Humourist and inspirational writer Robert Wilson publishes a ‘scary’ book for 8- to 12-year-olds, expanding on a yarn he spun for his own sons at bedtime
By Robert Evans Wilson, Jr.-
When my sons were little I would tell them a bedtime story every night. We would all climb into the bottom bunk with the lights out and I would make up a story from scratch.
Some nights when I was tired, I would need a little help coming up with a subject. I would ask them, “What do you want to hear about tonight?” One night they said, “We want a ghost story.” “Really?” I asked. And, they said, “Yes, a scary one!”
So, I started weaving a spooky tale with creaking doors, rattling chains, and a moaning ghost coming through the walls. I wasn’t but a couple of minutes into the story before one of my sons said, “Stop Daddy, you’re really scaring us.” I chuckled and asked, “Well, what kind of story would you like instead?” “We want a funny ghost story, Daddy.”
“OK,” I said, and began a story about two boys, who were three years apart in age. The younger boy, Duke, loved to play pranks on the older boy. The remarkable thing about Duke was he happened to be a ghost, and because of that he was able to play some extraordinary tricks on Corky, the living boy.
They laughed and laughed as I told how the ghost kid would hide in the mailbox and startle Corky as he stopped to get the mail on his way home from school.
The next night they wanted to hear it again. Then again the next night; then again and again, night after night. So each time I would add more to the story and before long Duke was getting Corky in trouble at school. Unfortunately, Corky was the only one who could see Duke, which made him one very annoying ghost.
The story continued to grow, and my sons told their friends about it. When their friends played at our house, they would ask me to tell the story about the annoying ghost kid. Word spread, and when I did volunteer work at the school, I would be asked to tell a ghost kid story. It started with a few kids around a lunchroom table, before long I was telling it to entire classrooms. This went on for months – my story simply would not give up the ghost. 😉
One day during lunch on a school field trip, I found myself standing in the gazebo on Roswell Square telling ghost kid stories to the entire fourth grade. A few weeks later, on a Cub Scout camping trip, thirty boys sitting around the campfire started chanting, “Ghost Kid! Ghost Kid!” until I told the story.
At that point I knew I was on to something, and it was time to write it on paper – this story had more than a ghost of a chance to succeed as a book. 🙂
Once “The Annoying Ghost Kid” was written, I was concerned with whether or not children would still enjoy it. So, I printed dozens of copies and test marketed it with my target audience – kids age 8 to 12. The reviews were all positive and several parents told me their children read it more than once. Then I asked some teachers to read it to their classes, and again positive reviews – their students loved the ghost kid.
See the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AnnoyingGhostKid
Order it for your Kindle or other ebook $3.99US right here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005ZGWVD8