Kate Mosse launches The Ghost Ship paperback at Festival of Chichester

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Chichester novelist Kate Mosse cut the ribbon to open the Chichester branch of Waterstones 20 odd years ago. She returns there now for the paperback launch of her new novel The Ghost Ship.

Kate’s Festival of Chichester event in the book store on June 19 at 7pm will also offer a sneak preview of the final novel in The Joubert Family Chronicles, The Map of Bones, out in October. 

The Ghost Ship is inspired by the real-life story of pirates Anne Bonny and Mary Read. In 1621 two women set sail from Amsterdam for Cape Town at the height of the wars of religion in France. Travelling from France and Holland, the Canary Islands to South Africa, it’s an epic adventure story of revenge on the high seas, family secrets, a love story spanning countries and generations and of courageous women fighting to survive in a man’s world.

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Kate launched the hardback at the Festival of Chichester last year and she has been overjoyed with the response: “The Ghost Ship has been I would say one of the most joyous ever publications I have done. People have taken my pirate queens to their hearts.

Kate Mosse (contributed pic)Kate Mosse (contributed pic)
Kate Mosse (contributed pic)

"I hoped that they would but people have been really enthusiastic in a lovely way. People have fallen in love with my novel. It went straight to number one and stayed in the top ten in the hardbacks for two months and everywhere I went to do events for the book, they would sell out. I talked about the inspiration for the lead character being someone that I came across in the Ladybird Book Of Pirates years ago, a book I'd long since lost. I did 40 events for The Ghost Ship and at one of them someone kindly gave me a copy of the Ladybird book. I had such a great time with the launch of the hardback and now it's great to be getting the paperback out. There is a cost of living crisis and the point is that the paperback comes in a much more affordable edition. It is a much broader audience for paperbacks, and it is lovely to have the only launch event that I will do in Chichester on the eve of publication.”

As she says, Kate’s natural domains are woodlands and mountains, but for the first time she went sea-faring for her latest novel. Ironically, she has discovered that she hasn't exactly got sea legs herself.

“I went on a literary festival at sea last autumn and I was there with wonderful fellow writers and it was lovely to talk about The Ghost Ship because it had gone so well but so many people were saying to me ‘I had no idea that you sailed!’ And the fact is that I don't but I thought that it would be really nice to go out on the high seas. But in fact I have got no sea legs at all. I was very unwell from the moment we left Southampton until we docked in New York!”

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It was certainly new territory: “The people that are kind enough to read my books know that I write about landscapes and mountains and big skies but mostly The Ghost Ship is set on the high seas and it was a real challenge for me to create this whole different setting bounded by water all around but I was really delighted when I talked to people to discover that they thought that I had really done justice to the sea.”

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