Award-winning author Samuel Marquis releases ‘Blackbeard’ on the 300th anniversary of Blackbeard’s death


DENVER – In the 300th year after Blackbeard’s demise, the conspiracy surrounding his death at the hands of the British Crown comes back to the forefront in Samuel Marquis’s new historical novel, “Blackbeard: The Birth of America” (Mount Sopris Publishing, Feb. 6, 2018).

As the ninth great-grandson of illustrious privateer Captain William Kidd, Samuel Marquis has a unique interest and insight into the world of pirates. Marquis’s investigation into the death—or murder—of Blackbeard turns the tables on traditional narratives regarding Blackbeard’s demise. Told from the perspectives of both the pursued—Blackbeard—and the pursuer—Virginia Governor Alexander Spotswood and the British Royal Navy—this truly unique novel sheds new light on the infamous story of Blackbeard and the Golden age of Piracy in the Caribbean and Atlantic Coast.



About the Book

blackbeard-cover“Blackbeard: The Birth of America” is the true story of Edward Thache—former British Navy seaman and notorious privateer-turned-pirate, who lorded over the Atlantic seaboard and Caribbean during the Golden Age of Piracy. A Robin-Hood-like American patriot and the most famous freebooter of all time, Blackbeard was illegally hunted down by Virginia Governor Alexander Spotswood, the British Crown’s man in Williamsburg obsessed with his capture. Based on reliable historical records and the latest research, this adventure tale illuminates the true man behind the myth and his doggedly determined pursuer, revealing a cat-and-mouse game and important historical figure lost to us in a “fog of legend, myth and propaganda” for three hundred years. A folk hero in his own lifetime, Blackbeard exploded onto the scene during the birth of America and was one of the first American revolutionaries in the War of Independence against British rule.

“Blackbeard: The Birth of America”
Samuel Marquis | Feb. 6, 2018 | Mount Sopris Publishing
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-943593-21-7 | eBook ISBN: 978-1-943593-22-4
Historical Fiction


Samuel Marquis is a bestselling, award-winning historical fiction author. He works by day as a VP–Principal Hydrogeologist with an environmental firm in Boulder, Colorado, and by night as a spinner of historical suspense yarns. He holds a Master of Science degree in Geology, is a Registered Professional Geologist in eleven states, and is a recognized expert in groundwater contaminant hydrogeology, having served as an expert witness in several class action litigation cases. He also has a deep and abiding interest in military history and intelligence, specifically related to the Golden Age of Piracy, Plains Indian Wars, World War II, and the current War on Terror.

marquis-photoThe ninth great-grandson of legendary privateer Captain William Kidd, he is the bestselling, award-winning author of historical pirate fiction, a World War Two Series, and the Nick Lassiter-Skyler International Espionage Series. His novels have been #1 Denver Post bestsellers, received multiple national book awards (Foreword Reviews Book of the Year, American Book Fest Best Book, USA Best Book, Beverly Hills, Next Generation Indie, Colorado Book Awards), and garnered glowing reviews from #1 bestseller James Patterson, Kirkus, and Foreword Reviews (5 Stars). “Bodyguard of Deception,” Book 1 of his WWII Series, was a winner of the Foreword Reviews Indie Book of the Year and an award-winning finalist of the USA Best Book Awards. “Altar of Resistance,” Book 2 of the WWII Series, was an award-winning finalist of the American Book Fest Best Book and Beverly Hills Book Awards. Critics and book reviewers have compared “Bodyguard of Deception” and “Altar of Resistance” to the epic historical novels of Tom Clancy, John le Carré, Ken Follett, Herman Wouk, Daniel Silva, and Alan Furst.

Ambassador Marc Grossman, former U.S. Under Secretary of State, proclaimed, “In his novels ‘Blind Thrust’ and ‘Cluster of Lies,’ Samuel Marquis vividly combines the excitement of the best modern techno-thrillers.” Former Colorado Governor Roy Romer said, “‘Blind Thrust’ kept me up until 1 a.m. two nights in a row. I could not put it down.” Kirkus Reviews proclaimed, ‘The Coalition’ an “entertaining thriller” and declared that “Marquis has written a tight plot with genuine suspense.” James Patterson said, “The Coalition” had “a lot of good action and suspense” and compared the novel to “The Day After Tomorrow,” the classic thriller by Allan Folsom.

