Click to listen to radio interview
Interview aired on 1080 AM, Spartan Nation Radio (Michigan)
Hondo: Good evening, everybody. Welcome back to Spartan Nation Radio. I’m your host Hondo Carpenter. As you all know, I get literally hundreds of requests to talk about books on this show. And I’ve told you this many, many times that 99% I don’t…uh..first of all my answer to all of them is that if you want me to talk about your book on the show, you have to send it to me because I don’t talk about books I don’t read. And then we end up about 99% never make it on our show. This is the first time that I actually contacted an author and asked the author to send me their book, read it, loved it, and want to have them on the show. As you guys know, my son is addicted to football and he’s addicted to hockey. So when I saw my buddy Mike Caples from Michigan Hockey Now tweeted about a new children’s book about hockey, and really it’s about a lot more than that, I immediately got in contact with the author and she sent me this book, and let me tell you. The book is called Cracking the Code: Spreading Rumors. I want to say this: I fully expected a hockey book that was about goals and hits and all of the things that come with hockey, and if you’re not a hockey parent or a former player, you have no idea what I’m talking about and that’s fine. And this book, is really..it will intrigue the hockey player, but it’s really for every parent. And it deals with the pressures that come with being a pre-teen. It deals with rumors. It deals with all those things. And how she..and she’s a mom of two sons..but how she was able to do it, is pretty fascinating to me. She’s on the other end of our line. Kris Yankee. Kris, how are you today?
Kris: Oh, I’m really good. How are you, Hondo?
Hondo: Good. First of all, great job. You did a great job on the book.
Kris: Oh, thank you. Thank you very much.
Hondo: I’ve got to ask, one of the things that I thought was great about this book is every parent should have to read it because it transcends hockey to me and it really sends a message why team sports, even more than the winning and losing, are so important and why parents who don’t let their kids play, or even make them play at an early age…even if they don’t like it…to experience team sports are missing a lot. Would you agree with that?
Kris: Oh, totally. I mean, that was one of the reasons why I wrote the book. As you said, I have two sons, one of them plays hockey the other one is more cerebral, but over the years of watching him, the last seven years of watching him play hockey, all I kept seeing was all of these life lessons that he was learning from playing on a team that he was using outside of the rink.
Hondo: I’m gonna tell you something that I thought was really interesting about your book and I think you’re going to get a kick out of this. One of the things that people don’t know and I cover NHL, I cover college hockey. I cover all of it. Just like for football from the Super Bowl to the pee wee games is what most people don’t understand--a locker room and a team are really no different. The problems are different as players get older, but they’re really no different. I really thought you did a good job of showing the anatomy of a team sport. Now I have to ask, did you play a team sport?
Kris: You know what? I was a diver on the swim team back in high school, so actually no.
But I’ve spent a lot of time..I’m the manager of my son’s team..have been for a few years, and you know I think that being around the team and being really observant of how they are together just kind of came out in the book.
Hondo: Yeah, it was an excellent job, so let me ask you this…you’re the author, you wrote it, talk to me, to our audience if they’re not a hockey family, why is this a great book for them?
Kris: Okay, well, here’s the deal the main character plays hockey and because he learns all of these crazy things from hockey, well, they’re not crazy—they’re life lessons—but because he’s ten, he takes those things that he learns and he twists them and uses them in his everyday life, because to him, hockey is life. But he’s in fifth grade, he’s going to sixth grade and he has to deal with all the pressures of moving from elementary school to middle school, he’s got friends that are bullies, he’s got friends that are afraid of their older siblings, he’s got that whole situation of trying to be a good kid and ends up being at the wrong place at the wrong time, and then he’s gotta deal with all these rumors about him. And so, the hockey aspect of it comes into play because he spends so much time outside of the book ..you don’t see it in the book, he never touches the ice in the book,...but he spends so much time saying to his friends, “well, you know when we’re on the team, I gotta take one for the team meaning that you gonna have to put your head in the toilet because you won’t fess up to that you lied or that you were the one who caused this rumor.” And, just the whole idea of what you learn from a team—working with difficult teammates, being able to be honest when you make a mistake, being to listen to authority, being able to trust your teammates, and that’s all people do in their regular life. It doesn’t matter if you’re on the ice, on the field, in a Science Olympiad, it doesn’t matter. All of those things that when you put your child into a group where they have to work toward a common goal, those lessons seep into their life and they can use them when they’re back in school, on the playground, in the cafeteria, while standing in line at the movie theater. It’s just a really good idea to immerse your kid in some sort of team activity. Not hockey, of course, but we love hockey.
Hondo: I totally agree. Well, I go back to I’m a hockey dad, I cover hockey. My son is at home right now in the basement shooting goals on his regulation goal in our basement, so that tells you where I’m at. But the thing is Kris, the thing I love and I really want to compliment you on…my son’s in third grade. And, so when you can get my son’s attention with a book that’s about kids a little bit older than him that tells you what I thought. It was a great job. You did a terrific job. Now, is it at Amazon yet?
Kris: It is! It’s on Amazon. You can get it there. You can get it at my website, krisyankee.com. It’s at BarnesandNoble.com. It’s in Barnes and Noble stores. It’s gonna become a Kindle book pretty soon so if you have an ereader and you have a kid who’s into techno and wants to read it on an ereader, that should be coming out in about a month. But yep, it is on Amazon.
Hondo: So go to Amazon, which is where so many people get their books now. It’s called Cracking the Code: Spreading Rumors by Kris Yankee. K-R-I-S. You can also go to krisyankee.com. Go to Barnes and Noble. It’s a great book. Let me just say this to all of your parents who like sports but you haven’t made your kids get involved in a team sport, you’re hurting them. It is just as important as algebra or geometry or anything else because it teaches them things about dealing with people, working with people, and Kris Yankee did a great job. She hit the nail on the head. Kris, congratulations, you hit a homerun! Keep up the good work, my friend.
Kris: Oh, thank you so much, Hondo. I really appreciate all your kind words.
I learned several lessons from this first-ever radio interview:
1. Don't use headphones; just talk right into the phone.
2. Don't do the interview in a moving vehicle.
3. Don't start almost every beginning of the answer with "Oh"
Overall, though, I'm really happy with this experience. I was totally geeked when he was giving the set-up...I had no idea any of that he said. I was just flabbergasted that he contacted me and then wanted to have me on his show.
Now..since I'm a U of M grad (thank goodness Hondo didn't hold that against me), I need to find a U of M station to interview me. Any takers? :)