Steen Rancher with his first book The Pirates of Winchelsea.

Steen Rancher with his first book The Pirates of Winchelsea.

Qualicum Beach author pens first novel

Features his grandchildren and set in the Winchelsea Archipelago

When Steen Rancher’s kids were little, he wrote stories for them. Now he writes novels for his grandchildren.

The Pirates of Winchelsea is written by Qualicum Beach resident Steen “Papa” Rancher and it’s set in the Winchelsea Archipelago.

Rancher said the novel, which is for ages 10-16, is an action and adventure novel using his grandkids as characters.

“They learn to sail and they’re exploring amongst the islands and they run across these three bullies who begin to harass them and chase them,” said Rancher, adding that the children hatch a scheme to hold the bullies’ boat hostage and force them to negotiate a truce.

“But when a severe, and unexpected, storm rolls in, the plan sort of unravels,” Rancher said.

Rancher said he ended up rewriting the novel when he realized he could use the book as an anti-bullying message.

“This is my personal anti-bullying project,” said Rancher, adding that it’s not just for his kids but for anybody else.

Rancher said he originally thought this was going to be the only book, but he added that he has about six sequels in mind.

But that doesn’t mean the book is only geared toward kids, according to Rancher. He said adults have told him they enjoyed the book as well.

“When they find out it’s a book — not only written by somebody local — but it’s about this area, then they think that’s pretty neat,” he said.

The Pirates of Winchelsea is available online on www.amazon.ca or at Smithford’s (164 W Second Ave., Qualicum Beach).