Title: SIMON GREY AND THE MARCH OF A HUNDRED GHOSTS
Genre: MG Historical Fantasy
Word Count: 45,000
Special Question: If your main character could be any Star Wars character, who would they choose and why?: Rey (or perhaps Ezra from the “Star Wars: Rebels” series), because he has a power that frightens him and he must learn to use it for good.
35-word Pitch: 1620. A boy runs away to sea to escape his “gift” of seeing ghosts, but when shipwrecked in Japan, needs the help of quirky yokai spirits to defeat an evil magician and return home.
It was time. I couldn’t stay in London any longer; I had to go to sea again.
I went down to the docks at Rotherhithe on that fateful summer day in 1620, hoping for a ship with an awe-inspiring name like Red Dragon or Scourge of Malice. But the only vessels anchored there were an East Indiaman called the Nutmeg and a cargo fluyt called the Mayflower. The names didn’t leave much to choose between them.
I tried the Mayflower first. “Excuse me, sir?” I called to the captain, dressed all in austere black except for his white ruff and stockings. “Could you tell me where this ship is headed?”
He gave me a cursory glance. “Southampton to take on some passengers, and then America. To start a colony in New England.”
“Do you need a ship’s boy, sir?”
He looked hard at me, and I could tell what he was thinking. Why does this boy want to go to sea?
He looks a bit too well-kept for one of the usual cases: orphaned, or running away from cruel parents, or sent away to make one less mouth to feed.
And he was right, but I wasn’t about to tell him the real reason just yet.
“Very well, then,” he finally said.
I stepped aboard. I hesitated to ask another question, but after my last voyage, I had to be sure.
“Sir, I hope you won’t think I’m mad, but…has any of your crew ever said anything about ghosts?”