Today I have an interview with author Kaleb Quist about his writing. His debut novel, Fallen Angel, was released last month.
What’s the hardest part of writing a book?
Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, obviously, but I’ve noticed a trend that when writers begin working on their masterpieces, almost always the hardest part is having the patience, persistence, motivation, and discipline to sit down and write, even when they don’t want to. After that, it varies. For me, the hardest part was taking criticism from agents and editors, not because they said my stories were bad, but because they were considered too violent and eccentric. I’m my own biggest critic as-it-is, and if something’s not 100% perfect, I rip myself apart. I’d be lying if I said I was 100% comfortable with Fallen Angel, or even 50%, or 25%, however. It’s important that you write the story, though. Don’t let the story write you.
What inspired you to become a writer?
I never really became a writer, actually. It wasn’t something where I expressed interest in it, so I learned it, and eventually began doing it. To be truthful, I was born a storyteller. That probably sounds ridiculous, even flabbergasting, to most people, but before I could even count to 10, I remember coming up with stories in my head, pitting Batman against Transformers and Trexes against Ninja Turtles (which, I admit, I still do). By the time I was 7, I was reading at a high school level, writing my own stories, and making my own short films. Filmmaking is still my primary focus, truthfully. I love writing books, but it’s still my dream to one day take over Hollywood and burn the major studio blockbusters to the ground. Some people say I’m crazy, and others say I’m a prodigy. Personally, I can’t decide which.
What books have influenced your writing?
Whenever I write a major project or full-length feature like this, I always model it after another book or film which has greatly inspired me. That way, not only do I always have inspiration, but I always have structure. For instance, since Alan Moore is one of my all-time favorite authors, I modeled Fallen Angel almost candidly after Watchmen. I wanted to write a non-linear story with lots of symbolism, unexpected twists, and character psychology. The main character, Vincent von Faust, is based on Ozymandias, who is my all-time favorite villain (or hero, depending on who you ask). Like Ozymandias, Vincent is a genius utilitarian tactician who strives to save the world from destruction, even if it means sacrificing those around him. The idea of an anarchistic, military-controlled government came from V for Vendetta also. My next book, which I’m currently working on, is in the vein of Stephen King.
Did you base any of your characters on real people?
Usually I base my characters on fictional people, as mentioned before, (I personally find fictional characters more interesting than real people), but Fallen Angel was a rare case because I based all the major characters on the constructs of American society. For instance, there’s the police officer, who represents the police state; the preacher, who represents religion; the “president,” who represents corrupted politics; and the elderly veteran, who represents the working everyman. Even the protagonist, Vincent, represents youth and the future generations to come. One of the major themes in the story is how Vincent’s youthful innocence gradually deteriorates.
Do you have a writing routine?
I have an extremely strict no-ifs-ands-or-buts writing routine. When I begin writing a story, I write on a day-by-day basis. Usually I write 3,000 words a day, for 6 days a week. I can spend 15 hours a day locked in my room, pecking away at my keyboard. The first draft takes several months, but the next six or seven (I do tons of rewriting) are faster and easier. Before I begin writing the story, though, I always plan out every little detail you can possibly imagine. I build an entire mythology around every single character and storyline, and even though the majority of it is never even mentioned, it helps me get to know the story and characters better. I’m always ecstatic to work on new projects because it always takes on a life of its own, whether I plan it that way or not.
Fallen Angel by Kaleb Quist
Published by Primevile Productions on Jun 1, 2013
Genres: Adult, Post Apocalyptic
Find the book: Amazon, Smashwords, Goodreads
“Who will save the world, when there is no world left to save?”
The year is 2025. Five years after 2020′s Great Revolution set the nation afire, the United States of America collapses–and now, a military regime known as the Lords rule the nation with an iron fist. Through the barren, lawless, and chaotic streets of Washington D.C., however, Vincent von Faust embarks on an odyssey to pursue his father’s killer, an enigmatic assassin known simply as the Fallen Angel. Battling mercenaries and seeking political favors, Vincent ultimately learns the Fallen Angel is closer than he anticipated; and soon, he realizes the only way to bring peace and justice to the war-torn nation is not to reconstruct it, but instead to destroy what is left of it…