Today’s featured artist is storm chaser Chris Kridler. Not only is she a talented author, but Chris is an amazing videographer who chases tornadoes, photographs lightning storms, and produces awesome book trailers (like Clifton Chase and the Arrow of Light).
The Storm Seeker Trilogy releases the final book TODAY with “Zap Bang”. Let’s learn more about the book, the series, and the author:
ENGLE: Thank you very much for stopping by for an interview. Tell me about your
most recent book. What’s it about? Where did the story idea come from?
KRIDLER: My new novel is “Zap Bang,” the finale to my Storm Seekers trilogy of
storm-chasing adventures. I’ve chased storms in Tornado Alley for 18
years, and those experiences inspired me to write “Funnel Vision” and its
sequel, “Tornado Pinball,” before “Zap Bang.” Though my characters face
deadly tornadoes in this book, too, lightning plays a central role in the
plot. I was curious about research into upward lightning, lightning that
shoots skyward, which is of concern because of the damage it can cause to
tall objects like the wind turbines popping up all over Tornado Alley.
In “Zap Bang,” tornado chaser Jack Andreas is invited to join a lightning
research study. As he sees it, what’s not to love? Tornadoes plus
lightning equals double the danger. He’s intrigued by the job and
fascinated by pilot Maribeth Lisbon, who must fly a research plane into
the zap zone. Maribeth suspects he’s trouble, especially when his charms
set off all her alarms. In their way are scheming TV chaser Brad Treat and
down-on-his-luck adventurer Aurelius Zane, intent on filming a wedding in
front of a twister. The eccentric billionaire who funds the study has a
secret agenda. And a mystic with a food truck tests them all. As fearsome
storms put them in mortal peril, Jack and Maribeth find their toughest
challenge may lie within.
ENGLE: One of the challenges faced by authors is visibility in the market. What
have you done to bring your book in front of the consumer? How has your
KRIDLER: Because I am publishing the books through my own company, I face the
challenges of any small or independent publisher. I use a lot of social
media to raise awareness about my books. I blog. I also do talks about
storm chasing, photography and severe weather to a variety of groups,
partly to give my books a boost but also because I love talking to people
about storms. I don’t talk about my novels in schools, but I enjoy giving
presentations in classrooms because kids get so excited about weather and
storm chasing, whether I’m talking about tornadoes or rainbows.
I’m a journalist, too, so I’m familiar with how media work. I send out
press releases about books and events, and I have a page with media
resources, such as author photos and book covers, available on my site. If
I’m lucky, reaching out to publications sometimes leads to interviews. I
encourage authors always to make it easy for journalists to write about
them, and that includes having a professional website and having
high-resolution and web-resolution images ready for easy download. But
promotion is still a challenge, and the road to success for most of us is
ENGLE: What is an interesting or bizarre fact we don’t know about you?
KRIDLER: Well, you know I’m a storm chaser, which is probably the most interesting
thing about me. Other than that, there are a few strange highlights. For
instance, I played the starring role in “The Court of Queen Arithmetic” in
second grade, wearing an old bridesmaid dress of my mother’s and a paper
crown. But I have never wanted to be a princess.
ENGLE: How do you come up with your ideas and what’s a typical writing day like
KRIDLER: I see ideas everywhere. Often they’re inspired by people and their
conflicts and quirks, which lead me to develop characters in my head. Once
you have characters, they almost write their own stories. That said, with
a novel, I put a lot of work into building the plot. With a short story,
often an idea with a clever concept or twist is enough to get me writing.
When I’m developing a project, the writing can be sporadic; I take a lot
of notes. But when I’m really into a project, I tend to write late at
night. That’s when I feel most creative.
ENGLE: If you were trapped on a deserted island with one book, one drink, one
friend from literature, and one song, what would that look like?
KRIDLER: An excellent question and a difficult one. I might bring Evelyn Waugh’s
“Brideshead Revisited,” a beautifully written novel and perhaps my
favorite. Like my character Jack, I’d like a good bourbon (as long as I
had enough water to survive). I think I’d like to hang out with Thursday
Next from Jasper Fforde’s novels, because she could get us into the Book
World – the place where fictional characters live in their respective
realms – for endless entertainment. One song for eternity? That’s too
difficult. But lately, given the subject of “Zap Bang,” I’ve been
captivated by Craig Carnelia’s song “Flight,” performed by Sutton Foster
and Megan McGinnis; it’s on the playlist I created for the novel to keep
ENGLE: Now that you’ve wet our whistles, where can we find your book? Do you
have a website/facebook/twitter you’d like to share?
