Penny Ross Interview


The Eternal Curse Series Blog Presents an interview with author: Penny Ross.

image provided by author

So tell me, who is Penny Ross?

I’m an author, Aboriginal educator, storyteller, mother to two grown sons, and wife to an amazing man. 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 doing the final edit on my third and latest novel ‘Stolen Spirits.’ It will be published in January 2014. It’s a young adult murder mystery about stolen spirits taken from their loved ones. I’ve dedicated the novel to missing and murdered Aboriginal 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 and gaze at my pool while I write. I love listening to the birds while I peck away at the keyboard. I find it restful yet inspirational.

I prefer a lap top for my novels and freehand for my children’s books. For my latest novel, ‘Stolen Spirits’ I sketched out chapter outlines freehand on recipe cards partway through the book. I have 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. We’re 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 my 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?

from Goodreads, 1972

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…

There is more fun and insights to this interview, visit the Eternal Curse Series Blog for the full experience. For more information about this author, Penny Ross, please visit the links below.


GoodReads: Penny Ross

Facebook: Penny Ross

Twitter: @PennyRoss2

Author Central: Penny Ross (Kindle books available for $2.99 just in time for the Holidays)

Pending the release of Stolen Spirits, check out another Ross book Bird of Paradise… at

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

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Toi Thomas

I like reading, writing, cooking, dancing, movies, and music. I'm a big kid and choose to see the world in my own special way. Yes, I'm educated, but I haven't let that stop me from being who I want to be. I'm a wife, teacher, author, blogger, and more.

3 thoughts on “Penny Ross Interview”

  1. You find some good authors here, Toi. I’ll be in the queue for a copy of Stolen Spirits when it comes out.

    1. I’m sure Penny will like that. It does sound like a fascinating story. The idea of spirits left behind with unfinished business or experiening the loss of one through the eye of others…good stuff.

      1. This idea fits very well with the sort of African approaches i grew up with. Most
        African societies recognise three levels of existence The mundane here and now; the world of the spirits and ancestors;and ghosts and the long departed. The first two occupy the same time and space, so when someone dies and becomes an ancestor they are still directly involved in life and need to be consulted. It is only when they pass into the deeper layers, long after human memory has let go of them, that they become ghosts. Some fail to make the transition cleanly into the realm of the ancestors, either because their end was violent and unexpected, or because somebody intervened, as in witchcraft, to stop them. They then become the undead and exist in the turbulence of limbo, tormented themselves and as a result turning to tormenting the living.

        Yes, a very interesting subject. Some of this is covered in my next book, due out any day: Sorcerers and Orange Peel.

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