Marquis will be releasing the latest installment of his WWII series, “Spies of the Midnight Sun,” in June 2018.


  • #1 Denver Post Bestselling Author
  • Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Winner
  • Beverly Hills Books Awards Winner & Award-Winning Finalist
  • Next Generation Indie Book Awards Winner & Award-Winning Finalist
  • American Book Fest-USA Best Book Award-Winning Finalist
  • Colorado Book Awards Award-Winning Finalist

“‘The Coalition’ has a lot of good action and suspense, an unusual female assassin, and the potential to be another ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ [the runaway bestseller by Allan Folsom].” —James Patterson, #1 ‘New York Times’ Bestselling Author

“Altar of Resistance’ is a gripping and densely packed thriller dramatizing the Allied Italian campaign…reminiscent of Herman Wouk’s ‘The Winds of War.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Marquis is a student of history, always creative, [and] never boring….A good comparison might be Tom Clancy.” —

“In his novels ‘Blind Thrust’ and ‘Cluster of Lies,’ Samuel Marquis vividly combines the excitement of the best modern techno-thrillers, an education in geology, and a clarifying reminder that the choices each of us make have a profound impact on our precious planet.” —Ambassador Marc Grossman, Former U.S. Under Secretary of State

“Marquis grabs my attention right from the beginning and never lets go.” —Governor Roy R. Romer, 39th Governor of Colorado

“The Coalition’ starts with a bang, revs up its engines, and never stops until the explosive ending….Perfect for fans of James Patterson, David Baldacci, and Vince Flynn.”—Foreword Reviews

“Old-time spy buffs will appreciate the tradecraft and attention to detail, while adventure enthusiasts will enjoy the unique perspective and setting for a WWII story….[A] combination of ‘The Great Escape,’ ‘Public Enemies,’ a genuine old-time Western, and a John Le Carré novel.” —BlueInk Review (for “Bodyguard of Deception,” Book 1 of WWII Series)

“The Coalition’ by Samuel Marquis is a riveting novel by an uncommonly gifted writer. This is the stuff from which blockbuster movies are made! Very highly recommended.” —Midwest Book Review – The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

“Readers looking for an unapologetic historical action book should tear through this volume.” —Kirkus Reviews (for “Bodyguard of Deception”)

“Cluster of Lies’ has a twisty plot that grabs hold from the beginning and never let’s go. A true page turner! I’m already looking forward to the next Joe Higheagle adventure.” —Robert Bailey, Author of “The Professor” and “Between Black and White”

“If you haven’t tried a Samuel Marquis novel yet, ‘The Fourth Pularchek’ is a good one to get introduced. The action is non-stop and gripping with no shortage of surprises. If you’re already a fan of the award-winning novelist, this one won’t disappoint.”—Dr. Wesley Britton, (Crime & Mystery) – 5-Star Review

“Marquis is the new Follett, Silva, and Clancy rolled into one.” —Prof. J.R. Welch, Editor of “Dispatches from Fort Apache”

“With ‘Blind Thrust,’ ‘Cluster of Lies,’ and his other works, Samuel Marquis has written true breakout novels that compare favorably with—and even exceed—recent thrillers on the ‘New York Times’ Bestseller List.”—Pat LoBrutto, Former Editor for Stephen King and Eric Van Lustbader (Bourne Series)

“Samuel Marquis picks up his World War II trilogy with ‘Altar of Resistance,’ a well-researched and explosive ride through war-torn Rome with Nazis, booming battles, and intense cat-and-mouse chases….Grounded in historical fact but spiced up with thrilling imagination with the fate of the world in balance.” —Foreword Reviews

“Reminiscent of ‘The Day of the Jackal’…with a high level of authentic detail. Skyler is a convincing sniper, and also a nicely conflicted one.” —Donald Maass, Author of “Writing 21st Century Fiction” (for “The Coalition”)

“In ‘Cluster of Lies,’ Samuel Marquis touches all the bases. He starts with a murder and the action doesn’t let up until the very last page in this compelling environmental thriller that is often uncomfortably realistic.” —Charles Salzberg, Author of “The Henry Swann Detective Series”



An Interview with Samuel Marquis


This is your first pirate novel. What inspired you to write a pirate novel?
Years ago, my literary agent wanted me to do a book on Blackbeard, but my WWII and international espionage books swallowed up my time and I was never able to get around to it. But I continued to read up on the legendary privateer-turned-pirate for several years and knew how I wanted to write the book. In August 2017, I returned to Ocracoke, NC, for a summer vacation—the place where Blackbeard died in one of the most epic battles of the Golden Age of Piracy three hundred years ago in 1718—and looking out onto Pamlico Sound where he fought for his life against the British Royal Navy I decided then and there to write the novel that had been in my head for years.

