Kara LaReau

Five Things About The Jolly Regina: The Crew

Art from The Jolly Regina, by the brilliant Jen Hill.

As I mentioned earlier this week, I thought I might take the next few days to give you a little behind-the-scenes of the process of writing my upcoming (and very first!) novel, The Jolly Regina, the first in a middle-grade trilogy called The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters. Today’s entry concerns the lady pirates who make up the crew of the titular ship, The Jolly Regina.

I’m a huge fan of comedic actresses, so when I began writing about these lady pirates, I had particular funny ladies in my head, delivering the lines: Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Kate McKinnon, Ellie Kemper,  Leslie Jones, Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Julie Louis-Dreyfuss, and Melissa McCarthy. (Take note, Hollywood!) Having particular real people in mind with zany comedic sensibilities really helped me to shape the humor of the story — of course, I didn’t include anything that didn’t make me laugh out loud. I hope it makes you laugh, too.

Fun facts:

  1. When the crew of The Jolly Regina encounters the crew of the Testostero, I named one of the male pirates Barry, as a shout-out to my agent.
  2. I included an evil monkey (aptly named Scurvy) as an homage to a failed picture book series I wrote a while back about sock monkeys, which I mentioned in my post on Tuesday. As Jaundice says (and Kale agrees) in Chapter 9, “Monkeys are the worst.”
  3. The ivory mermaid pipe used by Smoky is based on a real pipe, owned by my father. The mermaid on his pipe was naked and fairly obscene, and I never saw him smoke it; he kept it in his desk, for some reason.
  4. Captain Ann Tennille’s ship, The Booty Myth, is a reference to Naomi Wolf’s feminist classic, The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women.
  5. Captain Ann’s name is a play on this beloved 70s duo. (If you’re still taking notes, Hollywood, I hope you include that song on the movie soundtrack.)
  6. Princess Kwee-Kweg is based on Queequeg, the similarly-tattooed character in Moby Dick by Herman Melville. More on other literary (and cultural) references in a few days…

IN TOMORROW’S POST: All about sea chanteys (and not-very-nice pirates)!