Monday, February 14, 2011

Krista Ball on Aboriginal Natives in Writing - Not Just in America

Hello blogger friends! As you all know, I love Native American stories. I grew up in Colorado and was raised with a healthy learning of their history. I've even written based on the oral stories passed down. My friend and fellow author, Krista Ball, brought up a great point about a big gap in the United State's understanding of the WHOLE story. So, today's she's stopped by to teach us about the Aboriginal people above the lower 48. I know it was a big eye opener for me, as I'd truthfully never thought about them outside the US.

Take it away, Krista!


I love reading. I’m not loyal to any genre; I just want a good story and ever better characters. I love to read stories from space and from imaginary worlds.

When I wrote Harvest Moon, a couple of my beta readers were confused that I wrote an aboriginal tale that wasn’t set in the US. It really made me aware that the vast majority of “Native American” stories are American-setting, i.e. United States.

For those of us outside the US, we want to see our culture, history, and attitudes also shared in literature. The First Nations people that I worked with at my previous job loved the idea that I was incorporating their history into literature, when they are so often ignored. Add to that I included a bisexual character and it suddenly the story has a different twist to things.

I’ve encountered a lot of resistance to the terms “aboriginal”, “Inuit,” and “First Nations” I used to describe the novella. In Canada, that’s what our first peoples call themselves. I admit that it frustrated me at first, though I came to realize that it was simply a product of having only ever been exposed to one version of the story of our lives and history – and not the many other versions of the same story. This conflict gave me the courage to continue adding my own perspective of the world into my fiction.

Road to Hell is my upcoming science fiction military thriller that has a Canadian feel to it. I based the skin colours and cultures of the characters based on my own office at work. My office is multicultural; why shouldn’t my novel? The main character is a female commander of a major space port who has a wife, because I come from a country that officially allowed gays in the military nearly two decades with little debate or fanfare and where gay couples use terms like “wife” and “husband” and “married” to describe each other.

Sometimes, I admit it isn't easy writing off the grid and doing different things, but I also think it's important that I share my perspective of the world. I enjoy it when others share their different perspectives, too. After all, literature would be pretty boring if it was all the same.

About the Author:

Krista D. Ball was born and raised in Deer Lake, Newfoundland, where she learned how to use a chainsaw, chop wood, and make raspberry jam. After obtaining a B.A. in British History from Mount Allison University, Krista moved to Edmonton, AB where she currently lives with her partner, two crazy but likable step-boys, seven cats, and a very understanding corgi.

Like any good writer, Krista has had an eclectic array of jobs throughout her life, including strawberry picker, pub bathroom cleaner, oil spill cleaner-upper and soup kitchen coordinator. These days, when Krista isn’t software testing, she writes full-time in her messy office.


You can find out more about Krista by stopping by her website, or you can Tweet Her!

Thank you so much, Krista, for stopping by!


  1. Sounds like a great read- here's hoping for tons of sales for you!

  2. @ Jillian - I think Krista will do just fine. Her and I met at Critique Circle and I could see she writes wonderfully. (And she has a great imagination and knack for storytelling in her narrative.)

    @ Krista - It's great to have you by today!

  3. I loved Harvest Moon. I also delve into Native American (US) a bit, but I don't pretend any expertise.

    My book dealing with NA characters has one full-blooded NA, but he was adopted by whites at birth and doesn't even know his tribe. Part of the story is his struggle to find his roots via Vision Quest. My research absolutely fascinated me, and I had to share some of what I found in an appendix. Since the books is for a middle-grade audience, I didn't think a little study material in the back would hurt.

  4. Harvest Moon is a wonderful book. I don't usually go after books in this genre, but the Native American elements intrigued me and I gave it a shot. Loved the book. You can raed my thoughts on it at if you're interested.

    Keep up the great work, Krista.