Williamsburg author's new book features famous pirate

Natalie Joseph
Contact Reporternjoseph@dailypress.com

It's still a few days away, but Williamsburg author Barbara McLennan already has her eye patch and pirate costume ready to go.

She'll be dressed in a muscat hat, pirate tunic, belt and sash with a skull on it. The goal is to emulate the subject of her new book: Blackbeard.

McLennan is set to present an interactive lecture 1 p.m. Saturday at St. John's Church Parish Hall (100 West Queens Way in Hampton.) The presentation is in conjunction with Hampton's annual Blackbeard Pirate Festival. Her presentation will show photos of the ships, people and homes Blackbeard encountered during his life.

"I want to do it this so people have a sense that people did dress differently and they had a different attitude towards meeting other people," McLennan said. "My presentation is designed to tell them what we know about Blackbeard versus what we don't really know."

Her new novel "The Wealth of A Nation: Blackbeard's Legacy" is the final novel in a trilogy of historical fiction about Virginia's early settlers.

The author five books, McLennan is a docent at Jamestown Settlement. McLennan is known for her historical and colonial period novels, which include the trilogy's "The Wealth of Jamestown" and "The Wealth of Virginia."

"The Wealth of A Nation: Blackbeard's Legacy" also focuses on a character that grew up throughout the series. It follows the point of view of 18-year-old Benjamin Harrison IV and his relationship with Blackbeard.

According to McLennan, the novel took two years to complete. She said she spent a year and a half researching and six months writing. The novel has a strong emphasis on the truth behind Blackbeard, McLennon explained. Because Blackbeard is mostly considered mythological, she admit that researching and writing was a difficult task.

"Very few people really know that much about him," McLennan continued. "It's really been corrupted by Hollywood and Disney. He didn't look anything like Johnny Depp but I can see why it's entertaining."

McLennan hopes the book showcases who Blackbeard was and his influence on America.

The book will be released Aug. 21. McLennan says she plans to read a few sections during Saturday's lecture and some copies will be available for purchase at the Hampton History Museum gift shop.

Writers conference offers early deal

Register before June 9 to save $40 to the ninth annual Hampton Roads Writers Conference Sept. 14-16 in Virginia Beach. Members of Hampton Roads Writers Conference are $195.70, non-members are $231.75 and full time students are $154.50. Other discounts on single-day tickets and workshops are available. Info: hamptonroadswriters.org or hrwriters@cox.net.

New releases

"COMPLICITY" by Jane R. Flagello

Two entrepreneurs seeking power and money leads to murder and reporters try to find out who is responsible. Available now on Amazon, iTunes and for Nook. Price: $12.99. More info: janeflagello.com.

"Exploring Colonial Williamsburg from A to Z" by Chris Kinsley

A kids guide to exploring Colonial Williamsburg following the alphabet. Pages include information, photographs and hidden animals. Publishes June 5 from Arcadia Publishing. Price: $19.99. More info: arcadiapublishing.com.

"Joint Base Langley-Eustis" by Mark A. Chambers

Images of Joint Base Langley-Eustis' history. Chambers is a contract senior technical at NASA's Langley Research Center. Publishes June 5 from Arcadia Publishing. Price: $22.99. More info: arcadiapublishing.com.

Joseph can be reached by phone at 757-374-3134.

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