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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 Indiana Jones.

LOUIS: Hardly! Hello Kitty was unleashed on the world long before those two fictional characters had a fanbase. I mean, you add Hello Kitty into the mix and a meal becomes a feast, a party becomes a gala, and an adventure becomes an odyssey.

(whisper) Louis, did you take your meds today?

LOUIS: Ha-ha, very funny Captain Carter. You know I don’t need any meds. All I need is Hello Kitty and I’m good to go!

O-kay then. Moving on. Next up, is Yvette, my sister from another mother. Yvette is 16 and hails from the island of Cuba. Put her in any kind of boat, power or sail, and she can captain it better than the saltiest sea dog on the seven seas.

Yvette, what do you like most about America?

YVETTE: The freedom. Even though Ms. Roberts’ rules can be like red ant bites on your toes at times, there’s nothing like a country that allows you to chase your dreams. And even though we’re all stuck in that orphanage for now, I feel the winds of change are coming—especially after that book comes out and everyone reads about the incredible things we did.

Speaking of which, were you ever scared during our adventure?

YVETTE: Coming to America on a raft was scary. After that, nothing else compares. But there were a couple of times when I didn’t know if we’d see tomorrow.

Thanks, Yvette. Next up is my man, Marcus.

Marcus is 14 and a huge fan of the Pirates—the Pittsburgh Pirates, that is! He basically lives in his Andrew McCutchen jersey and carries an official Pittsburgh Pirates Little League approved baseball bat everywhere he goes.

Marcus, tell the truth—baseball or hunting for pirate treasure. Which is cooler?

MARCUS: Captain Carter, you’re my homey and I love you like a brother. But don’t force me to choose between my Pirates and your pirates. You’re not gonna like my answer. Blackbeard might be your god, but I pray to the altar of PNC Park.

Have you ever been there?

MARCUS: Dude, I’m an orphan in St. Augustine. I’ve never been out of Florida, let alone set foot on the hallowed ground where the Pirates play.

So help me understand how a kid from St. Augustine comes to love a baseball team from Pittsburgh.

MARCUS: It’s all about their swagger. At the end of the day, Pirates are pirates. Doesn’t matter if they’re carrying bats and gloves, or cutlasses and flintlocks.

I have to agree with you there. Pirates are the coolest!

Last but definitely not least is Linn. Linn is 12 years old and of Mandarin descent. Don’t tell her I said this but I’ve had a crush on her every since she came to the orphanage.

LINN: Carter, I can totally hear you.

Um, what?

LINN: If you have a crush on me, why are you always so shy when I’m around?

I, uh, well, um, you know…

LINN: Carter, you’re so silly. But that’s what I find so charming about you.

Right, well, uh… Getting this Q & A back on track, why don’t you give everyone a sense of your style.

LINN: My style? Hmmm, how do I describe it? Kinda like a mix of avant garde eclectic meets thrift shop Bohemian.

Wow. That’s a pretty good description.

LINN: Thank you, Carter. Will you have lunch with me?

I, uh, well, um…

Folks, that’s all the time I’ve got.

Lackbeard Cover

Don’t forget—December 3rd… Mark it in your calendars. That’s when Lackbeard officially sets sail and I promise you, it’s a story you don’t want to miss!

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