Unanchored by Stephanie Eding
Publisher: Anaiah Press
Genre: Young Adult
Release Date: April 17, 2018
Cecily Hastings fails to escape her captor when he gambles her away in a game of dice. Now, instead of getting her first taste of freedom, she’s rotting in a cell on the Hellbound, a pirate ship under the command of Captain Finnigan Worley. Cecily, however, has no plans of sticking around with a captain known for his heartless deeds.
As soon as they make port, Cecily attempts to alert the Royal Navy. While trying to get away, she stumbles upon Captain Worley liberating people from a life of abuse and servitude, which makes her question everything she thought she knew about the infamous buccaneer.
Soon she’s recaptured and taken back to the ship, and Cecily vows to figure out the captain’s humanitarian angle. The more she learns, the more she believes in his benevolent mission. With the Royal Navy closing in, she must decide if she’s willing to fight beside Captain Worley or turn him over to the gallows for a chance at her own freedom.
Stephanie, thank you for stopping by my blog today to answer a few questions for my readers about your new book, Unanchored.
- Is this your first book?
Nope! Actually, when I first took the plunge toward becoming a writer, I started with a YA fantasy. It was about a group of teenagers who fought nightmares in the dream world. Not knowing a whole lot about the publishing process, I just jumped in headfirst and wrote the first two books in the series. It did not query well… At the time, it was my only idea, so I put a lot of weight on it succeeding. When it didn’t, I was pretty sure my writing career was doomed. Luckily, my childhood love for pirates and need for a high seas adventure took over my brain!
- What was your inspiration for the story, Unanchored?
This is a tough one to pinpoint. I feel like so many different ideas came together to create this story that it’s hard to narrow down my inspirations. For one, I am obsessed with antiheroes. They just always have the best banter (which is my most favorite thing)! I was watching ABC’s “Once Upon A Time” and really loved what they did with Captain Hook. I wanted to see if I could balance the image of a notoriously bad villain with a seemingly good heart. I didn’t do much developing of the idea until I laid in bed one night and got a very clear image of a girl passing a biscuit through cell bars to a prisoner on a pirate ship—someone she previously hated. That image made it from the first draft to the final copy of my book, so it must have been good enough inspiration!
- Who is your favorite character in the story, and who was the most difficult to write?
I think Captain Finnigan Worley (Finn) is my favorite. He’s always got a comeback for everything. He’s both cocky when it suits him and desperately empathetic. He has a really tough job with a very intimidating image to maintain, but behind closed doors, he’s just a regular guy who sometimes has food stuck in his teeth and would love nothing more than to get a cat for his ship.
Cecily, my heroine, has proved the most difficult to write, only because there have been so many different versions of her throughout the editing process. She has to react to an incredibly unusual situation in a natural way—but what’s really natural when you’ve been taken by some super-weird pirates?
- Did you have to do any research for this book?
Yeppers! But honestly, that was one of my favorite phases! I got a few pirate books to look at culture, watched some shows/movies/documentaries, and even watched tutorials on sailing ships. The history of the Golden Age of Piracy is so fascinating! While there’s not a whole lot of historical figures/situations in Unanchored, there will be in the next book. My husband and I keep saying we want to take a pilgrimage to all the places my crew has traveled—up the coasts of Ireland and Wales—and down to the gorgeous Caribbean. I can’t imagine anything better!
- What do you hope your readers will take away from your story?
Honestly, I just want them to have fun. Life is so serious, and I love books that take me away on an adventure, introduce me to new friends, and give me hope in dark moments. That’s what I want Unanchored to do for my readers.
- Which do you find easier during the editing process, being the editor or being the author?
So far, I’ve found this to vary depending on the book. With my pirates, I thought editing was a lot of fun! I could not stop tweaking scenes, adding things here or there, or diving into the nitty gritty of sentence structure. However, I recently finished writing a women’s fiction. The last 2/3 of that story just flew right out of my fingertips! Now that I’m finished, I just stare at the document with no clue as to how to even edit it. Which is bad. Because my career is in editing. J
- Sometimes in writing, the scenes don’t go where you expected them to go, and your characters don’t act the way you intended them to act. Did you experience anything like this in the writing of Unanchored?
Oooooh, yes. Honestly, those are my favorite things about writing! I love it when a character’s personality is stronger than my idea for them. When they throw me an unexpected scene, it just fuels me to play around with it and let them drive the story. Those always seem to be the strongest scenes too! One of my favorite “unexpected things” about Unanchored is my dear cabin boy Nikolaus. I never planned for the kid to even be a part of the story, and he just showed up and became one of the three main characters! I even have ideas brewing to give him a spinoff one day!
- What is your next project?
Next, I’m going to work on a sequel and take these miscreants down to the Caribbean to stir up some trouble with a few notorious scallywags.
I am also working on a women’s fiction. It’s about a 30-year-old woman named Josie whose emotionally abusive husband sends her packing after finding out she’s pregnant. Living with her parents, unemployed, and spending her last few dollars on an intense craving—a corn dog from the county fair, Josie runs into two friends from high school she’s lost touch with. As they chat, they discover that none of their lives panned out quite the way they had expected them to. They’d always heard that their thirties were supposed to be the best days of their lives, but they’re just not having it. The trio moves in together with one goal in mind: fix their messy lives before they turn 31. It’s a story of friendship, fresh starts, and a deep love affair with fried food.
Stephanie Eding lives in Ohio with her husband Matt and child comedians Ross and Lizzie. She spends her days drinking coffee, working as an editor, and snuggling her three wild-eyed cats. Stephanie always wanted to be a pirate, but settled for writing about them to keep out of prison.
You can find Stephanie at:
Stephanie, what fun answers! I’m looking forward to reading about the adventures of Captain Finn and Cecily.