Tell us about The Curse of Captain LaFoote.
EDDIE: When my boys were young, I'd tell pirate stores on the bow of our sailboat. The lead character was Captain Stinky Foot. Captain Stinky Foot was named after my youngest son. If you've ever spent any time on a boat in August with a crew of unwashed young males then this needs no further explanation. I've always been fascinated by the stories of boys snatched away from London and Bristol and forced to serve before the mast. Seems to me life at sea was more fun than peeling potatoes. And more dangerous.
So The Curse of Captain LaFoote is a pirate tale awash in buried treasure, romance and dead men's bones. The truth is, this book and the ones that follow in the Caribbean Chronicle series are love stories. For Ricky Bradshaw, the hero of the book, the story is a quest to find his father, soul mate, and purpose in life.
What is your lead’s wound?
EDDIE: A friend suggested that I let my lead have epilepsy. She said when she has an episode she sort of zones out—like daydreaming except she can’t stop it. She also said she knows when it’s about to happen. That she smells something like burning wires. So I gave Ricky epilepsy and finished the story.
It wasn’t until much later that I realized the book had a larger purpose. I met another woman at a writer’s conference whose son has epilepsy. During the conference, her son suffered a seizure — the first one he’d ever had without his mother present. The look on her face that morning convinced me that Ricky Bradshaw could be a champion for those suffering from epilepsy.
It’s not cancer or heart disease but over three million Americans live with epilepsy. If the sale of this book can raise awareness, then the book has done its job. For each book sold, the publisher and I will donate “a few pieces of eight” — half a sandy dollar — to the foundation’s Heroes Among Us program. Our goal is to raise ten thousand dollars in honor of Ricky Bradshaw.
What is the spiritual message in your book?
EDDIE: That courage cost. Near the end of the book Ricky has the chance to go back to his old life. We get to do the same thing, go back to our old way of doing things. But Christ says there is a cost for doing the right thing. Ricky faces that choice.
What takeaway value do you hope readers receive after reading this novel?
EDDIE: There are a lot of other deep and important themes explored in the book too. Things like what the poop deck is and why cruise ships no longer use them, the secrets inside Davy Jones' locker, and why you shouldn't walk downwind of a pirate who's just eaten turtle soup.
Seriously, my goal in writing this book was to spur the imagination of young readers. Boys especially. I wanted to create within them a desire to read and set sail for a life of adventure, wherever that journey may take them. Even now I can see Ricky standing on the sugar-white sands of that island just south of Hispaniola. I am that boy. And so are a lot of other boys.
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All you need for a PIRATE PARY!
• 8 invitations
• 8 - 9" party plates
• 8 - 9-oz. cups
• 16 luncheon napkins
• 16 pc. blue cutlery set
• 1 red plastic table cover
• 2 rolls of streamers, 1 blue and 1 red
• 12 each of blue and red balloons
• 2 pkgs. of confetti, 1 blue and 1 orange
• 4 yds. deluxe creepy cloth
• 12 pirate swords with eye patch
• 72 pirate tattoos
• 8 dessert plates
• 16 beverage napkins
• 8 treasure chest-shaped filled treat boxes
• 1 10 ft. pennant
• 12 child-size pirate hats
• 1 photo door banner
• 1 piñata and toy & candy asst.