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Ahoy! Belfast author's pirate book is real treasure trove

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Trilogy: Derek Keilty

Trilogy: Derek Keilty

Trilogy: Derek Keilty

A swashbuckling tale of pirates and detectives is making waves for Northern Ireland children's author Derek Keilty.

The north Belfast man has just published Flyntlock Bones and the Sceptre of the Pharaohs - and it's been named by the Times newspaper as one of its Top 20 Summer Reads for Kids for 2020.

Derek (54) has been writing stories for children since 2003, and penned the Will Gallows cowboy series, which was selected for the popular Richard and Judy Book Club.

Flyntlock Bones and the Sceptre of the Pharaohs is his 11th book for children - and is already being considered for adaptation by Hollywood studio Dreamworks, he told the Belfast Telegraph.

"This one is heading the right way," he said last night.

"Now the Times has picked it up, it's starting to snowball."

Flyntlock Bones and the Sceptre of the Pharaohs combines fantasy with thriller in a story about a lad who applies for a job as cabin boy on the Black Hound, not realising it's a pirate ship.

But soon he is off sailing the Seven Seas, on a perilous quest to discover ancient treasure bound by a magical curse.

"My last books mixed cowboys with fantasy, and this one mixes pirates with detectives," Derek said.

"It's hard to find something original, but I liked putting the two things together and see what comes out. I've been writing since 2003. Nearly 20 years!

"I'd been interested in writing from since I was very young, but I'd never really sent anything off to publishers, but I started typing up a few wee things, and I was fortunate enough to get published pretty soon after.

"That gave me a real confidence boost."

Flyntlock Bones is the first of a trilogy.

The second adventure - Flyntlock Bones and the Eye of Mogdrod - will be published next year, and he's almost finished writing the third, called Flyntlock Bones and the Ghost of Captain Scarletbeard.

The series is illustrated by Yorkshireman Mark Elvins, and published by Scallywag Press.

Belfast Telegraph