Sunday, May 3, 2020


 ~Post Includes:  Book Spotlight, Featured
Author--Sherry Ellis--Author Bio & Author 
Interview, and E-book Giveaway~

Voyagers: The Third Ghost
An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology

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!

Release date – May 5, 2020
$13.95, 6x9 trade paperback, 168 pages
Print ISBN 9781939844729 / EBook ISBN 9781939844736
Juvenile fiction – historical/action & adventure/fantasy & magic

Founded by author Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group offers support for writers and authors alike. It provides an online database; articles; monthly blog posting; Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram groups; #IWSGPit, and a newsletter. A Writer’s Digest 101 Best Website for Writers and The Write Life’s Best 100 Website for Writers


Sherry Ellis is an award-winning author and professional musician who plays and teaches the violin, viola, and piano. When she is not writing or engaged in musical activities, she can be found doing household chores, hiking, or exploring the world. Ellis lives in Atlanta, Georgia.


June:  Welcome to 'Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic', Sherry.  I'm delighted to have you as my special guest for this Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday feature on the upcoming {tomorrow, May 5th!} release of the 'Voyagers--The Third Ghost' Anthology. Congratulations on your story entitled, 'The Ghosts of Pompeii', being chosen for this curated story collection. 

Sherry:  Thank you, June! It’s a pleasure to be here.

June:  Please tell us how you created and developed the characters and setting for your story. Please discuss the historical research, if any, you conducted while working on this project.

Sherry:  Bubba and Squirt are two characters I’m very familiar with. They’ve had many adventures around the world in other stories I’ve written, so it was natural for me to use them as the voyagers in this anthology piece. The setting of Pompeii, Italy, was chosen because it was a place I had visited many years ago. I’m familiar with the ruins, the remains of the victims, and the giant volcano that looms in the background. It wasn’t difficult to create the world Bubba and Squirt visited. The challenge was finding a time in the past that they could go to, and then adding some details associated with that time period. 

The volcano originally erupted in 79 AD. I did research on what happened that day and included names of real people who lived there.  Pliny the Elder, a ghost in the story, was a historical figure who was one of the victims of Mount Vesuvius. I also had to research the history of the volcano’s eruptions. I wasn’t aware that there had been a significant eruption in the 1940s. When I discovered this, I decided it would be a great time for Bubba and Squirt to go back to.  I researched that eruption and also things like the clothing and cars of that period.

June:  Who is your favorite character in this story? Why is this person your favorite? Without spoiling the story, is there anyone in the story whom you do not like? Why not?

Sherry:  Bubba is my favorite character because he’s funny and impulsive. You never know what he’s going to say or do.

The only character I’d say I don’t like is the grumpy scientist. I mean seriously, the kids are trying to warn him that the volcano is about to blow, and he doesn’t want to hear about it. How irresponsible and rude!

June:  When you write a book, do you outline the entire story, or do you have a different way of organizing your plot, characters, etc.? Do you always know the ending of your story before you begin putting things down on paper, or into your computer?  Do you have any particular organizational tips that you'd like to pass along to other authors and aspiring authors?

Sherry:  I always outline the entire story. If I don’t, I wander all over the place and never complete the project. That’s not to say that sometimes I encounter unexpected twists and turns, but I always know how it’s going to end.

Authors need to do whatever works for them. I write extensive outlines and character family trees/traits/motivations etc.  That works for me but may not work for others. I’ve heard of authors creating “mood boards” – cutting out pictures of their setting, characters, or anything that ties into their story, and making a poster of them. If you’re a visual person, that would probably work well. 

June:  Upon browsing your website and Amazon listings, I noticed you have written picture books for young children, a middle-grade historical novel, and that you contributed an article to a non-fiction collection about the craft of writing.  Are there any genres you would like to delve into in the future? Have you considered writing adult fiction or poetry? Please tell us what projects would you like to work on in the future.

Sherry:  My middle grade historical fiction series is keeping me busy right now. The next book, Bubba and Squirt’s Mayan Adventure is coming out in September. But if I were to explore other genres, I might consider adult historical fiction, since it’s a genre I enjoy reading. The research aspect of it is also appealing to me. I have written inspirational poetry but have yet to seek a publisher for it. Maybe I’ll work on that. On the other end of the spectrum, I might try writing horror. I know, way different! I entered an anthology contest a while ago and wrote a dark piece for it. I didn’t win, but I found I enjoyed exploring my dark side and writing something so different from my usual light, kid-friendly material.

June:  You are a professional musician who plays several instruments. Please share about your musical background and how being a musician is similar and different to being an author.

Sherry:  Yes, I am a professional musician. I play and teach violin, viola, and piano and have been doing so for almost 40 years.

Music and writing are both artistic endeavors that involve creativity. Music is an auditory experience, while writing is visual. One of the things that I have found about both is that each involves having a sense of rhythm and flow. My background as a musician has been beneficial when it comes to choosing which words to use and how to structure the sentences. It all has to sound good when it’s read aloud.

