Tales From The Pirate’s Cove is the latest anthology from Inklings Press – and it’s all about pirates. Now you might think that’s all the Jolly Roger flying, people walking the plank, treasure maps and all of that – and there certainly is some of that, but we threw the gates wide open for submissions. As long as it could be understood to be about pirates in some fashion, we considered it. That brought us such a… forgive me for saying it… treasure trove of stories. There’s space pirates, time pirates, cosmic horror pirates and more. There really are some great stories in there – it’s an absolute pleasure to be alongside them. It’s out now, on Amazon.
The beginning of ‘To The End of the World’ by Leo McBride
A tale of cosmic horror and pirates on an island that should not be…
She ran, and I followed.
Up the path she went, laughing as she skipped ahead of me, while I struggled behind with my pack and my sword. On she went as I faltered, around the bend and out of sight. Still, I gave chase, following the sound of her laughter.
She was waiting for me at the top of the hill, standing in a small cemetery with a view out across the sunset ocean. I gasped, partly from the climb, partly from the beauty before me.
“It’s wasted on the dead, isn’t it, Ben?” she said, folding her arms as she watched me approaching.
I shrugged. “Everything is wasted on the dead, Kate.”
I tossed my pack to the side by the entrance to the cemetery as I entered. High above somewhere, a raven cawed.
“I thought you were never going to catch up,” she said, a smile on her lips and fire in her eyes as I approached.
“You always did run further and faster than me,” I growled.
She laughed. “That or you’re just getting out of shape. Too much rum, Ben?”
“Is there such a thing as too much rum?” I asked as I reached her and scooped her into my arms. We kissed roughly there in the sunset.
She broke the kiss, her fingers pulling at the ties on my shirt. “Still, you followed me, Ben.”
“I always will,” I said.
“Always?” she asked as she pulled off the shirt.
“Always.” I kissed her again, my fingers in the dark curls of her hair.
“Until the end of the world?”
I smiled at her, at the wild look in her eyes. She broke away, peeling off her own shirt. Her skin glowed in the evening sun.
“Aye,” I said, “until the end of the world.”
And she pulled me down, down beside the dead, down into her embrace, sealing a deal I didn’t know I was making.
A Bite of… Leo McBride
Q1: Facing your demons? How much of what you write could be classed as therapy?
You know, there’s probably a chunk of truth in this. I’ve always used writing and fiction as escapism. As a kid, it was roleplaying games that got me away from a world that wasn’t always that nice to be in. I’d still be playing those if there was a local group! Writing was part of that too, an outgrowth of writing for scenarios for friends. These days it’s probably less about therapy really but certainly it is an outlet for that escapism and creativity all at once. Plus it’s darn fun.
Q2: Is it important to include all shades of belief and sexual orientation in a book?
I’m going to fudge a little on this question by saying yes and, um, maybe? Look, the world has all shades of belief and sexual orientation so if you want your book to be representative of the world, then yes, you want to include it. But if you’re going to do it, make sure you do it right. I’d say worse than exclusion is inclusion but getting the details wrong, that’s misrepresenting those communities. As for the maybe, well, sometimes a book isn’t about the world as it is, and there might be very specific reasons not to include certain aspects of that world in the story. Always worth asking the question, though – why are you picking certain beliefs, orientations, nationalities, cultures and so on and not others, what is it that shapes those choices? It can make a big difference – look for example at the kinds of cultures in Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea series that consciously moved things away from the very white European kind of fantasy of its day. As ever, it’s all about what choices the author feels suits their book, but asking yourself why you’re making those choices can challenge you to make the book better.
Q3. Would you rather live in this world or the one you create in your books?
Well… I kill everyone in my books so survival chances are better in this one! Plus there’s more rum and beaches nearby here.
Leo McBride is a writer of speculative fiction – spanning the fields of horror, science fiction and fantasy. A journalist for more than 20 years, he is based in The Bahamas where he is an editor for the country’s leading newspaper.
He has published several ebooks – although Quartet is the first of his own writing. He has also been published in other anthologies from Inklings Press.
You can find out more about his work on his blog, and follow him on Twitter and Facebook.