In case you hadn’t read, Sir Wayne Thomas Batson slapped me with a gauntlet tonight, then threw it at my feet.

A challenge.

To see which of us will finish our current book project first.

His, The Errant King, book 2 of the Dark Sea Annals.

Mine, book 1 of what is currently code-named “TSR.

The stakes are high. Belligerent blog comments.

The reward sweet. Social media bragging rights.

And I heartily accept with a back-handed thwack of an elbow cop to the cheek! That, and I need your help, lords and ladies all. (Even your lapdogs are welcome).

Sir Wayne and I would like to invite you into the carnage. First, you’ll need to choose a side. Who do you say will win? Post here and on Sir Wayne’s site (or on FB or Twitter). Then tell us approximately how many thousand words the winning book will be.

Everyone who picks the correct winner and gets the wordcount within +/- 5,000 words wins a prize!*

Whoever picks the correct winner and is closest to the actual wordcount, wins a bigger prize!**

Hint: the final word count of the winning book will definitely be OVER 50,000 words. If you’re looking for a ballpark figure, you might consider investigating our other books.

What are you waiting for? Choose your side now: The Noble Tribe of the Clean Shaven, or the Razorless Knotted Hair Mass Clan. Who will finish his novel first and how long will it be? ch:

*Note: the prize will definitely be better than a rusted paper clip, but somewhat inferior to hot air balloon ride with Buzz Aldrin.

**Note: the bigger prize will definitely be better than piece of lint, but somewhat inferior to a live sea turtle.

Categories: newsreading


EaglesWings · 14 Mar ’11 at 9:19 pm

Hah! Lets go Sir Hopper! Get a writing! 😛

    Christopher Hopper · 14 Mar ’11 at 10:21 pm

    I’m on it! I’m on it! Thank you for your push!

Michelle · 14 Mar ’11 at 9:41 pm

My dear fellow, there is no way under the clouds or even above them that Wayne Thomas Batson can beat Christopher Hopper in this challenge, none at all what so ever. Case in point–Wayne looks like Inigo Montoya–which would make Christopher The Man in Black aka The Dread Pirate Roberts. And therefore and ergo, Christopher Hopper will indeed win as anyone who watched The Princess Bride knows, The Dread Pirate Roberts is MORE than a match for Inigo Montoya.

That was my last smack-down of the ruffians backing that scruffy looking nerf herder that “started” all of this. As if he stands a chance.

I said that you would smite him with the holy hand grenade of 131,000 words

    Christopher Hopper · 14 Mar ’11 at 10:20 pm

    Truly I am humbled. Say no more, my fair patron lady! I am off to war!

Nathan R. · 14 Mar ’11 at 10:40 pm

What about Book 3… ??? hm…. 🙁

    Christopher Hopper · 14 Mar ’11 at 10:51 pm

    Book 3 of Berinfell? Or of TWLC? (Man…that’s two too many un-done book 3’s!)

Noah Arsenault · 14 Mar ’11 at 10:44 pm

I concur with Michelle! Although, I would have to say your word count when you finish your book (which, obviously, will be before Batson does) shall be 142,389 words 😀

    Christopher Hopper · 14 Mar ’11 at 10:52 pm

    Noah…you flatter me! The Lion Vrie was just over 150,000, as is Athera’s Dawn [book 3] (if I remember correctly). I’ll give it a go, though!

reenie · 14 Mar ’11 at 10:45 pm

I would have to say Christopher will win, the book will be 238,000 words… I trust that if it isn’t that long Christopher you will make it so LOL !!!!!!!! Love ya Best of word to ya both!!!!!

    Christopher Hopper · 14 Mar ’11 at 10:53 pm

    You really do like my writing, don’t you!

      reenie · 14 Mar ’11 at 11:38 pm

      Yes and I will like even more if you write an epic all out LOTR style killer Classic lol !!!! Make it LONG so I don’t have to wait to have the sequal – (there is a method to my maddness! ) 🙂

Nathan R. · 14 Mar ’11 at 10:58 pm

I was thinking TWLC, but both would be nice. If you really cared for your readers…. 😉

    Christopher Hopper · 14 Mar ’11 at 11:22 pm

    Oh it cuts deep! I think you must have read the cover letter I sent in to Thomas Nelson explaining why I was pitching them the 3rd TWLC book before any of my new ideas…

    …my poor, poor readers! I’m surprised they haven’t stormed my castle yet.

      whisper · 14 Mar ’11 at 11:44 pm

      …… oh, you have no idea the plots that have been made, Sir Hopper. >_> If you only knew how many times your domicile had been on the brink of being violent and overwhelming invaded by a mob of readers wielding pitchforks and torches who will stop at nothing to hunt down the Athera’s Dawn manuscript… if you only knew. *shakes head pityingly*

        EaglesWings · 15 Mar ’11 at 11:59 am

        Oh, indeed indeed… Just envision ranks of elves welding keyboards and spatulas marching up the drive way, banging on the door…

          whisper · 15 Mar ’11 at 3:59 pm

          Exactly, my dear Eagles’; exactly.

