Wednesday, 18 April 2012

My Chat with Jesamiah Acorn, a Real Pirate!

You have no idea how excited I am, but I have a real pirate sitting in my interview room, no other than the devilsh, Jesamiah Acorne. To help him feel at home, I've had a barrel of rum brought in, so do help yourself to a cup or two as you sit down and meet my pirate!

Peggy: Staring up in wonderment. ‘Jesamiah Acorne, I presume. My my you’ve taken my breath away in that amazing outfit, I’ve never met a pirate before, so do tell me what do you have to do to have such an exciting job?’

Jesamiah: Dabs at the several stains on his waistcoat, touches one finger to three-corned hat. ‘Mornin’ Ma’am. I ain’t exactly certain you’ll be too impressed about my job, though I don’t count it as a job. It’s more like a way of life, really, a life of freedom on the high seas. I’m a pirate – leastways, I were. I’ve sort of retired now, since I accepted the King’s Amnesty. I seem to get into as many scrapes though, one way or another. Not sure how I managed it, but I have ended up as an undercover spy for said King – that’s fat King George of Hanover by the way.

Peggy: ‘Mmm It seems to me that pirating isn’t what it used to be. Pity! Now is your boat a big one and does it have any guns and oars?

Jesamiah: Rolling his eyes in horror, hands Peggy a picture. ‘Ship. She’s a ship. Anything with three masts or more is a ship. She is called Sea Witch. Her deck length is 135 feet, and the height of her main mast is 130 feet. She is 32 feet wide, at her widest point. And aye, she has twenty guns, but not oars, she is a Tall Ship – she has canvas sails – about 13,000 square feet of sail to be precise.’

Peggy: ‘Putting it like that, it does sound impressive. Now, I’ve heard that you are quite a scoundrel and a rogue, but is that all an act to snare a fair maiden?’

Jesamiah: ‘Me? A scoundrel? Who told you that? I’m an honourable pirate I am! It’s me good looks that attracts the wenches.’

Peggy: Raising an eyebrow in disbelief. ‘If you say so, but I’ve read your biography and let’s say, you spin a good yarn, if not a fib or two! Putting that aside for now, tell me about some of the adventures you’ve had, but please leave out any gory details, I hate blood.’

Jesamiah: Winking at Peggy.  ‘Well I ain’t too keen on blood m’self. Not if it’s mine, anyway. Some of m’adventures eh? Well, I ran away from home before I was fifteen – Pa had died and let’s just say I didn’t get on with the ape who were me half-brother. I joined up with a friend of Pa’s, who happened to be a pirate, and I’ve been at sea ever since. I made a fortune salvaging gold from some sunken Spanish treasure ships, acquired some more from a cellar in Nassau’s fort…’

Peggy: Interrupting: ‘…Excuse me, as mentioned earlier, I’ve have read your biography and I believe, salvage and acquire’ read stole….!

Jesamiah: Waving a hand to dismiss Peggy’s interruption. ‘I helped find a lost spy on Hispaniola – and played a part in the Island’s population raising a rebellion against the Spanish Dons. Then I was instrumental in putting an end to that sea-slug Edward Teach – you’ll probably know him as Blackbeard.”

Peggy: ‘You know Jessamiah, I’m getting to like you, though you’ve a bigger imagination than your creator, Helen Hollick. I know for a fact, you have been mixed up with various thugs, including an annoyed Dutchman – the rightful owner of the Sea Witch, several women and rather a lot of rum. So now we’ve got that out in the open, What about treasure, do you ever find any?’

Jesamiah: ‘You’re a hard woman Peg, but I’m glad I’m making an impression on you and as I said, I find quite a bit laying around here and there – you know them Spanish are a funny lot. They pile all their gold, silver, precious gems, barrels of indigo and ambergris in a warehouse, then not notice when someone else walks in and transfers all of it to a ship,’ laughs. ‘Pirates don’t bury their treasure by the way, that was a false rumour started by old Ben Gun when ‘e told ‘is Treasure Island tale to that writer, Stevenson.’

