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The Revealing of Chandra Hoffman

October 27, 2010 By: larramiefg Category: Profiles, Q&A

Debut novelist Chandra Hoffman wrote of what she knew best and, as a result, her book, Chosen, has been captured in this one sentence description:

In the spirit of Jodi Picoult and Anna Quindlen, CHOSEN features a young caseworker increasingly entangled in the lives of the adoptive and birth parents she represents, and who faces life-altering choices when an extortion attempt goes horribly wrong.

Followed by Praise:

“Chandra Hoffman’s CHOSEN is a finely tuned page-turner. With unwavering clarity and genuine empathy born of experience, Hoffman turns the spotlight on her so-real characters, exposing the raw edges of their love and longing and fears. There is no perfect happiness here; instead, there is the unexpected grace of discovering that getting what we want is so often less ideal than wanting what we get. This is an outstanding debut.”__Therese Fowler, author of Reunion and Souvenir

“This riveting debut novel from Chandra Hoffman will keep you on edge until its final glorious pages. Enlightening, terrifying, and big hearted, CHOSEN is a terrific book!”__Ann Hood, bestselling author of THE RED THREAD

The Divining Wand has scheduled a presentation/review of Chosen for Monday, November 8, 2010 but of course, in the meantime, let’s meet the author through her “official” bio:

Since graduating from Cornell University, Chandra has been an orphanage relief worker in Romania, a horse trainer in the Caribbean, a short order cook in a third world hospital, the director of a US adoption program and an event planner for Philadelphia’s Main Line elite.

She has lived in eleven international cities and this wanderlust shaped her writing–in each novel, the setting is its own character, flavoring the story. She prefers to write about everyday scenarios, shining a light on the complexities of situations through the voices of multiple characters. Her debut novel, Chosen, uses the domestic adoption scene of Portland, Oregon as a backdrop to pose the questions “What happens when you get what you thought you wanted?” and “How far would you go if it might not be what you want anymore?”

Chandra received her MFA from Antioch University in 2007. She is now settled back in her hometown outside of Philadelphia with her husband, three young children and an ever-changing menagerie.

Impressive and thought-provoking? Definitely, but now it’s time for even more with Chandra, upclose and personal:

Q: How would you describe your life in 8 words?
A: wife/mom/sister/writer/friend/daughter/runner/nurturer

Q: What is your motto or maxim?
A: Before kids it was “Never say no to an opportunity,” which is why my early adulthood was full of adventures and my resume is full of holes. Now I would say that it’s “One of the best things you can be is flexible.” My kids get tired of hearing that.

Q: How would you describe perfect happiness?
A: family animals success outdoors

Q: What’s your greatest fear?
A: Losing my husband/kids

Q: If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
A: This isn’t bad, but I’d love to be in GumbaLimba in Roatan with the monkeys and the ziplines and the beach with my family.

Q: With whom in history do you most identify?
A: I can’t come up with anything for this–I don’t think very well in broad sweeping terms. More anecdotal. Tell me a story about someone and I’ll find our human connection.

Q: Which living person do you most admire?
A: I admire my sister, and her ability to follow rules and instructions and recipes. For people I don’t know personally, I admire the lifestyle, writing and ideals of Barbara Kingsolver.

Q: What are your most overused words or phrases?
A: I just asked my kids and they said, “Turn that off.” I’m not a big fan of electronic entertainment.

Q: If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
A: I would like natural athletic ability–I definitely wasn’t born with it. I love sports–running, riding, yoga, field and ice hockey, but none of it comes to me naturally.

Q: What is your greatest achievement?
A: Without a doubt, Hayden, Macrae and Piper

Q: What’s your greatest flaw?
A: I am 3-5 minutes late for almost everything, and I almost never fold the laundry when it comes out of the dryer.

Q: What’s your best quality?
A: My ability to (mostly) keep all the balls in the air.

Q: What do you regret most?
A: My husband’s vasectomy–I would love to have one more baby.

Q: If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
A: If I could be an angel, briefly, there are a couple of people on the other side I’d like to see.

Q: What trait is most noticeable about you?
A: Creativity or more overtly, my inability to keep my hands still when I am talking.

Q: Who is your favorite fictional hero?
A: I love TS Garp–when he is running through his neighborhood tracking down speeders.

Q: Who is your favorite fictional villain?
A: The Once-ler

Q: If you could meet any athlete, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
A: Antero Niittymaki is an NHL goaltender and I have a teeny tiny fan crush, mostly for the endearing and quirky things he does but if we met, I doubt I’d be much for conversation.

Q: What is your biggest pet peeve?
A: Bad breath and meat on the bone followed closely by baby talk.

Q: What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
A: Motherhood

Q: What’s your fantasy profession?
A: I’m really living it. I feel incredibly blessed to be doing what I love. I guess I would like more security, to know that my books would keep finding their way out into the world, preferably with the same publisher and editor, because I have at least four more novels in me.

Q: What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
A: flexibility, generosity, wit

Q: If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
A: I would say Nutella but for health, quinoa and roasted kale are pretty tasty and would probably be better at ensuring my longevity.

Q: What are your 5 favorite songs?
A: All I Want Is You – U2 Protection – Massive Attack La Montana – Gipsy Kings They Say It’s Wonderful – John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman King of the Dance Hall – Beenie Man

Q: What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
Joy In the Morning – Betty Smith The World According to Garp – John Irving The Lorax – Dr. Suess Bel Canto – Ann Patchett Into The Forest – Jean Hegland

To learn even more about Chandra Hoffman and Chosen, please become a fan on Facebook.

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Book Giveaway: The Divining Wand is giving away two copies of Beth Hoffman’s Saving CeeCee Honeycutt in a random drawing of comments left only on this specific post, Beth Hoffman and Saving CeeCee Honeycutt. Comments left on other posts during the week will not be eligible. The deadline is tonight at 7:00 p.m. EDT with the winners to be announced here in tomorrow’s post. If you enter, please return tomorrow to see if you’re a winner.

2 Comments to “The Revealing of Chandra Hoffman”


  1. (Wow, there are a lot of us Hoffmans in publishing, huh? Alice, Beth, Chandra, me… :P)

    I love both her mottos, and isn’t she lovely?? I wish her the best of luck with those 4 additional novels! And this one, of course. 🙂

    1
  2. You have to love someone who loves Nutella. 🙂

    Isn’t Bel Canto wonderful? Enjoyed the post!

    2


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