Mike Klaassen

Author Interview

Questions & Answers

for The Brute

1. Some scenes in the book involve violence toward animals. Aren't you worried about drawing criticism from animal-rights groups? Maybe because I was raised on a farm where we castrated hogs and dehorned cattle, I'm not squeamish about some of this stuff. If you were attacked by a mad Rotweiler, wouldn't you defend yourself?  If those who depended upon you were hungry, wouldn't you butcher a chicken?

2. Some scenes in The Brute are graphically gross. Aren't you afraid parents, teachers, and librarians might be offended? My target readers are adolescent males, many of whom are reluctant readers. Anybody who has been around boys knows that they are often fascinated by things that turn off adults.

3. Parts of the book are quite violent. Aren't you concerned that you might be encouraging kids to commit violence?  I believe that imaginary violence can be a healthy means for dealing with one's fears, and a harmless safety valve for natural aggression. When I was a kid we used to shoot up a lot of imaginary soldiers, cowboys, and Indians. So far, none of my childhood playmates have become homicidal maniacs. There's noting in the book I would have felt uncomfortable letting my teenage sons read. If parents are concerned about this, they might want to read the book before offering it to their teens.

A complete Author Q & A is available as a PDF file.