Ophelia’s Revenge: Six Years in the Making

Jen Sullivan
4 min readJan 2, 2023
Book cover art by David Freed and Jen Sullivan

In 2016, I published my first novella through Kindle Direct Publishing and a company called Createspace (now owned by Amazon). Titled Pirate Ophelia, it is an adventure story about a woman and her desire to become a pirate, giving a fictional, almost feminist twist to a story sprung from bits of the real history of the Caribbean. Looking back, it isn’t the greatest of my writing, but it served its purpose: to help me work through some mental health issues and move on from post-traumatic stress. My increase in nightmares went back to normal and I was able to recover, both mentally and physically, from a semi-abusive work environment.

I’ll admit, some of the abuse was my own doing since I felt I had to prove something, but I was not prepared for my closest friends to betray me and throw me away as if I were garbage. The events that inspired my first book are summed up in a piece I published on Medium: Pirate Ophelia: The Real Story. I started writing the sequel shortly after publishing the book, and now, six years later, I finally finished the next part of Ophelia’s story.

My biggest struggle with the sequel was initially time, and then where to take the story. I had a vague plan from the beginning, knowing what I wanted to happen, just not quite how I wanted it to end. Ophelia was inspired by a friend of mine — a friend with whom I am no longer in contact after a bad falling out. I always had a rule to never live with friends, and caving in to help this friend eventually ended our relationship. I debated what I wanted to do with Ophelia, one of the main characters in my series, and that made writing the sequel harder.

However, time was more of a factor than anything. I had taken a promotion at my new job back then, becoming the store manager at a craft store, leaving very little time and energy to write. That job was a different type of stress, and I eventually left it after I was suddenly expected to travel, though there were many smaller parts leading up to my departure. Coincidentally, I had just given my months’ notice there when…

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Jen Sullivan

I am a gamer, a geek, and a gardener, among many things. I enjoy writing as a way to share with others. You'll find no AI content here--I am a real writer.