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Utah Book Month -author spotlight Kristen Chandler

Sunday, August 11, 2013
Hello all!  Hope you are having fun checking out the Utah Book Month!  If you are wondering what it's all about click here to go to the website and see the schedule.  Today I am doing an author spotlight on a Utah author, Kristen Chandler.

I am excited to check out her two books Wolves, Boys and Other Things that Might Kill Me and Girls Don't Fly.  I just picked up both books from the library so I should be getting started on them soon.  Turns out that Kristen is a birder and loves to be outside.  This made me smile because I too am a birder.  She told me that "  Like most people I've dreamed I could fly, a lot, and I have wondered  why. I finally decided that its because there are ways that we do fly in our lives and I wanted to capture that feeling in a story. I also wanted to write about the conflict girls feel between following their dreams and looking out for the people they love. So I put the stories together!  I'm not a hard core birder but for research I spent time with bird folk and caught the fever a little. My favorite aspect of my research was when I had the honor of being shown around Utah Lake by Merrill Webb, the premier bird guru in Utah and a hilarious story teller to boot. He allowed me to sit in on his AP biology classes for a few days and I adored his students."   I love birds so much so this is exciting for me to read about.


Kristen enjoys writing Young Adult books.  She says she loves teenagers so it's not a big stretch to write for them.  She loves all age groups of people but teenagers are the awesome because they are on the edge of their lives. Kristen says "You do so many things for the first time in such a short time span when you are a teenager. It's freakin' DANGEROUS. I love books that capture that vulnerability and have a great voice. I also love books that make me think and grow and ache inside. I'm all about the ache."

So what's next for Kristen's books? She is working/obsessing/loving on a book about a girl that goes to live at a dude ranch after being raised in a very "inside the lines" kind of situation. It's kind of like White Fang for teenage girls with hot cowboys.  That's a joke!  It's a story about love and mustangs and wide open spaces. Are you swooning yet? That's what she's going for here!

Would would Kristen recommend to all of us to read for great YA??  Well she has a huge list of course! She says "if you want to read realistic YA you should sample John Green, Francisco X Stork, Matthew Quick, Carol Williams, Sherman Alexie, Daniel Handler, Stephanie Perkins, Laurie Halse Anderson, Sara Dessen, Sara Zarr, Martine Leavitt and me. I'd love it if you read me, for entirely selfish reasons of course .There are fifty other authors I should be naming here but I have a deadline and you're making me feel awkward."  I am totally in!

Of course I had to ask her about Utah!  Kristen says she "loves being a Utah Author. It's amazingly supportive. I love every author in the state. Even the ones I don't know. Except James Dashner. Him we all like to make fun of. Actually I think he's great! But you knew that. What do I love most about Utah? How it smells. Like in the morning when I'm running in the foothills behind my house and the mint and sage give the air a sharp edge that makes me feel five and immortal all at the same time. I also like my family and friends. They smell good too."  I have to agree with her.. I love the smell of Utah.. until the lake smell covers everything.  Then I just want to run inside.


Be sure to watch out on my blog this month for the reviews of both her books!  I loved the Q&A with her... I felt like I was talking to a REAL person.  She is just great to chat with.  For real guys.. we all need to check out these books!



Find Kristen on twitter, her blog,  and facebook.
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12 comments:

  1. Great spotlight! I am always looking for great contemporary YA books. I have WOLVES (signed even!), and this has inspired me to bump it up my list. :) Plus, Kristen is so funny!

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    1. I think she is funny too... it was easy talking to her. If I lived in Utah I might've tried to meet up with her for the Q&A!

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  2. Fun interview! I've heard of her books before but had no idea she was a Utah author. Contemporary is one of my most favorite genres, so I'm off to the library to pick her books up. :)

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    1. I think they look really good too and I can't wait to get started reading them.

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  3. Awesome! She sounds like so much fun! I've read Wolves and need to try the other one soon.

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    1. Wolves is the one I am excited about reading just because I love the title so much.

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  4. Poor James Dashner! He's the kid who smells like cottage cheese, isn't he? Great interview!

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  5. That's so cool that she got to hang out with a bird expert to research her book. The cool things you get to do as a writer! I still need to read her books! I met her at a book festival and she was so nice. Nice spotlight!

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    1. I need to read her books too.. I have 3 books ahead of them. Hoping to get them read this week.

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  6. Very excellent review. I like how conversational it feels. Nicely done!

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    1. Thanks!!! I didn't want to do the traditional Q&A I see everywhere.

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