Monday, May 27, 2013

A Pirate's Wife: Character Interview with Cisco and Qonchita Almaida - 99 cents Book Sale now on.

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I met the characters Cisco and Qonchita Almaida in 2008 when reading another book. Their story impressed me so much that I felt it had to continue. Of course I gave them some new identities but the essential characters are still the same. With changes here and there in the story line I tried to hold true to what brought them together in the first place. Creating my own story with new characters they were the foundation of the whole plot that influenced the main characters.
I thought it a good idea to have an Interview with them and see what they have to say. In my minds-eye they are inseparable, their journey and how they meet the essences of the book and why it was born.
Yesterday you read about them through the diary entries they have written and the effect it had on them in their own words. If you missed it you can read more about it HERE.
A hopeless romantic myself it seems fitting to talk with them and understand the impact they had on each other and Rosa_Lee, the main character from 'A Pirate's Wife'

Good morning Senor and Senhora Almaida and welcome.
Your life's story had a huge impact on your daughter Rosa-Lee and her decision marrying Roberto du Val, how do you feel about that?
Cisco: Good morning Senhora, it was a shock to learn that our daughter married a pirate but knowing our daughter we knew she had her reasons for doing so. That we are the reason I am not sure about that.
Qonchita: Rosa-Lee adored Cisco from the moment she laid her eyes on him when she was only four years old. She never knew what a father was before she met him. My first husband was absent from the day she was born and when he did make an appearance he was cruel and always drunk. He never had time for her and she feared him greatly. When she met Cisco she clung to him and followed him every where he would go on the ship, later in Africa she was always around him. Poor Cisco he tried everything to keep her away but she refused to listen and yes it caused much sorrow to my Cisco.
Cisco: No my dear it is not that, it is because of you she chose to marry Roberto. (The man actually blushed, oh how sweet)
Qonchita: Oh my darling of course you were her hero. You were so kind to her those days even when she caused problems for you, just remembering the flogging still cause me pain. The continues bantering from the other sailors and the cruelty of the Captain but yet you remained the same. Years later Rosa-Lee confined in me that she witnessed the flogging from a safe place, and yet after that she was always first on your mind when we were in danger. You saved her more than I can count, giving her food when there was none, being a friend, protecting her from the elements.
When I met Roberto and later got to know him better I could understand why she married him. He had the same qualities you had. He protected her at all times even if she did those foolish things. He loved her from the moment he laid his eyes on her. In fact he told me once he loved her from the stories Pedro told him and he always knew that she would be his wife no matter what.

"You have no problem with Roberto being a pirate previously?"
Cisco: That was the way of the seas during those years Senhora. Not all pirates were bad people it was just circumstances that got them in and once you tasted the bounty it was difficult to walk away after so much freedom. The bounty of the seas had away to draw you in and keep you in her power.

But yet you remained a sailor, surely the life of a pirate had to be alluring to you?
Cisco: Yes I met a few, their lives were definitely more adventurous than mine. But the captains were often very cruel. Greed overshadowed everything else and the life of a pirate had no worth. His word was law on the ship. There was no human rights or unions to come to your aid as today. You were all alone and it cost you dearly. The price was simply too high and I had dreams.

You mentioned the dreams in the diary, tell us a bit more please?
Cisco: I come from a long line of farmers. Farming was in my blood from the day I was born. But life was difficult and my father told me to find work on a ship. He had many mouths to feed and the farm simply could not keep up with the demand of growing children. My parents had fourteen children. My brother and I was in the middle. Father thought it best if we would go since the eldest brothers already worked on the farm. We found a good Captain that taught us everything we knew. My brother died months later, breaking his neck when he fell from the big mast during a heavy storm. Through all the years I spend on the seas the dream remained. When other sailors went to the Inns and visit all the women I would visit the country side and inspect the fields. Sometimes taking odd jobs just to be close to the earth and the animals.

Then you met the Senhora?
Cisco: Yes, she changed my whole life. She gave me a daughter, two strapping sons and a huge estate. Without her nothing would be possible and I would have died a bitter old man.
Qonchita: No my darling you deserved all what you received, you are a hard worker and a compassionate man with so much love to give, without you my life would have been meaningless and my inheritance worthless. You changed all that the moment I laid my eyes on you.

What stood out the most?
Qonchita: His friendliness and kindness. Not to mention he was very handsome. The way that he cared for us during those months in the heart of Africa. Protecting us from the beasts and humans that meant us harm. Being the voice of reason when the Captain lost his mind shooting at will anything that moved. I became jealous when other women talked with him or when he helped them. But that was his nature, to help. The one thing that saved us all during those hard times.

Rosa-Lee had to witness the exchange between you two?
Qonhita: Oh yes dear. She was there twenty four hours a day. She caused us to be in each others company many times and the way he treated her did soften my heart as well.

What was the hardest thing you remember on your journey all those years ago?
Qonchita: There were so many things. We witnessed so many devastating things. Friends were captured by lions, eaten while we stood and watch. Sickness and the lack of food killed many of the group and you felt helpless at times. The cruelty of my husband and captain towards Cisco was unfairly but yet Cisco remained the same. The long trek through the wilderness I think must have been the hardest though. We had no idea where we were. Went without food for days, ate the bark of trees or leaves just to get something in. My feet was bloodied and infected often because of the walk. Shoes just did not survive the grueling march. Being exposed to the elements, the heat, the rain, biting insects. It was difficult times.

But yet you survived?
Cisco: Yes, pure determination. That is all I can say. Just the thought of Qonchita and Rosa-Lee dying in that place made me more determent to get them out. I did not rest until I knew they were safe.
Qonchita: Oh my darling (tears rolled down her face. Even after all these years you could still feel the effect of that experience on their lives)

What would you say to the young people when faced with obstacles in their lives?
Cisco: Do not give up so easily. Be determined saving those you love. It is the simplest things that often makes the biggest impact. Take it day by day even when the odds are against you.
Qonchita: Trust, it can be so easily shattered but when you trust the right person your life can change for the better. Do not look at the circumstances but lift your eyes and believe there will be a better day.
Rosa_Lee trusted her knowledge and what she learned from her father to get her through the time in captivity. Yes she did some foolish things. Getting on another pirate ship, she can be glad that Roberto came after her. Just to think!
Knowledge is power. Learn what you can that will propel you in the best direction.
Cisco: Enjoy life!

Thank you Senor and Senhora Almaida for talking with us on this fine day.

On sale now for only 99 cents till May 31.
A Pirate's Wife

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