Dylan Callens Interview

Dylan Callens grew up in Delhi, Ontario. From a young age, he was always interested in writing; however, in high school, his interests were focused more towards music. He dreamed of being famous in a heavy metal band named Nothing Sacred. Unfortunately, the band wasn't all that good, so fame and fortune never transpired.

What inspired you to write?
I always have stories to tell. Far fetched, crazy stories that need to find a way out. Ideas for specific works come in different ways but ever since I was young, I've had a creative side.

Was your inspiration sudden, or did it take time?
The initial idea for Interpretation was very sudden. I was supervising high school students (I'm a teacher) to a skills competition in southern Ontario. On that ride, they started discussing favorite scenes from science fiction movies. My imagination took over at that point and I started jotting down ideas.

Did you use an outline, or just write your story from start to finish?
I outline. I have to outline. If I were to dive into a story and start writing it would be an incomprehensible mess. I wouldn't want to sort that out after writing a full novel.

Do you work alone, or get encouragement from family and friends?
I'm a loner. I do get some encouragement but it's me being greedy. I enjoy time by myself.

What was the most difficult part of writing your book?
Getting the timeline correct was the most difficult. There are these speculative historical events that are mentioned throughout and it was very tough for me to get the dates right. These events had to coincide properly with the main story, and I must have fixed them twenty times. I'm going to bet that the first person who reads and reviews this book will find an inconsistency with the timeline.

What was the most enjoyable aspect of writing your book?
There were two things that were really great -- some of the research was fascinating. I learned a lot about psychology while writing this. The other was outlining the novel. I knew that I had a really good idea from the start and it was fun seeing the story come together.

After the book was published, were you changed?
Not for Interpretation, since I have a couple of books out now. But my first one, Operation Cosmic Teapot, was a real game-changer for me. I have an addictive personality, so writing and publishing is my new crack.

Have you received any awards for your book(s)?
Only in my own mind.

Are you working on a new book at the moment?
No, I am currently promoting my new release, Interpretation, which is due out August 1st 2017. I am toying with an idea for my next novel, which will be about me trying to write. If I move forward with it, it should be a moving, funny, and sad piece.

Do you have any book giveaways, contests or events coming up?
Actually, I do. I am running a paperback giveaway for Interpretation until August 4th. If anyone would like to enter, you can go to: https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/50f88b741/

What gets in the way of your creativity?
Nothing. In fact, it's the opposite. Creativity gets in the way of logic and reason. If I wrote simply what I want, I get... well, I get Operation Cosmic Teapot. If I want to write something that is more comprehensible to other people, I really have to reign in the creativity sometimes.

What strategies do you use to deal with criticism?
I have very thick skin, so not much bothers me. Besides, there is really only two types of criticism: valid and invalid. When someone says negative things about my writing and it's valid, then I take that criticism and apply it to my next work. It's very helpful. Invalid criticism doesn't matter. I had one reviewer say that my novel was "a monumental waste of time". That's not helpful or valid. I mean, sure this person didn't like the novel and that's fine. But it is personal opinion, not criticism.

What is your favorite/worst childhood memory?
My favorite childhood memory is strange -- it's just my grandfather getting some ice cream for me when I was about five. It was the kind that came in a plastic cup with a wood stick for a spoon. It was a simple and beautiful moment.

Do you have a favorite quote?
I do -- "existence precedes essence" by Jean Paul Sartre.

What is your favorite show on TV?
Currently it is Penn and Teller's "Fool Us". My kids like to watch it with me, which is why I like it.

Favorite movie?
Tombstone. I couldn't tell you why. It just is.

Favorite book?
That's a tough one. It's either Nineteen Eighty-Four or Infinite Jest. I'm going to say Nineteen Eighty-Four right now because I just wrote dystopian fiction.

Who would you want to meet if you could? Dead or alive.
Friedrich Nietzsche. He is a strange, complex man and I'd like to hear more about his life from him.

Is there a talent you wish you had?
I like to think that I'm pretty talented, so not really. Super powers, on the other hand...

What’s something about you that would surprise us?
I am very good with a yo-yo. I had once contemplated honing this skill further and entering professional yo-yo competitions.

Describe yourself in 3 words!
Odd. Fun. Thoughtful.