Pen Friends~ Welcome Nicole Castroman as she talks about her debut novel Blackhearts, her hauntingly beautiful take on Blackbeard’s origins.
SP: Can you tell us a bit of who you are and when you started writing?
Let’s see, a little bit about myself. Well, I am a twin. We are still very close and wish we could live closer to each other. I love learning about different people, languages and cultures and I speak fluent German. I know enough Spanish to get myself into trouble and can still read the Cyrillic alphabet from when I studied Russian.
I should have started writing a long time ago. I always enjoyed it and my mom always encouraged to me write, but I didn’t get serious about it until 8 years ago.
SP: So, Blackbeard. When and how did you come across Edward Teach and suddenly want to write his story?
I had just parted ways with my first literary agent in August of 2012. My husband decided we should take a family trip to Charleston, SC to cheer me up. 🙂 I love history, so I looked up what we should do and see in Charleston and found out that Blackbeard actually held the entire city of Charleston hostage. I did more research on Blackbeard and found out that only the last two years of his life are known. Voila. The idea for BLACKHEARTS was born.
SP: What was your favorite part of Blackhearts to write? The hardest part?
My favorite parts writing BLACKHEARTS were definitely the scenes between Anne and Teach. When I saw Blackbeard’s flag, I knew I wanted a girl to be one of the main reasons he became a pirate. (Google the flag and see if that doesn’t scream forbidden romance at you.)
SP: How long did it take you to write Blackhearts?
I started writing BLACKHEARTS in August of 2012 and started querying it in November 2012.
SP: You are now working on the sequel, Blacksouls. Did you have Blacksouls in mind when you started Blackhearts? Is it easier to write the sequel?
As soon as BLACKHEARTS sold, I knew I wanted to write more of Anne and Teach’s story. I don’t believe Edward Teach became a pirate overnight. It was a definite evolution into that role and that is what I hope to capture.
SP: How did you find your agent, Tracey Adams?
I signed with Adams Literary in January, 2013. BLACKHEARTS was the story that caught their attention. 🙂
SP: What would you ask Blackbeard if he were around today? I would want to know how he truly became a pirate. And what was behind his flag.
SP: If you could give only one piece of writing advice to an aspiring novelist, what would it be?
Never. Give. Up.
SP: Where can we learn more about you and your book?
I’m also on Twitter and Instagram: @nicolecastroman
SP: Thanks Nicole! Best of Luck with Blackhearts and Blacksouls!
Thanks so much for having me! Nicole
Nova, signing off.