Thursday, August 20, 2015

A Pirate's Time Served tour


Careful what you wish for...

Sarah Schilling’s twelve year-old brother is wicked smart. But this? Pure genius. Brian snagged an invitation to spend the summer with their favorite aunt and uncle on St. Croix. Uncle Jack tells them, “There will probably be some swimming, some diving. We like to run. There’s a range, so maybe you’ll learn to shoot. Cooking. Your Aunt Helen is a classically trained chef. You knew that, right? There’s the Mallard seaplane, so maybe you’ll learn something about flying. That sort of thing.” 
That sort of thing sounds like too much work for Sarah Schilling’s summer on the beach. Until Brian’s scuba regulator mysteriously fails sixty feet underwater. Her training snaps into laser focus. During Brian’s rescue they unearth the 250 year-old secret of Black Bart—the pirate and his ghost. The discovery launches them into a hurricane of peril at the hands of modern-day pirates. The Schilling family will not survive unless Brian and Sarah discover the most powerful weapon that is within themselves. 

A Pirate’s Time Served is a Young Adult / Middle Grade thriller of a ghost story. It shows how two teens can dig deeper than they thought possible, discovering what it means to lead, to follow, and to never ever give up—especially on family.
Blog #2: Using Humor
A Pirate’s Time Served By Chris Malburg
A little humor injected into the story serves a wonderful purpose and raises the
entertainment value if done right. I work in the action/adventure genre. My characters are
constantly on the run and facing unspeakable evil. Any humor used will slow that action
for a bit, giving readers a much needed break. So how to reconcile the two—fast-paced
action and slower humor. Here’s how I do it.
First, characters—Jackson Schilling, Helen Schilling, the two teens, Brian and Sarah and
Black Bart—are portrayed to be real people. Real people cannot run flat out without
taking a breather. Same thing with the story that is A Pirate’s Time Served. As I writer, I
want to give my readers that same breather every so often. I created an on-going joke
between Jack and Black Bart. It starts when Bart first steps on set and continues to the
very last page before it’s resolved.
A Pirate’s Time Served has a number of teaching moments. Some are technical like
navigation, the physics of diving. Others have to do with integrity and values. From their
very first day on the island, Brian and Sarah have the value of personal integrity and truth
drilled into them by Uncle Jack and Aunt Helen. These are serious. But there’s always
room for having some fun. Here’s one way I did it:
“Black yacht, heave to and prepare to be boarded. I have five more stinger missiles
ready to launch. Will you comply?”
Sarah says, “Uncle Jack you just lied to him. We don’t have five more stingers. We just
have one.”
We all look at Sarah. Jack says, “Does it matter that much, Hon? Five, one, so what?”
“Does your personal integrity matter?” asks Sarah. “You’re the one who told us from
the first day to always, no matter what, tell the truth.”
“Aye, Captain. Young Sarah makes a good point. I've had 250 years to consider me sins.
Drinking, thievin’, pirating. I told me share of lies too.”
Helen says, “It’s karma, Jack. Do you want personal integrity or do you want to correct
the count on those stingers? Just sayin’, sweetie.”
Jack keys the mic, “Black yacht, correction on that count of stingers. We have just one
more. But it’s aimed right up your butt and my people are awfully angry with you.”
“Aggressor seaplane, so now you have just one stinger missile? What happened to the
other four?”
Jack looks to Sarah. She smiles.
“Ah, black yacht we never had five missiles. Never was any good at math.”
“You lied, Aggressor seaplane. What does that say about your personal integrity?”
“Enough, black yacht. I lied. So what. Everyone lies sometimes. But that doesn’t change
Placement of the humor is another element. Again in A Pirate’s Time Served there’s a
scene where four Schillings face an angry band of modern day pirates. They are
outgunned and outmanned. Things aren’t going so well for Schilling & Co.—at least
readers don’t think so at the time. Then in the middle of all this:
“Just gets more and more interesting, doesn’t it Brian?”
Over the last two months I’ve come to understand Uncle Jack’s sense of humor. He
understates problems and risks. The worse things get, the more trivial he makes them
sound. That’s how he gets everybody to relax and just deal with what they’re doing.
With those few lines readers understand a few things: Schilling is in total control of the
situation and he’s having fun that he’s reluctant to stop. It’s a funny line delivered on
point and with precision timing.
The judicial use of humor gives everyone—characters as well as readers—a muchneeded
rest. It also adds to the richness of the tapestry I’ve created. I say judicial use
because in the action/adventure genre a little humor goes a long way. You can’t let it
diminish either your character’s credibility or your credibility as the author.
I work really hard at establishing credibility with my readers right from the beginning of
the story. I do this by incorporating as many real facts as possible, and then allow the
fictional aspects to revolve around them. Once I have the reader’s trust, I try never to lose
it by making a silly mistake—such as using too much humor or blowing the timing of it.
Enjoy the day,
Chris Malburg

Follow the entire TOUR HERE

Brought to you by Worldwind VBT

Chris's  Website / Twitter / Goodreads
Chris Malburg is a widely published author, with work spread over 11 popular business books--including How to Fire Your Boss (Berkley) and Surviving the Bond Bear Market (Wiley, March 2011).  In his other life, Chris is a CPA/MBA, a former investment banker and now the CEO of Writers Resource Group, Inc., providers of professional financial literary content to corporations (  That’s the professional side of Chris’ career.  The fun side began when UCLA’s Writers’ school taught him to transition from biz-speak to fiction. GOD’S BANKER and the first installment in the Enforcement Division series, DEADLY ACCELERATION, both combine Chris’ natural talent for story telling with his professional command of the high-stakes investment world and what money and power do to some people. 

GOD’S BANKER  came to fruition from Chris’ hospital bed while recuperating from an athletic injury.  As a long-time endurance athlete, Chris is no stranger to the surgeon’scalpal.  Over 130,000 words later, GOD’S BANKERwas complete.  “It just poured out me,” says the author.  “I carried my note pad to physical therapy; made plot notes during the hours in the gym doing rehab; even while on my long bicycle rides through the hills overlooking the Pacific Ocean where we live.  Slowly endurance returned and with it, GOD’S BANKER.”

Chris Malburg lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Marilyn.  Their hobby is raising service dogs for Guide Dogs for the Blind.  As of this writing, they have raised eight Labrador retrievers and have had three make the cut for placement with their disabled partners.

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