Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Land Ho! Pirates and the sea are out.

I received some discouraging news last week from my publisher. Not only has my pirate series been taken off the market (some time ago) but now I'm told that some Christian book stores as well as major chains like Walmart and Sams Club will not purchase books set upon the sea that may have any hint of piracy!  Egad! And because of my original pirate series, my name M.L. Tyndall is associated with pirates. Hence, M.L. Tyndall books will be scare in bookstores and in particular Walmart. What is wrong with pirates, I ask you? I feel like I should join a pirate's anonymous group where I sheepishly raise my hand and say. "I admit it, I'm a pirate-aholic."  Is there a pill I can take to get over this? Must I go cold turkey?

But before you set sails and scour the sea for these scalawags, the good news is my publisher really likes my books. Yea!  So, they are going on a campaign to distance my name from pirates in order to get my books into some of these stores where I can receive a wider distribution.  And to me, that's important. I want to get my stories into people's hands, not only so they can enjoy them, but also so they can hopefully get a clearer picture of God through my books and draw closer to Him.

So, from now on my books will no longer have any tall ships or hint of the sea on the covers. In addition my name will change from M.L. Tyndall to MaryLu Tyndall on the covers. I'm telling you, my faithful followers, because I want to make sure you recognize my books the next time they release. In particular because my next release, (Formally known as) Surrender the Sea, but now changed to Surrender the Heart, is entirely set upon the sea. Yet, there will be no hint of that on the cover. Sigh.

My hope is that sea-faring adventure stories will become popular again some day and I will be able to write the kind of stories I love to write! In the meantime, I intend to remain on shore, well at least most of the time. (wink). But don't despair, my stories will be just as adventurous as always, and I won't be able to resist having a ship or two in the distance.


  1. Oh, M.L. (I am protesting right now in the use of your pen name!)I am so sorry! That doesn't seem right, what could possibly wrong with your pirates???? I just finished reading The Reliance yesterday, and it got so much better the second time around. You are an incrediable author and one of my favorites, so don't discourage, I will get your books, ship on the cover or no, you always promise a frollicking tale, so no matter what, I will continue to read your work. :)

    Keep up the GREAT work!

  2. That makes no sense? Have they read your books? Wonder what the reasoning is behind the decision.

    Please don't take a pill to get over "it", I love your pirate, sea adventures!

    Just finished The Raven Saint and loved it! Can't wait for Surrender the Sea, oops the Heart.

  3. Wow, I hardly know what to say to such an overweening "political correctness" policy!! Not only are pirates being marginalized, but the sea and ships as well? It doesn't make the least bit of sense, from either a secular or Christian publishing point of view. There are people in this world who are just tooooo legalistic, but I can't believe that the publishers are catering to them. Is it a question of losing money? Actually find that hard to believe too.

    If it makes you feel any better, The Restitution was one of the best Christian fiction I ever read! It was unique. I lent my copy a few months ago and have been chomping at the bit to get it back! It's hard to imagine the Charlestowne Belles series without any connection to the sea either. The cover of The Blue Enchantress was...enchanting with the sunset over the ocean in the background. And sorry, the change of "Surrender the Sea" to "Surrender the Heart" doesn't do anything for me...too generic, like 500 other Christian romance titles out there. Are you still with Barbour? You can tell them, I'm still waiting to be impressed.

    Well, I'll still read your work no matter what picture or name is on the cover. But I might not have made that first purchase WITHOUT the pull of the sea! God bless and encourage you today, MaryLu.

  4. That is ridiculous. How can they not allow a pirate ship on the cover of a book but then they allow a half-naked person on the cover?

    I'm glad this isn't going to stop the adventures, though. Looking forward to "Surrender the Heart (Sea)"!

  5. This is very discouraging news. Personally, I love sea-faring books and you are an expert on the topic. Sigh.

  6. That's so sad! It doesn't make any sense. Like Annabell said, there are book covers out there that are really offensive, but they promote those like crazy. I would sort of understand if they were books promoting pirating, since that's illegal. But anyone who reads your books knows that they are about repentance and redemption. About bad pirates gone good. Well don't worry, I am sure plenty of people will still read your books, MaryLu. All you have to do is read the back cover to really know if you are interested in the book. I hope most stores keep selling your books, though!

