Monday, March 10, 2008

Cindy Vallar Clas: Bringing Pirates to Life

Folks, I've taken this class and it's wonderful (any class of Cindy's is!). If you're thinking about writing a pirate novel, you don't want to miss this one. -- Lynda


Bringing Pirates to Life
Have you always been intrigued by pirates? Peter Blood in Captain
Blood, Long John Silver in Treasure Island, and Captain Jack Sparrow in
Pirates of the Caribbean all conjure up images of buried treasure, black
schooners, wooden legs, eye patches, vibrant parrots, walking the plank,
and swashbuckling swordsmen. Are these accurate portrayals of pirates?
Some are, some aren’t. This workshop will explore the differences
between the reality and mythology of piracy, and how writers can create
believable characters that fit within historical parameters. You will
look at why individuals became pirates, who’s who on a pirate ship, the
rules of governing pirates, and other aspects of maritime life.

Cindy Vallar, a retired librarian, began researching pirates in college
while working on The Rebel and the Spy, a historical novel about Jean
Laffite and the Battle of New Orleans. She is the Editor of Pirates and
Privateers, a monthly column on the history of maritime piracy. In
addition, she belongs to the Historical Novel Society, the Texas
Coalition of Authors, the Laffite Society, the National Maritime
Historical Society, and the Red River Branch of Clan Cameron. She is
the author of The Scottish Thistle, her debut historical novel about
Scotland’s Rising of 1745 and Odin’s Stone, a romantic short story of
how the Lord of the Isles settled the medieval feud between the
MacKinnons and MacLeans on the Isle of Skye.
For more information about the instructor, please visit:

This 4-week long online writing workshop is conducted using a private
listserve. It’s easy to participate; if you know how to send e-mail,
you’ve mastered all of the necessary technical skills. The class costs
$15 for RWA members, $20 for others and begins on Tuesday, April 1,
2008. The deadline to register is March 31st. To enroll in this class,
send a check or money order (in U.S. dollars) made payable to STAR
Writers Workshops to the STAR Workshop Coordinator, Jennifer Lorang, at
20 Mohawk Drive, Lisle, NY 13797 USA (include your name, e-mail
address, phone number, workshop choices, and RWA number, if applicable).
You may also register via Paypal by sending the payment to no later than March 31st. If using Paypal, please send
your information (name, e-mail address, phone number, workshop choices,
and RWA number, if applicable) to the coordinator at
You will be automatically enrolled in the class during the last week of
March. For more information about the Southern Tier Authors of Romance
(STAR), or to see the list of other upcoming 2008 workshops, please
Cindy Vallar
Associate Editor, Solander Magazine
HF Author, Piracy Historian, Freelance Editor, Book Reviewer, Workshop
E-mail: or
Web site: Thistles & Pirates,

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