About Calvin Dean:
Calvin Dean is the author of two best selling novels: “The Epitaph of Jonas Barloff” and “A Door Unlocked”. “Curses”, a humorous, paranormal, mystery, cozy, romance all rolled into one, is now available on Amazon. His short story, “The Rookie Umpire”, appeared in Junior Baseball Magazine and is now available on Wattpad. When he isn’t umpiring USSSA or Dizzy Dean baseball, Calvin is at the gym, or working on the next paranormal, mystery, or suspense book. Calvin lives with his family in the suburbs of Memphis, Tennessee.
What inspires you to write?
While I love Dickens, Greg Iles, Robert McCammon, and others, many books I’ve read by other authors left me wanting. I’m a fan of old-fashioned ghost stories. Zombies and other-world creatures do little to elevate my blood pressure. But lead me through a dusty attic filled with draped furniture and a locked chest, or through a haunted house with portraits of deceased relatives, and my heart begins pounding the walls of my chest. You’ll find these flavors in my novels. I realize it’s not for everyone, but for me it’s essential.
Tell us about your writing process.
I learned so much from writing my first novel, The Epitaph of Jonas Barloff. This is when I discovered the need for a detailed outline. Never mind that the outline changed frequently, but I needed something to keep me on track like a road map to my next destination. Now I track my story using a Word Document. Here, I update character attributes–everything from hair color to emotional well being. I’ve found this to be a big time saver when I need to review previous chapters and plot my way forward.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
My characters do the writing for me. Once I apply their basic attributes and place them in uncomfortable situations, their persona takes over my hands and fingers as they tap away at the keyboard. This was especially true when I created Martin Gallagher, the protagonist in my latest book, Curses. I intended to tell a traditional ghost story. But Martin had other ideas. By the sixth or seventh chapter, he began to change. I noticed that he used humor to deal with his lot in life. I never intended to write a cozy supernatural, but Martin insisted.
What advice would you give other writers?
My advice for other writers? Get to know your characters before you insert them into a story line. Know their quirks, their strengths and weaknesses. Know their friends, who they pal around with. Know what makes them tick. Once this is settled, just sit back and let them do the writing.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
Putting a book before the public is a real risk-taking adventure. What if no one likes your story? What if it’s badly written? What if readers write terrible reviews? You can walk on eggshells your entire life, or you can crack them open and make an omelet. It’d be a shame not to try. If you have a story inside. Let it out.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Without a doubt, self-publishing has had a major impact on publishing. It’s given authors and wannabe authors a platform to connect with the world. Agents will admit that they’ve probably passed on the next Gone With The Wind due to their workload and having to decide a books fate based on an elevator pitch in a letter. Today, self-publishing gives authors an opportunity to publish that great novel, and readers a chance to discover it and hopefully treasure it. The cream always rises to the top.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Supernatural, Mystery, Horror, Humor
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print, Audiobook
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.