I am pleased to announce that the manuscript of the historical novel Sic Parvis Magna, the start-of-series of the Adventures of Francis Drake just crossed 80k words.
Had nothing happened, the 8-year-old, ruddy-haired Francis might have followed 300 years of family tradition. He lived in Tavistock, a small village in southwest England. He might have become a tenant farmer, tending to the land and husbanding the animals, or would have followed his father’s footsteps, becoming a preacher, living out his life in quietude and never venturing outside of the village. And history would not have taken a second glance.
But as it pleased the Almighty, the events of 1548 thrust his life in a very different direction. Little did he know that in mere six years, he would be on his way to become one of the greatest mariners, a legendary English admiral, and a feared pirate ‘El Draque,’ the sworn enemy of the Spanish Crown.
Historical naval fiction novel Sic Parvis Magna is set in the period of Francis Drake’s youth. There are almost no official records, leaving me to speculate what his apprenticeship might have been like. Using some information about his early life, I sketch what his early experiences and assignments must have been like aboard his marine classroom, teaching him ship handling, trade and piracy. What was this ship like?
The historical fiction novel Sic Parvis Magna introduces us to a very young Francis Drake—long before his pirate raids in the Caribbean, his circumnavigation of the world, Cadiz, the Spanish Armada, and the fame (or perhaps infamy) that those actions brought him. This character sketch is part of the research for the book. While I base it on history, this is not a historical retelling. I attempt to imagine Drake’s early formative experiences to understand what he may think and do, as well as why. I then incorporated this research to carry forward the story, both in the novel Sic Parvis Magna and the rest of the naval historical fiction series Adventures of Francis Drake.
A historical fiction book allows the reader to experience what it could have been like “back then.” Vivid descriptions are one way to start this experience for the reader. Theme-appropriate artwork is another. Read about the artwork in the historical fiction short story Retribution.
This is the first scene from Retribution, a short story in the Adventures of Francis Drake series. Focused on a cutting out raid in a French harbor, young Francis Drake gets a first-rate education on attack tactics that will serve him for the rest of his maritime career.
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