You remember that dorky sci-fi movie from the ’50’s “When Worlds Collide,” right? If you don’t, count yourself lucky. Earth was gonna get smashed by an asteroid, see, and so the scientists build these giant spaceships to fly away into space, see, and, well, you get the drift.
You’re a writer – you know how it is. You’ve got your work out there, doing its reader-generating thing, and you’re looking at your pile of ideas, wondering what’s going to call you next.
Same thing here.
Except, well, the ideas and facts work in funny ways, don’t they? Check this out.
My next book, please don’t tell anybody, is all about Blackbeard the pirate. Very in-depth, but fun, too, because, well, hey, it’s what I do. I’m still knuckle-deep in research, but I ran over a really cool, really helpful set of truths.
Was you a pirate in the early 1700’s, you were a rough-and-tumble sort of chap. Climbing rigging, whacking people with cutlasses, yelling “arrrgh”, that wasn’t for oldsters.
So, Captain Charles Johnson, in his book A General History of Pirates, which he penned in 1724, may have made a goof when he wrote that Blackbeard was born in 1680. Kevin Duffus, in his recent book The Last Days of Blackbeard, reasoned that such a birth year would have made the pirate 38 years old at the height of his career – quite old for an active in those days.
More likely, Duffus writes, that he was born in 1690.
Record skidding noise…
Wait. My character Phineas Caswell, from my novel Marigold’s End, was born in 1694. Er-ma-gersh, I can see the next novel to follow this Blackbeard piece: how cool would it be to get Phineas aboard young Blackbeard’s ship, before he turned pirate? Phineas is twelve, Blackbeard is 16, both are fresh to the sea… this will be great!
So, chasing one idea leads to another. One novel collides with another… when worlds collide!
Nah. It doesn’t work for me, either.