of Pirates I think: mean, drunk thieves, known for raping and pillaging and instilling terror on the seas.

With that being said, it's hard for me to imagine a pirate as a 'hero'.

And (at risk of having to walk the plank!) that's
why I have not been a huge fan of pirates.

Also, admittedly I am a bit "girl-y". And have a tendency to pick up books that are pink and flowery and very feminine (or books that mention chocolate). In my mind Pirates are "for boys." Sick huh?

From your book description it sounds like you are trying to change that! And I am all for a rugged hero, with clean teeth and a fresh smell!

Perhaps your book can turn me into a swashbuckler too. I'll have to go find your book and check it out!


At 12:26 PM, Blogger MaryLu said...

Wow, thanks ladies for all your comments and encouragement! Interesting mix, don't you think? Some, like me, just love pirates, others aren't sure, and others would never read a pirate story on purpose! Perhaps putting Johnny Dep on the cover would help! I guarantee you that my pirate hero, Captain Edmund Merrick, is clean, hunky and handsome. I would say he's more like a Robin Hood type, than a nasty pirate. I do think I understand now why some women wouldn't pick my book up and give it a chance. Maybe the heroine should carry a pink sword with lace on the handle. Come to think of it, that's not a bad idea! LOL

At 12:53 PM, Blogger Rachel O said...

I haven't read your books, but there is a good reason that I wouldn't be likely to just pick one up and read it. You asked for an honest response to your question, so here it is...!

I think pirate books have an image you have to overcome. After all, in the typical pirate novel, the heroine is kidnapped, terrorized, stuffed in a tiny cabin, and, if she's lucky, she'll get to know her captor's name before he "convinces" her that his attentions are not molestation and/or rape. And of course, by that time, she'll be happy to have him treat her this way because, underneath that rough exterior, he has a heart of gold. (Not to mention the size of his...never mind.) And that's the nicer pirate story.

I know this, because I used to read trashy novels(most of them should have been considered X-rated). I no longer read them, by God's grace, but they have left residue in my mind. There are Christian authors/genres that I now choose to avoid because reading them can bring that residue to the top and take me back into the imaginings and fantasies I used to "enjoy." Believe it or not, Francine Rivers'historical novels come to mind. Her books are beautifully written, there's no sex, no language, nothing offensive in them. But the situations her characters find themselves in parallel ones popular in trash novels that I have read, and my mind can embellish her perfectly clean situations and make them X-rated in two seconds flat.

I have not read an X-rated book in almost 15 years. God has removed the desire for that type of material from me completely. But I still have to guard my mind and my heart from what I happily stuffed in there so long ago. The mind is like a computer, because what you put in it stays there. You may not choose to "access those files" any longer, but they're there, like a hidden computer virus or trojan horse, waiting for their opportunity to wreak havoc on the unsuspecting.

I don't know how many other women would admit to this problem, but I know it exists, and that is why my immediate reaction to your books would be to avoid them. Not because I think you would have written a story that way (I freelance for Barbour--I know they wouldn't publish something like that!), but because I know where my mind is likely to go.

So, anyway...maybe that has something to do with the opposition you are seeing.

At 1:47 PM, Blogger MaryLu said...

Rachel, I appreciate your honesty very much, and I can also completely understand. I spent many years out in the world before I met Jesus and the things I allowed in my mind still haunt me to this day. Lurid pirate stories were not one of them, so I suppose that's why I don't have a problem with pirates, but I can certainly understand now why some people would. I would never want my books to bring back wicked worldly memories for anyone. In fact, that is the opposite of my purpose in writing them. So, I pray that people with those tendencies would not read them. And God Bless you again for your honesty. It certainly helps me to understand.

At 2:37 PM, Blogger Rachel O said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 2:41 PM, Blogger Rachel O said...


One more thing. Don't get me wrong--I'm glad that you are writing pirate fiction. My daughter--she's 12--loves Pirates of the Caribbean. There's a whole generation of kids out there now, to whom pirates have been romanticized even more than ever. So as she looks for new things to read, it's good to know there are clean--Christian!--pirate romances out there too!

So don't get discouraged by those who voice their disapproval. I appreciate your heart, your purpose in writing, and I know that God will use your efforts. Thank you for showing the world how it CAN be done--sex doesn't have to permeate everything out there!

I'm grateful that God has seen fit to give me the opportunities that He now has. I get to work for Barbour--I content-review their Heartsong line and proofread anything else they send me. I love this job! It amazes me how God can turn our ashes into beautiful things and use us, no matter how filthy we let ourselves get.

I just wanted to say to anyone who might read this, though, it's so important for us to be aware of what we do; of how--or even if--our light shines. My introduction to the nasty pirate novels didn't come from a kid on the bus or once I was an adult. It didn't happen before I was saved. It came from a "good, Christian woman"--one I looked up to. I was 13, babysitting, and bored. I picked up her reading material. After all, it had such a cool picture on the front. I was shocked, embarassed, enlightened (yeah, right)...and hooked. She has no idea she had that impact on my life. But she did. I try to be so aware now of how my daughter sees me. How her friends see me. Because I don't know what path I might start someone down, what destruction I might unwittingly unleash in their lives.

Ok, I'll get off my soapbox. I'm supposed to be working anyway! Thanks for listening!

Rachel O

At 6:49 PM, Blogger Dineen A. Miller said...

Hey MaryLu! Great to see you hear. Love your books. Can't wait to finish what I'm reading to dig into the Reliance.

At 8:07 PM, Blogger allen said...

Love Pirates...always have! Two years ago I wrote a Pirate musical for my theater troupe and we hope to return to that genre next year. I understand that some people have a hard time with Pirates, but Vikings, cowboys and everyday 'guys' have been naughty at times. So I don't lump all pirates in with the "bad guys" fact, in my research, I came across several women Pirates...
I think there's a little bit of Pirate in all of us guys. No, not the raping and pillaging. I'm talking about the idea of adventure, a bit of danger and, of course, sword play. More than once when I was on the fencing team in college I wanted to make like a pirate and swing down from the rafters, sword in hand...but regulations stipulates that we not leave the strip and we enter the it with respect...ARRRRRRRG!

By the way, nice to finally Meet Colleen and Diane this evening!

At 8:08 PM, Blogger allen said...


No pink! No lace. Keep her tough! I really like the cover of your book.

At 12:59 PM, Blogger MaryLu said...

Hey ladies, thank you all for the lively discussion on pirates! I appreciate all the comments, good and bad as it helps me understand my readership better. You all are great! Keep reading, keep writing! Thanks Kristin for having me on your blog!

At 1:27 PM, Blogger Belinda said...

I just have to say that I LOVE Pirates. To be honest with you, I didn't know there were Christian Pirate books. Imagine how thrilled I am to find this out.
I agree with Kayla. A trip to the bookstore is indeed in order.
Thank you for sharing your love of pirates.

At 2:34 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

Angie, I didn't know there were "that" kind of pirate books, but it totally makes sense! How brave of you to admit the issue and talk about God's rescue from it. Sin has no power when it's out in the light, you go girl!! Kristin


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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