Sunday, August 17, 2014

Utah Book Month-author spotlight Kristen Chandler

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!


  1. Nice interview format! I purchased WOLVES, BOYS, AND OTHER THINGS THAT MIGHT KILL me and hope to get to it soon. Love the YA recommendations and the Utah author love. :)

  2. Thanks... I have been meaning to read her books.

  3. Sherman Alexie is a YA author, I was persuaded his books were darker than that ? My mistake ;) I've learned something today. Great interview, I loved the outdoor aspect of it as much as the birds. Thanks for introducing me to this author, I want to read her books ;)

  4. I am obsessed with birds and birding in Utah is the place to do it! I just went out yesterday to Bear River Bird place and saw so many shore birds. That's the neat thing about Utah, Shore Birds that you don't get anywhere else in the US except on the coast since Salt Lake is the only salt water source in the middle of the country.

  5. I live in the country, so I can listen to different bird songs during the day - and the night ! I'd love to be able to recognize them but I need magnifying glasses. Hem, my cats love them too... :S