Hi so today I am going to be doing an Author Showcase and Interview with Dylan Callens who has just released his newest book Interpretation! Now this is a book I will actually be reviewing in a few weeks time so look at for the review then as well.
All About Dylan:
Dylan Callens lands cleanly. That would be the headline of a newspaper built with an anagram generator. And although Dylan is a Welsh name meaning god or hero of the sea, he is not particularly fond of large bodies of water. His last name, Callens, might be Gaelic. If it is, his last name means rock. Rocks sink in the sea. Interestingly, he is neither Welsh nor Gaelic, but rather, French and German. The inherent contradictions and internal conflict in his life are obvious.
What inspired you to write your book?
This book, Interpretation, came to me while sitting on a bus filled with high school students. I’m a teacher and was taking a group to a skills competition in southern Ontario. At some point they started talking about their favorite scenes in science fiction movies. While they were discussing that, an idea popped in my head and I started writing it down. From there, the rest of the story started to come to me in pieces. Within a couple of days I had the entire novel mapped out. You can read that first piece of pre-writing that I did here.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Just about everything went as smoothly as I could have hoped. The only thing that gave me a hard time was the timeline of events that precedes the actual story. Because the world is run by artificial intelligence’s, I needed to create a history, which is quite relevant to the story itself. But I have a hard time keeping dates sorted out in real life, so I anticipated this to be a problem. Which it was. I think I had to tweak the time line twenty times (say that three times fast!) before it was correct. I hope that someone doesn’t find an inconsistency – I tried really hard.
Are you a full-time or part-time writer? How does that affect your writing?
I am a part-time writer. Finding the time to do this takes away from everything else. It’s hard, sometimes. And it slows down my writing quite a bit. It is my goal to do this full time, but I also have a family to support and I have some common sense, so, slow it is, for the time being.
How do you feel about ebooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing?
With all the tools that are available, the only difference between self-publishing and conventional publishing is public perception. I have the tools at hand to create an ebook, paperback, hardback, and audiobook. If I put in the effort, I can do these things just as well as any major publishing company. I can do it for a fraction of the cost, since I do not have all the overhead of a big company.
The real problem with indie publishing, and the reason for poor public perception, is the lack of vetting, so there is a lot of crap in the book market. Apparently there are over 2000 books published every day on Amazon. Many of them won’t be good. Still, I think indie publishing is the way to go, at least for me. I like having total control over my work.
As for ebooks vs. print books, I prefer selling ebooks over print books but prefer reading print. I find them easier on my eyes, although e-readers have come a long way. For selling, however, I like being able to sell a book for $2.99 or $3.99 and making more than a $12 paperback. I suppose when it comes down to it, I don’t care that much, as long as people are reading my work.
What did you enjoy most about writing your book?
I enjoyed making inkblots for the chapter headings the most. My kids and I spent an evening making them and it was a lot of fun. They did a great job and I think it added a really nice touch to the book. The royalty deal that they demanded for helping me, though… wow, they sure do drive a hard bargain.
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
I did, for a collection of short stories called Twisted Fairy Tales. Those are classic fairy tales with ‘adult’ spins on them. Some of those stories are morally questionable and since I’m a teacher, I considered it for a while. In the end, I figured that I should own up to my work and just put my name down.
Any advice for others who have started on their own book writing journey?
Don’t get discouraged and always keep writing. With everything that you publish, there is something to learn. You’ll get important feedback on your writing and you’ll learn a lot about selling books. It’s a tough market to crack but I know that with every new thing that I publish, I grow and do better the next time. The only way to fail at writing is to stop.
All About Interpretation
Carl Winston awakens to find his son, Liam, screaming with fear. Trying to understand why, Carl tries to soothe him. Neighbors gather in front of Carl’s apartment to help – until they see him. The crowd cowers back, afraid of this monster. Carl runs. His life of luxury is ripped away. Forced beyond the city limits, Carl sees a land bereft of life. Traveling in search of answers, his quest comes to a sudden halt when he collapses. As darkness shrouds him, a figure hovers from above. Traveling along the same route, Eva Thomspon finds Carl and nurtures him back to life. Together, they continue the journey, finding out that their lives have too much in common to be a coincidence. As their affection for each other deepens, an unknown nemesis attempts to remove their only source of happiness – their love for each other. Interpretation is a dystopian fiction that explores hope and happiness in the bleakest of conditions and what happens when it’s torn away.
Carl closed his eyes and tried to laugh at himself. Barely a squeak left his mouth. What was he thinking, trying to enter this godforsaken wasteland by himself with no supplies? Still on his back, he dreamed about opening a bottle of Ocean Surge. Wet bubbles danced against his tongue, bathing his taste buds with refreshing fruit-infusion – small bursts of happiness made his lips sing an ode to joy.
But forget that fantasy; sulfur-ridden tap water would be just as good. Carl knew the taste would not equate, but its effect would invigorate. Carl smiled, his eyes wide open, staring into the dimming sky, into the nothingness that surrounded him. Gulp after glorious gulp of imaginary liquid until he couldn’t keep up, showering his face with it until a puddle formed around him. That puddle turned into an ocean and Carl sank to the bottom, his faint breath weakening further. The light grew dimmer. He tried to reach up, to reach out of the depths of his hallucination, but his arms felt too heavy, as if the pressure at this depth couldn’t be overcome.
A shadow hovered over him. Carl tried to speak to it, but words didn’t make sense. The shadow spoke back with a meaningless, muffled slur. Water entered Carl’s mouth, nearly choking him. Nonetheless, the delicious wet felt so good, like ocean refreshment in every bottle. That was the slogan, right? Carl laughed or cried, he couldn’t tell. For all he knew, he was dead. The shadow grew, saying something that he couldn’t work his mind around. Darker. Darker. Clock, what the hell was that clock song? Darker. The shadow drew nearer. Or maybe it was the darkness. It was bought on the morn of the day that he was born, And was always his treasure and pride… Ah yes, there it is. But it stopped short – never to go again – When the old man died. That’s the one. Darkness.