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Carter Humbolt in the House

Ahoy, me hearties!

Carter Humbolt in the house, coming to you from sunny St. Augustine, Florida. Because of my pirate obsession, all my friends usually refer to me as Captain Carter. But on December 3rd, with the publication of a book about the amazing treasure hunting adventures that my friends and I (barely) survived, the world will come to know me as… wait for it… LACKBEARD.

Seeing as how we’ve still got a few months before Common Deer Press drops Lackbeard on society, I thought I’d take a moment to properly introduce myself and my crew of rogues and scallywags.

For all you salty dog statisticians, I’m 12 years old, stand two stacked powder kegs high, weigh roughly seven stones, and I’m what’s known as a ward of the state.

Basically, I’m an orphan. In fact, all my friends are orphans. Ditto for my 17-year-old big brother, Brad.

Hopefully, that status changes in the near future. I mean, everyone wants a forever home, right? I’ve got my fingers crossed that some nice family out there realizes they need a great kid like me to make their lives complete. (And if they could take Brad, too—you know, kinda like a two-for-one deal—I’d really appreciate it. Granted, Brad can be a real scallywag sometimes—like all older brothers!—but he’s a ship shape for the most part and, as much as I hate to admit it, I love him.)

But enough about me for now. It’s time to meet my crew.

A painted pirate map of an island with a red dotted line leading to an X

First up is my aforementioned lone sibling, Brad. He’s handsome (gag!), great at all sports (double gag!), girls really like him (triple gag!), and pretty much good at just about everything (sickening, right?).

So Brad, tell all the readers why I’m such a cool little bro.

BRAD: You want me to lie?

That silence you hear is me giving Brad a death stare.

Okay, easier question. Tell everyone about our soon-to-be-released book, Lackbeard.

BRAD: Put Treasure Island and The Goonies in a blender and you’ve got a pretty good idea of what Lackbeard is about. What I’m trying to say is, if you want to read about a group of hard-on-their-luck kids going on the ultimate adventure—a real pirate treasure hunt, no less—you need to read it!

Brad, that’s a little vague. How ‘bout some specifics? A taste of what readers can expect.

BRAD: Okay, no probs. Imagine having to choose between tight-roping across a deep crevasse or wading across a leech-filled bog, all while being chased by the kind of people you definitely don’t want to have catch you.

So you’re saying it’s intense?

BRAD: Uh, yeah!

Cool. Thanks, Brad. Next up is Darla, my disgustingly perfect brother’s 17-year-old girlfriend. Darla also lives with all of us at the orphanage, but she’s no orphan. Her mom, Ms. Roberts, runs the place.

Darla, you’re such a cool girl, what the heck are you doing with Brad?

BRAD: Watch it, pipsqueak.

DARLA: While I have to admit that Brad can be a bit of a party-pooper at times, he’s got a heart of gold and a smile that could melt a glacier.

Excuse me while I puke. (ralphhhhhhhhhhh!)

So what was your favorite part of our Lackbeard adventure?

DARLA: That’s easy. When we were out on the high seas, under the full moon and the stars, the wind in our hair, the salt spray in our faces, sailing towards an exotic island and whatever lay in store for us… It was all just so romantic.

Darla, you sound like an Old Spice commercial.

DARLA: Hey, you asked.

Moving on, I’d like to introduce you to my good pal, Louis. Louis is 15, the most stylish dresser I know, a seriously good cook, and a total Hello Kitty f-r-e-a-k! He’s got a Hello Kitty suitcase, Hello Kitty toothbrush, Hello Kitty deodorant, Hello Kitty underwear, Hello Kitty… everything! Sadly, Louis got kicked out of his home when he came out to his parents. I guess some people just don’t know how to accept.

Louis, what is it about Hello Kitty that gets you all mushy?

LOUIS: C’mon Carter, you of all people should know this. Hello Kitty is the true ambassador of “anything is possible adventures.”

Um, Louis, I hate to burst your bubble, but I think you’re talking about Lara Croft or In