Guest post by Charles Frankhauser
I wanted to write a story based on actual locations related to the pirates that raided the treasure ships of Spain that transported gold from mines in South America to the treasury of King Phillip II during the late 16th century. My home in Florida was a short boat ride northward to my fishing grounds next to a US Park Service property named Fort Matanzas. The small blockhouse fort was constructed to block English and pirate attacks on Saint Augustine from traveling on the Matanzas River route northward into St. Augustine. Spanish soldiers from the new city northward viewed the assignment to the fort as harsh, undesirable duty.
I wanted my story to entertain a general readership over a wide span of ages by including descriptions of actual locales I had experienced during my service on sea duty in the US Navy. I have always been interested in the construction of forts. I traveled along the Intracoastal Waterway in a small trawler to visit locales in my novella. Forts at St. Augustine and at the harbor entrance of Puerto Rico are included in the storyline. I learned of the harsh living conditions of seamen during the sailing-ship era from reading history. Food storage and cooking were particular areas of interest.
I wanted to include historical sailing-ship battle tactics used in the British Navy, Spanish Navy, and French Navy during the late 16th century. I remembered material from lectures in naval history when I was a midshipman at the US Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland. The positioning of ships before and during battles was dependent on the direction of the wind. Pirates were well aware of these tactics and sword fights needed to be portrayed in a manner that would not upset a timid reader and would delight readers of all ages with some of the comic antics of our hero, Captain Alberto Dicer of the once-sinking pirate ship El Dreadful. I wanted to paint a picture in a reader’s mind as if watching a Saturday afternoon Hollywood movie serial before the main picture credits rolled. Entertain, delight, sympathize with, marvel at inventiveness, a clean romance consisting of one kiss in a Spanish nobleman’s Madrid garden molding a poor peasant’s life from poverty to ill-gained wealth and then what happens as that life is presented in Alberto’s own words.
Then my final hurdle in constructing a surprise ending came to me out of the blue, so to speak. I wanted an ending that would convey clean safe mirthful enjoyment at different levels of entertainment dependent on the lifetime experiences of each reader. I wanted a surprise ending that relates to that one romantic kiss at the beginning of the story. I wanted to highlight a lesson in life that was as applicable to Alberto and a girl in the garden named Bonita in the year 1554 as it would be if the ending happened today in 2019.
Here’s a peek at Charles’s novella.
Flamboyant Captain Alberto Dicer was a garlic picker in Madrid, a girl’s playmate in a garden, a thief of a silver spoon, a soldier of Spain, a cook on a galleon, a pirate aboard El Dreadful, and a prisoner at St. Augustine, Florida during the reign of King Phillip II of Spain.
Alberto learns how to fire a cannon, cook Spanish rice, duel, sail, and plunder galleons of the King’s Treasure Fleet.
Book Buy Link: Amazon
About the author
Charles Frankhauser is a US Naval Academy graduate with an interest in naval warfare tactics used during the era of the Spanish Treasure Fleet. Some of the locales in his books are based on visits to historical sites.
Charles has published 11 works on Amazon.