Interview with Author Kat Chandler

Q: What is your novel about?

A; Blackbird Fly is a story about a girl who’s having a hard time letting go of something painful so she pretends she has it all together. Between her days spent with Sam and Beyla, a father and daughter Mollie meets in the beginning of the story, and the changes in her current relationships, she realizes all of her faking is getting her nowhere. It’s a story about finding who you are in Jesus through forgiveness, acceptance, and letting go.

Q: Your protagonist is a woman at the beach who owns a dog. Did you ever consider going in a different direction? For example, did you consider setting your story in the Old West and featuring a chimpanzee as the trusty companion?

A: Ha! I did not consider that but will keep it in mind for future storyline ideas. When I was a kid, we spent several summer vacations in Oak Island, where Blackbird is set, with my Nannie and Pa, Uncle, Aunt, and cousins. Nannie, Pa and Uncle Kyle are gone now, and missed so badly. I guess you could say I have a connection with that beach because so many of my memories of time spent with them live there. Plus, I’m a little obsessed with the east coast.

Q: Do you have a favorite author or book that inspired your work?

A: Honestly, no. I pretty much judge a book by its cover. I peruse the shelves in the library and check out ones with neat covers. I remember finishing one in particular and feeling so disappointed with the ending, and I said, “I could’ve done better than that.” So I developed the plot for Blackbird that night. But I will say Francine Rivers changed my life with Redeeming Love and her Mark of the Lion trilogy.

Q: Forgiveness is an important theme in your book. Do you think it is more difficult to forgive another person or oneself?

A: I think it’s easy to blame someone else, even if they have wronged us, and plug our ears, singing “lalala” when that tiny voice pops into our head saying, “yeah that guy was wrong, but so are you.” We’re selfish beings, bottom line. Forgiving ourselves means admitting we need grace, and that is difficult, for me sometimes at least. It’s tricky either way, but forgiving ourselves takes a bit more soul searching I think.

Q: Can you tell us anything about your next writing project?

A: I am really excited about my current project. All I’ll say is I’m dipping my toes in the sci-fi/romance genre. It may or may not turn into a series. Wild West Chimpanzee as trusty companion? You’ll have to wait and see!