June:  Are there any hobbies or interests you would like to pursue in the future? Where would you like to travel if and when your busy schedule allows?

Sherry:  My big plan is to visit New Zealand and Australia for my fiftieth birthday, which is right around the corner. Perhaps I’ll even visit Antarctica since I’ll be so close. It’s hard for me to fit in time for hobbies since I work three jobs. But I think it might be fun to learn how to paint and draw. Maybe then I could illustrate my own books.

June:  Thank you for sharing some time with us today, Sherry. I appreciate your chatting with us about your writing journey and other interesting topics! Best wishes for your continued success in your writing, and musical, endeavors.

πŸ–ŠπŸ–‹πŸ—’πŸ—’ πŸ–ŠπŸ–‹πŸ—’πŸ—’πŸ–ŠπŸ–‹πŸ—’πŸ—’ πŸ–ŠπŸ–‹πŸ—’πŸ—’πŸ–ŠπŸ–‹πŸ—’

Announcement from June regarding Sherry's Upcoming Release, 'Bubba and Squirt's Mayan Adventure' -- We will be celebrating the release of Sherry's upcoming book with a Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday celebration on Monday, September 14th, 2020! Sherry will be here to share a guest post about her book; and the publisher, Dancing Lemur Press, LLC, is offering a print copy of the book {US only} for a giveaway! 


Bubba and Squirt's Mayan Adventure

By Sherry Ellis

Release date - September 15, 2020
Juvenile Fiction - Action Adventure/Legends, Myths, Fables-Caribbean & Latin American/Fantasy & Magic
Print ISBN 9781939844705 $7.95 / EBook ISBN 9781939844712 $3.99


Dancing Lemur Press, LLC, is offering one e-book copy of the Voyagers:  The Third Ghost Anthology to one lucky US or International winner! Enter using the below Rafflecopter form.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



 Find the links to read more great Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts from middle-grade authors and bloggers at Greg Pattridge's 'Always in the Middle' Blog.

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  1. Can't wait to read the anthology. Sherry, I hope you get to Australia and New Zealand. And I can't imagine how you could pick up another hobby with all that you do. Congrats on being in the anthology.

  2. Great interview. My favorite of the past week! And here I thought I was busy. Sherry has a fuller plate than me. Best of luck on her future release.

    1. Thanks, Greg! I am never bored. That's for sure!

  3. Thank you for featuring Sherry and Voyagers!

  4. Thank you so much for interviewing me and giving a shout-out for my upcoming book! I'm so excited to be part of this anthology! So many talented authors and creative stories!

  5. Hi, June & Sherry!

    Sherry, I learn more about you every day. I already knew that you are a gifted writer, musician and educator, and that you have a taste for adventure based on your reports of skydiving experiences and similar activities. It's exciting to think that you might visit New Zealand and hop down to the South Pole while you're in the neighborhood. :) I am also delighted to know that you might someday explore the horror genre. Congratulations on being selected for the Voyagers anthology and best of luck with the release of Bubba and Squirt's Mayan Adventure!

    1. Thanks, Tom. There's a lot I'd like to do. Having the time is the issue.

  6. Fascinating interview. You are amazing the way you pursue your two artistic expressions, Sherry. I'm looking forward to my first encounter of Bubba and Squirt - and our fellow authors' tales.

    1. I"m looking forward to reading your entry too. I have the book, and have had it for a while, but I still haven't had time to read it!

  7. Great Interview, thanks so much for helping to support the Anthology. It's full of wonderful Stories that take you to wonderful places!

    1. It's a great collection by a lot of talented writers!

  8. Forty years? But you look so young.
    My stories would also wander into the desert and never return without an outline.

    1. Thanks, Alex. People are always surprised to learn my age. I'm lucky. I have good genes. Both of my parents look young for their age, too.

  9. What a fascinating interview with Sherry. Your anthology sounds quite unique. You certainly aren't boring with all of your travel and varied interest. Fun getting to know you!

    1. Hi Patricia. Thanks for stopping by! Sometimes I wish I had about 3 or 4 of me to do everything I'd like!

  10. What a great interview! It was interesting to hear about Ms. Ellis's books and writing process. Thanks for such a great post!

    1. Thanks for stopping by! Glad you enjoyed the interview.

  11. I have a review copy of Bubba and Squirt's Mayan Adventure I will be reviewing on my blog soon. I enjoyed reading this interview. Thanks for the post.

    1. Thank you! I hope you enjoy Bubba and Squirt's Mayan Adventure.

  12. And a musician, too! I'm glad to be in the anthology with you.

    1. Yep. Music is my main thing, but writing is right behind it. So glad you're part of the anthology, too!

  13. And you're a musician, too! I'm so glad to be part of this talent group of writers.

  14. Nice interview, ladies! Boy, Sherry, if you've been a professional musician for nearly forty years, you must've started playing when you were still in the womb. (I bet you made your mom verrrrry uncomfortable!) Congrats on the anthology and the next release in September. (Do you ever sleep???) :)

    1. Haha! I've been playing for 40 years, and a professional for 30. Sleep? What's that? LOL!



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