Grey Eyes reclaims stories with authenticity and heart

Grey Eyes CoverGoodMinds staff spent an exciting November weekend at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, where they were pleased to be the official vendor for the First Nations, Metis and Inuit Literary Circle Stage during the Toronto International Book Fair. As the official vendor, GoodMinds staff welcomed well-known and up-and-coming writers of Indigenous ancestry. Authors such as Michael Kusugak (Inuk), Waubgeshig Rice (Ojibwe), Lee Maracle (Sto:lo), and Daniel David Moses (Delaware) shared their recent works during readings to the eager crowd.

One first-time author, Frank Christopher Busch (Nisichawayasihk Cree), made a positive impression on GoodMinds president Jeff Burnham. Jeff was pleased to meet this fellow entrepreneur. “It is rare to find a writer that is an astute businessperson and a marketing guru. Other authors would be well-served to identify markets for their works.” says Burnham.

Busch grew up in northern Manitoba and has spent his professional life working with First Nations businesses, non-profits and governments at the band, regional tribal council, provincial, national and international levels. He currently lives in Westbank First Nation, British Columbia. Busch’s book is Grey Eyes, a 270-page novel set in the distant past of northern Manitoba.

Busch is writing a seven-book series on Cree life in the historical period predating contact with Europeans. Each book will carry the theme of a specific teaching passed down from his Cree ancestry. The author is using a fictional setting to impart seven essential codes in Cree society. Grey Eyes focuses on the teaching of the bear and the importance of courage. In a world without time and steeped in ceremony and power, there walk a chosen few who hold an ancient power: the Grey Eyes. True stewards of the land, the Grey Eyes use their magic to maintain harmony and keep evil at bay.

With only one elderly Grey Eye left in the village of the Nehiyawak, the birth of a new Grey-Eyed boy promises a renewed line of defense against their only foe: the menacing Red Eyes, whose name is rarely spoken but whose presence is ever felt. While the birth of the Grey-Eyed boy offers the clan much needed protection, it also initiates a struggle for power that threatens to rip the clan apart, leaving them defenseless against their sworn enemy. The responsibility of restoring balance and harmony, the only way to keep the Nehiyawak safe, is thrust upon a boy’s slender shoulders. What powers will he have, and can he protect the clan from the evil of the Red Eyes?

This novel comes highly recommended. Joseph Boyden, award-winning author of Three Day Road, has endorsed the novel. “With his novel Grey Eyes, Frank Busch taps into the traditional in a way I’ve not seen before. At once historical and fantastical, Grey Eyes reclaims some of our most powerful stories with authenticity and with heart and with that bit of magic that brings all of it to such beautiful life. Busch is amongst the new generation of voices so vital to our country.”

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