How I Came To Write This Story: The Wicked Woman’s Booty
When Jason Michel asked me to write a fun, campy, cliché pirate serial back in late 09’ to lighten up Pulp Metal Magazine, I was surprised to say the least. Hello? I was a horror writer. And who ever heard of a woman writing pirates? And I had no experience writing a “… to be continued!”. I was unsure, but Jason Michel has always believed in me and encouraged me to go beyond my comfort zone. After finishing up Devil’s Eye last year, I was reading Arabians Nights and was completely enamored with the piece. An idea struck, and the The Wicked Woman’s Booty was born.
I have been asked many, many times where do I draw my inspiration? Is it Pirates of The Caribbean? That makes me laugh every single time. Sure I think Jack Sparrow is fun. I liked the first one, but every one after that is kinda (you know) LAME. I love Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson (he is a writing god to me!). The old black and white pirate movies like Blackbeard are awesome. Goonies is one of my favorites too. I enjoy these, but they don’t inspire my pirates so much. Music. Music definitely inspires. I have a whole playlist full of goodies including Slayer, AC/DC, Fused, Alestorm, Apocalyptica, Rob Zombie, Nick Cave, Therion, Rise Against, and a little bit of Metallica. Watching Cyndi Lauper kick her heels up in Goonies R Good Enough is its own kind of inspiration. I sing along with her on pirate Sundays. But sticking with literature, Arabian Nights inspires my pirates the most. The audience will understand as the Wicked Woman sails deeper into the Sea of Imagination. On that note, here is the real honest to goodness reason I love pirates:
One of my grandmothers lived in a Viking town, right off Puget Sound. Every August, they had a parade on Front Street, and we’d go. This one summer, the temperature was off the charts. The smell of sweat, beer, cigarette smoke and cotton candy was so thick you couldn’t swim through it. Wasps kept pestering us. I was shooing them away from my little sister when the Viking ship float drove through.
We cheered and laughed. The Vikings on board sang chanties in a thunderous choir. They had long rugged beards, wore helmets, armor, and swords. The drunks in the crowd sang along with them.
I don’t know if it was the sun, the band, or the beer, but something in the air was begging for trouble. The band in front of the float played harder, the Vikings in the float sang louder. They did their garrrrs! at the crowds and the women flirted back. It was all so exciting. Surreal. And when all the Vikings yelled and jumped ship --there was a down right ruckus.
They grabbed shrieking women off the street and threw them into the ship. People scattered and ran for their lives (!) Children lost their cotton candy. Babies cried. The band played on and I remember the sound of beer bottles breaking. I was genuinely terrified, frozen like a deer watching. At one point, the crowd parted. My eyes locked with one particular young Viking, the spell broke and he chased me through the crowd. I screamed and hollered, horrified, terrified and delighted at the same time (where was my mother!?!). Anyway, he finally caught me, threw me up in the air and let out this Viking war cry that I will never forget. I just remember screaming, half scared out of my wits and half absolutely thrilled because I knew it was all in fun. He set me down, grabbed my chin and said, “That’s a pretty lass.” He put his Viking hat on my head covering my eyes. By the time I pulled the helmet off, he was gone and my mom had found me and was asking me why I had run away. I don’t think she would remember it today. But I will never forget.
I understand there is a vast difference between Vikings and pirates. (Give me WWF smackdown! Pirates vs Vikings!) But… close enough. I hope The Wicked Woman’s Booty brings to the audience the same thrill, scare, tease, and delight I felt in that instant when that Viking held me in the air and gave his war cry. You can find all seven episodes (so far) at Pulp Metal Magazine here or you can find more info at my site here.
Exiled in deep southern Texas, Jodi is a Seattle author hoping to write her way back to the Pacific Northwest. She writes omnivorous fiction favoring fable, suburban punk, pulp, horror, and bizarro.