Recently, I had the pleasure of reading the hilarious historical/fantasy/mystery OverLondon by George Penney and Tony Johnson. You can read my review HERE. Today, George Penney stops by the blog to share a bit more about one of their main characters and the exciting world they’ve created. Please welcome George!
“Why Pirate is the Perfect Sexual Orientation”
by George Penney
I have no idea how other comedy fantasy authors go about setting up their worlds, and I really should get us all together for a good cup of tea and a chat but I’m guessing most of them didn’t start the process thinking about sex. Well, maybe some of them did. Actually, maybe a lot of them did. It is a very interesting topic after all.
Sex was definitely on our minds when we sat down to plan our OverLondon universe.
But wait, I’m not talking about the recreational pastime where people contort themselves into interesting shapes, although I hear it’s a great way to get your ten thousand steps in. What I’m referring to is sexuality, gender and sexual orientation. We are writing an adult series that’s safe for kids to read after all.
From the outset we decided that OverLondon would be a place where all sexes, sexual orientations and sexualities would be welcome. In short, in our world people can be whoever they want and do whatever they want, with whoever they want, as long as all parties are consenting adults and pay their taxes.
Our next challenge was choosing the hero who’d joyfully embody these values. We required the queerest kind of character we could find who was still, importantly, a whole lot of fun. But who would that character be?
The inspiration came one rainy afternoon while listening to an episode about Blackbeard featured on the “You’re Dead to Me” history podcast. Hearing that Edward Teach was most likely bisexual, in addition to being someone who stuck lit fuses in his beard got us thinking. A bisexual who loved beard pyrotechnics? That’s next level.
Then Tony suggested we watch The Pirates of Penzance, followed by Pirates of the Caribbean and the decision was made. Our hero, most definitely, had to be a pirate. And not just any pirate. A pansexual pirate because, a) I love alliteration and b) fictional pirates are—as a general rule—gloriously queer characters.
Think about your favourite fictional pirate. Fictional pirates strut, they prance, they dance. They’re prone to wearing flamboyant flowy shirts and incredibly tight trousers. They do whatever they want to do, whenever they want to do it because they’re a pirate!
And so, Captain Alex Reign, formerly The Dread Pirate Purple Reign, the most notorious pirate on the globe was invented.
In hindsight, she’s the only possible detective to navigate a city created by an enraged Queen Anne Boleyn. Alex struts the streets of OverLondon with a pirate stride, safe in the knowledge that while all manner of horrible things may happen to her if she breaks parish rules or crosses the wrong gang boss, no one in the city is going to have an issue with her for what and who she is… as long as she pays her taxes.
About the Book:
Priests from OverLondon’s Church of Vengeful Acquisition are exploding. Is the cause divine retribution, ballistic undergarments or something more sinister? If only the city had a professional private investigator…
Luckily, notorious pirate—turned privateer—Captain Alex Reign, has just narrowly escaped the hang man’s noose to establish the Reign Agency in Drury Lane. She needs cash fast and will take any job, even if failure means facing an inconveniently messy end. But what’s a little danger to a professional swashbuckler?
Armed with nothing but her roguish wit, her reliably unreliable crew and a rogue artificer experiencing a mortal crisis, Alex is convinced they’ll have this crime solved and the reward pocketed by teatime.
To solve their first case, all they must do is survive while navigating rampaging nuns, clockwork horrors, confectionary gangsters, piratical florists, malevolent urchins, military-grade statuary, weaponized blasphemy and sexual whales.
How hard can it possibly be?
Book title: OverLondon
Authors: George Penney & Tony Johnson
Publisher: Swashbuckler Press
Publication date: September 12, 2023
Series name: OverLondon (Book 1)
Genre: Comic fantasy whodunnit/Cosy fantasy
Purchase Link: https://books2read.com/OverLondon
About the Authors:
George Penney is a best-selling comedy fiction author (writing as Georgina Penney and Evie Snow), podcaster and cultural omnivore who’s lived in over 20 countries. She was once saved from being a bunny-slipper-wearing historian by an unexpected three-book publishing deal with Penguin Random House. She’s a driven workaholic who spends her time voraciously reading and researching for her next book—when she’s not actively trying to wind up her partner-in-crime and co-writer, Tony Johnson.
Tony Johnson considers writing to be the third most fun thing you can do sitting down, and has co-written
multiple best-selling comedic novels with his writing partner, George Penney. In a past life he worked as an engineer, hammering a creative shaped brain into an analytic shaped career. He loves astrophysics, particle physics, science fiction and fantasy, techno-utopianism, excessive complexity and 99.9% of cats.
Author Website: https://www.overlondon.net