Fans of the Kingdom Keepers series who are sad after finishing the final installment this spring won't have a longer-than-usual wait to be reunited with some of their favorite literary characters. That's because author Ridley Pearson announced on his website and social media this week that he is working on a trilogy that picks up where book seven, "The Insider," left off. And, true to the pattern of the last several years, the first follow-up novel will be released next spring. "The Return: Disney Lands" has a publication date of March 31, 2015.
Even while writing "The Insider," Pearson was clear that he was not ready to stop writing about the popular teenage characters who protect Walt Disney World, Disneyland and Disney Cruise Line ships after the guests go home.
“We were debating something considerably different for the second series, and I think it won't be all that different in a lot of ways because I'm having a hard time letting go of the characters and the readers polled are having a hard time letting go of it being about the [Disney] parks," Pearson told me. "They'll be older. I hope it will be mostly the same characters and also set in the Disney parks."
The official news came as the author announced Thursday that he is again soliciting writing submissions from fans, and the best will be included in "Disney Lands." Unlike the fan participation on "Insider," which invited readers to work on a chapter at a time, this year's submissions are framed as eight writing challenges that run simultaneously with a single deadline. They are outlined on the Kingdom Keepers Insider website -- prose, poetry and even song lyrics -- and the competition has begun.
Fans can send their submissions through the website or the free Kingdom Keepers Insider app, which is available across all digital platforms.
Don't fancy yourself a writer but you enjoy the Kingdom Keepers characters? You still can read and vote for your favorite submissions online through Sept. 1.
The first challenge features the very popular queen, Elsa, from the hit animated movie, "Frozen." Your mission, should you choose to accept it: "Describe the visuals of seeing (Cast Member) Elsa in her surroundings at the meet-and-greet inside Walt Disney World's Princess Fairytale Hall. If you haven't been there, you can make it up! (or do a web search for images and then put into your own words)."
It will be interesting to see how this writing prompt fits into the novel. Pearson released this description of his upcoming book: "With the defeat of the Overtakers behind them, the five teenagers known as the Kingdom Keepers should be celebrating. By all accounts, they saved Disneyland from certain destruction. Why then did their mentor leave one last puzzle for them to decipher? The Keepers must solve a puzzle of the past, or be crushed under an evil that makes the Overtakers seem like gentle souls."
The Kingdom Keepers Insider website offers one last clue: The Kingdom Keepers are going to Imagineering school. What do you think is going to happen in this sequel?
The previous post in this blog was Disney Cruise Line's Fantasy sails Saturday on voyage with Dooney & Bourke events.
The next post in this blog is Learn to draw Frozen's Elsa, Anna and Olaf at Walt Disney World.