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The Short Version:
If you live with a cat who insists on climbing on top of your book while you are reading or a dog who is begging for a scratch while you are trying to squeeze in one more chapter, then you already share something with Chandler.
In 2013, after reading and studying so many stories, Chandler decided that it was time for him to give something back, to write adventures for our generation. If after reading his books, you feel closer to the animals around you, find a momentary relief from your troubles, or gain a new insight to enrich your life, then the work to get these stories to you will have been worth it.
(For those looking for credentials, Chandler holds a Ph.D. in ethics and literature from the University of Virginia, has taught for over a decade, and has published several essays. A host of writers have influenced him, and you can find out which ones as well as more about his stories at chandlerbrett.com.)
For booking presentations, interviews, or book signings, contact me via the contact page or email: chandler@chandlerbrett[dot]com.
The Poetic Version: Of Stories and Candles
I have always loved good stories. Today I treasure fond memories of childhood, times when my parents read to me, trips to the library to share in summer-reading programs, and many hours spent perusing the shelves in bookstores, always excited to discover a new gifted author. Since my father loved science fiction and political thrillers and my mother was an English teacher, my reading was wide and varied. Memorable childhood books included Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, Rudyard Kipling’s “Rikki-Tikki-Tavi,” Lloyd Alexander’s The Chronicles of Prydain, C. S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia and The Space Trilogy, Jack London’s The Call of the Wild, Jules Verne’s A Journey to the Center of the Earth, Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles, Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, Richard Adams’ Watership Down, Peter S. Beagle’s The Last Unicorn, and Tad Williams’ Tailchaser’s Song. My siblings and I also grew up with Star Wars and Star Trek, spending many hours shaping new adventures for these characters.
When it came time to declare a major in college, I decided to commit to studying a wide variety of British, American, and world literature, while also honing writing skills I’d learned at home. With some resistance I endured papers covered in red ink and learned new ways to construct sentences and organize thoughts. I studied Romantic and Victorian poetry, literary theory, and modern short stories, but my favorite form was the novel, particularly the works of Charles Dickens, Herman Melville, Mark Twain, Joseph Conrad, Willa Cather, John Steinbeck, and Graham Greene.
In graduate school four pivotal things happened to affect my understanding of storytelling: (1) I read stories from Hispanic, African, Asian, and Native American traditions—appreciating the work of Oscar Hijuelos, Helen Viramontes, August Wilson, Maya Angelou, Amy Tan, Shusaku Endo, N. Scott Momaday, and Louise Erdrich. (2) A friend gave me a copy of Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game, which sparked a new voracious reading of science fiction. (3) I discovered graphic novels, admiring the work of J. Michael Straczynski, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Mark Waid, and others. (4) I studied narrative theory (Yes, I know how exciting that sounds!) and learned to voice what I already knew, how important stories are for how we understand and live in the world.
Since graduating, I have taught college students and served in social ministries in my communities, I have teased my wife for jumping ahead to the last chapter of the book she’s reading to confirm where the story is headed, and I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunities to read to my children, hopefully passing on what I have learned. My reading interests continue to encompass many genres.
All these experiences go into my stories and shape them in ways I do not always understand. I am drawn toward images that challenge us, that force us to consider what we value and where our lives are going, to see our world in a new light. Chandlers are candlemakers, and though they do not create light, they do show us how to hold a flame, clearing away the darkness, for a time. Even in our age of electricity and light bulbs, there is still a romantic mystique to candlelight. I hope you will find such illumination in my stories, something that will enrich your life, as so many stories have enhanced my own.