WIPJoy Protagonist Takeover: Nathaniel Cannon and the Majestic Affair

Bethany Jennings, an author of young adult SF&F, does this thing called WIPJoy, where we authors talk about a work in progress over the course of September. Find other authors on social media using the hashtag #WIPJoy.

Good morning. I’m Nathaniel Cannon, captain of the pirate zep Inconstant, and it looks like I’m here to answer your questions.

Share a deep regret.
I’d rather learn from my mistakes than dwell on them.

What’s that? You won’t let me weasel out of this one that easy? Fine. I’ll name two. First: Panama. I lost friends there, and almost lost everything. Enough said. Second: my early years with Inconstant. Look, in my line of work, there’s no room for soft people, but you don’t have to be a brute to be tough. It took me too long to learn that lesson. I owe my friends more than I can say for sticking around while I did.

How do you really feel about a character closest to you?
That’s Joe Copeland. We first met in the skies over Dayton: he was flying for the Rebels back then. I came in on his four o’clock and put a burst into his engine. Turned out he wasn’t that steamed about it. For a slave pilot, crash-landing alive on the Union side of the lines was about the best thing that could come of a forward patrol. I stopped by the field hospital and met him face to face, and we hit it off. He’s been around ever since, even when he had a good excuse to leave. He’s as good as a brother.

Weapon of choice?
That would be the Mauser Broomhandle you see on my belt. I took it from a Rebel pilot during the war, after I brought him down east of Cincinnati. It’s served me well ever since, for ten years now. Another decade like the last one, and I’ll have to have Iseabail knock together a new barrel for me.

How do you feel about romance?
Put me down for ‘yes’. No, I won’t say any more. A gentleman doesn’t kiss and tell.

How do you feel about your author?
Who, Lachapelle? The little Frenchy sold us out in Panama, but ended up stuck in it right with us. It took us a while to get past that, but now—

Oh, that author. Well, I’ll tell you this: if he weren’t around, our lives would be a whole lot duller.

Any words for future fans of you?
I hear there’s a fan club out of Columbus, but they aren’t affiliated with me. Keep an eye on the newsreels and the papers, that’s my advice. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait for our author to get the stories done, and we all know what a wait that can be.

Do you make faces in the mirror when you’re alone?
For the record? No.

Between you and me? You bet I do.

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