Thursday, February 17, 2011

Interview with Chris Rylander

I would like to welcome author of The Fourth Stall Chris Rylander. Chris thank you so much for taking time for a quick interview with us. This is your first children’s book and the age range is 9-12 so it’s safe to say middle grade, but from reading the first two chapters I can see parents enjoying this with their kids.

What is The Fourth Stall about?

Thanks, Cari. The Fourth Stall is about the world of organized crime in a middle school. It’s my kid-friendly, and hopefully funny and action-packed, take on how I think the worlds of school and organized crime as seen in the movies mirror each other pretty well.

Your story is told from Mac’s point of view and Mac is quite the character. Can you tell us a little about who is Mac what he does?

Mac represents the Godfather character. He runs a business from an unused bathroom in the school and he has the answer to every kid’s problem – provided they can pay him with money or small favors of course. But ultimately Mac’s a pretty good guy, I mean, he’s not putting kids in cement overcoats or anything. He isn’t exactly the Carlo Gambino of kids.

How did you develop the characters Mac, Vince, or Staples?
Mac came pretty naturally – well, they all did in a sense. I thought the typical place to take the story would be to have the protagonist be an outsider to the organized crime and have the villain be the godfather. So that’s sort of what led me to make Mac the crime boss, to do the opposite of what I’d expect to see in a kids book. Vince seemed like a natural fit as a friend to Mac, after all, someone has to run the numbers for any business, right? Plus, the book has some dark edges, so it needed constant comic relief. And for Staples, I wanted a pretty realistic teen hooligan. I mean, as middle schoolers and grade schoolers, there was never anything more terrifying than big and mean high school kids, right?

There seems to be a lot of humor in the book and also in your tweet. How do you come up with all of it and are you funny all day all the time?
I have no idea where any of it comes from. Mostly I just type whatever amuses me, which is pretty much everything. All I can do is hope that it amuses other people as well. As to your second question, yes, I am pretty much hilarious all day long, every day. I know for sure that my dog finds me funny. And one time I even made my ham sandwich laugh right before I ate it. Which, to make something laugh right before you’re about to digest it is pretty impressive.

On your website you have a lot of drawings did you draw those yourself? Can you see The Fourth Stall as a graphic novel and movie?
Yes, I did all of the writing and artwork found on my website myself. Most of them I doodled during work meetings. (If anyone from work is reading this, I’m just kidding… Or am I?) I never really envisioned The Fourth Stall as anything but a novel, but I’d certainly love to see another person’s take on it – either in drawings or a movie.

Ok so if you or Mac had to stand in a bookstore and try to convince people to pick The Fourth Stall what would you say to them?
That’s a great question. I’m not a good salesman, so I’d let Mac take that portion of it. Meanwhile, I’d go buy a hot dog that I would then wear as a hat. I’m telling you, the whole hot dogs as hats thing is coming back in a big way.

Once again thank you so much for taking time to stop by my blog and I know I will be buying a copy for my nephew so I hope readers do the same.
Thank you, I hope he and other readers enjoy the book!

Ok this is one interview I could not have done in person or on video without laughing. Chris is so funny so pick up his book and you can find him online at:


  1. Hallu! I found you through Blogs of Note from Blogger, and I was wondering if I could feature your blog on my Blogger Interview series. Let me know if you're interested by visiting Reads, Reviews, Recommends at:

  2. Very funny interview!! I'm going to get this one for my daughter. :)

  3. Yep, now I want to read it. And I want a hot dog hat. With ketchup and mustard but not sauerkraut, because, seriously, I am not a fool.

  4. What a funny guy! Very cool interview :-)

  5. That's cool! Man i want to meet Rick Riordan, you know? He wrote the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, the newer Heroes of Olympus, and the other new series The Kane chronicles i think. That was a really nice article.

  6. Okay, so yeah, this Chris Rylander author is QUITE HILARIOUS. A fellow blogger friend showed me this cover yesterday and I absolutely loved it. And then, THEN wehen I went to his website I laughed all over the place because he reminds me a lot of Matt Inman from The Oatmeal, except without all the vector graphics. =) The Fourth Stall sounds like a really fun read.

  7. Your interview is just as funny as the novel sounds! Very good job!