Friday, October 18, 2013

My life as a pirate guru

With both NBC's forthcoming drama "Crossbones" and videogame publisher Ubisoft's soon-to-be-released Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag being set among the Golden Age Pirates, I've found myself in demand as a pirate expert of late, which has been a nice counter-point to investigative reporting, working on the next book, and writing about American political geography.

Before traveling to Italian castles and the decks of Spanish galleons to speak with the European press about the real world of the early 18th century pirates, a film crew from VICE Media came up here to Maine to talk to me about Charles Vane, Blackbeard, and Calico Jack Rackham. After traveling on to Nassau (with fellow pirate expert Mike Daniel) and Kingston, they've released the first part of their three part pirate documentary Rum, Guns & Gallows online. I'm the project's "pirate guru", which I plan to add to my business card.

Parts II and III will post soon. Have a look -- it's a fun introduction to AC4, and has even gotten some press in and of itself. [Update, 10/20/13: Here's Part II, on Blackbeard.] [Update, 10/25/13: And Part III on Calico Jack Rackham.]

Meanwhile, down in Puerto Rico, filming has reportedly gotten underway on "Crossbones." John Malkovich, who plays Blackbeard in the series, spoke briefly with reporters there. The series -- which airs this winter on NBC and is written by Neil Cross of BBC "Luther" fame -- is based on my book, The Republic of Pirates. (A UK edition of the book will be out in January from PanMacmillan.) I'm a consultant on this project too, but everything's hush-hush.

There are more interviews on the pirates in the pipeline, for the minority of you who haven't yet had enough. [Update, 10/25/13: Links to more from here.]

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