Boy pirate inspires Cloverdale writer’s novel series

An author from Cloverdale has hidden a treasure chest worth $500 in coins as part of her drive to publicize her novel about a young pirate.

Lisa Batstone’s The Pirate Apprentice is inspired by the true story of John King, who at the age of nine became the youngest pirate in history.

King was travelling with his mother on the Bonetta when the ship was captured by Sam Bellamy. King joined Bellamy’s crew. It was common for captured sailors to turn pirate during the golden age of piracy in the early 1700s, but rare for a child so young.

Batstone first encountered the idea while watching a documentary about the discovery and excavation of the pirate ship Whydah.

“The youngest boy in history (at age nine) joined Bellamy’s crew by threatening to kill his mother,” said Batstone. “I became fascinated with John and read everything I could on his life. But the history books only tell a small fraction of his story. So I decided to tell his story using the medium of historical fiction to fill the rest in. The fascination in pirates grew as I wrote.”

She and her son Logan, two and a half years old, like to dress up and play pirates themselves.

Her fascination with buried treasure doesn’t just come from pirate lore.

She was also inspired by the book The Thrill of the Chase by Forest Fenn.

In the non-fiction book, Fenn laid out a poem and other clues to a treasure composed of his own gold nuggets, coins, jewelry and gemstones, which he said was buried on a mountain somewhere in the American Rocky Mountains.

“I read Forest Fenn’s book and became fascinated with finding buried treasure,” said Batstone.

She has an idea of where she thinks the $1-3 million in treasure might be located.

“But alas, going to New Mexico to search [for] the treasure doesn’t make much practical sense for the mother of a two-year-old boy,” she said.

In the meantime, she has set up her own treasure hunt as a bit of publicity for her own book.

The treasure is worth $500, and the treasure map – complete with an X marking the spot – is available as a reward to some of the contributors to Batstone’s Kickstarter project.

The Kickstarter campaign ends April 25, and Batstone hopes to use the crowdfunding campaign to raise $3,000 to hire a professional editor for her manuscript.

Once the editing is done, she will put out the book through self-publishing sites Bookbaby and Amazon for Sept. 30.

Regardless of how things go, Batstone is already working on her second novel in the series. She intends to keep telling her tales about pirates and the high seas.

“In my mind, pirates symbolize freedom and individuality,” said Batstone. “I believe in fostering creativity and individualism in people, especially children. There’s an underlying message in my books that may go unnoticed by most and that is: no matter what happens, kids are who they are and not what others want them to be.”

Just Posted

Plane crashes in Langley farm

No one was believed seriously injured when a single-engine aircraft tried an emergency landing.

Car driven into bushes at Langley credit union Saturday

No one was injured in a midday vehicle mishap.

Letter: Anti-SOGI sign at Langley protest is the reason SOGI needed

A boy at a June 19 rally held a sign opposing the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity program.

VIDEO: Langley schools graduating students looking back and to the future

Graduation includes a mix of old traditions, new traditions like grad walks, and occasional pranks.

B.C. teacher ends Jeopardy! winning streak, taking home US$69,000

Ali Hasan, from New Westminster, has been gaining fans as a “one-man invasion,” says Alex Trebek

1 man in critical condition after ‘serious’ stabbing in Downtown Eastside: police

Vancouver police say there was an altercation and stabbing appears targeted

Jett Woo highlights 5 Canucks choices on Day 2 of NHL entry draft

WHL star out of Moose Jaw tabbed in Round 2

Seal pup rescued near White Rock pier

Animal was moving and “barking” when rescue crews arrived

In a matter of hours, women in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to drive

Change was announced as a royal decree in 2017 by Crown Prince Mohammen bin Salman

Feds announce measures to protect endangered whale species

Canada’s Whale Initiative is part of the federal government’s $1.5 billion Ocean Protection Plan

COC session vote approves Calgary as potential host for 2026 Olympics

Scott Hutcheson, chair of Calgary’s Olympic bid corporation — called vote a positive step forward

B.C. man wins job he was denied after saying he had depression

Transport Canada has been order to give Chris Hughes a high-level job and nearly $500,000

Most Read