2004 Pine View alumna and author Chandler Baker recently published her first book, Alive, which combined her love for creative writing with her past at Pine View.
Unlike some authors, Baker’s career as a writer is not something that she had planned out for years. “In high school, I was the typical Pine View student who was precise and practical, so I decided that I was interested in law,” Baker said. After attending the University of Pennsylvania for her undergraduate degree and then University of Texas for graduate school, she began to realize that she had a love for writing. “I always wanted to have a creative outlook aspect in my profession and I found that writing was a perfect fit for me,” Baker said.
Baker’s new book falls into the Young Adult category, with a mixture of both horror and romance throughout the story. “It surrounds a girl named Stella Cross who recently had a heart transplant and now is beginning to have these visions and hallucinations at the same time every day,” Baker said. As the story continues, a boy named Levi comes into her life and suddenly the pain stops, adding to the suspense of the story.
Like many writers, Baker found inspiration for her newest book and writings in her daily life. “I can find inspiration almost everywhere. Whether it be in my daily life, other books or TV, they all help me improve my writing,” Baker said. She further explained that when it came to Alive, inspiration for the novel’s campus setup came from the Pine View campus and that some of the novel’s teachers were based off of Pine View teachers she had during her years as a student.
Baker has experienced her fair share of successes and failures throughout the writing process of her novel. She explained that she had to go through many stages in order to get to the current published status of her book. “After spending nine months writing the rough draft, I had to send letters to various agents telling them to read my book and after many tries you would get an agent say they are interested and then have a series of revision to be made right after that,” Baker said. After she got signed she would keep sending and revising edits that her editor suggested she make and eventually it led to her final, published novel.
Connecting back to her roots, Baker and fellow author Jenn Marie Thorne, who Baker met through the writing community, visited Pine View on Oct. 6 to discuss the process of becoming a published author with high school students, as well as general tips to become a better writer. “If anyone wants to be a writer I think the most important thing to do is to get on it,” Baker said. “No word written is ever wasted.”