Monday, March 7, 2011

Way to go, Chris!

Chris Rylander is the Regional Advisor for our SCBWI Dakotas group. I had the privilege of meeting him at last year's Spring Conference. His book, THE FOURTH STALL, is now available. Below is what I read in the EXPRESSION ONLINE SCBWI International Newsletter this morning. Way to go, Chris!

. Bravo!! Chris, Kristy, Bridget

* Chris Rylander (SCBWI Dakotas) - New spin on an Old Story - "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" meets "The Sopranos"---that's how publisher Walden Pond Press, an imprint of HarperCollins, bills Chris' first children's book THE FOURTH STALL. According to Andrea Johnson in the Minot Daily News, Minot native Chris said his idea for his book came from a lot of different places. "Part of it was that I just thought it might be kind of cool and fun to put a kid-friendly spin on organized crime, and that it had a lot of potential for action and humor, two things I never could get enough of as a reader," said Rylander, who now lives in Grand Forks and works for Noridian. <>

Chris has been an SCBWI member since 2008. Here's an excerpt of Paul Michael Murphy's interview of Chris in Murphblog:

Murphblog: I’ve seen the book described as "The Godfather for kids". . . What made you think of it and did you run into any problems that might explain why less courageous writers . . . have been reluctant to bring the world of organized crime into children’s fiction?

Rylander: . . . I thought to myself how fun it might be to take organized crime and put a kid-friendly spin on it. There were some challenges, sure, like trying to walk the line between the right amount of violence and having the kids use severed horse heads as pillows and everything. But in the end, I always just asked myself this question: "Is there enough blood and gratuitous violence in this scene?" And if the answer was "no," then I simply added more. And I think it turned out pretty well. One dead body per page is usually a pretty good rule for children’s books. No, but seriously it was a challenge to get that part just right---because I didn't want to soften it to the point where it was cheesy. But I also didn't want to glorify grade-school gang wars. <>

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