I am pleased to welcome to One Persons Journey Through a World of Books, Kaleb Nation. Kaleb is the author of Bran Hambric, the wonderful book that was just released on 9/9/09.
Welcome Kaleb! Please make yourself comfortable. When I first started hearing about Bran Hambric I had also heard how the story came to you on March 3rd, 2003, 3/3/03. You were 14 at the time. That amazes me. Would youplease tell us a little about what that was like?
I remember jumping out of bed, scrambling down the ladder of the bunk bed I shared with my brother, and dashing to my desk to write the idea down. For some reason, on that night, I knew that the date would be important, and that’s why I made sure to write it down in my notebook. I don’t know if I just had a feeling that the book would eventually be published, or if it was just part of my interest in strange and unusual calendar dates, but I’m really happy I made sure to write it down!
I can visualize that! How amazing! Did the idea for the book come to you as whole or were there parts you really had to think on and add to make it flow?
The main story came to me at once: I knew that Bran was being hunted by a creature, I knew that he lived in a modern city that banned magic, and I knew a lot of specific parts about his past. Most of the details of the story, however, had to be developed over the following years of writing.
I picture you as this young boy writing this book and have to wonder what did your parents think at the time and/or your siblings? Did they think you were on to something or just using your time productively?
Luckily, I was home schooled, so my parents actually made my writing a part of my school schedule! They were very supportive, even when I would spend hours on end writing (it got so bad they had to set time limits on my writing time!). My brother Jaden and sister Maddi were my main readers for years, and know about all the deleted scenes and characters that got cut over the years. I’d always know if something was good if they liked it, or what had to be taken out when they started to get bored.
Any friends, extended family, etc… were they supportive of what you were writing? Involved in any way?
I had a cousin who had published technical writing and fiction for magazines before, and she was a huge help in the beginning! She would read my early drafts and make long-distance calls to me on the weekends to discuss it. I was a bit starstruck that my cousin was a real writer and was actually helping me with editing. I also had a lot of great friends who read the drafts and made comments on things they liked or didn’t like.
At the age of 14, what book was your favorite?
It’s hard to remember. I know back then that I liked The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien.
When you completed the book, did you have a publisher ready or did you have to go and market it?. Share a bit about that experience.
After I finished the book, I first had to find an agent. I had been researching the publishing business for years and knew a lot of the process already, thankfully. I sent out a bunch of email queries and had a few agents who were interested, but after a while of nobody taking it on, I had to rewrite my query. After the rewrite, suddenly nine agents were interested (never doubt the power of editing your query letter!). I signed with my agent, and worked with him to get the book ready for a publisher.
Is there plans for another book?
Yes! I am writing the sequel to Bran Hambric now.
Thank you Kaleb so much for your time! I imagine your life is quite busy now and with the release of the book, probably only getting busier! Readers, you can find Bran Hambric on sale now! Be sure to see my review of Bran Hambric here.