Friday, May 14, 2010

SPOTTED: Kristen Chandler + Wolves, Boys, and Other Things That May Kill Me

Hi guys! I'll be out the whole day (far far away, writing on the shore and facing the water) but I'll just leave you with an interview with Kristen Chandler, the debut author of Wolves, Boys, and Other Things That May Kill Me!

Today is the official release day of her debut novel! Happy Book Birthday Kristen!!

What is your purpose in writing Wolves, Boys, and Other Things That May Kill Me?

You know, I just had this story show up in my head right in the middle of this horrible life changing conversation. Which doesn't say much about my powers of attention but maybe the reason KJ (the main character) is so scared at the beginning of the book is because that's the place I was in when I first imagined her.

What lessons will the readers pick up from your novel?

Most of all I hope this story is a lot of fun to read! The rest is optional. But I think the main character, KJ Carson, wants to be brave.

Can you tell us about the character of KJ?

KJ has always been more comfortable with wildlife than with her classmates. She's dyslexic, likes to reads too much, and gets giant red spots all over her body when she's embarrassed. But she has grit. And she keeps things lively for everyone around her.

Why did you focus on wolves?

People love wolves or they hate them. I'm intrigued by that. Wolves are this incredible animal that does all kinds of damage and good in the world. They aren't people, but I think the reason people have such a strong response to them is that we relate to them so much.

Was there a part of the novel that was hard to write?

The ending. I rewrote it so many times I felt a little bit like KJ by the time I got through.

Did you include any personal experiences in the novel? Or was there a part of the novel that was inspired from your personal experience?

The landscape, the people, the wolves are all drawn from personal experiences. I saw a variation of the novel's opening scene in the Yellowstone backcountry. I had a mind-bending encounter with an alpha male. And my dad and I fish together.

How does your mood affect your writing?

I write no matter what my mood is, but I do my best work early in the morning. If I have a critical scene to write I try to start with a fresh brain.

Is it important that you are in an ambience that you like when you write?

My family has a cabin outside Yellowstone and when I'm there I write like a mad woman! But I can write in my study, at my sons' track meet, or dentist's office if I have to. I use music to help me through scenes. I have a sound tracks of wolves howling and yipping that I listened to when I was stuck. My kids really hate it now.

What are you working on now?

I just finished a manuscript about a girl who competes against her ex-boyfriend for a trip to the Galapagos Islands. It's about her evolution. It was a blast to write but it almost killed me. I had to evolve to.

I'm in the development stage for two other books. I'm completely excited about them but I don't think I'll tell you much about them because it feels like telling a birthday wish befoer it comes true.

What tips can you give to aspiring writers (like me)?

First off Precious, you have a great name! Good start! But I think that being an interesting writer grows out of being an interested person. I think it's great if you can read what you love, develop hands-on knowledge about the things you love to do, and write for fun.

What would you like to say to the people who have included your novel in their wish lists and / or to-be-read piles?

Thank You! Honestly, if you were here I'd hug you.

Thank you Kristen!

Book Synopsis:

When KJ Carson is assigned to write a column for her school newspaper about the wolves in nearby Yellowstone National Park, she’s more interested in impressing Virgil Whitman, the new kid in school and the photographer assigned as her partner, than in investigative journalism. But before long, KJ has a face-to-face encounter with a wolf that changes her and the way she thinks about wolves. With her new found passion for protecting these controversial animals, KJ inadvertently ignites the fuse of the anti-wolf sentiment in the community. First Virgil is injured during a town parade, and then her father’s store is set on fire in retribution. To stop the escalating violence, KJ follows Virgil to the cattle ranch of the most outspoken anti-wolf activists in town, against her father’s will. What she discovers there threatens everything and everyone she cares about.

In KJ’s fierce and funny attempt to make peace between the wolves and the people that despise them, she must first face her own long-held fears. It’s terrifying, but then, finding yourself always is.

For more information, visit Kristen's Official Website.


  1. I was pleasantly surprised by Wolves, Boys, and Other Things that Might Kill Me. I really enjoyed it and I can't wait for others to read it! Congratulations on the release, Ms. Chandler! Great interview, Precious!

  2. great interview as always, precious!

  3. i was taken with the first word in the title - wolves ;-D