• Jan Fischer Wade
  • In the spirit of Halloween: Ghost Dog of Roanoke Island! A tween ghost story!
In the spirit of Halloween: Ghost Dog of Roanoke Island! A tween ghost story!
Written by
Jan Fischer Wade
October 2011
Written by
Jan Fischer Wade
October 2011

It's a week before Halloween so I thought it would be perfect to welcome Author C.K. Volnek to my blog. Her book, Ghost Dog of Roanoke Island became available by MIU Publishing last month…just in time for Halloween. It’s a tween ghost story, with a twist of Native American folklore, and based on a true American mystery…the mystery of the Lost Colony of Roanoke Island.


Ghost Dog of Roanoke Island

In 1587, 117 colonists disappeared from Roanoke Island without a trace, leaving behind not only unanswered questions, but a terrifying evil. Now it’s up to twelve year-old Jack Dahlgren to unravel the age-old mystery and save his family from the hateful beast that haunts the island.

With the help of newfound friend, Manny, a Native American shaman, and an elusive Giant Mastiff, Jack must piece together the clues of the Lost Colony to discover what really happened. Shrouded in ancient Native American folklore, it's up to Jack to uncover what the evil is and why it haunts his island. But can he destroy it...before it destroys him?


Welcome, C.K.!


Greetings, Jan! Thanks for allowing me to visit your blog today. It’s a pleasure to be here.


So, tell us a little about Ghost Dog of Roanoke Island. How did you come up with a story mixing such fascinating history with fiction?


To tell you the truth, if someone would have told me I would eventually write about historical facts, I would have told them they were crazy. I hated history growing up. All those dates and places to memorize. It seemed like useless information. And what did history have to do with today?


It was several years ago, I read an article on the Lost Colony of Roanoke Island. I became fascinated with the mystery. How could 117 colonists have disappeared without a trace? No one knows what happened to them. Many people speculate they might have been killed by the Natives, or died of starvation, or even lost in a hurricane. The main thing missing in all these possibilities are bodies…no bodies were found. Some think a Native American tribe adopted them, but wouldn’t the colonists have left a way for their fellow colonists to find them?


My muse grabbed this mystery, whispering these questions in my ear. So, I began to research the history. Gasp! Yes, I was interested in history. And it was in the research I found history has everything to do with today. Every situation has a cause and effect theory. What we do today, can and will determine what happens tomorrow.


In researching the mystery of the Lost Colony for Ghost Dog of Roanoke Island, I found I had to go back a few years before the Lost Colony to understand the full story. Cause and effect…If Queen Elizabeth had not granted Sir Walter Raleigh a charter for the colonization of the land she called ‘Virginia,’ the colonists wouldn’t have come to America and none of this would have happened.


But it did. In 1584, Sir Walter Raleigh dispatched Phillip Amadas and Arthur Barlowe to explore the Eastern coast of North America. It proved fruitful and a second expedition with a number of men was sent out, headed by Sir Richard Grenville. The men built a fort and a number of small houses but having arrived too late to plant a crop, abandoned their adventure soon after. Though to me, they left a most hideous crime behind. In Grenville’s exploration, a group of Native Americans had been invited on board one of the ships. A silver cup came up missing and the Indians were blamed. Grenville sent his men to burn and destroy the entire village of Aquascogoc.


Despite the intriguing mystery of the Lost Colony of Roanoke Island, without this crucial, and horrendous, piece of history, my story of Ghost Dog of Roanoke Island would never have been born. I was so appalled at the intolerance and prejudice displayed by Grenville. My muse grabbed hold of this mystery’s details and drove me to research even deeper, searching out the manifest of the original colonists, digging up pictures and facts of early colonial and Native American life, and details as to why Governor White, after going back to England for supplies, did not return to Roanoke Island until three years later, only to find a deserted fort with no trace of the colonists.




Once I pulled my historical research together, my muse decided there had to be something paranormal about this mystery. So, she added to the mix, some enchanting Native American folklore and a ghost to assist Jack Dahlgren in discovering the secret to the missing colonists and the terrible legend surrounding them. Coupling the fact and fiction, Ghost Dog of Roanoke Island became not only a ghost story based on a major historical mystery, but a story emphasizing how the pain of intolerance and prejudice affects people and how the power of forgiveness and acceptance can bring about peace and understanding.


So, what did my muse think happened to the Lost Colony? I guess you’ll just have to read Ghost Dog of Roanoke Island to find out.  ;-)


Thank you so much for discussing your book and the research behind the story. I think both the history and your book are absolutely fascinating!  I can tell readers from personal experience, Ghost Dog of Roanoke Island is beautifully written with vibrant details that carry you off to the mysterious island! Your tweens and teens are in for a great read with this one!


Thanks again for letting me visit your blog today, Jan. It’s been fun. I’d love to hear from your readers. They contact me at:

e-mail: ckvolnek (at) yahoo (dot) com.

Web page: www.ckvolnek.com

Blog: www.ckvolnek.com/blog.html

Facebook: C.K. Volnek

Twitter: CKVolnek

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