Catherine Sheldrick Ross - Author
Where do you live now?
When did you start writing?
When I was about 8. The first pieces I sold were travel articles and book reviews in newspapers.
How did you get involved with children's books?
I interviewed Paulette Bourgeois about her Kids Can Press books; got excited about The Amazing Apple Book and thought it would be fun to write a similar one; sent in a proposal on The Amazing Potato Book; ended up doing The Amazing Milk Book and then went on to do a math book series.
What is your favorite book?
I don't have a single favorite but a lot of different favorites for different times and moods. Here are some: Emily of New Moon; Anne of Green Gables; Pride and Prejudice; anything by Alice Munro, A.S Byatt, Margaret Drabble; Wuthering Heights; Dance to the Music of Time; If on a Winter's Night a Traveler; The Master and Margarita; the mystery genre.
What is your favorite food?
What are your hobbies?
Apart from reading, I like canoeing.
What was your training or schooling?
Ph.D. in English and a Masters in Library and Information Science
Do you have any tips for young creators?
Do a lot of reading and a lot of writing. Write with an audience in mind. Try your stuff out with your intended audience and revise.
What is your favorite movie?
North by Northwest.
What is the thing you like the most about creating kids' books?
The opportunity to work with an editor and a designer/illustrator to create something that I couldn't do on my own.
Where do you work?
When I write children's books, I work at home and write on a computer.
How do you research or create your stories?
Ransacking libraries, using the inter-library loan, searching the Internet.
Where do you get your ideas?
Once I have a topic that I'm working on for a book --- say Triangles --- I find that this interest works as a filter so that all kinds of things I encounter in conversations, in reading or in the world at large turn out to be related to triangles (or whatever the current interest is).
What's your greatest childhood memory?
Being on a beach in Maces Bay, which is a small community on the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick.
What is your favorite animal?
No doubt it would be more interesting if I said armadillos, but actually it's dogs.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was five, I wanted to marry a farmer, but I shortly thereafter decided that was a bad idea. I discovered that farmers and farmers' wives had to get up very early to feed their animals. Then in grade one, I wanted to be a Professor of Psychology, because that's what my favorite aunt was.
What is the weirdest or most interesting job you've ever had?
I was a fortuneteller on the “Anagraphic Magic” machine at the carnival for a short while. “We tell your fortune, using space-age technology to analyze your handwriting.”
What is your next project?
A book for adults on the ethnography of reading for pleasure