Sunday, February 26, 2012

Pirate Lovers, Come Join Us! Meet Marti Melville!

     Pirate lovers and readers, thank you so much for stopping in today. We have quite a story for you along with a wonderful author who loves her pirates and she’s as beautiful as her characters! Come with us as we walk along the beach and gaze out at the anchored frigate riding the gentle waves as the sails pop in the breeze. I do love the smell of the ocean!
     Louise and I are long time lovers of pirates so it’s a special treat for us to have Marti Melville stop in to visit with us. She can’t say long because her movie crew is at the far end of the beach waiting for her input on the next scene so let’s get right to her interview.

Reader’s Haven:  Marti, first, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us even if it’s for a short while. I love pirates and their stories, which are what attracted me to your website a few years ago. Congratulations on the success of book one in your Déjà vu trilogy and your readers are looking forward to the other two. I’m sure you’ll gain a few more readers before we even finish this interview. Book one is an amazing story for those who haven't read it yet. (Psst - readers, if you HAVE read, leave a comment for those who are considering the wonderful story) Marti, tell us a bit more about yourself .

Marti:  Louise and Deanna, thank you for having me here this week. It’s been an exciting journey! I have a background as a Registered Nurse specializing in Emergency and Trauma medicine.  I am the mother of five children, three sons (three soldiers, two of whom have served separate deployments twice) and two daughters attending university studies.  I am also the grandmother of six.
Reader’s Haven:  What made you want to become a writer?

Marti:  During my sons’ first deployment (one was in Afghanistan and the other in Iraq at the same time), I faced many sleepless nights.  Sitting outside during those deep nights, I would sit under the moon and research family history.  I happened across a pirate by the name of Phillips (a possible family last name) and read his story.  It was obvious this was juicy material – history is always much better than anything I could have created in my mind…so I decided to write it.

Reader’s Haven:  Hhhmmm...I need to check into my English background a bit more, too! Please share a bit about your new release Midnight Omen Déjà vu without giving away any spoilers.

Marti:  The Déjà vu series is a trilogy about Captain John Phillips who sailed aboard the ship, the Revenge over the Caribbean Sea (circa 1721-1724).  The events, locations and crew are factual.  The fictional Celtic healer, Kathryn is kidnapped and taken aboard the Revenge, hostage of the pirates.  She experiences adventure, suspense, mysticism and piracy – as well as forbidden romance sailing the crystal waters of the Caribbean.  Midnight Omen Déjà vu is the first novel in the series (released in 2010).  Silver Moon Déjà vu, the sequel is scheduled to be released this year.
My tremendous love for history propelled my launch into writing this book.  Initially, it was intended to be a simple story about a great-great-great (a few more greats) grandmother from Wales or England.  I wanted my grandchildren to read about my lineage and I wanted to make it fun! 
Because there is a little controversy over the last name of one of my ancestors who lived along the coast and worked on the docks, I decided to look up sailors by the last name of Phillips (a version of the controversial last name).  I found Captain John Phillips, a pirate captain of the great merchantman Revenge.  Reading the account of this blood-thirsty pirate's life made me think, "you just can't make this kind of stuff up". 
 I found my story!  Out came my laptop and the next 8 - 9 months were spent walking in the early evenings with my dogs, staring at the rising moon and creating the ideas that developed into the plot.  
Midnight Omen Deja vu is a rather mystical look at this pirate's life and what might have happened aboard the Revenge.  Most of the male characters are actual crew members who sailed with Captain Phillips (with the exception of Seth) and can be found easily on a Google search (the scant details of their brief history found matching their part in Midnight Omen Deja vu).  
Kathryn - of course, is fictional.  Her personna and beauty is a combination of both my daughters.  The other female characters are also fictional, with the exception of Wendy (who is truly a sister to me - you can see her in the Gallery section of this site).  The Celtic Godesses (Morrigan, Roane and Macha) are based on actual Celtic folklore.  With superstition steeped in the tales of the sea, how could they not be included int such a story. 
Captain John Phillips - we know he actually lived and plundered the Spanish Main between 1721 - 1724.  Whether he was tall, had dark wavy hair and clear green eyes the color of Spanish emeralds is something unknown.  His personna and likeness...well, that is someone I keep locked deep inside my heart.

