James Crofter was ripped from his family at age 11.
Within a year the prince was a pauper in a foreign land.
Is nature stronger than nurture? And even if it is, can James find the happiness he so richly desires?
It required two days of marching to get to what I’d learned was a plantation, which was in the middle of nowhere. When we finally arrived at our destination, I considered how memorable my last 16 months had been since I was removed from a prince’s life. Yes, they were memorable. And even though I had a pouch full of coin hidden inside my drawers, I was now a slave on a plantation in Africa.
In a country and a time where favor and politics were both deadly, can an honest boy stay true to himself? Especially given his family background?
Walter Crofter was born in Elizabethan England, the youngest son of a poor family. After watching his father's fall and the suffering it caused Walter learns from a young age that favor is fleeting. Young Walter leaves home to find his own way and is swept away on one of the ships in service to the crown.
The seas are full of dangers, from unforeseen storms to brutal pirates. During one of Walter's many sea voyages he encounters a girl who will change his fortune. But in order to survive in a world where favor can bring a man a lifetime of good fortune or destroy him in the blink of an eye, Walter must stay true to himself and his values.
Walter faces the question we all face, are we what we are born into or can we become more? I, Walter is a tale of love, courage, and adventure.
Why I love the Surrey International Writer's Conference
I have to confess, I’m not an expert. I regularly attend the Surrey International Writer’s Conference (Siwc), and I love every minute of it.
In Surrey, the hotel is populated by a large number of very well known experts in their community. Donald Maass, one of the writing world’s most prolific agents, speaks about composition and character, as well as pitch. Sean Cranbury, a social media guru, speaks about integrating social media into the author’s life, and leads by example with his sites. Robert Dugoni gives inspirational talks including, “This Day we write.” Chuck Wendig, Sarah Wendell, and others talk about their experiences in the literary world. Mary Robinnette Kowalt leads conversations on diversity in writing. And they all do it at the same time that Jack Whyte is using his very rich Scottish brogue to read entries in the SiWC Idol contest. And ANYTHING Jack reads sounds fantastic.
SiWC is a Thursday to Sunday conference, with Master classes on Thursday, and then three time slots on Friday and Saturday, and two more on Sunday. Each of those slots have eight classes that involve the audience.
There are always numerous great topics at the same time, and by the end of the day, every participant is swimming with too much information.
Friday night is a ‘Halloween’ type evening with live theatre, including Michael Slade’s shock theatre. And Saturday evening is book signings, and parties.
In the middle of all this are plenty of agents, editors, and authors willing to help you strengthen your pitch, or your opening scene.
None of this is talking down to the participant. Whether starting writers or established authors, editors or agents, everyone is at the conference because they ENJOY the industry. Sarah Wendell says it well when she points out that “we interact with our entertainment.” Everyone is approachable, and willing to converse. It’s fantastic.
And the people who manage the conference and the volunteers who work there are FANTASTIC. There is a whole community of individuals with positive feedback.
And that is why I go to SIWC.
About the author:
Mike Hartner was born in Miami in 1965. He's traveled much of the continental United States. He has several years post secondary education, and experience teaching and tutoring young adults. Hartner has owned and run a computer firm for more than twenty-five years. He now lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, with his wife and child. They share the neighborhood and their son with his maternal grandparents.
Mike won first place blue ribbon for the 2013 Chaucer Award for Historical Fiction and first place blue ribbon for the 2013 Dante Rosetti Award in the YA category for I, Walter.
His latest book is the historical fiction/romance, I, James.
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