  7. Thank you all for your kind comments! You really bless me. The problem is not my publisher. I love my publisher! They have been so good to me and are really trying hard to promote my books. The problem lies with a very few people who are the book buyers for these major chains. Something I didn't realize before I became a writer was that all the books you see on the shelves of a store are there by the choice of one or two main buyers. They choose based on sales numbers but also on personal preference. They are human, after all. :-) Apparently, they are anti-pirate. LOL. Ladies, there is so much great Christian fiction out there that you never see because these books never make it into the stores. Very sad. But take heart, this Surrender to Destiny series does have some ships in it.. and my publisher is interested in a series set in St. Augustine which will also have ships in it. I just can't make my stories exclusively sea-faring stories. Sigh. Perhaps God will open those doors at some point. Remember, He is greater than any book buyer! Hugs to each one of you!!

  8. What the?!? This is ludicrous! Next, are they going to start a campaign against classics like The Three Musketeers or The Scarlet Pimpernel or Robinson Crusoe or Treasure Island or the million others I could name? Yes, pirates are very romanticized from the rapists and murderers they really were, but how is that different that books (and movies galore) about gangs, prisons, war, and vampires?
    And for cyring out loud, what is wrong with a picture of the sea or a ship? So, like, now I suppose they're going to have to redesign the cover for the Finding Nemo coloring book!
    Sigh...This especially bums me about the Christian book market - it seems like this'll deter people from trying Christian takes on "borderline" subjects. Between Tim LaHaye's and Jerry B Jenkins' Left Behind Series and all of your books, MaryLu, Christian fiction was finally starting to get REAL, not whitewashed like a substantial amount of it seems to be.
    So, can you still talk about pirates or the sea on the back cover? The inside flaps of hardbacks? Can a person on the cover be dressed like a pirate? Are there any words that can be slipped by, like 'buccaneer' or 'corsair?'
    Gosh, this is infuriating! I'm going to be stewing for a couple of days... :-(
    Well, through all this, hang in there, MaryLu! Hopefully they'll repeal this new policy soon - I'll certainly be praying that they will.

  9. Oh MaryLu, I am so sorry you are faced with this trial right now; but have no fear! The good Lord and your faithful fans will not be deterred!

    Who knows, this may be a blessing in disguise! Maybe you will gain new fans who were silly enough to think they were not interested in stories set on the high seas and will pick up your new books based on the cover designs... and to their wondrous surprise will be swept up in the same sumptuous saga's the rest of us are already so inspired by :)

    Love and blessings!


  10. I majored in marine science and i'm anything with a pirate or set on the high seas automatically grabs my attention. I guess I'll just have to hunt a little harder now.

    I love your style and I know nothing will change that, but like Diane said the sea is definitely what got me to pick up your books. Now I'm hooked.

  11. Ummm okay wow just another reason for me to not like Walmart! Oh well your books could have no title at all and I would still buy them! :-) Keep 'em up! I love all your books and can't wait for Surrender the Heart!!!!

    XOXO~ Renee

  12. That's such a shame. I guess with the recent piracy in the news, some people just lump it all together.

    I'll still buy your books!

  13. Oh, no!!!!!! That's so ridiculous. Johnny Depp's character is still so popular--I think he's even ahead of the vampires! I wonder if this reaction has to do with the Somali pirates; my guess is these stores are afraid that someone would claim they are in favor of piracy because they carry the books. Everyone who I've introduced to your books love them.

  14. Umm...okay, now I am really mad! Most of what you wrote annoys me half to death! I love your books, especially the ones that involve ships and pirates. In fact, I read your books for three reasons:
    1. You're a good writer, all well written books
    2.There's romance, adventure, Christianity, etc. (All the best things that could possibly be in a book)
    3.They take place in a time not everyone already knows about, there are pirates, transportation we don't use, and language we don't use (and more respectable gentlemen).

    I'm sure your books will be just as good, however. At least you can still them...

    Still upsetting, for even your readers. You must have been really mad at first...


  15. Blast it all, MaryLu! Like everyone else has said, we will love your books regardless of what is on the cover - sigh! Political correctness is not only alive and well in the States but, how do I put it nicely, somewhat out of control.