Reader’s Haven:  Do you write under a pen name?

Marti:  I write under my given name, Marti Melville

Reader’s Haven:
 What types of hero or heroine do you like best?

Marti:  I have chosen a heroine who discovers her inner strengths and reinvents herself as a result.  It’s about overcoming obstacles and moving forward in faith.

Reader’s Haven:  Characters our readers can easily relate to! Tell us about a typical day in your life as a writer.

Marti:  Currently, I am writing the screenplay for the first book (Midnight Omen Déjà vu).  I collaborate with a very experienced screenwriter/director/producer out of Hollywood – as a result, I view my writing experience during this time as an education for creativity in a new venue.  I am still working on completing the third novel as well. Readers can check that out here:

Reader’s Haven: How exciting that has to be for you, again, congratulations on the deal! Do your books have a common theme or are they all different?

Marti:  Thank you! The trilogy is based on a common theme of reinventing oneself, having hope and looking for meaning in life – a very metaphysical and spiritual feeling overall which is also the goal for the film.

Reader’s Haven:  *Louise shades her eyes from the sun so she can watch the pirate actors at the other end of the beach* How long does it take you to write and then edit a story?

Marti:  Each book has averaged about a year to write, edit and have prepared in proper form for submission for publication.

Reader’s Haven:
 Do you have to be alone to write?

Marti:  I prefer to be alone at night with a full moon to write (something about the moon is mystical and a creative influence for me).  I have also spent time at Starbucks watching people as they interact for inspiration for characters – something I learned from a producer I have associated with in the past.

Reader’s Haven:
  *Deanna touches Marti's arm* I have to agree with you about writing during the full moon. Somehow the ideas flow better! How do you go about naming characters?

Marti:  The characters are factual so I use their actual names.  Kathryn is a name I have always loved and would have chosen for myself from the time I was a little girl.  Other fictional names just seemed to pop into my thoughts or were picked after painstaking research for 18th Century names (Welch, Celtic, Caribbean and nautical).

Reader’s Haven:  Is it easier to write about the characters if you find pictures of them before you write or do you write then find character pictures?

Marti:  There are no pictures of the characters in my stories – so I have created their images as I wrote.  However, Kathryn is a combination of both my daughters (one with heart-stopping blue eyes and the other with cascading dark wavy hair – a little feistiness from them both).

Reader’s Haven:
 How do you pick locations for your stories?
Marti:  The locations in the trilogy are factual, historical accounts of John Phillips’ travels. Thank you for having me but I really must run along; the crew awaits and more edits have to be done on the screenplay. Readers, I appreciate that you've stopped in to meet me and I hope you get a chance to read the book. Please visit my websites for more information and the book can be bought on my web store. Join in the contest below!

CONTEST:  Share this interview on your FB page and tag me in the interview. From those tags, I'll pick a winner to receive a goodie basket with a Gift Card, a copy of Midnight Omen Deja vu and a surprise. The winner will be picked on The Ides of March or March 15th to be exact.



  1. Welcome Marti! We're excited you're here this week. We've set up a tiki hut for those wonderful rum drinks we all love while we read our favorite pirate stories so please help yourself! Don't forget the little umbrellas and the tiny monkeys to hang on the side of your glass. Thank you all for stopping in. What's your favorite thing about reading pirate stories? Is it the bad-boy character? The high-sea adventures or being aboard the ship?

  2. Hi Marti, so good to meet you! Thank you for visiting with us this week. Ummm is Orlando Bloom here by chance? *grins* I have always loved pirate books and movies starting with Sinbad - telling my age here. LOL Congrats on the movie deal! Wow. I'm in awe of you. *pulls 2 bottles of Parrot Bay Key Lime Rum out of beach bag to place on bar* Where is the location of the movie being filmed? *Deanna laughs* I know I'm acting like a giddy fan here. ~Louise