[spoiler effect=”slide” show=”Is your name really Kaleb Nation?“]
[spoiler effect=”slide” show=”Is your book in bookstores?“]
Yes, my book is in almost all U.S. and Canadian bookstores, and in some other countries as well.
[spoiler effect=”slide” show=”PLZ GIMME ROBERT PATTINSON’S NUMBER NAO PLZ!!!1!!1!!“]
[spoiler effect=”slide” show=”Is that your face on the cover, Kaleb?“]
[spoiler effect=”slide” show=”What is HARKEN about?“]
Harken is a supernatural conspiracy theory story. It’s my first YA book. You can find out a lot more at ReadHarken.com.
[spoiler effect=”slide” show=”Did you graffiti the words Don’t Trust Anyone on the railing in Arleta, CA?“]
No, the graffiti was already there when we were taking photos, and I thought it was so mysterious that I put it in the book afterward. I’m not sure if it’s still there.
[spoiler effect=”slide” show=”Why did you set HARKEN in Arleta, CA?“]
I wanted a place where no story had been set before but that was close to Los Angeles, where I was living when I started writing the book. I did a lot of searching and liked the name Arleta.
After I wrote a lot of the book, I drove down to the city and was shocked to find that it was very similar to how I was describing it in the book. So I kept it! Arleta is a place where no one would really expect something mysterious to happen, so that makes it the PERFECT place for a mystery.
[spoiler effect=”slide” show=”How can I interview you? “]
Please contact my publicist, details on the contact page.
[spoiler effect=”slide” show=”I have written a book and would like you to review it. Where do I send it?“]
I am weeks behind on book reviews. By the time I get to an ARC, it is usually already out, on and off lists and on a classics shelf. But if you’re willing for a few months reading time, email me. Unfortunately, I can only read books being put out by a publisher or writers already represented by a literary agent– I love reading people’s writing, so this is for purely legal reasons, and nothing against other writers.
[spoiler effect=”slide” show=”What are your favorite books?“]
Anything by Lemony Snicket or John Green, as well as Artemis Fowl, Diary Of A Wimpy Kid, Frankenstein, The Road by Cormac McCarthy and Mrs. Frisbee And The Rats Of NIMH. I also loved If I Stay by Gayle Forman.
[spoiler effect=”slide” show=”How do you make your music?“]
I use Cubase Studio 5 and a huge collection of virtual (VST) instruments I have amassed over the years, with a M-Audio KeyRig 49 keyboard. My favorite VST instruments are Nexus, Massive, FM8, and the Plugsound libraries, which almost always make an appearance in my music.
[spoiler effect=”slide” show=”How long have you been writing?“]
My mom forced me to write my first story when I was 9. I say forced, because I hated writing back then. I still have my first story, which was about a guy named President Kaleb who took a submarine under the North Pole and found aliens. Definitely bestseller quality there.
My mom forced me to write one page a week, and very soon I came to realize how much I enjoyed writing. After my first story, I wrote a long series about a guy named Tyralak, which was really more of Star Wars fan fiction. I wrote hundreds of pages on that before straying into a bunch of varying stories, many of which were predecessors to Bran Hambric in a type of high-fantasy setting. Sewey Wilomas, in The Farfield Curse, existed in many forms for years before Bran Hambric ever came into being, as well as Balder (who was formerly two characters, Balder and Nasier).
[spoiler effect=”slide” show=”Who is Kaleb Krew?“]
Kaleb Krew was my radio name for my countdown show The Top 5. In radio, host are encouraged to take on fake names to separate their personal lives from their professional (and oftentimes public) personalities.
[spoiler effect=”slide” show=”Who was Tyralak?“]
As recently exposed by my brother, Tyralak was a character in a very old story I wrote when I was younger. He was a space captain in a pseudo-Star-Wars world who was searching for his brother, who the space Emperor had tortured and sentenced to exile. The story was developed through hundreds of pages, which I divided into multiple books. It was my first experience writing a series (albeit, a conceptually distorted one).
[spoiler effect=”slide” show=”Why did you leave radio when you were 19?“]
Even though I loved hosting my radio show, it had reached a point by 2008 where I wanted to focus more on other things, especially YouTube. Since I was also a full-time college student, doing a show every week took up all of my time, and I needed that time to work on new projects.
[spoiler effect=”slide” show=”What books do you recommend for writers?“]
I post about this here.
[spoiler effect=”slide” show=”What are your favorite book covers?“]
I post about this here.
[spoiler effect=”slide” show=”How do you deal with writer’s block?“]
Since I spend extensive amounts of time plotting (almost to the point of my plotting counting for first drafts of the book) I don’t usually get stuck with writer’s block. So if you have trouble with that I’d suggest plotting (perhaps not as obsessively as me though, my plotting notes for the Bran Hambric sequel are over 70 pages right now).
I do however suffer from what some writers call “Dark Days” when I want to write but feel that I have no energy or real desire to. After bearing this for five years, I discovered the cure is to go on Youtube, and watch videos of other writers at a book signing (search Stephenie Meyer Book Signing), or a documentary on a writer (A Year In The Life Of JK Rowling). For some reason, seeing another writer at work reawakens the dream to write more and better. Following my suggestion of this, I have received responses from a half-dozen writers already who all say it has worked for them.
[spoiler effect=”slide” show=”What music do you listen to while writing?“]
My favorite writing music is movie scores, especially the ones for Lemony Snicket, Gone Baby Gone, Finding Neverland, The Professional and Twilight. I tried listening to rock music while writing for more energy, but it just didn’t work because the words distracted me: the only bands I can consistently listen to while writing are Anberlin and Shiny Toy Guns, because I have their music so memorized it fades into the background.
