Category Archives: Children’s Adventure Stories

Questions and Answers with Author, Alexander Scott – Part 2

In this video, Alexander Scott answers questions about his eBook, The Mysterious Case of Doctor Octavius Plum’s Incredible Ever After Machine.


Alexander Scott – Synopsis of The Mysterious Case of Doctor Octavius Plum’s Incredible Ever After Machine

The Mysterious Case – Q and A – Part 1

The Mysterious Case of Doctor Octavius Plum’s Incredible Ever After Machine

Why did I decide to set the story in the 1930’s?

I grew up reading a lot of old fashioned books like the Narnia stories, The Phoenix and the Carpet, and stuff like that. I think that style of writing influenced me when I was writing this book. I’ve never read a book that combined pirates with British people in the 1930’s, so I was excited by that idea.

Why was Miss Meecher so cruel to the children?

The character just ‘showed up’ that way. I just write, and the characters tell me who they are. That’s the way I like it because that creates my most spontaneous and interesting writing. Of course it creates more of a challenge for the children too. Without those kinds of tensions I don’t think the story would work well.

Was Uncle Barnaby based upon someone that I know?

Uncle Barnaby is my favorite character in the book, but he is not based upon anyone that I know. I like him because he is both intelligent, funny, and creative. He’s a very versatile person, and he’s very engaging.

A New Take on the Pirate Novel: The Mysterious Case of Doctor Octavius Plum’s Incredible Ever After Machine

There have been a myriad of pirate novels and films over the years. Writers and actors as diverse as J.M. Barrie, Robert Newton, Geena Davis, and Johnny Depp, have entertained us with their depictions and portrayals of these scurrilous rogues.

Typically these stories involve familiar plots—Buried treasure, long forgotten maps, parrots, and yes, you guessed it, salty seadogs. However, it’s rare that a book in the pirate genre comes along that forges new territory. The Mysterious Case of Doctor Octavius Plum’s Incredible Ever After Machine may be just that.

Set on the isle of St. Mary’s, (just off the south west coast of England), in 1937, it is the tale of two children who go to visit their grandfather in his remote, cliff-top manor. Upon their arrival, the children discover that he is missing—replaced instead by a pirate captain. During the course of the story, the children (Warning: Plot spoilers ahead) discover a mysterious machine in the overgrown back garden, that makes dead things live again, and this machine provides the plot device that is one of the books most interesting ideas – the introduction of pirates into the world of 1930’s.

I’ve always liked the idea of blending characters from two different worlds. It’s a concept that’s very common in children’s fiction; everyone from Lewis Carrol to JRR Tolkien have written novels about protagonists who find themselves in very unusual circumstances, but I had never read anything that juxtaposed eighteenth century pirates with children from 1930’s England. That seemed an interesting idea to me, and was a concept that gave life and energy to the story.

Clearly the integration of these two time periods requires an element of science fiction or fantasy, and in this story, that comes from ‘The Ever After Machine’ – A Machine that makes dead things, (including pirates) live again.

I was working in an office and a co-worker who was celebrating her anniversary, gave me a rose, which, over time, became dry and wilted. Sometime later, I put it in a jar of water and the rose became revitalized. This made me think about mortality, and the idea occurred to me: What if there was some kind of elixir that could make dead things live again? Thus, The Mysterious Case of Doctor Octavius Plum’s Incredible Ever After Machine was born.

Where do authors get their story ideas from?

When Portland, Oregon author, Alexander Scott, received a rose from an anniversary-celebrating co-worker, in 2002, he had no idea that eight years later he would be digitally publishing a novel that was inspired by it. “Initially, I was too busy with work to pay much attention to the rose at all,” explains Scott. “I put it on my desk and forgot about it. “

That perhaps, was crucial to the books inspiration, for over the next few days, the rose became dry and wilted, and had it not done that, Scott would never have taken the next step, which was crucial to the books inspiration.

“After a few days,” he explains, “I noticed the rose, which was looking very lackluster—It seemed ready for the compost heap, but I didn’t give up; just before leaving for the day, I decided to get a jar of water and put the rose in it.”

And that’s when the magic happened. The next morning, Scott came into work and discovered that the rose was revitalized – back to its previous self. And that’s when the seed was sown and the idea for the book was born.

“I began to think about mortality,” says Scott, “and I began to wonder, what would it be like if someone created some kind of elixir—a concoction that could bring dead things back to life?”

That idea is central to the books plot, for the story centers around two children; Jennifer and Timothy, who travel to their grandfather’s solitary manor in a remote part of Great Britain, only to discover that their grandfather is missing. In the course of their investigations, they discover a machine in the garden that makes dead things live again.

“It’s an intriguing idea,” muses Scott, “If a machine did exist, you could go around to graveyards and wake up the dead—Maybe have a chat or two with some celebrities, for instance.”

And which celebrity would Scott choose?

“Definitely Oscar Wilde,” replied Scott, without missing a beat. “He would make a fascinating interview subject; so witty and erudite, with a wealth of knowledge and life experience to share. I recently visited his grave in the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris—I would go back there.”

The Mysterious Case of Doctor Octavius Plum’s Incredible Ever After Machine is released in e-book formats through IBooks (Compatible with the Apple Ipad) and for the Amazon Kindle, on December 1st, 2010.

The Mysterious Case of Doctor Octavius Plum’s Incredible Ever After Machine – Video Synopsis by the Author

The Mysterious Case of Doctor Octavius Plum’s Incredible Ever After Machine


When British children, Jennifer and Timothy Goodhew visit their grandfather on the isle of St. Mary’s, they are surprised to find him missing. In his place they find a wily, old pirate captain, who has taken control of their grandfather’s manor and its servants.

The captain puts the children to work—Timothy in the tumbledown graveyard at the end of the garden, and Jennifer within the manor itself. Naturally, the children are concerned about their missing grandfather and begin to investigate his disappearance.

In the course of their investigations, they discover that the garden surrounding the manor has become wildly overgrown. Furthermore, they are told that entrance to their grandfather’s laboratory is strictly forbidden. Undaunted, the children continue their investigations, and in so doing, discover a remarkable secret and a diabolical plot that will change their lives forever.

This novel will, in turn, warm your heart and send chills down your spine. It leads the reader on an unforgettable journey through an eerie manor, an overgrown garden, a tumbledown graveyard, and to a gripping conclusion. An adventure story and a mystery, it is a page-turner through and through—one that is enjoyed by children (ages 9 and up) and adults alike.

This eBook is available from