          Christopher Hopper · 15 Mar ’11 at 5:09 pm

          Exactly, my dear Watson…

          …oh, wait. Wrong saga.

        Christopher Hopper · 15 Mar ’11 at 4:13 pm

        Should I be worried? [goes to eBay to put a bid on a pair of guard dogs] 😉

          Pathfinder · 22 Mar ’11 at 5:34 pm

          Bwaahahaa! *fingers hilt of sword in one hand, and the Pen of Light in the other*
          Oh, no, sir Hopper. Guard dogs are completely unnecessary.
          *flips through thick notebook of plots with a mischevious grin*
          you might want to finish the third of The White Lion Cronicles soon. very soon. We’re getting…restless. Impatient.

Julie · 14 Mar ’11 at 11:14 pm

I believe my dear Christopher will beat out Sir Batson. I believe the final word count will be 125,351.

    Christopher Hopper · 14 Mar ’11 at 11:23 pm

    Why thank you, ma’ lady! Tiz’ ever kind of you! And I think that word count is slightly more fitting than those previously wagered. Well done.

whisper · 14 Mar ’11 at 11:41 pm

I stand on the side of the Glossy Scalps. 😐 Sir Hopper, I predict that you will defeat his Royal Wayneship at a handsome word count of 177,300! *enthusiastically waves ‘Hopper for President’ banner aloft*

And good gravy, I’m getting quite curious about this alleged “TSR.” The Swashbuckling Rhubarb, no doubt. >_>

Good fortune to you in the challenge, Sir Christopher. 😐 May you triumph in a fiery blizzard of words, keyboards, and caffeine!


    Jake · 15 Mar ’11 at 6:47 pm

    I see you have sided rightly. 😐 Good luck.

    Christopher Hopper · 16 Mar ’11 at 7:25 am

    “The Swashbuckling Rhubarb”

    I just saw a ruby-purple-red pie made in the shape of a pirate…

kathy · 14 Mar ’11 at 11:46 pm

Sir christopher,
I have not read the other books yet but my grandson and i are certainly looking forward to reading them .But if i had to guess i would have to say according to your other books it would be around 120,000. I do believe you can beat Sir Wayne with no further procrastination. I bid you adue to return to your elaberate writing skills.Since your imagination begiles me .

    Christopher Hopper · 15 Mar ’11 at 4:14 pm

    You are so kind! Thank you ever so much. I had know idea that I had an beguiling imagination!

Sarah · 14 Mar ’11 at 11:55 pm

Ever loyal, I can only vote for you to win this battle. Hop to it! 🙂 As for the word count, I’ll say 151,151. I do enjoy palindromes.. 😉

    Christopher Hopper · 15 Mar ’11 at 4:15 pm

    Hey my palindroming friend! Miss you! I’ll try my best and do you proud!

Lisa Bergren · 15 Mar ’11 at 12:55 am

Noble sir, I most assuredly put my good faith in you. Twas you who endorsed my own humble works in the past, and therefore ’tis you who earns my undying patronage. I am guessing this current endeavor of yours is for noble youth of the realm, which would make me believe your volume might be slimmer than most. But then…mayhap they are on some sort of epic quest! Yes, therefore I wager you seek to produce about 100,000 words. I most fervently hope that you shall do so with something more than a pen and quill by candlelight…go forth with God, good man. And conquer Sir Wayne, so that he does not trifle with you again.

    Christopher Hopper · 15 Mar ’11 at 4:16 pm

    I stand in awe; the great heroine, Lady Bergren herself, has graced this fair place with her presence! And a commission at that!

    Ah, now you, knowing the art of story craft, have struck far truer than others to my goal. I shall do my best!

Sam · 15 Mar ’11 at 1:28 am

Oooooh man. I’m LOVING this. 😀 I’m a HopperFan4Ever..but reality must be faced. My vote remains uncast.

wayne thomas batson · 15 Mar ’11 at 5:19 am

Thou hast besmirched my very likeness, and with a handlebar mustache no less! Have at thee, and may the best (long haired) man win!

    Christopher Hopper · 15 Mar ’11 at 4:18 pm

    Well, mad points to you this morning…you win today!

Carla · 15 Mar ’11 at 8:35 am

I cast my voye for the clean shaven bald man lol! I am going to guess that the book will contain 167,000 words, and that is my final answer.
You are so creative and your talents that the lord has blessed you with astunds me I am buying your previous books for my son to read with family. I love to see the excitment on his face when he reads a new book. He is currently involved in three books I asked him how can you read three books at a time and to that he said its a piece of cake mom. I love childrens books they make children happy thank you for writting them. Now get on with the writting we have a bet to win!

