In Which Author Heidi Schulz Interviews the Characters of Hook’s Revenge
Heidi Schulz’s swashbuckling adventure story Hook’s Revenge is sharp as a cutlass and funny as a puffy pirate shirt. It follows the unladylike adventures of one Jocelyn Hook, the daughter of the most infamous captain to ever roam the salty deeps, after her father’s untimely death leaves her in possession of his coat, his right-hand man, and a revenge mission against the crocodile that killed him. Recently Schulz risked life, limb, and dignity to interview the intrepid Jocelyn, commander of the Hook’s Revenge, alongside her book’s crotchety and elusive narrator. She survived, apparently. Here’s what she learned:
It’s not often a writer gets the chance to interview her own characters, so as I sat on a dockside bench, waiting for my unnamed pirate narrator and Jocelyn Hook to arrive, I was more than a little nervous. What if Jocelyn didn’t think I did her story justice? What if the narrator decided to polish his cutlass with my liver?
I pushed those thoughts away and tried to compose myself. Before I had half succeeded, the Hook’s Revenge, Jocelyn’s aptly named (if I do say so myself) double-masted sloop, was mooring at the dock’s end.
The pair join me at a nearby fish-fry and grog spot and we begin the interview.
Me: I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to meet you both in person. Narrator, you are taller than I pictured. Do you get that a lot?
The narrator doesn’t respond. He simply glares over the rim of his tankard.
Jocelyn, at the beginning of the book, you are forced into attending finishing school. Can you tell us what those days were like?
Jocelyn: They were terrible! Miss Eliza, the headmistress, made me wash—even the parts no one can see—and put on clean clothes every single day. And I had to learn things like French and dancing and manners. I wanted to be a pirate! How was knowing which fork to use at dinner going to help me?
Though, I must admit, correct fork usage did come in handy later, when I met those cannibals…
Oh, yes. But let’s be careful of spoilers.
Jocelyn scowls and mutters something that sounds like, You are a spoiler. A fun spoiler.
After your father’s death at the jaws of the Neverland crocodile, you are asked to avenge him. How was your long dreamed for pirate adventure different than you expected?
J: Firstly, I suppose, is the fact that I had hoped to have the adventure with my father, not because he had died. I’d also hoped my best friend, Roger, would be at my side, but Miss Eliza made certain that wouldn’t happen. Everything was more difficult than I expected. My crew…
She and the narrator exchange a look.
J: Don’t misunderstand. I love my crew. But they aren’t as experienced as I hoped—
Narrator: They are a disgrace to piracy.
Jocelyn turns her scowl on him for a moment, but it quickly dissolves into laughter.
J: I know. But they do try hard. Besides my, er…unusual crew, I had to deal with cruel mermaids, a lovesick fairy, that frightful crocodile, and everything that did happen with Roger… Things were quite different than I expected, but I guess that’s the way it always goes, isn’t it?
Narrator, you are known for your intense dislike of both children and cats. Which is worse?
N: Most definitely children. Cats are at least versatile.
N: Certainly. There is more than one way to skin a cat.
He pulls his sword from his scabbard and runs a thumb along its edge.
And yet, you don’t seem to have as great a disdain for Jocelyn. Why is that?
N: Ah, well, the girl is rather extraordinary now, isn’t she?
She certainly is. Thank you both for meeting me here. I hope you feel I did well by you, and that you don’t much mind the terrible things I’m cooking up for you in the sequel.
Before they can respond—with either words or swords—I push back from the table and sprint away, ensconcing them firmly back in my mind where they are slightly less dangerous, but still a whole lot of fun.
Preorder Heidi Schulz’s Hook’s Revenge, out 9/16!