Hello everyone in Skegness! I know what you're asking, "Why pick on us?!" Good point. Well, as always, this has something to do with my past. When I was a boy, I lived on a council estate in Leicester. People from Leicester will tell you that the nearest seaside holiday resort is Skegness; in fact, 'Skeggy' was the traditional place for Leicester people to visit. At the top of my estate was a small railway station. Steam trains used to thunder through here (in the early 1960s) and there was a direct line to the east coast. In what used to be known as 'the July fortnight' families from my estate would pack up their suitcases, dig out their buckets and spades, jump on the train and go to Skegness. I think my mum and dad went every year for about ten years! I suppose I have developed a strange kind of fondness for the place. So, when I wanted a location for a pirate story I was thinking of writing, I didn't have to look too far.

Now I am quite certain that Skegness does not have a long history of piracy! But in a story, you can sort of do what you like. But why salt pirates? Why would pirates want to plunder salt? You know, I haven't got a clue! I simply don't know where that came from. It was probably because in the story Jason comes across a pirate who describes himself as an old salty seadog. Out of that phrase came two ideas: one that the pirate would actually like salt, the other that he really could become a dog. Aah, I'm telling you no more than that. If you want to know what it would be like to let a smelly, salty seadog out of a bottle you'll just have to read the book...

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