    Christopher Hopper · 15 Mar ’11 at 4:28 pm

    Carla, I’m honored! Seriously, nothing means more to me than seeing parents and their kids connect through my art. Thank you for your kind words.

Robert Treskillard · 15 Mar ’11 at 10:16 am

Alas, Sir Christopher, if I were but a few years older, and my own pate bare (which surely it will be aforelong), then I would gladly join in thy cause. As it is, I must support Sir Wayne. My guess for THE ERRANT KING is that it will be 127,127 words.

May the best pate o’ hair win!

-Sir Robert Treskillard

    Christopher Hopper · 15 Mar ’11 at 4:31 pm

    Sir Robert,

    Well said, my friend. And I must say your indulgence of the long-haired clan is a wise one, even if I do think I’m going to win. For in all honesty, he is a fine man of the pen (and even more so as a friend).


Billy Jepma · 15 Mar ’11 at 12:10 pm

GO TEAM CHRISTOPHER!!! I hope you both know this is like asking me to choose between Chuck Norris and Batman! Its near impossible (Chuck would win, but not until the entire space-time continuum exploded). I predict the unknown novel codenamed TSR, (of which I might have an idea of what it could be) will be 175,895 words. A little longer than the Lion Vrie. Because Christopher gets better every book he writes. 🙂 Good luck to you both!!! Never alone!!
Sorry, had to throw in something for Wayne! 🙂

    Christopher Hopper · 15 Mar ’11 at 5:07 pm

    So the better the writing, the longer the book? You rock.

Adele Hajicek · 15 Mar ’11 at 12:18 pm

I predict that CH shalt win with 110,000 words. Go CH!

    Christopher Hopper · 15 Mar ’11 at 5:09 pm

    Adele, I’m totally honored by your vote of confidence, and impressed with your proposed word count! Well thought out!

Sarah · 15 Mar ’11 at 4:56 pm

(Laughs hysterically) This is good. Really good. It’s a professional word war! LOL!

As for whose side I take, I shall join . . . (dramatic pause) . . . Sir Batson!

Why? The answer is simple yet complicated. For one thing, Sir Batson is my favorite living author, and if he gets too much better, he might just surpass J.R.R. Tolkien, the only author I like better. Also, despite the fact that I read The Chronicles of Narnia and The Hobbit at an early age, it was Sir Batson’s series, The Door Within Trilogy, that really got me into fantasy. I look forward to every book he brings out, and I bought The Sword in the Stars before I or my friend had read it, a first for me. (I also wrote my first book review on Sword in the Stars, BTW.)

Besides, want a list of heroes from fantasy literature with long hair? There’s Aragorn, Legolas, Robby, Captain Valithor, Kaliam, Mallick, Tommy (I think), and a bazillion others. How many bald heroes that I know of? Zero. Plus, Sir Hopper can’t captivate me the way Sir Batson can.

The Errant King’s word count will be . . . 111,111 words. Why? I’m a LOTR-crazed person. Anyone who knows me can attest to this. 111,111 is a nice, LOTR-y number. Besides, it’s a fun number.

May the best (kingly) author win!
-Lady Sarah, swordmaiden of Alleble and Dreadnaught of Berinfell

P.S. Does anyone else think that Sir Batson looks kind of like Aragorn?

None of this is mean to offend you, good Sir Hopper. Your work on the Berinfell Prophecies and, to a degree, The Rise of the Dibor series that I can’t remember the name of, has earned you a place among my favorite authors. Yu b’ awesome!

    Christopher Hopper · 16 Mar ’11 at 7:27 am

    Sarah, you have chosen wisely and your reasoning is dually noted. You, of course, are going to lose, but you do so with head-held-high, and I commend you for your bravery!


Elven Princess · 15 Mar ’11 at 5:16 pm

Im sorry I have not read your books yet. I have the Berenfill books though. (And Im sorry I did not vote for you. But I wish you good luck.) 🙂 I enjoyed watching you guys fight on the livestream during the last tribe party. That was very funny. 😀 Have fun writing!!! 😀

    Christopher Hopper · 16 Mar ’11 at 7:30 am

    EP: I do commend your choice, and thank you for your encouragement. Again, Im sorry you’re going to lose, but I understand and honor your fidelity. 😉

Leah Stockholm · 15 Mar ’11 at 5:33 pm

I have to say though you both are amazing, that you Sir Christopher will win hands down with 123,777 words =).

    Christopher Hopper · 16 Mar ’11 at 7:33 am

    Why thank you, Lady Leah! Bless you! I shall fight forth in your honor!

