|Captain Wade, or someone very similar...|
Today I'm hosting a Q&A with my friend and co-author, Martin Bolton. Martin talks about his character, Captain Wade, a notorious pirate captain who haunts, roves, plunders, steals, murders, burns, loots and generally makes a damned nuisance of himself on the high seas of The World Apparent: this is the fantasy world setting for our co-written novels, The Best Weapon and The Path of Sorrow. We're currently working on a third in the series, and there is scope for plenty more.
Take it away, Master Bolton...
1) What was your inspiration for the character of Captain Wade?
I wanted Wade to be eccentric and a slightly ludicrous. So my obvious inspiration was a Bond villain. There's a bit of Blofeld in there; instead of a cat, he's got a ridiculous mute midget assistant called Erlo. That's about as far as it goes, because, unlike you, I don't know much about Bond villains. The rest I just made up myself.
I started by dressing him as a bit of a dandy. Frills, oiled ringlets in his hair, fine jewellery and a long cigarette holder. He effectively talks to himself most of the time, but directs it at his assistant who of course never answers because he is unable to speak. His speech is flowery and somewhat poetic, even though he's usually talking about killing, burning and looting.
I like the idea of someone talking like a poet whilst being a sadistic, murdering lunatic.
2) What would you think of him if you knew him?
I would think he was mental and completely unpredictable. I wouldn't lend him a fiver or invite him round for film night but if he needed the money he could do the garden and I would just keep the door locked. If he invited me to a stag do I would pretend I was away that weekend.
I would consider his advice on the best curtains to go with my wallpaper though.
3) On the surface Wade appears to be a typically greedy, selfish pirate, interested in only the gold, the precious gold, and the yo-ho-hos. Is there any compassion there, deep down?
I don't think Wade is driven entirely by greed. He considers himself too artful to be seduced by such base desires. Wade does enjoy the finer things in life but it's the 'game' that really makes him tick. He is amused by the power and control he has over the world and the people around him. He sees life as a game of chess. A battle of wits. And he is a very cunning man, so he enjoys this game immensely.
This need for control stems from his having been born into poverty. He grew up having to scrape a living from the dirt and never knowing where his next meal would come from. This is a powerless predicament, always at the mercy of those with more wealth and influence. This obviously profoundly effected him. He vowed that he would be powerful and enjoy the trappings of wealth, and as you are not taught morals when you have no parents, he doesn't care that his wealth is stolen.
Beneath all this lies a child, buried under a lifetime of brutality. I would like to think he does have the capacity for compassion, it'll just take the right experience to awaken it in him. Time will tell whether that happens...
4) Do you think some people have a natural tendency towards good or evil, or is everyone a product of their environment?
I think people are shaped at a very early age, right from the day they are born. I've never seen an evil baby. I've never seen a good one either. Just hungry ones, cold ones, hot ones, shitty ones.
I grew up with some utter bell ends. But their parents were cock--eyed morons who taught them nothing of any use, so I can't really blame them.
5) Wade is a fairly eccentric character with a freakish band of companions. Do you plan to reveal more of his past at some point?
Yes I do. Wade's role in the World Apparent Tales isn't over. I'd like to explore who he is and why, and also give him some moral decisions to make and see how he copes.
6) Is Wade destined to remain a pirate all his life, or does he aspire to something greater?
Wade always aspires to something greater. In the The Path of Sorrow, he shows a few subtle signs that he is growing tired of his way of life. He thinks most of his crew are idiots, which is why he shows such fascination with Colken, who he finds a bit more complex.
I can't really say what will happen to Wade without giving a lot away, but there is more of his story to tell.
7) Besides co-writing fantasy fiction with me, you write short stories for a webzine called The 900 Club. What are your writing plans for the future?
The 900 Club will have been going for three years at the end of 2015 and it has been an extremely rewarding experience. Writing a new short story every single month is a challenge. It has given me more belief in myself as writer and I have learned a lot from my fellow 900 Club writers too. This will be my last year writing with them as I want to concentrate on doing some independent stuff. Hopefully can put what I've learned into practice.
At the moment, I am working on my share of the third World Apparent Tale (the follow up to The Path of Sorrow), which I am very excited about. After that I am thinking about putting together an anthology of fantasy short stories. Although, I am also considering writing a novel of my own. I expect I'll do both but I don't know which I'll do first.
8) Why is your writing partner (me, in other words) so attractive to the opposite sex? Is it my dusky charm, my heart-melting smile, my staggering intellect, or perhaps a composite of all these attractive elements plus a few extra?
My writing partner (you) is a malodorous hog of a man. The opposite sex are attracted to him in the same way people were attracted to public hangings in medieval times. They're drawn to him in the same way people were drawn to Joseph Merrick. They're just fascinated.
Dusky charm? Perhaps this is a misquote of the words “musky farm”. I don't know about heart-melting smile but I know he possesses eye-melting breath. And as for staggering intellect, well, I've seen him staggering so he's half way there.'
Thank you, Martin (I think). Below are links to The Best Weapon and The Path of Sorrow on Amazon: