I’m Dylan Callens. I currently teach media and English at a high school in Sudbury, Ontario. I’ve always had an interest in media, particularly writing. When I was in grade four, I started writing little books for my classmates. I knew at that point that I wanted to make books but it took me a long, long time to finally do it. I only wrote my first book at the tender age of forty.
What was your inspiration for Operation Cosmic Teapot?
There were a lot of things that inspired me to tell this story. The most significant was Nietzsche himself, who had a rough life that sets off my story. I was teaching Nietzsche’s madman parable when the storyline for Operation Cosmic Teapot hit me. It took a long time for me to develop the entire story from there, but that was the critical moment.
What three words would you use to best describe Operation Cosmic Teapot?
Bold. Different. Thoughtful.
Can you tell us if you’re working on anything else at the moment?
I am currently working on something called The Julian Calendar. It features Julius Caesar as a bumbling time-traveling action hero. It should be a fun romp. I’m just finishing the outline now. I think the first section will be released in a few weeks for free.
What was your very first book that you wrote?
Operation Cosmic Teapot is my first effort. It has taken me nearly six years to complete. In truth, a lot of that has to do with procrastination, though.
Other than your own, what are your favourite books?
My absolute favourite is Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. It’s an absolute masterpiece. Second is The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie, for the same reason. I’d have to put Nineteen Eighty-Four on that list as well.
When you are writing do you like to listen to music? What is on your playlist?
Not usually, but while writing parts of this novel I listened to Led Zeppelin. The only reason, though, is because one character, Loki, found the ability to conjure up Led Zeppelin songs. I chuckle just thinking about it.
Who is your favorite character in your books?
Nietzsche is my favorite character. I feel bad for him. I identify with what he’s trying to do, even if I don’t agree with his methods. In researching his life, I really felt that he deserved better.
Do you ever take characteristics or nuances from close friends or family when working on character development and if so has that friend or family member noticed and what was their response to it?
I think that there are little things that friends do that have wormed their way into the work, but I am not consciously doing that. The characters in Operation Cosmic Teapot are based on historical people and mythology, so I tried to imagine what those people were like. In the planning phase, all the characters seemed to speak out to me. Even minor characters, like the Heaven Inc. board of directors, came to me with set personalities.
What’s your favorite treat?
Any smoothie from Booster Juice. We don’t have one in Sudbury; when I go to southern Ontario it’s always a must.
What’s your Favorite place to read/write?
I have a spot on my couch in the basement. It has become very disfigured from my butt and back. I can’t imagine writing anywhere else.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
On my own tropical island. I need to get out of the cold north!
For more information, Dylan can be contacted at:
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