Dana Stabenow Interview, plus links to author biography, book summaries, excerpts and reviews

Dana Stabenow

Dana Stabenow

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 didn’t 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, it’s fun to go back and revisit the old one. What’s Kate getting up to now? What? What!

Can you discuss some of Kate's internal and external pressures/challenges in her community?

She’s being pushed to take a public place in the community, and she is an intensely private person. She’s not a person used to compromise, and compromise is what public governance is all about. It’s going to be interesting to see if she can succeed.

Are you anything like Kate? In what way?

She is an intensely private person. I’m like her in that. Otherwise, my mom’s friend Darlene says that Kate is me and my best friend Kathy “smooshed together” into one person. That’s about as close as anyone’s ever come to plucking out the heart of Kate’s 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; it’s been one since January 3, 1960.
  • That we are US citizens and you don’t need a visa to travel here.
  • That you can actually spend American money here.
  • That it isn’t 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 it’s 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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