An interview with Dana Stabenow
In a short Q&A, Dana Stabenow discusses her Kate Shugak series and lists the things she wishes people knew about Alaska.
Why did you take a break from your series to write a thriller, and how does it feel to return to the Kate Shugak series?
To see if I could, to flex muscles between my ears that I didnt even know were there. And because for research I got to go on patrol in the Bering Sea with the US Coast Guard. And after creating an entirely new world, its fun to go back and revisit the old one. Whats Kate getting up to now? What? What!
Can you discuss some of Kate's internal and external pressures/challenges in her community?
Shes being pushed to take a public place in the community, and she is an intensely private person. Shes not a person used to compromise, and compromise is what public governance is all about. Its going to be interesting to see if she can succeed.
Are you anything like Kate? In what way?
She is an intensely private person. Im like her in that. Otherwise, my moms friend Darlene says that Kate is me and my best friend Kathy smooshed together into one person. Thats about as close as anyones ever come to plucking out the heart of Kates mystery.
What do you wish people knew about Alaska, and the people who live there?
I wish they knew
- That it actually is a state; its been one since January 3, 1960.
- That we are US citizens and you dont need a visa to travel here.
- That you can actually spend American money here.
- That it isnt dark and cold all year round.
- That less than 10 percent is privately owned, that most of the rest of it is parks and refuges and wildernesses that belong to the American people and they should come visit it more often.
- That a lot of us think the Ketchikan Bridge to Nowhere is just as dumb as they think it is,
- That no one knows if there is a recoverable amount of crude oil under ANWR and we should find out before we start fighting over getting it out,
- That yes, we do get a check from the state every year based on oil production from the North Slope but that not all of us think its such a good idea. Although nobody turns it down.
Unless otherwise stated, this interview was conducted at the time the book was first published, and is reproduced with permission of the publisher. This interview may not be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the copyright holder.
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Books by this Author
Kate Shugak is an Aleut who lives on a 160-acre homestead in a generic national Park in Alaska.
And here is a brand new (as of January 17, 2013) map for you, courtesy of the genius of Dr. Cherie Northon, cartographer extraordinaire of Mapping Solutions.
Kate’s roommate is a half-wolf, half-husky dog named Mutt. Her nearest neighbors are a bull moose and a grizzly sow. Farther off are dog mushers, miners, hunters, trappers, fishermen, bush pilots, pipeline workers, Park rats and Park rangers, other Aleuts, Athabascans, a few Tlingits and the residents of Niniltna, a village perched on the edge of the Kanuyaq River, a 600-mile long, salmon-rich tributary that winds through the Park to Prince William Sound.
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