The idea for my book, The Mark on Eve, came from a Cape Cod legend in which a woman in colonial New England was suspected of witchcraft when her pirate lover’s ship went down in a storm.
The pirate ship Whydah, captained by Sam Bellamy, was real. It sank in 1717 and was discovered and salvaged in 1984. I simply took some of the persons in the legend and changed the story by asking: What if the woman was not a witch but was be-witched to live forever?
It allowed me to explore how she would manage through different periods in American history all the while maintaining suspense in the modern day story in which she tries to keep her secret while giving meaning to her long existence by helping a female governor run for president of the United States.
Since the pirate ship went down in 1717, I made Eve 25 years old at the time. The actual woman referred to in the legend, Maria Hallett, was supposedly 15 years old, but I wanted my leading lady to be older and more sophisticated as she made her way through the epochs of American history. Conveniently, having her as a 25-year-old means she would have been born in 1692, not coincidentally, the year of the Salem Witch Trials.
The Legend of Pirate Sam Bellamy and Maria Hallett