Thoughts from Penny:

Throughout Canada, First Nations peoples have lived in harmony with the early settlers who came to Canada. There are many stories to share of celebration, hardship, discovery and adventure.


Stories told by the First Nations peoples are part of an oral history, passed down from one generation to the next, and it is important to preserve the First Nations culture. Regardless of age, the teachings have important lessons for all. If a story combines entertainment, history, lessons and a thirst for knowledge, it is worth telling often.


My Cree grandmother, shared many stories with me throughout the years. As her First Nations ancestors before her, my grandmother was a natural storyteller. She taught her grandchildren to relate everything that surrounds us to nature. The sky, earth, water, fire, animals, birds, trees, flowers and more were highlighted in her stories, with a natural lesson for all.


It is my hope that these stories are enjoyable for all ages; young, old and everything in between.


Enjoy!

Métis Author, Storyteller, Aboriginal Educator, Facilitator

Specializing in Curriculum Based Books for Early, Middle Years and High School Readers

ABOUT:

Penny Ross lives in Gimli, Manitoba. Her two sons live in Winnipeg; one attends university while the other is gainfully employed as an environmentalist. As a Métis author and Aboriginal educator, Penny believes in a world where dreams, legends and magic abound through storytelling. Penny has published four books.


Her newest project, a series of thrillers ‘Hashtag Murders’ will be released in December 2015. Penny is also working on a sequel to Cave of Journeys and a fantasy novel.

To contact Penny - Send an email with questions or comments, follow her on Twitter, GoodReads, Facebook and Pinterest . Penny loves to hear from her readers!

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AUTHOR INTERVIEW

SPECIAL THANKS TO AUTHOR TOI THOMAS FOR THE AUTHOR INTERVIEW ON HER BLOG - THE TOIBOX  

So tell me, who is Penny Ross?

I’m an author, Aboriginal educator, storyteller and mother to two grown sons. I’m a weekend/holiday writer as I have a full-time job. I’m also an avid reader and love to travel.

I’m so glad to be finally talking with you. I’m excited to learn about Aboriginal education. I too am a part-time write, but I unfortunately do it full-time while also working. I drive myself crazy. I hope I get to hear about some of your travels later on.

So whacha got for me today?

I’m highlighting one of my young adult novels ‘Stolen Spirits.’ It was published in 2014. Check out the cover at the end of this interview! It’s a young adult murder mystery about stolen spirits taken from their loved ones. I’ve dedicated the novel to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls of Canada and their Families since one of the underlying themes in the novel is missing and murdered Aboriginal girls.

Wow, this sounds like a very deep and touching book. I must admit that I was unaware of the problems with missing Aboriginal Canadian women. Meeting you prompted me to do some research. I like and appreciate that you’re using narrative to inform adults and teens of this issue.

So who’s starring is this 2 dimensional script read of Stolen Spirits?

My main character in ‘Stolen Spirits’ is Diane, a Métis teen who’s murdered in the first chapter. Through the voices of her friends we piece together who Diane was and how her murder impacts those close to her. Readers connect with Diane’s spirit, as she hasn’t crossed over yet. Marti is another major character in the novel. As an international author and amateur crime fighter, Marti is enlisted to assist the police in the investigation. ‘Stolen Spirits’ is a fast-paced novel as it takes place over the span of nine days.

Again, this story sounds very impressive. Face-paced and emotional, I’m sure this book will take off. I already like the sound of Marti.

Past, present, future, is there a rhyme or reason to your writing?

I write on my couch most of the time with my laptop. I have background music on since it gets me in the zone. When the weather is nice I sit outside in my gazebo while I write. I love listening to the birds while I peck away at the keyboard. I find it restful and inspirational.

I prefer a lap top for my novels and freehand for my children’s books. For ‘Stolen Spirits’ I sketched out chapter outlines freehand on recipe cards partway through the book. I had so many characters I got confused where some of them were during the murder. LOL.

I’m currently working on a story that combines all the elements I love…fantasy, time travel, adventure, a princess and giant animals. We’ll see where the characters take me.

I like the idea of using recipe cards to outline characters; I may have to try that myself. I love getting tips and ideas from other authors, thus my selfish reason for interviewing ;). I really like what I’m hearing about the next book you’re putting together. You’ll have to come back and tell me all about it.

What author(s) has most influenced your writing? Why or how?

I love Maeve Binchy. She was the ultimate storyteller. I wish I had one ounce of her talent. As I become immersed in one of her stories I find myself wanting to know the characters, get into their headspace and see who they are and what makes them tick. Her descriptions and settings make me want to travel to the locale she’s highlighted.

It is bad of me that the only reason I ever hear of this wonderful author is that her book, Circle of Friends, was turned into a movie. I hope not. I like to think that sometimes, film versions of books make people interested in the writing. I know some people just don’t read, but if the movie made me interested, why not someone else?

Whose brain are you just itching to scratch?

Temperance “Bones” Brennan from the TV series Bones. So I guess it would be the real life actress Emily Deschanel I would interview. I adore Temperance’s character and love the Kathy Reich’s novels. OK, now I’ve confused myself. Perhaps it’s Kathy Reich’s I’d interview since Temperance is the heroine of Reich’s crime novel series. I admire them both as they’re strong, smart, independent women. I guess I’d love to interview both of them. That would be totally awesome!

I’m with you on that. I stopped watching, but before I did, I really got into Bones. One day when I decide to take up the tube again, it’ll be waiting for me in my Netflix queue. Both the author and the actress are sure to have some amazing stories to tell. What a great answer!

Who is so you and why?

I’ve been compared to Angelina Jolie, not that I’m as beautiful as her though. I think it’s because we both have pouty lips, love children and support numerous causes. I admire how Angelina uses her wealth to support humanitarian efforts.

That’s pretty cool, to be compared to a pouty lipped humanitarian. You go girl!…Seriously, I like when celebrities try to give back, but sometime they go too far. Maybe being famous is really hard :/ .

What’s your ideal reading spot for your next highly anticipated read?

I’m saving my next highly anticipated read for the beach. I’m off on a winter vacation soon since I’m a ‘fun in the sun’ kind of gal. My version of the perfect spot to read is on the beach or beside a pool. I love the sun! In the winter months as snow wraps around my house I curl up on the couch with the fire roaring and immerse myself in a paperback or ebook. During the cold months, which we have many of, I imagine myself reading outdoors, soaking up the sun’s rays again!

I like that, it sounds very cozy. I have trouble reading at the beach. It has to be a very exciting book to keep me alert, otherwise the sun and sea make me sleepy.

What was your favorite book or story, pre-teen years?

I loved all the classics when I was young. Pippi Longstocking, by Astrid Lindgren, was one of my favorite books. I always longed to be free of rules like Pippi. I loved her adventures and hijinks. I took my boys to see a play about Pippi Longstocking years back at a nearby city. We couldn’t stop laughing. When I confessed I always wanted to be Pippi they weren’t surprised. Go figure?

I too was a fan of Pippi. I thought I had read all the books, but a few eluded me. Then they made TV movies about her and I watch them all…