An Interview with Angie Spady: Channing down the Turquoise Trail

Aug 20, 2013 by

Michael F. Shaughnessy:

1)Angie, first of all, let me say that I enjoyed the first book in the Channing O Banning series. I understand that you have a new one—tell us about it.

Yes, I do! In Channing O’Banning and the Turquoise Trail, the main character is convinced that a dinosaur fossil is hidden underneath the school playground. It also a Wild West adventure that allows the reader to learn about everything from dinosaurs to Native Americans. Kids really seem to love it.

2) Turquoise is both a color and a type of stone—what is the symbolism?

Turquoise is a very important stone to Native Americans, and is still is used in tribal jewelry, as well as fashion jewelry around the world. Legend has it that the Native Americans danced and rejoiced when the rains came. Their tears of joy mixed with the rain and seeped into Mother Earth to become the sky stone, turquoise. I live in Taos, New Mexico half of the year and so naturally, I have great affection for the Native American culture. New Mexico is a magical place to live and write!

3) Channing seems to have some peer concerns- are her friends helping her or hindering her in her endeavors?

Channing’s fear is a common feeling that children have at this age: fear of being wrong and untrustworthy, which consequently may result in loss of a friend. When Channing gets totally embarrassed in regards to her “dinosaur find,” her fears get realized quite quickly. Even though she escapes this predicament temporarily, this issue is awaiting her upon return.

4) Tell us about the locale—where in the world is Channing O “Banning now and what brings her there?

In Channing O’Banning and the Turquoise Trail, Channing ends up in my favorite place in the country: New Mexico! This book in the series is definitely my way of paying homage to a state which lives up to the name “land of enchantment.” Channing goes on a family adventure in order to attend the wedding of a relative. But her exploits along the way are filled with silliness, laughter, and lots of learning about the American southwest.

5) What grade level or age level is this book for?

This series is perfect for grades K-4.

6) Who is the publisher and do you have a web site?

The publisher is Santa Cruz Press, and the website is www.channingobanning.com

7) What have I neglected to ask?

Please know that the first two books in the series have been extremely popular. I conduct FREE author visits around the country, as I am passionate about art and self-expression for elementary school students. So far, I’m visiting five states this year and hope to visit many more. I think teachers are doubly excited, as they’re finding that the series is closely tied to curriculum concepts that they’re teaching in the classroom. It’s a great feeling when I see students out and about with a pencil in their ponytail like Channing O’Banning. If the series encourages kids to use art as an emotional and creative outlet, then it’s worth every word I write.

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