Jliessa44 · 15 Mar ’11 at 6:24 pm

Sir Hopper Shall win with a word count of 130,000. To the bald people!
(Which is rather funny because my long hair reaches to my waist. XD)

    Christopher Hopper · 16 Mar ’11 at 7:37 am

    So if I win, do I get some of your hair? 😉 (Thank you!)

Jake · 15 Mar ’11 at 6:50 pm

I have already voted on Sir Batson’s blog, but be rest assured that I have cast my lot with thee. Write like the wind until your pen bursts in flame! (hope it doesn’t catch the manuscript on fire…)

    Christopher Hopper · 16 Mar ’11 at 7:39 am

    JAKE: Thank you, sir! Most heartily, thank you! And to even let the enemy know on his own blog? Touchez!

      Elven Princess · 16 Mar ’11 at 10:24 am

      I let you know that I voted for Mr. Batson on your blog…. But I was not trying to be mean.

Elven Princess · 15 Mar ’11 at 7:52 pm

lol! (yes, don’t catch your manuscript on fire. I don’t want that to happen to any of your’s or Mr. Batson’s manuscripts.)

    Jake · 16 Mar ’11 at 12:14 am

    It would be rather…unfortunate, should Sir Batson’s manuscript, uh *cough* accidentally catch on fire.

      Eldra · 16 Mar ’11 at 12:27 am

      You’re quite the troublemaker, aren’t you, Jake?

        Christopher Hopper · 16 Mar ’11 at 7:45 am

        Ummm…matches? Where? I didn’t see any ma–LOOK OUT!

Chris · 15 Mar ’11 at 8:29 pm

Tis a sad world when friend turns against friend and even uses such dastardly tactics as *choke* handlebar mustaches!

    Christopher Hopper · 16 Mar ’11 at 3:38 pm

    I know! What is the world coming to? Alas, he did start this all! (Just saying).

Lady Ness · 15 Mar ’11 at 9:04 pm

Hello Sir Hopper 🙂
I vote for thee and my guess as to the word count doth be 130,000.

Your humble squire,

-Ness =]

    Christopher Hopper · 16 Mar ’11 at 3:38 pm

    Ness: I am indeed honored by your patronage! I shall endeavor to do you proud.

Leighton · 15 Mar ’11 at 9:13 pm

Well Mr Hopper, I’m going to have to vote for the long haired dude. I really can’t say why. It’s weird. >_> (check out my avatar) lol

Jason · 15 Mar ’11 at 10:54 pm

Egad! That picture of Wayne! Christopher, you have really done it this time! You’ve turned Wayne into…President Taft!!

    Christopher Hopper · 16 Mar ’11 at 3:39 pm

    [GULP!] Oh no! What have I done?!

      Elven Princess · 17 Mar ’11 at 12:57 pm

      lol! Sorry, this contest is a bit funny for me… This is as cool as the battle in the tribe meeting last year. That made me laugh so much. I wish I was there then.

        Christopher Hopper · 18 Mar ’11 at 7:02 am

        We wish you’d been there too! Glad you’re enjoying it!

Eldra · 16 Mar ’11 at 12:02 am

Question, Mr. Hopper: did you mention the live sea turtle because it matches the amount of hair on your head or is it completely random?

    Christopher Hopper · 16 Mar ’11 at 3:40 pm

    Eldra: Uhh…yeah! Ummm, it was completely intentional! Sure, that’s it! Intentional.

      Elven Princess · 16 Mar ’11 at 9:36 pm


Micah 6:8 · 7 Apr ’11 at 4:45 pm

Mr. Hopper,

Do you think you will publish Athera’s Dawn in Kindle ebook?

Nathan R. · 4 May ’11 at 2:15 pm

So who won? Did I miss something?

    Christopher Hopper · 4 May ’11 at 2:46 pm

    Ah, Sir Wayne won. Alas.


    That’s all I have to say.

The Princess Writer · 16 Jan ’13 at 8:43 am

Oh, I completely agree with Sarah. (Despite the fact that it is a year away from when this was hosted.)
She’s got a point. Hairy warriors abound in history—of the fantasy world and this! Whereas bald villains….. let us think about Darth Vader.
Point proven.
(He was bald, right?!)
Hairy warriors are far superior to bald… ahem! people. I vote for the hairy warriors. (No offense meant to present parties. The present parties have great writing skills but I must side with the hairy warriors, whom I discovered first.) (Even though I cannot vote… alas!)

    Christopher Hopper · 16 Jan ’13 at 9:06 am

    Ha ha / your comment are always welcome…even if they are a yet late AND for the other party. 😉

The Princess Writer · 16 Jan ’13 at 4:06 pm

😉 Thanks.

Comments are closed.