[spoiler effect=”slide” show=”How did you get your agent?“]
[spoiler effect=”slide” show=”What type of camera do you use?“]
Since 2013, I’ve used a Canon 5D Mkii. Before that I used a Canon T2i. In my older videos I used a Flip Mino HD or a Flip Ultra, and sometimes a Canon Vixia HF200.
[spoiler effect=”slide” show=”What video editing software do you use?“]
Sony Vegas Pro.
[spoiler effect=”slide” show=”How old were you when you started writing Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse?“]
I was 14.
[spoiler effect=”slide” show=”How did you get the idea for your book?“]
I was awake late at night on 3/3/03, and had a sudden idea of a boy and a banker on a roof, waiting for a burglar to come. I immediately knew it was a fantasy story set in a modern setting, and yet in a type of alternate world very similar to our own. I also knew the back story of the burglar and the boy, and that the banker had a rusty car that he drove recklessly.
The very first, original image I saw that night was of Bran and Sewey on the roof, with the sun almost set behind the house, and both of them sitting against the chimney. I don’t know how this led to the plot for six books, but somehow it was so interesting that each of the characters immediately had stories. Curiously enough, in the original idea, there was a penguin sitting on the roof not far away. I have no clue where this came from, but unfortunately the penguin doesn’t appear in the book.
(ADDED: this unidentified penguin might be a result of fuzzy memory. It could have been a penguin-shaped pipe or something. All I remember is this penguin shape, though he didn’t move, and there’s no ice around Dunce, nor any real way for a penguin to get onto the roof unless he was dropped there. I blame my irrational subconscious)
[spoiler effect=”slide” show=”What was Bran Hambric: The Farfield Plot?“]
Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse went through many titles, including Bran Hambric and Bran Hambric: The Farfield Plot. I changed the title in 2008 after having The Farfield Plot for years. I had just gotten the book deal, and my agent and publishers had to change the title on the contracts, since they hadn’t even been signed yet!
[spoiler effect=”slide” show=”Who did the illustrations for Bran Hambric?“]
A wonderful artist named Brandon Dorman.
[spoiler effect=”slide” show=”Why was your book released on 9/9/09?“]
Because I started writing the book on the night of 3/3/03.
[spoiler effect=”slide” show=”On Amazon.com, it says your book is for ages 9-12. I’m 16: will I still enjoy it?“]
I didn’t write the book with a 9-12 age group in mind: most books that are written from a sudden idea like I had aren’t formed towards any certain audience. It just happens as it’s written.
That said, I wrote Bran Hambric when I was ages 14 – 20, and I certainly wouldn’t have written anything that bored me at those ages. While the book is appropriate for a 9 – 12 audience, there is nothing in the book that will make older readers feel they’ve been conned.
[spoiler effect=”slide” show=”Who is that strange pencil-sketch man seen on some of your sites?“]
It is an old pencil drawing I did of Sewey Wilomas:
[spoiler effect=”slide” show=”Why does your book have a soundtrack?“]
I wasn’t planning on making a soundtrack for the book, but after I really got into making music inspired by The Farfield Curse, I suddenly ended up with an album-length set of songs. There was enough fan interest in a soundtrack, so I decided to finish up the tracks and make a CD.
[spoiler effect=”slide” show=”Why do some mages use Alvondir words for magic and other times use just their mind?“]
The magic in the book can be done in a variety of ways, so it is sometimes just a matter of personal preference as to how a mage does it, or depending on which magic it is, one might be more powerful when done with words as opposed to just using their mind.
[spoiler effect=”slide” show=”Can I learn how to read/write Alvondir?“]
There is a detailed tutorial on this here.
[spoiler effect=”slide” show=”Where can I buy the Bran Hambric necklace?“]
We don’t have a way of selling the necklace yet but I’m working on it. The only way to get them now is to win them in contests.
[spoiler effect=”slide” show=”Will you do a book tour overseas?“]
I would like to. But my tours and book signings are handled by my publishers, so I go where they tell me. It would take one of my foreign publishers to set up a tour overseas.
[spoiler effect=”slide” show=”Will Bran Hambric be translated into other languages?“]
As of writing this, Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse will be translated into Russian and Portugese.
[spoiler effect=”slide” show=”Where did you come up with the name Bran Hambric?“]
Not sure. When I wrote the book, I originally used the name Bran Hambric as a placeholder, so that I could go back when I was finished and replace it with something cooler, like “Martin McAwesome”. But by the time I had finished writing the book, the name had already meshed with Bran’s character, and it stayed.
[spoiler effect=”slide” show=”Where did you come up with the name Sewey Wilomas?“]
There is a scene in Disney’s Lady And The Tramp where a woman in the background shouts “And bring me some chopped suey!” which is type of food. When I heard the Suey part, I instantly had the name for Sewey. I’m not sure where the Wilomas part came from.
[spoiler effect=”slide” show=”How can I make my blog more popular?“]
Getting noticed takes a very long time. What many people fail to notice is that I’ve been blogging for many years, and only since 2008 did anyone even care about what I wrote. Creating a blog that has a lot of readers mainly requires a unique voice, an interesting subject and lots of dedication, especially through that time when only two or three members of your family actually read you. As you blog though, you will slowly build a group of dedicated readers who will keep coming back.
[spoiler effect=”slide” show=”Did you get an advance copy of Breaking Dawn/Midnight Sun from Stephenie?“]
[spoiler effect=”slide” show=”Were you at the Twilight movie premiere?“]