Secret of the Lost King, book one in the Thrones series, is one of my favorite stories I’ve ever told. It took over a year to plan, write, edit, and finally release. Stories may begin with one single idea, or grow out of a thousand ideas smashed together and producing something new. But no matter how much planning an author may do, surprises always lurk in the back pages of an author’s mind. And sometimes, stories begin to take on a life of their own.
And so, I present to you: five things you may not know about Secret of the Lost King.
1. Mrs. Keswick was named after the street where my mom grew up.
When Mrs. Keswick walked up the stairs of the orphanage and appeared on the page, Keswick seemed to be the right name for her. My mom grew up on a road called Keswick, and the name fell right into the story and has since stuck. Although, when I started writing, I didn’t know Mrs. Keswick was a “Mrs.” until I discovered the secret past of Mr. Keswick. Something for book two perhaps…?
2. Secret of the Lost King was originally written as a stage play.
Every year, I take a small team of actors to put on a five-act play at a summer camp in Washington state. In summer of 2015, we performed a stage version of the book for 100 grade school students in first to third grade. Monsters are always a staple in every play for the camp, and we had a blast creating the spider creature from the Library of Secrets. It actually shot webbing at the actors, had movable pincers, and could scuttle back and forth. It was also five feet tall. #ArachnophobiaAnyone?
3. The spider creature from the Library of Secrets is unofficially named Mr. Juicy.
A few years ago, I had a spider puppet in my hand and asked a friend’s four-year old daughter what she thought it should be called. She thought about it for a moment and then said: “Mr. Juicy.” I definitely smirked as I wrote the creature into the Library of Secrets. And I definitely, unofficially, named the monster Mr. Juicy.
4. Jack was inspired by the fatherless state of many kids in America.
According to the US Census Bureau, in 2014, “23.6% of US children (17.4 million) lived in father absent homes.” (Click here for more info). So many children throughout America are living in homes where a father is 100% absent. Jack grew up in a place where he never knew his parents, and throughout the book, Jack keeps asking the question: What kind of parents did he have? Where did he come from? And what factors have made him who he is today?
Many kids ask these same questions. Many kids are asking: where do I belong? Who cares about me? I wanted Jack’s own journey to reflect that as well. And, maybe, Jack will find out some of those answers in the future.
5. My favorite part of the book is Chapter 28.
Why is Chapter 28 my favorite? I won’t give anything away about that wonderfully spoilerific chapter, but I will say this: Chapter 28 was the culmination of the book in my mind. Readers may find a different point that matters the most to them, and that’s quite okay — that’s the nature of literature — but for me, Chapter 28 will always be the moment where the story falls into place.
Bible stories are fascinating things. And so often, we don’t know the whole story. In fact, there’s a lot to the story of the character at the center of Chapter 28 that we don’t always hear about growing up. And where that character ends up is a whole tale unto itself.
If you haven’t had the chance to read Secret of the Lost King, you can pick up a copy on Amazon.com!