Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Voyagers: The Third Ghost …. Part 1

Today I have the pleasure of welcoming a number of the authors who participated in the recent Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology, VOYAGERS: THE THIRD GHOST.

The authors are here to talk about their individual stories that are included in the anthology. Please check back again later this week and early next as the other authors will visit, along with the anthology publisher. First, a brief synopsis of the anthology, IWSG, and then the authors.


An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology
* Paperback: 168 pages
* Publisher: Freedom Fox Press (May 5, 2020)
* Language: English
* Print: 9781939844729 $13.95
* eBook: 9781939844736 $4.99
* Juvenile fiction – historical/action & adventure/fantasy & magic

Journey into the past…

Will the third ghost be found before fires take more lives? Can everyone be warned before Pompeii is buried again? What happens if a blizzard traps a family in East Germany? Will the Firebird help Soviet sisters outwit evil during WWII? And sneaking off to see the first aeroplane – what could go wrong?

Ten authors explore the past, sending their young protagonists on harrowing adventures. Featuring the talents of Yvonne Ventresca, Katharina Gerlach, Roland Clarke, Sherry Ellis, Rebecca M. Douglass, Bish Denham, Charles Kowalski, Louise MacBeath Barbour, Beth Anderson Schuck, and L.T. Ward.

Hand-picked by a panel of agents, authors, and editors, these ten tales will take readers on a voyage of wonder into history. Get ready for an exciting ride!

VOYAGERS: THE THIRD GHOST is available at the following sites:

Insecure Writer’s Support Group:
Founded by author Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) offers support for writers and authors alike. It provides an online database; articles; monthly blog posting; Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram groups; #IWSGPit, and a newsletter. To find out more, visit https://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/

Author Sherry Ellis
Meet Sherry Ellis, author of The Ghosts of Pompeii

The Ghosts of Pompeii is the story of two kids, Bubba and Squirt, who travel through a vortex and end up in Pompeii, Italy. There they meet some ghosts who tell them that the infamous volcano, Mount Vesuvius is about to erupt. It’s their job to warn everyone before it’s too late.

The story was inspired by a trip I took to Italy in 2001. I visited Pompeii and saw the volcano up close and personal. Fortunately, it didn’t erupt when I was there!

I decided to participate in the anthology contest because middle-grade historical fiction is exactly what I like to write. I couldn’t pass it up!

Pros and cons of writing an anthology piece? Cons may be that there are rules and restrictions. You must follow the guidelines because if you don’t, you’re disqualified. Pros would be that having these restrictions really helps you tighten your writing and makes you better at your craft. And of course, if you win, it’s pretty cool!

Author Yvonne Ventresca
Meet Yvonne Ventresca, author of The Third Ghost

My story in the Voyagers Anthology is The Third Ghost: Among the darkened, arson-damaged streets of Hoboken in 1981, Lewis stops to help two ghosts until he realizes his own family is in grave danger.

Several years ago, I went on a haunted tour of Grand Central Station as research for my young adult novel, Black Flowers, White Lies. During the tour, the guide told us a ghost story about a girl on the train tracks who is trying to make her way home. The story stuck with me, and for this short story contest, I thought about that girl and what it might be like for someone to meet her on a spooky October night.

I’ve contributed to several anthologies (including Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life), primarily writing young adult fiction. For the Voyagers collection, I liked the challenge of writing for a middle grade audience. Anthology contests are a great opportunity to try new creative outlets.
Author Bish Denham
Meet Bish Denham, author of The Blind Ship

The Blind Ship is based on a true story. Because I was raised and have family in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, most of my stories have a strong Caribbean flavor. For research purposes, I have a small collection of books about the history of the area. It was in one of those books, Eyewitness Accounts of Slavery in the Danish West Indies also Graphic Tales of Other Slave Happenings on Ships and Plantations by Isidor Paiewonsky, that I read excerpts from the journal of a twelve-year-old boy named Jacques B. Romaigne. His harrowing account of traveling on a slave ship from France to the island Guadeloupe haunted me for years. And that is the best thing about participating in this anthology, because now, Jacques story, which has been languishing in my files for many years, has finally been told.

Author Roland Clarke
Meet Roland Clarke, author of Feathered Fire

This is the first time I have been in any collection, although I’ve entered a few anthology competitions, mainly IWSG ones. No regrets so only Pros as I’ve met some amazing authors–and an awesome editor. If there is a Con, it’s the extra work, but that’s rewarding.

I was hesitant about attempting a Middle-Grade story but the Ninja Captain Alex Cavanaugh encouraged me to have a go.

Feathered Fire took wings from my reading about the amazing Soviet airwomen in World War II and my decades-long fascination with Slavic folklore.

Author L.T. Ward
Meet L.T. Ward, author of Return to Cahokia

Most of my works are inspired by weather. To whip up my stories, I take long walks where I watch the skies, feel the winds, and allow my mind to wonder about imaginary worlds. Since the story was for a middle-grade audience, I imagined my own children playing in the skies and how they would react to a long journey, as though on the currents of the spring storms. During one stroll, my then 8-year-old niece's request to write her a story about the Cahokia Mounds flooded my brain. I had researched the Mounds for an earlier project, and she wanted more. "Return To Cahokia" was written for her.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Remember to check back later this week and early next week to learn more about the other authors included in the anthology and their stories. Have you ever participated in an anthology?


  1. Hi Mason - love the idea behind this anthology ... and have enjoyed the previews to their stories - they all sound so much fun - and really stir my imagination. Good luck and I'll be back for the others - stay safe all of you - Hilary

  2. Fascinating how each story was inspired. Most came from something in real life - doing something. And yes, Roland, glad I prodded you!

    1. So am I, Alex - and I'm looking forward to reading the other tales. Thanks Mason for giving us all a chance to tell readers more.

  3. It's so nice, Mason, that so many different authors were a part of this anthology. It's a great opportunity to show different perspectives, different styles, etc.. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Thank you so much for this triple feature with the Voyagers authors. I love their inspirations.

  5. Thanks for helping out with the launch, Mason!

  6. Thanks for helping get the word out! It's so interesting to read about the inspiration behind the stories. And also interesting that some of us wrote in the genre we typically write in while others did this to explore a new genre.

  7. Love to see how the other authors were inspired! And thanks so much for helping to get the word out!

  8. Hi, Mason! Thanks for featuring our book "Voyagers: The Third Ghost" on your blog today! It's always fun to learn more about the authors and their stories.

  9. There are some really great stories here, so enjoy each one. Thanks Mason for all you do. You are amazing.

  10. Thanks for featuring the anthology authors! Appreciate it!


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.