    As you rightly say, God has a plan for you and your stories and I am looking forward to where He leads you!


  16. Thanks so much all of you! Yes, I got this news last week and was a bit discouraged. Actually I couldn't write for a few days. My publisher and I joked about maybe writing a story of an Amish pirate. LOL. Maybe that would sell? Because I'm in the "romance" market, there are certain expectations and pirates are not one of them. At least for now. But you can bet if they start to sell like hot cakes, Wallmart and other stores would buy them. It's all about the money. God bless you for all your encouragement!

  17. Back again... yes, I can't believe you just mentioned an Amish pirate. I had just said the same thing to my husband as I was stewing to him about this! I've been thinking that for some reason Walmart doesn't seem to have a problem with all of Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean stuff or all the Twilight vampires and all the pornographic romances on their shelves... just Christian pirates! Still in shock...

  18. Diane what you said got me to thinking. Perhaps this goes a bit deeper than a personal dislike of pirates. I mean like you said, vampires and porn seem to get into the stores. THis could be a spiritual attack. How many young girls would probably pick up any book about pirates, but in mine, they'd get a good dose of God as well. The Devil certainly wouldn't want that to happen. Hummm

  19. I'm so sorry. It's a fickle business and it certainly doesn't seem to make sense. I am glad that your publishers are standing behind you, but you really should be allowed to write whatever God puts on your heart ~ whether that be seafaring pirates or landlubbers.

    At least we can rest in knowing that you will continue to write and be published. I know even your more land-locked tales are awesome. The Falcon and the Sparrow is one of my very favorites.

    I look forward to your latest book, and I pray that God blesses you and your career. I also pray He intercedes so that you will be able to write what most calls to your heart and stirs your soul.

  20. Oh my, MaryLu! An Amish pirate! You just got me laughing. My father and mother do not read your books, but I read the post out loud and then some of the comments, and when I found that Amish pirate comment I laughed so hard I showed my mother and she laughed too. I would still buy that book!

    God bless you and your family
    -Abigail (again)

  21. Oh my goodness! Im so sorry MaryLu. Wow, talk about a Wordless Wed. :)
    Well, I dont care what your covers look like; how your name looks on the book or the pic, I will always LOVE your books and buy them! Surrender the Heart still sounds awesome. It sounds like you got great publishers that are sticken with ya. Hey, I think we all here are true pirate-aholics...hehe. Which is awesome, so what crazy people wouldnt be? People who are judging your books by their covers before they act smart and read the inside of it. Where all the amazing talent shows! I stand with ya MaryLu and I hope everything works out and nothing else goes wrong. Have a good rest of the week...if you can forget this bad news.
    ps you got an awesome pic today! where did you find that?

  22. That is so crazy. I love your books and will continue to purchase them. I must ask "What is wrong with pirates?" Where is all of this going? I hope you the best, please continue to write about pirates if at all possible.
    God Bless and good luck.

  23. Well, I am jumping on the ship of a blessing in disguise, God must have something special in store for you. I will be looking for your books no matter what is on the cover!

  24. This just doesn't make any sense to me! Your books are so awesome! I thought everyone loved pirates! I'll still read, thanks for the heads-up!

  25. Sad to hear this. I will pray God will give you the desires of your heart...that He will continue to bless the gift He has given to you.

    Be still, and know that I am God(Psalm 46:10)

  26. Haha an Amish pirate has to be something no one has ever written about! : ) It's good that you're keeping your sense of humor, even though you have to change your titles and cover pictures. I hope you have a great weekend. And I really like the picture you posted : )

  27. The devil is just trying to shake you out of your confidence and faith in God. He sees how God uses you and wants to stop it. But don't let him get the better of you! I love your pirate stories and own almost all of them (except for the Falcon and the Sparrow)! I will still read your books!

  28. Marylu -
    I can't believe they would take pirate books off the market with all the the crap that they allow. Absolutely crazy! I'm it ALL pirate books, or just Christian pirate books (which is basically just you!)? I mean, are they not going to sell any Pirates of the Carribean merchandise when the 4th movie comes out in a year or two? Anyway, I hope the content of your books don't change too much even if the covers do! I LOVE a good seafaring adventure - pirates or no pirates. And you're one of the few that writes them!