How does your book on the 300th anniversary of Blackbeard’s death uniquely portray his story, and what was his real name?
What makes “Blackbeard: The Birth of America” unique is its historical accuracy, which comes from the fact that it is a detailed synthesis of the latest research on the notorious sea rover, whose real name was Edward Thache. My depiction is based upon reliable historical records and the research findings from the last two decades from eminently qualified Blackbeard and pirate experts David Moore of the Queen Anne’s Revenge project, Arne Bialuschewski, Kevin Duffus, Angus Konstam, Colin Woodard, Baylus Brooks, David Cordingly, Marcus Rediker, Mark Hanna, Benerson Little, and others. The book was reconstructed scene-by-scene from not only from deed, marriage, and death records, court transcripts, and first- and second-hand accounts in British, French, Jamaican, and North and South American archives, but from a synthesis of the most plausible arguments put forward regarding the character and motivations of Blackbeard by this new generation of historical experts. As Colin Woodard, author of “The Republic of Pirates,” states: “In recent years, researchers have dug up new evidence, buried in the archives of England, France and the Americas, or beneath the sands of the American coast, allowing them to piece together a fuller and extremely compelling picture of Blackbeard and his cohorts, one that shows him to have been a canny strategist, a master of improvisation, a showman, a natural leader and an extraordinary risk taker.” My novel is the story of that Blackbeard, a story that has been lost to us in a “fog of legend, myth and propaganda” for three hundred years.

It’s fascinating that you’re the ninth great-grandson of Captain Kidd. How has that relationship influenced your perspective and research on pirates?
Most of all, the ancestral connection to Captain Kidd has made me want to strive for historical accuracy because the Golden Age of Piracy and pirates like Kidd and Blackbeard have been inaccurately portrayed in books, movies, and television. Historians, authors, and filmmakers are going to have different interpretations of character and motivation, but they should never purposefully deviate from the established historical facts. In “Blackbeard: The Birth of America,” I have strived for historical accuracy and there is not a single character in the book that is not based on an actual historical figure (with the exception of a quartermaster to a secondary pirate captain, whose name is unknown). I owe it to my ancestor Captain Kidd to get pirate stories right.

Now that we’re 300 years away from Blackbeard’s death, what do you think the most commonly held misinformation is on his life?
That he was a violent, murderous cutthroat and villain. My book is dedicated to Blackbeard and the dedication says it best: “For the real Blackbeard—who has been maligned, co-opted, exploited, and misrepresented as a ruthless villain and sociopathic cutthroat in the name of propaganda and profit for three centuries now. May ye rest in peace.” The truth is that probably half of the things attributed to Blackbeard are completely wrong—and my book goes out of the way to correct these errors, or at least not include them. For instance, the image of Edward Thache as a cruel and ruthless villain was largely created by propagandist newspaper accounts in London and America, the British Board of Trade, colonial governors like Alexander Spotswood, and Captain Charles Johnson’s (Nathanial Mist’s) “A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the Most Notorious Pirates,” first published in 1724 six years after Blackbeard’s death. Unlike my ancestor Captain Kidd, whom famous pirate writer-illustrator Howard Pyle said should be “relegated to the dull ranks of simply respectable people,” Blackbeard has attained a mythical status. Yet he is perhaps the most misunderstood and historically misrepresented of all the sea captains who went on the account in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. “Blackbeard: The Birth of America” aims to correct that.

How will readers of your other books connect with “Blackbeard,” your first pirate story?
All my books are historical fiction-suspense novels with multiple point of view characters from diverse backgrounds and a high degree of historical detail and authenticity—and “Blackbeard: The Birth of America” is no different. Readers who enjoy my books will like this historical thriller, maybe even more since it is pure history. I believe they will also enjoy the novel because it tells the story of the birth of America and one of the first American revolutionaries in the War of Independence against the British Crown.
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