As a big fan of C.S. Boyack’s quirky, unique books, it is with great pleasure that I bring to you today news of the launch of H.M.S. Lanternfish. All aboard me hearties, Captain Bloodwater and crew are off on another adventure!
Thanks for inviting me over to talk about my newest book. This is the second book in a planned trilogy, and it’s called HMS Lanternfish. The first book is The Voyage of the Lanternfish. While I also write a series that can be read in any order, this series probably needs to be read in the proper order.
My topic today is about writing beyond the reader’s vision. My own name for this is the Hufflepuff Syndrome. What I’m talking about is letting your readers know there is a bigger world than what your specific story encompasses. There could be all kinds of adventures tied to other wizarding houses, for example.
Part of the charm of Lanternfish is exploring the fantasy world it’s set in. (So far. In the finale, they are going to have to get down to business with the big problem.) Lanternfish is a pirate ship that sails all over the world. This world is populated by strange people and creatures, and there isn’t room to tell all of their stories.
What I did was glance off of some bits to let the reader know this is a complex and large environment. It allows room for a bit of daydreaming on the part of the reader. For example, in the first book they discuss a neighboring country called Saphelon, but never went there. They get to visit Saphelon in the new story, but only some of the main characters get to roam around there.
We also discuss someplace called Nuevo Sur. Lanternfish takes a prize on the high seas in the form of a treasure ship. It seems another country is looting Nuevo Sur and sending everything back to king and country, not unlike what happened in the days of European conquest. It allows room for imagination. What’s going on there? What stories might be told about this situation?
Aboard this ship are a small group of slaves called the Boondish people. Lanternfish liberated them, then had to find something to do with them. Taking them back to their island was not an option, because the crew was pressed for time. The Boondish blended in to the crew and took on various duties.
Part of my research involved something called infant cranial deformation. Head flattening in simpler terms. I wanted something different for the Boondish people, but not beyond the realm of possibility. It turns out that cranial deformation was done all over our world at one time. There were many different reasons, but most of them appear to be esthetic. The local culture found it attractive, then peer pressure kicked in and you didn’t want the only child without a deformed skull, etc. It turns out this practice was still going on in parts of France into the 20th century.
Only one of the Boondish winds up doing anything of significance as far as tasks and dialog. There may be more in the final book, because they’re learning how to shoot firearms. Their whole purpose was to expand my fantasy world. To let people know there is more out there than what you can see from the crows nest.
I hope this little glimpse behind the curtain of world building piques your interest in the series. I tried to make every stop have its own culture and style. While this is a fantasy world, I plucked freely from things in ours. There is a pretty good adventure story involved and it’s a pirate tale.
I’ll leave you with a cover and blurb, along with some purchase links and social media contacts.
The Lanternfish crew completed their original mission, but got exposed to a more global problem. An entire continent is at war, headed up by a head-strong young king with dreams of power, and pushed from behind by a mysterious religious order known as the Fulminites.
Rather than let their country fall under the iron boot of conquest, James and his crew set sail once more to see what kind of muscle Lanternfish can lend to the war effort. Acting precariously under an unofficial charter as a privateer, even his allies aren’t always his friends.
HMS Lanternfish explores new worlds on its way to war, and drifts considerably off course. It features an international crew of characters, and for fans of the first book, the root monsters are back, too. Tall ships, a few con games, martial arts, and everything you loved about the original book is all returning.
Hoist the colors and wheel out the guns. Lanternfish is taking to the high seas once more.