By Jack Brightside
For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved historical romance novels.
My friend in high school was my hookup, and we traded them like illicit material. Her grandma had nothing to live for and spent her whole check at the Goodwill, buying secondhand copies. I read everything, and I mean everything. I read copies so beat up that the covers had fallen off.
There was no genre that I would turn down. I went through southern belles, pirates, regencies, modern setting, scifi romance, CIA stuff, medieval, you name it. Trash bags full. Once, my boyfriend’s mom caught me with a copy of some steamy paperback trash full of heaving bosoms and shit like that. She was like, “Oh it's cool, I got a stash in the garage.”
When I was young, most of the male/male romance on the market was Japanese yaoi. It is a genre near to my heart, but I wish every day it was less problematic.
When I wrote Pirate Booty, I wanted to keep some of the genre elements of historical romance, including forbidden desire, sultry pirate captains, and swashbuckling action. I also liked some of the yaoi conventions, like the enemies to lovers dynamic and the silliness. One of my favorite yaoi conventions is how the love interests end up in ridiculous situations.
I think a lot of the fanfiction tropes also come from yaoi. For example, the 'sharing a bed' or 'huddling for warmth.' In my opinion, the more ridiculous, the better. I took what I liked and incorporated it into my story. I knew from the beginning I wanted my book to have a happy ending!
Pirate Booty has action and adventure, but at the end of the day, it's really about Captain Louis' search for love…