Gail Selinger talks pirates & pop culture April 3

Get a crash course on pirates and plunder when noted author and all-out “piratologist” Gail Selinger delivers her fascinating lecture “Pirates and Popular Culture” at 7 p.m. on April 3 at Northeast State.

Selinger free evening lecture happens in the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts Theater on the College’s main campus at Blountville.  Her free and open to the public lecture happens in conjunction with Northeast State’s presentation of Treasure Island in April.

Selinger began her writing career at age seven, self-publishing a weekly newspaper highlighting her family’s activities. So how did she get interested in pirates?  Following after her big sister Carol Sue, Gail watched pirate movies.

Gail Selinger
Gail Selinger

When Selinger turned nine, she discovered pirates were real people.  She became fascinated by that fact and thus began a life-long interest.  The Selingers grew up two blocks from the Atlantic Ocean in Rockaway Beach, Queens, New York where the sight of sailboats and commercial ships sailing by helped fuel her imagination.  When riding on the Staten Island ferry the sisters made believe it was their pirate ship.

After graduating college with a B.A. in art education and history, she traveled the East Coast of the United States, Great Britain and the Caribbean Islands researching pirates.  With her wealth of knowledge, Selinger is considered a pirate historian or as some labeled her a “piratologist”.  She was thrilled when asked to write a non-fiction book on her favorite subject.

Selinger penned The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Pirates, a spellbinding book tracing real pirates from the Ancient Phoenicians to modern day. The book also takes a look at the social, political and economic ramifications of piracy on world history. It is also an eye-opening look at the modern-day pirates who raid oil tankers, cargo ships and even cruise ships.

Her workshop “Real Life on the Rolling Sea: The Golden Age of Piracy 1690-1720” is a highly acclaimed course in which she incorporates authentic items of the period for a unique hands-on experience. Her lectures and workshops are adapted to the age of her audience.  She also teaches writing classes in character development and research techniques.

Selinger is seen on the History Channel programs “Modern Marvels: Pirate Tech” and “True Caribbean Pirates.”   She appears in the Special Features section on the DVD Princess Bride (Dread Pirate Roberts) and (Buttercup ) editions.  She provided the historical pop-up’s for the Blu-Ray edition of the movie Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.

She is currently a member of the privateer historical re-enactment group, Port Royal Privateers, having been one of the original founders of the re-enactment group Brethren of the Coast in 1984.

She has written numerous novels, short stories and articles on a variety of subjects including Jack Tar, With Admiration, The Magic Toybox, and Devil’s Blade.

She is a member of The Authors Guild, Science Fiction Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, The Greater Los Angeles Writers Society, and a Patron Saint of the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society (LASFS).

For more information, contact 423.279.7669 or

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