Friday, April 19, 2013

Straight Chatting from the Library: Karl Fields and Ander

Karl Fields is visiting with us today as part of his Virtual Book Tour with Goddess Fish Promotions, and he brought the star of his book, Ander Cartwright, to visit as well. Somebody who comments on today's post will win a box of "Pinks," which are pink fortune cookies that Ander, the main character has a fondness for. Also, a $25 Amazon gift card will be given to one random commenter at the end of the tour. Want to have more chances to win? Check out his other stops here:

Q:   Thanks for joining us, Ander. First, how did you get the idea…Is something wrong?

A:   You just told everybody my name. I thought I was supposed to be undercover here.

Q:   Oh, right, anonymous revenge club.

A:   Yeah, so thanks for blowing that.

Q:   I’m sorry. Tell readers how you got the idea to operate an anonymous revenge club at your school.

A:   Well, middle school can be tough. From your first day, everybody just wants to fit in, right? But half the time, the way people fit in is by keeping other people out. So the jocks mess with the geeks, the skaters mess with the guys in band, the hotties mess with the uglies, and everybody messes with the Snots.

Q:   Snots?

A:   Sixth graders.

Q:   Got it. Please, go on.

A:   One day, some girls in the Eww Crew were –

Q:   Wait. Eww Crew?

A:   This bunch of girls who rip on other people for their clothes and stuff. “Did you see her outfit? Eww.” Anyway, they were bothering Shooter –

Q: She’s your girlfriend, right?

A:   No…no. She’s…can I just tell the story?

Q:   Of course.

A:   These girls were giving Shooter a bad time and making her life miserable, so me and my friends –

Q:   You mean Christian and Joe?

A:   Seriously? A-no-ny-mous. Anyway, we decided to even things up a little, only we didn’t want to get ourselves in trouble, so we decided to keep everything incognito. We figured our stunt was a one shot deal, but everybody talked about it for weeks – about how cool it was for the Crew to get what they had coming. That’s when we figured other people at school could use our help. It turned out we were right.

Q:   You mentioned not wanting to get trouble. How do you avoid getting caught?

A:   That’s where our rules come into play. We have three of them, and they help keep us from getting busted. Rule #3 is “All In.” It means the whole group has to be down with taking on a particular job, otherwise we don’t do it. Rule #2 is “No Repeat Business.” That means we never target the same person twice, because someone’s liable to get suspicious and start trying to connect the dots. Besides, there’s enough troublemakers at school for us to spread things around. The last one, Rule #1, is “Strictly Business, Not Personal.” It means exactly what it says. We have to keep our feelings out of it at all times.

Q:   In the book, it seems like you have a little trouble with that last one.

A:   Kinda.

Q:   When you’re not in class or working on the revenge business, what do you like to do? Any hobbies?

A:   I’m into fortune cookies. If there’s a restaurant in San Francisco that serves them, I’ve been there. Most people think they’re all the same, but they’re not. Pinks are the best ones by a mile. If you’re ever downtown, swing by the Sun Bakery and try some. Mornings are the best time to go. Say “what’s up?” to Nick, and tell him Ander sent you.

Q:   What’s your favorite book?

A:   Right now, it’s Algebra for Dummies. Not that I’m dumb. Really, I’m not. I just don’t get algebra. My dad says it’s because I don’t apply myself, but I think it’s because algebra doesn’t make sense. All those x’s and y’s and formulas? What does that stuff even mean? Our teacher, Mr. Jennings, told us once we learn algebra, we’ll be able to use it for the rest of our lives. My grandmother said the same thing about learning how to tie a bow tie. I probably don’t have to tell you how that worked out. Anyway, the Dummies book is helping me so I don’t look like a total loser in class.

Q:   Is there anything you’d like to say in closing?

A:   Just that we’re all really sorry about the thing with the school newspaper. That was totally an accident and, if it makes anybody feel better, I got grounded.

Want to find out more about the book?

Thirteen-year-old Ander Cartwright is an expert on two subjects: fortune cookies and payback.

Especially payback.

When he’s not struggling with algebra, Ander is the leader of an anonymous revenge club that operates within the walls of Marina Middle School. Got a beef with a classmate? Shoot Ander’s crew an email and, if your case if legit, they’ll deliver some retribution on your behalf.

It’s not easy to right wrongs and stay under the radar at the same time. That’s why Ander developed three simple rules designed to keep him and his friends from blowing their cover.

But when Ander spots the opportunity to settle an old score of his own, he ignores his own rules, setting off a chain of events that threatens to blow his cover, and it’ll take all the butt-kicking, detention-dodging skill he can muster to keep a lid on his secret.

Want to meet the author?

Karl Fields is a writer of fiction for teens and young adults. His other interests include jazz, golf and collecting flash drives, the more unusual the better. He was an army brat and by the seventh grade, he had attended six different schools on three continents. His first book, The Odd Job Squad, is about the exploits of three eighth graders who operate an anonymous revenge club at their school. He recommends that you not attempt the stunts portrayed in this book. His second, Instant Preplay, is about a boy who discovers that his DVR records shows before they air. He recommends that you get one of those if you can.



  1. Great interview, thank you.


  2. Great interview..Thanks for sharing with us!! adgali at ymail dot com

  3. Love character interviews. Lots of fun. I love the rules too. Reminds me of Fight Club's first rule; don't talk about fight club.

    kareninnc at gmail dot com

  4. Poor Ander, he's not going to like finding out that his "memoirs" are the new fabulous book "The Odd Job Squad" lol...That's a lot of exposure for a secret organization :P

    andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com

  5. Hi Judith,

    Just wanted to thank you for being today's host. I'll stop by throughout the day to answer any questions your readers may have.

  6. So much fun to read through thank you!!

    The secret is out.