Stacey R. Campbell's Middle Grade pirate adventure
tale, “Arrgh!,” has received the Mom's Choice Award for excellence in
family-friendly media. Author Interview: "Family is our greatest
Seattle, WA, June 07, 2015 --(PR.com)--
Green Darner Press announced today that Stacey R. Campbell's Middle Grade
pirate adventure tale, “Arrgh!,” has received the Mom's Choice Award (Gold
Medal) for excellence in family-friendly media.
"’Arrgh!’ certainly deserves this award," said Kari Hock of Green
Darner Press. "Kids just love this book. Stacey Campbell is one of the
hardest-working and nicest writers we’ve ever worked with.”
The Mom’s Choice Award website states that the organization’s judges score
books on a number of criteria including “products that help families grow
emotionally, physically and spiritually...and are inspirational and
“Arrgh!” follows the adventures of a runaway orphan boy named Christopher
who gets captured by pirates posing as seamen, and kidnapped onto a
merchant galleon that the villains plan to plunder. Forced to pretend that
he cannot speak, Christopher finds he can communicate in private with a
highly skilled mouse who offers to teach him "Five Life Lessons."
The Captain's daughter soon learns his secret and together they hatch a
counter-plot against the pirates.
Campbell is also the author of The Lakeview Novel Series (Young Adult):
Hush,” “Whisper” and the e-novelette, “Silence.” A third novel, “Scream,”
is due this Fall, and “Hush” has been optioned for a film. The prolific
writer lives in the Seattle area with her husband and three daughters.
Marlan Warren (MW), blogger for Roadmap Girl’s Book Buzz, recently sat down
with Campbell (SRC) to discuss “Arrgh!” in an exclusive interview. Here are
MW: What was your reaction when you found out about the award?
SRC: Very excited. Writing a book is like riding a road bike down a bumpy
gravel hill. There are pitfalls and distractions everywhere. Getting this
Mom’s Choice award made me feel like I not only survived the ride, but I
rocked the trail, making every scrape worth getting on the bicycle in the
MW: Why do you think young readers enjoy pirate stories so much?
SRC: Wherever there are pirates, there is action, suspense, a little
bloodshed, and a lot of fun. Pirates have been so fictionalized that
authors can take a lot of liberties with their characters. They are visual
treasure troves for imagination.
MW: Why do you thank your father in the book’s Dedication?
SRC: Every summer on our sailboat my father would tuck me in and tell me
stories about a young Norwegian orphan boy who had been kidnapped by
pirates and his best friend—a talking mouse. I promised myself that someday
I would write them down so that they would live on forever.
MW: In the Acknowledgments, you say this book "has been a seven-year
battle of swords, wills, patience, and persistence." Details, please?
SRC: The first draft took three years to write and was called “Shanghaied.”
I received 29 rejection letters. Heartbroken, I shelved it. When Green
Darner Press began publishing my Lakeview novels, the publisher Kari Hock
asked to see my “pirate story.” I re-read the manuscript and discovered the
29 agents were right; so I rewrote and renamed it “Arrgh!” and my publisher
MW: Are the “Five Life Lessons” ones you've learned?
SRC: I learned them in my own life, and they are my parenting fundamentals:
Lesson 1: Know your surroundings. Nothing is more important than education.
Lesson Two: Patience. This is the hardest lesson of all and the one I still
struggle with daily.
Lesson Three: Honesty is always the best policy.
Lesson Four: The only thing to fear is fear itself. Face the unknown. Don’t
let fear stand in the way of accomplishment. We only grow as individuals
when we face our challenges head on.
Lesson Five: Family is the greatest treasure. Family is not just a blood
connection it is a soul connection. Home is a feeling of belonging, deep
understanding and unconditional love.
MW: What is your favorite reader reaction?
SRC: I have dyslexia, so my favorite reactions are from readers who have a
learning disability telling me that I have inspired them. If I can get that
one kid, like me, who struggled to open a book and enjoy reading, I feel
like I’m on top of the world.
MW: You’ve been presenting pirate workshops in connection with “Arrgh!”
Where will you be next?
SRC: I'll be at Wedgewood Elementary in Seattle on Wed., June 10. My main
goal is to engage the students so they learn without knowing they are
learning. I have several different slideshows I use depending on age and
grade. For younger kids, I start with pirate jokes, and teach them “how to
talk like a pirate” before I move on to lessons about setting and
character. I talk to older students about what it takes to become a
writer—and what it's like to be a dyslexic writer. There's no such thing as
a bad reader.