Swashbuckling pirate adventure, anyone?

Kathrese full

Kathrese McKee, author of Mardan’s Mark

Nickname: No nickname
Genre: YA speculative fiction
Personal Philosophy: God gave us language to give Him glory.
Fave Scripture (& why): Proverbs 27:19 The way you live your life reflects what’s in your heart.
Fave Quote: There’s only one God, Ma’am, and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t dress like that. — Captain America
In high school I was a… book nerd and band geek.
yearbook photo

Kathrese – Freshman in college

Kathrese’s novel, Mardan’s Mark was released around Christmas. It has everything anyone could want in a book – great writing, a fantastic cast, pirates, princesses, adventure, romance, and danger. 


In this coming of age fantasy, seventeen-year-old Princess Srilani is prepared to die for her country, but she has to live long enough to make sure the heir survives.

After pirates abduct Srilani and her brother and sisters, they are stranded across the Great Gulf and far behind enemy lines. She convinces Aldan, the pirate captain’s slave, and his two brother slaves to share their perilous journey home.

These unlikely allies set out on a quest of heroes — against cutthroat pirates, merciless priests, and countless soldiers — to return the heir to his kingdom, but will coming home mean the end of happiness for Srilani?

Hi Kathrese! Whom did you have in mind when you wrote Mardan’s Mark?

I initially wrote Mardan’s Mark for my four children, but it was my fifteen-year-old daughter who kept the pressure on to finish the first book and keep going. I also wrote it for my thirteen-year-old son because there aren’t enough Young Adult novels written with boys in mind.

Can I get an amen, Tim Akers? 😉

What do you hope readers will take away from your book?

I want readers to have great memories of good times spent within the pages of my book, to remember the characters and how they overcame their troubles, and to understand God just a little better at the end of the story than when they began.

Which character is most like you and why?

Srilani because she loves to learn. In today’s world, she would be a nerd at school with her nose in a book until it was time to practice some other skill. She’s driven to master whatever skill is necessary to do her “job” as princess. That’s me. I think I have to be able to do it all myself, and it’s very hard for me to delegate responsibilities.

If you could meet one of your characters in real life, which one would it be and what would you do together?

I would choose Linus, and I would just follow him around for a week, pestering him with questions. He’s the most elusive character to get to know, even though I created him.

Ha! Linus is mysterious because he is so quiet. I really liked him a lot, but I think my favorite was Sam. 🙂

Thanks, Kathrese!

You can connect with Kathrese on her website, and on Twitter, Google+, Goodreads, and Pinterest.

GIVEAWAY: Kathrese is giving an ecopy to one lucky reader. Comment here to be entered in the drawing, and check out my blog on Monday for a second chance to win. 

TELL US: Your favorite pirate book or movie.

16 thoughts on “Swashbuckling pirate adventure, anyone?

  1. i will have to check the book out.


  2. So tell me, if this was written for boys, why is there a woman’s face on the cover?


  3. I love the cover! (Sorry, T.J. lol) And the story sounds really interesting. I haven’t read a lot of pirate stories, other than the classics (Kidnapped, Treasure Island) and I think the only movies I’ve seen are the big series (you know the one) and things like Peter Pan. Hmm – Oh, I guess I’ve seen a lot of the really old ones – I always enjoyed the old Disney Blackbeard’s Ghost! And I love Pirates of Penzance.

    The very first short story I ever wrote, back when I was 10 or 11, was about Gumshoe the pirate. I still have it. 🙂


  4. Sorry, T.J., I simply could NOT find a male who would do Aldan justice. 🙂 It is one of my biggest regrets. However, the character who experiences the most change is Srilani, so this time around, it’s appropriate that she gets the cover. Not to worry, I’m determined to have Aldan on the cover of Book Two. Thanks for considering Mardan’s Mark and taking the time to leave your comments.


    • Here’s a suggestion to consider for next time. You can have a boy with his face turned away, but in an action position. Sword fighting, arms raised in defensive mode, riding a horse As long as the picture faces away from the reader or is in an action position, male readers won’t care. Not to harp, but any man or boy that sees a women’s face as the primary image on the cover is not likely to pick it up without some external motivation. Also symbols are also usable too. The original Hunger Games had a mocking jay on it. When it comes to boys, they wouldn’t want to be seen by their peers with a book having a female face. A good example the cover of The Screaming Staircase byJonathan Stroud and its sequel The Whispering Skull. Take a peek at them on Amazon.


  5. Interesting points from a male’s perspective, Tim. I wouldn’t have thought of that. Learn something new, everyday. 🙂


  6. Ha! The funny part about your Kindle remark, Lisa, is that the fans who most often track me down in person or convey messages through my husband are grown men, asking me when the next book will be out and enthusing about the plot. But do they leave reviews? No. (Probably because of the cover.) Kindles are great for reading books anonymously. Reviews would be another reason to reconsider the book cover. Good discussion.


  7. Pingback: About Healer's Curse | Kathrese McKee - Author/Editor

  8. Pingback: Failure IS an option – by Kathrese McKee | The Scriblerians

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