Two years ago I wrote an article about Blog Book Tours (published in the SCBWI Bulletin) - what they were and how they worked. At that time, Blog Tours were a brand new thing. John Green (Abundance of Katherines) and Frank Portman (King Dork) were the first authors to introduce the idea of Blog Book Tours to the Young Adult book scene, and it was a radical idea.
Since then, Blog Book Tours have become one of the main ways new books are presented to the public. With that in mind, I was intrigued when Sourcebooks approached me to host a debut author, Kaleb Nation, in one of the largest Blog Tours ever planned in the Young Adult blogosphere to celebrate the release of his first novel, Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse.
I was also intrigued because Kaleb is a pioneer in using the internet to its full advantage. You may have already heard of him because of his fan blog for Twilight (Twilight Guy), or his radio show, or his main blog which is about as interactive as they come. In other words - keep an eye on this guy. He's doing a lot of interesting things!
Today (09-09-09) marks the official launch of Bran Hambric ... here is my interview with Kaleb...
Q. How did the idea of Bran Hambric first come to you way back at the age of fourteen?
A. Back in 2003, I was lying awake in bed and staring at the ceiling, thinking a little bit about another story I was working on. Then, suddenly, I imagined a boy and a banker on a rooftop, waiting for a burglar. It was a very clear image, so that I didn't just see the characters, but I saw a lot of their back story and things surrounding this mysterious image. I got out of bed and wrote down as much of it as I could, and I've been writing on the book ever since!
Q. Has the story changed much over the time it took to write it?
A. Parts of the book have changed. The basic story is still the same as it started out; the opening chapters are almost exactly the same as all those years ago (the rooftop scene is still chapter one!). Some of the characters have changed, some were merged together (Balder was once two people, Balder and Nasier). But it's all very close!
Q. What ideas in Bran Hambric most closely relate to you and/or your personal life?
A. As a writer, sometimes I feel like I take certain feelings and emotions that I've felt in my own life and imprint them upon characters in the book, even though the situations may be vastly different. I think that we've all felt sadness and happiness, just as much as everyone else in the world. In a way, I think the closest relation between me and a character is Bran's interest in drawing: just like I write when I want to make sense of things, Bran goes to draw, and we are very similar in that way.
Q. What was your path to publication?
A. When I finished the book, I wasn't exactly sure it was even ready to be published, and some of my friends and family didn't think so either. So I sent off email query letters in secret, thinking that nobody would be very interested, only to get positive replies on the first day! I went on with that for a few months, and then rewrote my query, and suddenly had about 9 agents interested at once. I signed with my agent soon after. Thanks to the awesome websites AgentQuery.com and PublishersMarketplace.com, I never sent out a single paper query!
Q. You obviously have a much wider public persona than most people your age. Can you share how it came to be? And was it a surprise or the plan all along?
A. It was very much a surprise. I didn't expect any type of public persona to come along with writing books and making Youtube videos. Maybe it has something to do with me really just being a normal person who makes videos and writes! I was shocked the first time I was recognized in a mall. It does get a bit creepy when stalkery people follow you up to hotels or try to find out where my parents live, but it's really a great thing to know that people actually enjoy the work I do.
Q. I'm sure your fans would like to know what else you have in the works. Will you continue writing or do you having something else in store?
A. I will certainly continue writing. I am working on the Bran Hambric sequel right now, and a few other projects that I have in mind.
So, like I said, this Blog Book Tour is HUGE. Here are some of the other places where you can find more info about Kaleb and Bran Hambric:
Sunday, August 30th
Jenn’s Bookshelf | Homespun Light
Monday, August 31st
StevenTill.com | Dolce Bellezza | Bobbi’s Book Nook
Tuesday, September 1st
The Looking Glass Review | Edward-Cullen.net | Beth Fish Reads | SMS Book Reviews | James Holder’s YouTube Channel
Wednesday, September 2nd
Bookalicio.us | Reading Rumpus | Katie’s Literature Lounge | Ultimate Bookhound
Thursday, September 3rd
Brimful Curiosities | Charlotte’s Library
Friday, September 4th
BriMeetsBooks.com | Bran Hambric by Kaleb Nation
Saturday, September 5th
Library Lounge Lizard | Sarah’s Random Musings | Saulchichas | GreenFyr.com
Sunday, September 6th
Cindy’s Love of Books
Monday, September 7th
Lauren’s Crammed Bookshelf | Grasping for the Wind | Life After Twilight vlog channel
Tuesday, September 8th
Shooting Stars Magazine | Mrs. Magoo Reads | Lori Calabrese Writes
Wednesday, September 9th
The Brain Lair | Dulemba.com | The Children’s Book Review | TV Watch Online
Thursday, September 10th
The Friendly Book Nook | Book Journey | Stephanie’s Written Word | Home School Buzz | Spidurmunkey.com
Friday, September 11th
The Inside Scoop With Chandelle | Booking Mama
Saturday, September 12th
Zoe’s Book Reviews | Lit for Kids
Sunday, September 13th
Never Jam Today | A Bibliophile’s Reverie
Monday, September 14th
Café of Dreams | Marta’s Meanderings | Galleysmith.com | A Book Blogger’s Diary | The Reader’s Quill
Tuesday, September 15th
a book in hand | MistiSchindele.com | Not Just for Kids
Wednesday, September 16th
Write for a Reader | CumpulsiveReader.com
Thursday, September 17th
Howling Good Books | The Written World
Friday, September 18th
Always Riddikulus | YA Books Central
Saturday, September 19th
Ms. Bookish | Into the Wardrobe
So, what do you think? Are you enjoying the Book Tour?
Stick around dulemba.com for my own blog book tour for my first picture book as both author and illustrator SOAP, SOAP, SOAP ~ JABON, JABON, JABON beginning on September 19th - thanks!