If you could sit on a panel with three famous authors, who would they be?
Neil Gaimen, because I absolutely love his writing style. He’s hilarious and I think I could learn a ton just conversing with him. I’d also pick Anne McCaffrey because I grew up reading her Dragonrider books and they were instrumental in my desire to become a writer. Another author I think I’d really enjoy talking to is Simon Green. He writes with such a dry humor that I constantly find myself laughing when I read his books and I think he’s probably just as funny, if not more so, in real life.
Which of your characters (or character types) is the hardest for you to write?
The characters that are the hardest for me to write are the ones I know I’ll have to kill off later. Instinctively, I find myself trying to keep my distance, knowing that it’ll hurt if I get too close to them before they die, but as an author, I need to rip down those boundaries and feel that emotional closeness so my readers can experience it as well.
What part of publishing makes you want to tear out your hair?
The waiting! It’s such a long process: one book that’s traditionally published can take up to two years (or more) to see in print!
What’s the best thing anyone ever said about your writing?
That they felt like my characters were so realistic, it’s like they knew them outside the book.
What do you wish people knew about the writing business?
Reviews are so critically important to authors. It’s challenging for authors to connect with new readers and sometimes reviews are the only way they can get noticed.
Chanda Stafford was born in the middle of nowhere in northern Michigan. It’s the kind of place where you measure miles in the time it takes you to get there, you have to put chains on your tires for nine months out of the year, and when people ask you where you live, you hold your hand up like a mitten and point. When she became tired of the snow, she moved to Arizona and fell in love with the mountains. Eventually, Michigan called her home and she moved back, though she still misses the mountains, the warm temperatures, and the amazing people she met along the way.
To keep busy, Chanda teaches middle and high school, rescues animals, sells vintage and antique treasures, and writes books. Her first book, First, was released by Red Adept Publishing in May.