Brent Chartier co-wrote The Franchise (The Opportunity series) and At All Costs (Red Zone series) with author Patrick Jones. He currently lives in a Detroit suburb with his son and their two cats.
What was your favorite book when you were a child?
Two-part answer: a) anything my brother was reading in his high school English class—Nectar in a Sieve (Markandaya), A Clockwork Orange (Burgess); b) everything by James Herriot
What’s your favorite line from a book?
“I have always wanted to write a book that ended with the word ‘mayonnaise.’” —Richard Brautigan. A reader can tell if you’re having fun. When Brautigan wrote that, I pictured him at a typewriter, wearing clown shoes.
Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?
Raymond Carver, Saul Bellow, Tom Wolfe
Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?
I’ve always learned more about myself from writing than from any other activity. Writing teaches the reader second and the author first. Saul Bellow made the point clear when someone asked him what it was it like to win the Nobel Prize for literature. His response, and I paraphrase: ‘I don’t know. I haven’t written about it."
Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?
It’s about the story and nothing else. If you don’t like the story, the writing will be hard. If you like the story, the writing will be everything.