Surrey author maps out a hunt for $500 treasure

SURREY – The hunt is on. A Surrey-based author has hidden a small treasure chest containing $500 in coins.

“Anyone is welcome to search for it,” said L.M. Batstone. “I’ve drawn a map, so people know where to look. And yes, there’s even an ‘X’ on it that marks the spot.”

Batstone hid her small treasure trove hoping to garner interest in her first novel, The Pirate’s Apprentice, and her Kickstarter campaign of the same name, which was designed to help raise funds to edit and publish the first book of the series. She was first inspired to hold a treasure hunt after reading Forest Fenn’s book, The Thrill of the Chase, in which the author hid a treasure chest filled with priceless gold coins and artifacts, and then dared his readers to go find it.

“I instantly fell in love with the idea of hunting for that treasure, but since I’m the mother of a young child, I just can’t,” said Batstone. “So I thought I’d do the second best thing and organize my own treasure hunt. It’s not worth much, but I thought people would enjoy looking for it.”

Being an independent author is difficult, she said.

“There’s not much support and we have to pay for everything ourselves.”

That’s why Kickstarter is so important for fledgling authors like Batstone. It’s given emerging artists and writers a chance to raise funds for their creative projects and give their careers a much-needed boost.

The treasure map is available to preorder through The Pirate’s Apprentice Kickstarter campaign, www.kickstarter. com/projects/1346349061/the-piratesapprentice, which ends April 25.