A! Magazine for the Arts

Joe Tennis

Joe Tennis

Joe Tennis releases new book for children

October 26, 2021

Washington County, Virginia, author Joe Tennis has released a new children’s book of ghost tales.

“The Ghostly Tales of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Highlands” (Arcadia Publishing, $12.99) is an adaptation of an earlier book released by Tennis in 2010 for adults. The earlier book has proven to be a local best seller, and Tennis was asked to adapt stories for this edition for children.

Six of the 11 chapters are based on stories from the previous book, “Haunts of Virginia‘s Blue Ridge Highlands.”

That includes tales of Mountain Lake, the Mendota Trail, Christiansburg, Patrick County, Wythe County and the Martha Washington Inn at Abingdon. Yet, all of those stories are expanded and updated versions of what had appeared in the previous book, Tennis said.

“I wanted some new stories. And I was so excited to have this opportunity to release another book like this. In fact, this little book is somewhat closer to what I had envisioned with the original book almost a dozen years ago.”

New chapters come from Roanoke at the Grandin Theater, Bolling Wilson Hotel at Wytheville, the Inn at Wise, a cemetery in Castlewood and the Herb House in Marion.

“Writing for kids was so fun. Adults have loved the book since it was released. But there’s something so special about putting together a ghost book the kids can also read. It’s more simple and more to the point. You do lose some historical detail. But you gain something along the way... That you connect to the reader.”

Tennis wrote his first ghost book in 2007 for children.

“This new book is actually my fourth ghost book,” he says. It was published by a new branch of Arcadia publishing for children. “And I was very, very excited to have the opportunity to have the largest history publisher in the United States ask me to do a book on ghosts in Virginia,” Tennis says.

Beyond this, Tennis says he wants to write another book on Virginia history.

“Ghostly Tales” is available on Amazon and locally at the Harvest Table, Meadowview, Virginia; Sundog Outfitters, Damascus, Virginia; Necessities, Abingdon, Virginia; Emory Mercantile, Emory, Virginia; and the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, Bristol, Virginia.

Tennis is a feature writer for the Bristol Herald Courier and the author of 11 books about the history and culture of Virginia. His other books include “Along Virginia’s Route 58: True Tales from Beach to Bluegrass,” “Virginia Rail Trails: Crossing the Commonwealth,” “Southwest Virginia Crossroads,” “Haunts of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Highlands,” “The Marble and Other Ghost Tales of Tennessee and Virginia,” “Haunted Highlands: Ghosts and Legends of North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia,” “Finding Franklin: Mystery of the Lost State Capitol,” “Sullivan County,” “Swamped” and “Washington County.”