childrens books

The Making of The Lost Castle Treasure Part 3

02 Kaye cover largeIt’s been two years (!) since The Knighting of Sir Kaye, the first book in the Sir Kaye series, was released. In that time there have been abundant inquiries from Sir Kaye fans, young and old, asking when they can expect the second Sir Kaye book. There have been a lot of questions about the Sir Kaye series as well. Today I’m sharing the most frequently asked questions that are uppermost on the minds of our fans. And below is a link to a sneak peek of The Lost Castle Treasure!

Why is the second book taking so much longer to write than the first?
For most writers, the second book in a series is often the hardest one to do. A first book sets the foundation of the story and begins to establish the main characters. In a second book of a series (also known as the sophomore book), the writer has to dig deeper into character development.

Writing good characters involves showing parts of the character that may not seem to be as lovable. Just like real people, literary characters have good days and bad, good moments and bad. Usually the first book in a series creates a situation of optimal bonding with the characters, but in subsequent books, we look more deeply into the personal struggles of the characters and get to see them in some of their less shining moments.

Skeptical KayeI feel that it’s especially important for books to show young readers that humans are not perfect, and that failure or the risk of failure is a part of life for all of us. The excessive glorification in our culture of superheroes with super powers gives the average youngster little in the way of reality to ground him or her in that truth. What about the rest of us, who have no such super powers? How are we supposed to manage? We try, we fail, we try again, we get better, and we keep trying, striving for our best. We all face discouragement and low points during such times of failure. But watching beloved characters deal with these matters provides great learning moments for our readers. Without giving too much away, I will say that all goes well in the end.

Another reason why writing a series can take some extra time is because of the size of the story arc. Plot lines, sub-plot lines, and contingencies all have to be accounted for from the beginning of the series. That way the details in each book are harmonious throughout the series. It’s like writing six books at once. A big job, to say the least.

What can we expect in book two?
In the first book, The Knighting of Sir Kaye, twelve-year-old Kaye Balfour is knighted for doing a brave deed—saving the life of the queen’s nephew. It ends on a rather halcyon note. But in book 2, The Lost Castle Treasure, we get to see a 12-year-old boy dealing with the adult responsibilities of being a knight. We also see that the animosity between the other knights and Kaye is far from over. This presents great challenges to him and his friends. Kaye’s best friend Reggie also faces a number of his own vulnerable moments, several of which will be easy for struggling readers to identify with. Then there is the inkling of a plot against the queen herself!

Will there be any surprises in this book?
There are many moments in the book full of mystery, intrigue, drama, and surprise. Plenty of adventure and fun are on hand as well. Some scenes are powerfully rich in emotional pay-off. Without too many spoilers, the ending is especially satisfying. It touches on our universal human need for parental approval and validation.

03 Kaye cover smallIs book 3 in the works?
Yes, it’s under development. For now, illustrator Dave Allred has prepped the cover art and I’ve posted a brief description of the book on my website. Here’s what I know so far about book three: Kaye and Reggie have a big adventure in store for them as they solve another mystery in the Kingdom of Knox. The boys’ tutor is missing! Kaye, Reggie, and Beau set out to find him. Vanishing sheep, rumors of a mysterious beast, and one very determined young girl make this an experience of a lifetime.

And as promised, here’s the link to the sneak peek of Sir Kaye Book 2: The Lost Castle Treasure

Here’s a link to where you can find out more about the Sir Kaye series by Don M. Winn, including Sir Kaye Book 1: The Knighting of Sir Kaye, and information on where you can purchase the books.

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