KRIDLER: My book is in paperback and e-book at multiple online retailers, including
Amazon; more links are at http://chriskridler.com/books. My main website
is ChrisKridler.com; from there you can reach my storm-chasing website,
SkyDiary.com. I’m on Twitter @ChrisKridler. More book fun is at
Facebook.com/funnelvision. Storm videos and book trailers are at
ENGLE: If you could be a Muppet who would you be and why?
KRIDLER: Though I have a lot of Cookie Monster in me, and my high school drumming
makes me identify with Animal, I have to admit that, at heart, I’m
probably Kermit. He’s sometimes a leader, sometimes a journalist, and
amusingly insecure. And he has a thing for rainbows.
Chris Kridler is a writer, photographer and storm chaser who documents
storms at SkyDiary.com and whose books, blog, video and photos are
featured at ChrisKridler.com. She is the author of “Funnel Vision,”
“Tornado Pinball” and “Zap Bang,” storm-chasing adventure novels in the
Storm Seekers trilogy. As a journalist, she’s covered a variety of topics,
from space to lifestyles, and was a longtime columnist for Florida Today.
Chris’ photographs have appeared in several magazines and books, including
the covers of The Journal of Meteorology, the book “Winderful,” and
Wallace and Hobbs’ “Atmospheric Science” textbook. She’s been featured in
Popular Photography. Her short film “Chasing Reality” won the best
documentary award at the Melbourne Independent Filmmakers Festival in
Florida in 2011; she won best animation in 2013 with “The Chase.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
‘Zap Bang’ concludes author Chris Kridler’s Storm Seekers trilogy
with a lightning-laced storm-chasing adventure
“Zap Bang,” a storm-chasing adventure novel — Storm Seekers, Book 3
— sequel to “Funnel Vision” and “Tornado Pinball” (Sky Diary Productions, 322 pages)
Publication date: Sept. 16, 2014
Paperback ISBN-13: 978-0-9849139-6-1
Retail price: $14.95 trade paperback, $2.99 various e-book formats
More information: http://chriskridler.com/books
12 SEPTEMBER 2014 – Lightning is Florida’s top weather killer and still a source of mystery for scientists. One of their areas of study is upward lightning — bolts that travel skyward from tall objects such as wind turbines — a phenomenon that can cause damage to these energy sources, which are springing up all over Tornado Alley. Lightning especially concerns the characters in “Zap Bang,” storm chaser and writer Chris Kridler’s third novel in the Storm Seekers trilogy of storm-chasing adventures. The story opens on Florida’s Space Coast and continues with adrenaline-filled storm chases in Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska.
Here’s a summary of the novel: For tornado chaser Jack Andreas, an invitation to a lightning study means double the danger. As he sees it, what’s not to love? He’s intrigued by the job and fascinated by pilot Maribeth Lisbon, who must fly a research plane into the zap zone. Maribeth suspects he’s trouble, especially when his charms set off all her alarms. In their way are scheming TV chaser Brad Treat and down-on-his-luck adventurer Aurelius Zane, intent on filming a wedding in front of a twister. The eccentric billionaire who funds the study has a secret agenda. And a mystic with a food truck tests them all. As fearsome storms put them in mortal peril, Jack and Maribeth find their toughest challenge may lie within. The sequel to FUNNEL VISION and TORNADO PINBALL, ZAP BANG concludes Chris Kridler’s Storm Seekers trilogy with action, drama, humor and romance.
Kridler, a veteran journalist and photographer who has chased storms for 18 years, is available for interviews and talks and can discuss storm-chasing culture, storms, tornado and lightning safety, weather photography and writing.
Kridler is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of experience who has worked at Florida Today, The Baltimore Sun and The Charlotte Observer, covering space, features and the arts. Her photos have appeared in magazines and on book covers; she was featured in Popular Photography; and her video has appeared on numerous television shows. She won the Best Documentary award at the 2011 Melbourne Independent Filmmakers Festival for her short film “Chasing Reality,” about the realities of storm chasing. She has been interviewed in various media, including documentaries on The Travel Channel and The Weather Channel and on “American Variety Radio” on public radio. Originally from Pennsylvania, she went to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and lives in Rockledge, on Florida’s Space Coast.
“Zap Bang” is available as a trade paperback for $14.95 and in several e-book formats for $2.99, with a release date of Sept. 16, 2014. Visit http://chriskridler.com/books for more information, high-resolution book cover images and author photos, a “Zap Bang” book trailer and a Q&A interview.