Peggy: Laying her hands in her lap. ‘Let’s steer away from your pilfering and concentrate on your womanising. I’d like to know a little about the women in your life, because if I say so myself, you are very sexy looking pirate, no doubt I’m past my prime for you?’

Jesamiah: Chortling. ‘No woman with a smile as pretty as yourn, darlin’, will ever be past ‘er prime. But alas, m’wenchin’ days are over, though the widow Alicia Mereno don’t seem to realise it. Nor that red-haired Señora, Francesca nor…. aye, well, I’m a respectable married man now; m’wife is Tiola - you say it as Tee-o-la, short an’ sweet, like she is. Tiola is a midwife and a healer, she is very beautiful and is the love of m’life. Apart from m’ship.”

Peggy: ‘And does this Tee-o-la, pronounce your name the same way, Fib-ee-er? Not that is matters, I’ve got your measure, so we’ll move on to something more likely to be nearer the truth. Helen Hollick, I believe is the one you have set sail with on three occasions and from your log, you’ve had her write three books, Sea Witch, Pirate Code and Bring It Close, so what swashbuckling adventures have you got install for her in the future?’

Jesamiah:  ‘Oh you mean my biographer? Aye I set her a-scribblin’ away in the hold, keeping a log of the Sea Witch Voyages. I b’lieve she is writing Ripples In The Sand at the moment – m’adventures when I took a hold full of tobacco (legal, not stolen stuff) to Devon in England. It was m’first legitimate cargo as a merchant trader, but I managed to get mixed up with a band of smugglers who were also Jacobite Rebels. Got into a lot of trouble with that lot.’

Peggy: A secretive look on her face. ‘Now I’ve heard in whispers that your wife, Tiola, is not just a midwife and healer – she is also a White Witch. In Ripples In The Sand, she has to do battle with Tethys, the Goddess Spirit of the Sea – who wants Jesamiah for herself. Tiola has to look back in time to discover why Tethys wants him – and why she hates Tiola so much.’

Jesamiah: Jumping up. ’Strike a light, how in God’s name did you find that out? You’ve been sneaking out to talk to her in the hold penning Ripples In The Sand. Just wait ‘till I get back to my ship.’

Peggy: ‘Please do sit down, you’re far too tall to have me looking up at you and rest assured your secret is safe with me. But before you run off to deal with Ms Hollick , I don’t suppose you’d like a new crew member on your boat, sorry ship to accompany you, I could easily be a damsel in distress?’

Jesamiah: Dropping back down in his seat, shakes his head. ‘I think you’ll find it's knights in armour who rescue distressed damsels, not pirates – we’re usually the ones doin’ the distressin’. But I’ve always got room for a pretty wench ma’am! Can you cook? M’steward, Finch, is a curmudgeonly old basket who mixes dust and rats’ dropping in the ground coffee to make it last longer, and excels at burning stuff. It might be nice to ‘ave a good cook aboard, especially now you knows me secret.’

Details on Helen Hollick and her Sea Witch adventures:

Sea Witch: 9781906236601
Bring it Close: 9781906236625
Pirate Code: 9781906236632

Published by SilverWood Books –

Covers and trailers designed by Avalon Graphics



  1. Thank you for having the patience, Peggy, to keep smiling with my Jesamiah - he really is a rogue, and don't believe a word he says! Never trust a pirate - bless his smelly socks! #laugh

  2. Helen, my dear, you are right he is a rogue, but as I've never met a pirate before, it was very enlightening!

  3. What a fun interview, and my thanks to Jesamiah, Peggy, and Helen, all! I heard it from a Navy veteran that any vessel which can sail the sea is a ship. Lesser crafts are called boats.

    Jo Ann Butler

  4. That might be so in more modern times, Jo Ann, but in the days of sail it depended on the number of masts. And also on which sailor you speak to #laugh!

  5. Great interview, ladies! It's always nice to hear answers directly from a hero and you've got to love one as roguish as this!

  6. He gives me a hard time though Christina ... he will keep wandering off with a bottle of rum in his hand when I'm struggling with the next chapter of his biography - so well, I just have to make his adventures up! LOL