Quest of the Keys Aims to Entertain, Build Character

Quest of the Keys Aims to Entertain, Build Character

book_coverScotty Sanders wanted to write a great fantasy adventure novel, but not simply as a vehicle to entertain. The Lantana grandfather has enjoyed success in business ownership, non-profit organization leadership and speaking/instructing as a consultant.  Like a lot of successful people, he wants to share what he’s learned.

“My purpose in life is to encourage and empower others,” Sanders explained. Thus while “Quest of the Keys” is a compelling tale, the characters exhibit traits that are foundational to productive lives and successful relationships. The book, aimed at audiences in middle schools and high schools, is popular as a character education resource.

“What we are trying to say is relate to the character, relate to the story and learn life-changing principles along the way,” Sanders explained in an interview with “Lantana Living.”

Sanders has been successful in marketing the book to schools and teachers around the country for use in character education programs though it also can be used as an English/Language Arts resource. Sanders said schools in 30 states are using the book including a number of campuses around the Metroplex. He’s hopeful that creation of a non-profit corporation will make the books, student guides, teacher guides, posters and other resources available for simply the cost of shipping.

Central to the book’s success are compelling characters and a powerful narrative. The hero in “Quest of the Keys” is Decklen and the book tells his story of redemption. He is introduced in promotional materials as follows:

“After suffering a tragic loss, Decklen turned his back on everything he loved and set out to find himself in the world. Like so many before, Decklen found solace in the pleasures and promises of Arygros. But the pleasures cost all he had, and the promises soon faded into a never-ending con game. Trapped for years in the blackness of the nearby silver mines, Decklen at last risks a daring escape accompanied by a young and impetuous companion.”

Among “Quest of the Keys’ ” great fans is Abby Grace LoBello, 10, entering fifth grade at E.P. Rayzor Elementary School. Sanders’ granddaughter, she is an avid reader and took on a book aimed at an older audience. She said her favorite character in the book is Camberly, a character with whom she can identify.

“She is a feisty and fearless,” Abby said. “She loves adventures even when it gets her in trouble or puts her in danger. Camberly would do anything to save her brother.”

“I really love Decklen’s character He is a hero! He braves dangerous situations and is trying to find himself throughout the story.”

Abby actually appears in some of the promotional materials for “Quest of the Keys.” She worked in the company of professional actors to portray Camberly.

“It was a wonderful experience,” she said. “The atmosphere was fun with the other characters. I loved my red wig with out-of-control curls. It is actually like my real hair except red.”

Sanders said the book seeks to impart important social and emotional learning so critical to success. Middle school is an especially important time to reach students. Often frustrations that lead to dropping out become manifest in middle school. Youngsters that age have to deal with issues like temptation and bullying.

“We’re using an engaging story to capture the imagination,” Sanders said. “Students are engaged and entertained while they learn character development principles.”

Sanders is passionate about the mission to reach these youngsters.

“The next generation matters,” he said. “I have four granddaughters in that generation.”

He wants all of them to have solid character and be able to write well, speak well and engage in lifelong learning.

Sanders and Cindy, his wife of 37 years, have lived in Lantana for eight years.

“We love it here…we love the people and the community,” he said.  They are especially pleased to have a son, a daughter, two granddaughters and a son-in-law living just three minutes away.

For more information on “Quest of the Keys”
visit the website

By Eric Williams

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