Interview with Eric Chandler

What's the story behind your latest book?
It's a collection of stories. I started freelance writing about my family adventures in the outdoors. I was lucky to get published with Silent Sports Magazine and Northern Wilds Magazine. Joel Patenaude at Silent Sports and Shawn Perich at Northern Wilds have been big supporters of my work. There are about ten years of magazine articles. Forty chapters worth. I wanted to preserve my family adventures for later when I can't remember anything. I've been lucky enough to publish these memories.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
When I do something I enjoy, I don't notice the passage of time. When I cross-country ski. When I listen to my kids play piano. When I run on trails. When I write. It's the way time is frozen for me when shaping words. When I'm drafting a story, or even editing one, I like taking a moment of my life and preserving it. Putting it in amber. I want to be immortal, blah, blah, blah. But, no, seriously. Trying to be immortal. Stopping the passage of time. Both while I'm doing it and with the content of the story.
Who are your favorite authors?
Wallace Stegner. Hemingway. Alice Munro. Jon Krakauer. David Quammen. E.B. White. Stephen King. Ernest K. Gann. Antoine de Sainte-Exupery. Jim Harrison. James Salter.
When did you first start writing?
I plagiarized a children's book idea when I was a little kid. I changed the idea a little and called it "The Cheese Factory Mice." My mom still has a copy somewhere. I've written things off and on ever since. People said they liked my Christmas cards, so I started entering contests in the late 90's. I won a handheld GPS for a contest entry on a cross-country skiing website. And so it began. The 21st century media juggernaut.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I read Joe Konrath's blog pretty often. He's like a prophet for the coming age of ebooks. I liked the idea that I could deal directly with readers. Sometimes I think there should be gatekeepers to decide what is good. But then I realize the readers can decide that for me. The internet has a worldwide reach and shelf life is infinite. Pretty compelling reasons for publishing that way. And nobody disputes this no matter what road you take: Your writing better not suck.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords made it easy for me to get my work out there in book form. The style guide, ebook success guide, and marketing guide are all awesome. Step by step help for getting my words in front of readers. Priceless. And since the help was free, I guess that's true.
What do your fans mean to you?
I don't know. Mom, as my fan, what do you think?
What are you working on next?
I've got a story that's longer than a short story, but shorter than a novella. It's a draft. I haven't looked at it in six months. It's about a pilot who ejects in Afghanistan.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I just retired from twenty years in the military flying F-16's. I went to the Middle East seven different times. I served three times in Operation Southern Watch enforcing the No-Fly Zone over Iraq. I've flown from within Iraq during three times in Operation Iraqi Freedom. I got back from Afghanistan in 2012. Thankfully, I'm still kicking.

I like to spend time in the outdoors with my family. Cross country skiing is my favorite thing to do. Sadly, there isn't snow all year long, so sometimes I run marathons. Sometimes I run those on trails. I enjoy as much of the outdoors as I can with my wife and two kids here in Duluth, Minnesota.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Usually, whatever I happen to be reading gives me the idea for what I want to read next. Usually because I want to switch it up from fiction back to nonfiction or vice versa.
Published 2013-09-30.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Down In It
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 15,630. Language: English. Published: March 11, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » War & military adventure
A pilot ejects from his F-16 while flying in combat. Follow Doug “Hoser” Mackenzie as he struggles to evade capture and survive in the mountains of Afghanistan.
Outside Duluth
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 27,680. Language: English. Published: October 1, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Sports & outdoor recreation » Essays, Nonfiction » Sports & outdoor recreation » Outdoor Skills
Outside Duluth will take you on an armchair tour of one of the best regions for outdoor fun in the US. Join Eric Chandler as he takes you cross country skiing, biking, paddling, and running with his family near the head of Lake Superior. Chandler's stories are part essay, part guidebook and all fun. Find out why Outside Magazine named Duluth runner-up for the best adventure hub in the whole world!