Made some drastic changes to the manuscript of Portland Pirates early yesterday morning and sent to Roving Press. I have changed the names of 3 main characters. The Pirates has quite a number of characters, including a pirate crew, Cap'n Red Pete, a cabin boy, not to mention a smuggler and the usual array of present day characters; Isabel, her naughty sister Suzie and Gregor the badly behaved dog from Groves Farm.
I am often asked if my characters are based on real people. Some characters are inspired more or less by people I have met, even briefly. Sometimes just a chance comment will also inspire a scene or help to rewrite an aspect of the plot. Not long ago I was talking to Wendy, who designs and creates peg dolls, and she described seeing an unusual cloud formation over Portland. The cloud was shaped like a dragon. Portland always seems to produce dragons. But it started me thinking about my time-travelling pirate ship and how the ship itself could appear in the clouds. It helped with a few plot difficulties, so thanks Wendy!