The Secret of Markree Castle



The babysitter flaked and four young boys have pretty much free reign of a castle. “Wait, what?” they ask. Yes, they heard it right. While one of their dad is getting married, the boys are free to explore the castle.

“They’re old enough to be responsible, aren’t they?” one dad asked the other. Ah, we soon shall see what the boys discover as they explore the castle, make new friends and learn of the secret of the Markree Castle.

But what is the secret of the castle? What lurks behind all of those doors down in the cellar? Who’s that scary old guy Killian? Is Alastar to be trusted?

You see, dear reader, I don’t know yet. These four boys are the creative behind the story. In many ways, I’m just the messenger. The story and magic and secrets of the castle are up to them. It’s a collaborative effort and we talk, we imagine, we have Skype calls with poor WiFi connections while two boys are getting ready for bed in San Francisco, California and the other two are having breakfast in a restaurant in their hometown of Beijing, China.

How is this going to work? How are two dads and four boys going to write a book together? Who knows! Has it been done before? Who knows! Who cares!

What’s happening is that we’re all working on a project together. The kids are digging deeper into their creative minds and their dads are learning sides of their kids that they didn’t even know existed. What would your child answer to the question, “If you could have any magical power, what would it be?” Do you know what your child would answer? Of course not. But you might have an idea. Do you know what’s fun? Ask your child and guess (quietly) what they might say. Then listen to what they say and see how it differs from what you thought they would say. The answer might surprise you.

That’s how we’re writing this book. It’s a collaboration of these four boys and two dads (from different families). Three of us live in San Francisco and three of us live in Beijing. We’re using shared online documents and Skype calls to communicate the story, the characters, and what’s going to happen next.

This first book (available April 1, 2015 in honor of Li & Lu’s first adventure, The Secret of Kite Hill) has turned into more of a story that we had imagined and it’s going to make this book only the first part of a series with the four boys at the castle.

Oh, dear reader, I wish I could tell you what’s going to happen in books two and three, but I don’t know myself. We’ll have to see what the boys come up with. But for now, enjoy The Secret of the Markree Castle and please leave us a note in the comments as to what you’d like to see in the upcoming books.

Thanks for visiting. We hope you enjoy The Secret of Markree Castle.


This book is so much fun to read. I love the suspense and the writing. It makes me want to be a kid again, and also makes me want to go exploring in an ancient castle. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.


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Bradley Charbonneau

"He's a great author, but he's an even better motivator and has this weird knack of seeing into people's souls and figuring out how to draw out their greatness - it's a freakin' skill, man."

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This book is so much fun to read. I love the suspense and the writing. It makes me want to be a kid again, and also makes me want to go exploring in an ancient castle. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.


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