Google+ Reading Teen: BAD CALL by Stephen Wallenfels // Blog Tour Interview

Saturday, January 6, 2018

BAD CALL by Stephen Wallenfels // Blog Tour Interview

by Stephen Wallenfels
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (December 19, 2017)

Goodreads | Amazon
Four high schol seniors and an epic overnight hiking trip in Yosemite Valley sounds like the adventure of a lifetime. But even the best of plans can snowball out of control. BAD CALL by Stephen Wallenfels (Hyperion; On Sale: December 19, 2017) is an intense YA thriller that follows the four teens as conditions atop the summit they’re hiking become fatally terrifying. Supplies running out and one of the hikers gone missing, they’ll need to hone their survival skills and pull together against extreme conditions in order to make it out of the wilderness alive.

BAD CALL is a chilling, twisty thriller that reveals how one wrong turn can have dire consequences.

With a bear and a potential killer on the loose, readers will be hooked from start to finish—and find themselves questioning their own survival skill along the way. Kirkus Reviews raves “a gripping, well-paced thriller that strikes a menacing tone, [BAD CALL] will appeal to those looking for a good scare.”
Thanks to Disney Hyperion for sending a copy of BAD CALL for consideration. And thanks to Stephen Wallenfels, author of BAD CALL, for chatting with us today!

Hi Stephen! The big question we have right off the bat is could you survive if you were stranded in the wilderness?

Yes.  But the question is for how long?  The number one priority is to find shelter to say warm.  You need to conserve energy while you rest and wait to be found—or hike out if and only if, you know where you need to go. I know how to make emergency shelters, how to make a fire even with wet wood, and most of the native foods like berries to eat.  I’ve never eaten worms but am sure I could do it if I had to. As a rule I stay away from mushrooms, even on pizza.  I love winter camping because it is more challenging and less crowded, less room for error.  I like fishing through the ice and sleeping in a snow cave or igloo.

 Do you enjoy the outdoors? Wildlife?

I love the outdoors.  I backpacked and rock climbed a lot but not as much these days while I recover from a knee injury.  I’m not a hunter, but I have seen my share of moose, deer, mountain goats and big horn sheep, marmots (not a fan of marmots), and the occasional bear.  My brother and I were 1 day in on a 3 day backpacking trip in Yosemite around Clouds Rest and a bear took all our food, even though we had hung it on the highest branch around.  As the saying goes, if a bear wants your food, it will get it.  Period.

What’s the most intriguing unsolved mystery you’ve heard of? 

The Lunning Formation in the Berlin-Icthyosaur State Park in Nevada, absolutely blows my mind.  A set of fossilized remains have puzzled paleontologists since the site was first excavated in the 1950s.  Cervical discs from the predatory ichthyosaurs, Shonisaurus popularis (50 feet long and weighing 40 tons) were found arranged in a symmetrical pattern of two nesting parallel rows.  This pattern is repeated in juxtaposition at the site nine times.  Theories range from death by toxic algae bloom, to water currents—but all are essentially dismissed as improbable due to the near perfect repetition of the pattern, great water depth, and the fact that the only bones in the pattern are cervical discs.  The most recent explanation I’ve heard of is that it was done by a giant squid (kraken).  Ha!  That sounds pretty out there to me.  So I came up with a different theory and have turned it into a plot for a book.

What was your writing experience like?

I didn’t start out wanting to be a novelist, but I’m happy to be one now.  I started writing short stories in college, went on to write freelance for a fitness trade magazine (CBI).  But I was intrigued by novels, loved to read them, and decided to give it a go.  I wrote POD, which was published in 2009, and is now in seven languages.  Next up was BAD CALL, to be followed next year with DEADFALL.  I’m usually in my office at home writing between 3am and 3:30.  I write until 6am every day.  I drink lots and lots and lots of tea!

Why write for/about teens?

I believe in the power of the written word.  I believe in expanding the imagination, challenging yourself to think and be creative.  Teens are the generation that will have to fix what we break. So I write books that I would have liked to read as a teen, and hopefully challenge them to think about different world views.

What are you an evangelist for?

I am an evangelist for the environment.  I believe climate change is the biggest challenge we face.  My first book, POD, had an environmental theme.  The book I’m writing now, has a very strong theme centering around climate change.  Remember, the basic rule in survival is shelter first.  The earth is our only home.  We need to get our act together and save the planet.  And teens—you are the generation that will need to make it happen!

Thanks so much for chatting with us, Stephen! 

Readers, you can grab your copy of BAD CALL now at your favorite bookstore!

About the author:

Stephen Wallenfels lives in Washington state with his wife. His day job is the creative director and IT manager at a large health club, but he has held the following jobs in no specific order: apple picker, onion topper, omelette chef, grill cook, legal gofer, ESL teacher, school custodian, freelance journalist, tennis instructor, soccer coach, graphic designer, and his favorite of all, novelist. Stephen has lived in igloos, lean-to's, slept under bushes and in trees. His passions are family, hiking, cooking, reading, movies, climate change, and especially writing. "I love to share my passion for the written word, especially with kids. Reading is the key to everything. Give me a room full of book lovers eager to learn about the craft of writing, and I'm in heaven.

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