Author Penina SpinkaWelcome to my website. Inside you will find information about my past and future novels, reviews, suggestions for research, and my philosophy about rendering the essentials of legends and myths into historical fiction. I hope you will find browsing through the site enjoyable and informative.

Not long ago, a fan wrote to tell me she reads my books and imagines sitting at a campfire hearing me tell her stories. Iíd rather imagine we were sitting on the bed bench of an Iroquois longhouse on a cold and windy winter evening. The coals in the fire pits are glowing. We are warm and safe while I tell you stories of a long ago time in places you never imagined, places that were once real. Whether the characters come from my mind or from legend, Iím happy to be sharing them with you.

Penina's Bio

Iíve been writing stories since about 3rd grade, but I made my first sale in 1990 with WHITE HAREíS HORSES. I joined a hiking club in the late 1900s. Our leader, Milt McAuley, told us about the Chumash tribe who lived in the Santa Monica Mountains of Coastal Southern California. I felt a connection and wanted to know more about them. That was the beginning of my professional career.

Iíve been interested in legends and myths since as long as Iíve been writing. When I read Mary Renaultís THE KING MUST DIE, I became as immersed in ancient times as any reader can get. To me, Mary Renault owns ancient Greece and Crete. I compare any story of those times with hers. Therefore, when I began to write, I picked a location far away from those places. I wanted to write in fresh territory. I lived in Southern California while I wrote WHITE HARES HORSES and MOTHERíS BLESSING. It was the perfect location for my first two novels.

When I moved to Saratoga, NY, I felt lost without a writersí group. I proceeded to look for one as soon as I unpacked. The group I found had members both creative and helpful. They suggested I learn about the Native American people of the area. These turned out to be the Mohawk, the easternmost tribe of the Iroquois. I had recently read Jane Smileyís THE GREENLANDERS. Her novel inspired my interest in Norse Greenland. I joined ďFriends of the CircleĒ in Albany, NY to increase my knowledge of the Iroquois and Algonquin cultures.

I combined my two areas of study in PICTURE MAKER. A Mohawk girl coming to live in Christian Greenland in the 1300s led to all kinds of ideas. DREAM WEAVER followed the final year of the Greenlander settlement through Ingrid, her daughter. Last of my Norse/Mohawk trilogy HIDDEN IN MIST is still in marketing. It follows Ole Halverson, Picture Makerís stepson into the forests of the New World. Through the love of Jekonsaseh and the magic of Hidden in Mist, he too, becomes part of the legend.

For my most recent project, WITCHES & PROPHETS, I looked into my own culture and history. I wondered what happened when the Israelites first crossed that Jordan River and had to contend with the priestesses of Astarte. The Canaanite version is not given in Scriptures. I enjoyed being in their heads so they could tell me their version of the story. WITCHES & PROPHETS is also in marketing.

Visiting locations as they once were is not possible, but delving through the history of times, places and people is a must for the writer of historical fiction. See my article on historical research in the Articles section of this site.

I live in Sun City, Arizona now, with my husband and two cats. I still work at my craft and am proud to be one of the founding members of our local Writers Roundtable. I volunteer for Recording for The Blind and Dyslexic.

Best wishes,