Blog Tour and Author Interview: Whisper Hollow by Chris Cander #LoneStarLit

October 4, 2016 Blog Tours 1

WHISPER HOLLOW

 

by

 

Chris Cander
Genre: Literary Fiction / Friendship
Publisher: Other Press
Date of Publication: March 17, 2016
Number of Pages: 400

 

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Set in a small coal-mining town, Whisper Hollow is full of secrets, love, and betrayal, where Catholicism casts a long shadow and three courageous women make choices that will challenge our own moral convictions.
            One morning in Verra, a town nestled into the hillsides of West Virginia, the young Myrthen Bergmann is playing tug-of-war with her twin, when her sister is killed. Unable to accept her own guilt, Myrthen excludes herself from all forms of friendship and affection and begins a twisted, haunted life dedicated to God. Meanwhile, her neighbor Alta Krol longs to be an artist even as her days are taken up caring for her widowed father and siblings. Everything changes when Myrthen marries the man Alta loves. Fourteen years later, we meet Lidia, a teenage girl in the same town, and her precocious son, Gabriel. When Gabriel starts telling eerily prescient stories that hint at Verra’s long-buried secrets, it’s not long before the townspeople begin to suspect that the boy harbors evil spirits—an irresistible state of affairs for Myrthen and her obsession with salvation. Rendered in exquisite prose, Whisper Hollow is an extended reflection on guilt, redemption and the affirmation of life in this early 20th century Appalachian community.
PRAISE FOR WHISPER HOLLOW . . .

 

~Kirkus Reviews (STARRED REVIEW)
“Cander divinely delves into multiple points of view, crafting a collage of vibrant, layered characters while charting six decades of poignant, precise moments. A distinctive novel that sublimely measures the distressed though determined heartbeat of a small mountain community.”
~Shelf Awareness (STARRED REVIEW)
“Cander weaves together the stories of these varied characters across nearly five decades with skill and grace, and in her hands, Whisper Hollow grows into much more than the sum of its many parts. The result is a memorable novel about the bonds of town and family, the strength of friendships in unlikely places and the power of secrets to shape a life–or many lives–often without anyone even recognizing it.”
~Booklist
“Cander superbly envisions the town, its residents’ dynamics, and the early twentieth-century immigrant experience…[and] rewards the reader with…well-developed, believable characters whose mental fortitude and capacity to love linger in the reader’s mind long after the last page.”
~Publishers Weekly
“[Whisper Hollow] is inextricably rooted in West Virginia coal country—the rough locale that determines and intertwines [Cander’s] characters’ fates…Cander closely tracks how Myrthen’s and Alta’s romantic decisions unknowingly complicate each other’s lives in the lead-up to a tragic incident that bisects the novel…[and] admirably captures the lack of choice that men and women have in rural West Virginia.”
~Library Journal
“Spare, elegant writing by the author of 11 Stories evokes a bleak atmosphere and creates a smooth, compelling narrative… much of the prose is so outstanding, this writer is clearly gifted.  Give this literary, plot-driven novel to those who enjoy the West Virginia setting and who like a gentle handling of their tragedies.”

 

 

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LSBBTAuthorInterview

Author Interview: Chris Cander

 

What do your plans for future projects include?

I’ve started a fifth novel called Zephyr, which I can’t wait to return to. And while I plan to write more novels, I also love co-writing screenplays with my best friends Tobey Forney, David Eagleman, and Sarah Blutt; we’re working on one called “The Spreadsheet” right now.

 

Do you have any strange writing habits you’d like to share with your readers?

When I’d been working on my first novel for a few months, I decided to calculate my average daily word count, and I came up with an average of .87 pages. I loved that figure, because it sounded so surmountable, and yet I’d made such progress. It became my mantra and my output goal, and by now, my family and friends know exactly what I mean when I say, “I’m going to do my .87.” Any day I meet or exceed my .87 is a good writing day. Whether the 300 or so words are actually any good isn’t as important—especially on a first draft—as the commitment to the work they represent.

 

What book do you wish you could have written?

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez. This story of the rise and fall of the Buendia family and their village Macondo is nothing short of perfect. Marquez spins their brutal truths, their tender lies into a magical, glittering tale that underscores the significance of family—even if we ultimately must die alone.

 

Who would you cast to play your characters in a movie version of your book?

I’d love for Morgan Freeman to play Roscoe Jones from my novel 11 Stories. As I was writing it, Roscoe began to speak in his inimitable voice. He weren’t the inspiration for Roscoe, though; the man I modeled him after used to sit with my grandmother during lunch at the memory care facility where they lived. I never heard him speak. I never met his family. But he sat there with this silent grace and dignity, keeping my grandmother company, and since he couldn’t tell me any of his stories, I wanted to give him some. I think Mr. Freeman would bring Roscoe beautifully to life.

 

Favorite line from a book:

From Beryl Markham’s West with the Night: “There are all kinds of silences and each of them means a different thing. There is the silence that comes with morning in a forest, and this is different from the silence of a sleeping city. There is silence after a rainstorm, and before a rainstorm, and these are not the same. There is the silence of emptiness, the silence of fear, the silence of doubt. There is a certain silence that can emanate from a lifeless object as from a chair lately used, or from a piano with old dust upon its keys, or from anything that has answered to the need of a man, for pleasure or for work. This kind of silence can speak. Its voice may be melancholy, but it is not always so; for the chair may have been left by a laughing child or the last notes of the piano may have been raucous and gay. Whatever the mood or the circumstance, the essence of its quality may linger in the silence that follows. It is a soundless echo.”

 

If you were a superhero, what would your name be? What costume would you wear?

I am a superhero. Somewhere in Themyscira, Wonder Woman is wearing Chris Cander PJs to bed.

 

What is something you want to accomplish before you die?

I have many more books inside that I’d like to get out. And I’d like to figure out how to do it well.

 

 

Chris Cander is a novelist, children’s book author, screenplay writer, and writer-in-residence for Houston-based Writers in the Schools. Her novel Whisper Hollow was selected as an Indie Next pick and nominated for the 2015 Kirkus Prize in fiction and her award-winning novel 11 Stories was included in Kirkus’s best indie general fiction of 2013. Her children’s book The Word Burglar received the silver 2014 Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards for Reading Skills & Literacy. Her animated feature film Germs! is currently in pre-production with Cinsesite in partnership with Comic Animations. Chris well knows that the pen is mightier than the sword, but she’s willing to wield one of those, too. A former fitness competitor and model, she currently holds a 3rd dan in taekwondo and is a certified ICSU Women’s Defensive Tactics Instructor. She is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, the Author’s Guild, the Writers’ League of Texas, PEN, and MENSA.

  
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GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!

THREE SIGNED COPIES w/SIGNED ORIGINAL BOOKPLATES!

 

(US ONLY)

 

September 13September 22, 2016

 

CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

9/26
Author Interview 1
9/27
Review
9/28
Video Guest Post
9/29
Author Interview 2
9/30
Review
10/1
Excerpt
10/2
Promo
10/3
Review
10/4
Author Interview 3
10/5
Review

 


 


 

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