Author, Kaleb Nation is our special Valentine guest today! His new YA thriller is one that adults and kids alike will enjoy. The book is fast paced and features plenty of action, twists and turns.
Michael Asher is almost an ordinary California teenager, except for his unexplainable ability to see a glimpse of a person’s thoughts through their eyes. After surviving an assassination attempt, he discovers that he is at the center of a worldwide conspiracy higher than any earthly power. A clandestine organization with authority over world leaders, celebrities, and the wealthy desperately wants him dead. Tumbling into a web of international secrets, Michael is forced to search for the identity of the puppet master and dig up the truth that humanity is not being told.
We asked Kaleb some questions and he was so awesome to take the time to tell us all about the birth of this book idea and what makes him different than the traditional author. Read on!What sparked the idea for HARKEN? Did it just come to you or did certain conspiracy theories/theorists give you creative inspiration?
HARKEN actually started out very different from how it is now. In the original drafts, Callista was the antagonist, Michael didn’t do much of anything, and his mom was a terrible person. Most of Los Angeles got burned to the ground by the end in such a terrifying way that an agent asked if I was alright emotionally.
When I realized how terrible the first draft was, I decided to rewrite the book and only keep my favorite parts, which turned out to be the character names, the city of Arleta, and the conspiracies. I read countless websites and listened to interviews with people who believe that Reptilians control our planet – many providing evidence. It was very intriguing. The more I put aside my skepticism, the more I knew that I had to make HARKEN about the theories.
I like to say that the HARKEN of today is the phoenix that rose out of the old HARKEN’s ashes.What are you yourself a conspiracy theorist about?
I’m not sure what’s true, but I’m open to listening to everyone. The rational side of every person wants to say that it’s impossible, that there’s no way a secret society could control our entire planet. But wouldn’t that be exactly how they’d want us to think? Wouldn’t they teach us from birth that conspiracy theorists are crazy and that it’s impossible for us to be under such heavy and invisible control?
I don’t think we will ever know the answer for sure, or even if we want to. But it’s good to question everything, especially when public perception and the media marks anyone who speaks out as a “crazy conspiracy theorist” to discredit them. Maybe ninety-nine of the theories are crazy, but what if one is right?Your protagonist, Michael Asher, has a very interesting gift or 6th sense. Talk a little about that and its role within the story. Have you ever known anyone in real life with a paranormal sort of ability like the “glimpse?”
Michael has the strange ability to read tiny pieces of a person’s thoughts through their eyes, especially in a photograph. He can tell if a guy in a photo is cheating on his wife, if a businessperson is secretly stealing from the company, or any other true emotion that they might not be showing on the outside. For this reason, he’s very valuable to his “clients” who hire him to know the truth.
I’ve never met anyone who has Michael’s ability. I think that we all have a certain hint of his power. We might feel a strange negative energy if someone we are talking to is not good for us. Michael’s power is human intuition on caffeine.You have garnered such a loyal fanbase in your writing and social media career. First off, how have you been able to make yourself successfully stand out among all the bajillions of authors out there trying to get the word out about their own books? And then, how do you continually cultivate such a great enthusiastic fanbase?
I think I stand out because I’m nothing like a traditional author. There are two Kalebs. One is the writer: I spend years and write millions (yes, literally millions) of words until I’ve created a book that I’m proud of. I take my writing very seriously. The other side is the entertainer: I film silly auto-tuned music videos, comment on pop culture, vlog with my pet Chinchilla, etc. Obviously, I don’t take that part seriously.
The timeworn mold of “being a writer” is becoming a thing of the past. I don’t need to lock myself away as a faraway presence to my readers. I can talk with them on Twitter and Youtube and Facebook. Every time someone buys my book, they are investing a tiny bit in my life, so why not show them more of it than just my books?
Building a following isn’t about building sales; it’s about being close to your readers and more than just a name to them. My Nationeers have stormed bestseller lists, gotten me on NPR, made #HARKEN a trending topic on Twitter, and kept me going for years. I’m perfectly fine with never being a classical, elegant author if I can make them happy with my weirdness instead.Thank You, Kaleb, for taking the time to let us be part of your blog tour! We are so excited for you and everything you’ve got going on!
And now for the giveaway!
Thanks to Kaleb we have a great prize pack for one lucky comment-leaver below. Yep! Just leave a comment below and you could win:
- a giant HARKEN poster (signed)
- a HARKEN glow-in-the-dark wristband
- a Kaleb Nation postcard (signed)
- a HARKEN glow-in-the-dark silver ring
And for the Grand Prize, a Harken themed Kindle PaperWhite: