THE DARK SIRE is pleased to present an interview with our first-ever featured author from Issue 5, Caleb Kelly. Mr. Kelly is the author of Camelot’s Reckoning (Primus Vipris Saga Book 1), an urban dystopian fantasy (based in Arthurian legend) novel that takes twin brothers, Roalnd and Oliver Lockheart, on a quest for the Holy Sword Excalibur – and its twin sword. Thrust into the past by a wizard’s booby-trapped magic, Roland and Oliver must overcome all kinds of unforeseen obstacles.
TDS: I understand this is your first novel. What inspired you to write it and who influenced you in your writing style?
Caleb Kelly: When I was growing up I didn’t read hardly at all. I just never found books interesting. I was lost in a world of television shows and video games. It wasn’t until I met my girlfriend, who is now my wife, that I began to read. Rick Riordan is a big influencer on how I write, and I enjoyed Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance Saga. However, my favorite books are classics by Alexander Dumas. I love the Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers. If I could somehow capture a fraction of his ability to tell a story, I would count myself successful.
TDS: Most writers are taught to inspire people or think of how their writing connects to the world they live in. Are there any hidden messages for your readers to take away from the story? Any lessons to be learned?
Caleb Kelly: I don’t think there are any hidden messages in Camelot’s Reckoning. At least, I didn’t intend for there to be. The interactions in this novel stem a lot from my own relationships with my older and younger brothers. We have fought and fussed but at the end of the day, we are family and remembering that is more important than anything. I think if there is a message at all, its to understand at any time, we could lose someone important. We should make it a point to tell everyone close to us how much we care about them. You never know when a fantastical apocalypse is right around the corner.
TDS: I know this is your first book, but, I also know about others in the making. Can you tell us about your plans for a series and what else we can look forward to, like what the progressed storyline will be or how many books total the series will run?
Caleb Kelly: The Primis Vipris Saga will have more to come. As of right now, I am sure it will be at least five books long. That, of course, is but an estimation. There is always room to chance and improvise the game plan. I have another urban fantasy series I’m working on that is based in Egyptian mythology. I hope to release it in coming years and do so in rapid fashion. I also have an epic fantasy I have been toying around with. It will take some time to get it going. I have a lot of respect for people who build worlds from the ground up. This will be my attempt at doing the same.
TDS: There are so many processes to follow when writing a novel. What’s yours?
Caleb Kelly: I used to call myself a pantser. I told everyone “I let my hands do the writing. My brain is along for the ride.” I cannot say that anymore. I have to have a skeleton to begin putting muscle on. I write out the premise of every chapter and then I begin writing. As always, I give myself room to deviate from the proposed roadmap, but I always come back to where I intended. There are times when new ideas will come to me and I used them if they are deemed worthy. Once I am finished with the initial draft, the word edit cannot be said enough. I find it helps if I take the manuscript off the computer and see it as a book. Reading it as a reader instead of a writer allows me to see it through a different set of eyes.
TDS: Besides being a published author, what are your goals for your writing? What do you hope to accomplish in the next 5 years?
Caleb Kelly: This journey started with me wanting to write video game scripts. I wanted to create worlds and then see those worlds evolve into a character I could control. I am still up to following that passion, but right now, writing books has left me satisfied. I love bringing the readers into my world and sharing my stories with them. If I am still writing books in the next five years and have created a fanbase that enjoys what I have to share, I will not only count myself lucky, but successful as well.
TDS: If there was one thing that we should know about your work, your new release, your upcoming series or its characters/storyline, what would it be? What should your readers know before anything else?
Caleb Kelly: I would say be patient. Like most authors, I am still growing in my craft. That being said, my characters are still growing with me. I want to do everything in my power to bring a good story to the readers. I know I will never reach perfection, but I want to get as close as I can to it. My hope is that as I progress, my writing progresses, and my storytelling progresses, that my readers progress with me. I’m here for the long ride, and I hope they are, too.
THE DARK SIRE is proud to help uplift Caleb Kelly and his work because we know that this debut author will bring something special to the literary fold. And his next book, coming Spring 2021, should prove to be his foothold in the genre.
If you have any questions for Mr. Kelly, please leave them in the comments and we’ll be sure to get you the answers.