Pentagon Pirate Gang: Secrets of the Orchard follows five children who attend a magical school in the woods, where they discover a dark secret that the school has been hiding. What was the inspiration for your story?
Inspiration derived from a few things.
My 2 children’s primary school is called Orchard Primary School.
I wanted to write a young adult book with an adventure in which children investigate misdeeds at a school and harbor a deep, dark secret.
Following one of my first points of note about writing (use the area around you, where you live as you know it well), I chose Sherwood Forest as my setting; I also thought it would mean something to many, since it is the home of Robin Hood (although it is a mystical adventure).
Finally I wanted to show that not all teachers are good and well behaved as adults, especially when they have their own agenda…
All the characters have unique characteristics and personalities. Did you create an outline for the characters in the story before you started writing, or did the personalities of the characters grow organically as you wrote?
Yes, I still have this working document. I created the main players; I gave them a bit of depth (hopefully) and added notes as I’ve written about the player and their link to the overall story (it’s a storyboard with what should happen when, this also keeps the story (and me) in the point like I create a hook, then I can come back to it later and so on). Some of the story was created organically as I wrote new ideas that I felt suited the story better and were inserted on top of the planned storyboard.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
Friendship and the strength it can bring as a group. The feeling that should give a child to feel part of something bigger.
The ability to put main characters who are of ethnic origin relevant to the story (a key character is from Nepal and that area of the world has a significant influence on all the books).
Resilience – I put the characters on the mill and all 5 kids are mixed ages (8-14) meaning they all need their own voice for their age and react differently due to life experience and maturity ( or immaturity).
What is the next book you are working on and when will it be available?
That’s 5 books in the series (hence the Pentagon), and number 5 is another key stakeholder in the grand scheme. I’ll be looking for an agent later this month and see where that goes and look at other publishers. Hopefully this will lead to the second book in the series. The Pentagon pirate gang and the poison apple.
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