Guest Post | Character Development with Dylan Callens, Author of “Interpretation”

August was an interesting month for me, because I have started on reviewing books via request like a real bookblogger! 

A friend of mine Amanda, who runs Chocolate Pages, is also a bookblogger. She put up a blog post offering other bookbloggers to help her with the requests. I literally jumped at this and within three weeks I got a request, but unfortunately I was unable to read another book. My mom and I have came to the conclusion that I should only read one book a month to see how I do, but I didn’t want to say no, so thanks to Dylan’s email he gave me an idea!


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Dylan Callens has recently written a dystopian fiction book called Interpretation. The word “dystopian” or “dystopia” is an imaginary place where people often lead fearful lives. I’m not as familiar with the word or genre, so I had to go look it up in the dictionary.

Here is the blurb of the novel:

Carl Winston awakens to find his son, Liam, screaming with fear. Trying to understand why, Carl tries to soothe him. Neighbors gather in front of Carl’s apartment to help – until they see him. The crowd cowers back, afraid of this monster.

Carl runs. His life of luxury is ripped away. Forced beyond the city limits, Carl sees a land bereft of life. Traveling in search of answers, his quest comes to a sudden halt when he collapses. As darkness shrouds him, a figure hovers from above.

Traveling along the same route, Eva Thompson finds Carl and nurtures him back to life. Together, they continue the journey, finding out that their lives have too much in common to be a coincidence. As their affection for each other deepens, an unknown nemesis attempts to remove their only source of happiness – their love for each other.


I’ve allowed Dylan to write a guest post and he chose something that I might be looking more into for my own story – that I haven’t worked on for a while! Anyways, here is what Dylan says about character development. 

18581722_1057525084392104_2680261785040618447_nMy Character, My Friend

As I began researching different psychological experiments for my novel, Interpretation, the first (and craziest) person I came across was a neurobologist named Dr. Jose Manuel Rodriguez Delgado. His name is important: Jose Delgado. This man had a vision for the future, where people wore electronic stimulation devices so that the government could correct unwanted behavior by stimulating the brain. His research worked towards the end, creating a device that could be attached to brains. In one famous experiment, he had his device implanted into the head of a bull. As the bull charged at Delgado, he administered a shock to the animal’s brain, which stopped it in its tracks.

After reading of his work, I knew that this would be the social condition in my novel: a society where every individual had some kind of device implanted in their heads. As a result, I wanted to give my main character a first name that represented this reality. So, of course, I named him Carl.

Carl. That’s right. Being inspired by the work of Dr. Jose Degado, I named him Carl. Why you might ask?

Because somewhere along the way, Jose Delgado’s name transformed itself into former baseball slugger, Carlos Delgado. I have no idea how this happened – I don’t even like baseball. I must have written Jose’s name dozens of times while taking notes. But when I sat down to write, I put Carl on the page. My character’s name is a mistake.

After reading over the first draft of the first chapter, I knew that something was wrong with his name and I eventually figured it out. By then, it was too late. His name was Carl to me and I just couldn’t change it. He had his own life and it appeared to be a very nice one. He loved his son, had a nice apartment, and a good job. He encountered a brief, blinding pain in his head and a short hallucination in that first chapter but that didn’t mean he should be renamed Joe, to honor Jose.

At least his name is right. Winston. Or at least I hope there is a Winston in Nineteen-Eighty-Four. There is, right? I wanted to pay tribute to my favorite dystopian novel somehow and I saw Carl’s situation similar to Winston’s, in some ways. So that’s how my main character was born.

Identifying with this character was pretty easy for me. I think there is a lot of me in him. He and I took the Myers-Briggs personality test and came up with very similar results. He is an INFP and I am an INTP. Which means we both prefer introversion, intuition and perceiving, as opposed to extroversion, sensing and judgement. Our difference is that he’s a little more touchy-feely than I am (the F stands for feeling while the T stands for thinking). I’d like to think that if his circumstances were a little better, he might be more of an intellectual. His life hasn’t really allowed that pursuit though, so I blame his circumstance for that one.

But Carl and I – we could go for a beer, one day. I think we would shoot a game of pool and philosophize about the implications of Jose’s work. I also know for sure that we wouldn’t talk about baseball legend, Carlos.

If you would like to read Dylan’s new book “Interpretation” and learn more about Joe, I mean Carl Winston’s now crazy life, he has given me several ways you can purchase the book! 

Amazon: http://amazon.com/dp/B073V7LSRV
Barnes & Noble:
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/interpretation-dylan-callens/1126732112?ean=2940154727843
Kobo:
https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/interpretation-7
iBooks:
https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/book/interpretation/id1258997726?mt=11

Always Left Behind…

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Howdy!

This post was created on accident, scratch that, this entire situation was created on accident. It’s not exactly a “situation” either. It’s just something that tends to come up every now and then and finally I am ready to talk about it on here.

My sister is getting married next summer. We are getting really excited and nervous (mostly about bridesmaid dresses, the tuxes, weather, etc) about all those small details that you think wouldn’t pop into your head this early but they have and now you get to deal with them in advance!

One of the things that has been eluding my brain is about the bachelorette party. Back in July, Blondie didn’t want to do anything that would be considering a “party” well now she does, but she still has the same feelings about having an actual party part. So she began to text our mother for ideas plus ask how I would feel about it, I already get nervous enough whenever my mom wants to have a sit down talk with me because usually it’s something bad and this was no exception; because she was wanting to have all of the girls go further up the state and celebrate there since it’s the half way point for most of the ladies. However, the fact is that it’s such a long distance, my mom wasn’t really comfortable with that.  Blondie doesn’t want to do anything that excludes me, but I don’t like the fact that her bachelorette party would be basically centered around me because she was trying to get ideas on what to do.

I’ve been basically left out of a lot of different things. I say to people all the time that I don’t have any friends–I have online friends, but majority of them live across an ocean! I mean to say that I don’t have anybody that live close to me to where we could hang out every other weekend like normal friends do. The last time I hung out with a “friend” was in 2012. So yes, I am very much used to being the one that gets left behind.

I don’t know if my disability is to be blamed for this because now I have a lightweight wheelchair that everybody in my family (including myself) loves to hate. We’ve lost a wheel and I’ve fallen out of it a couple of times, but other than that it’s not bad. I wouldn’t consider it a wheelchair but that’s my problem. Anyways, I know what my problem is for this, it’s my weight. I get told frequently that I am getting heavy to lift. I always fear for the back and knees on other people because I know I’m causing more tension in those areas. I can’t change how much weight I put on though, nor can I allow the thought of it control what I put into my body either and I shouldn’t have to for the sake of hanging out with friends, you know?

This year has really been a year where I’ve gone with the flow to the best of my ability. It’s mostly because there were things that happened beyond my control and I felt like I didn’t need to have a say in whether or not I did it. I’ve felt more at peace knowing that I didn’t care about what an old friend was doing, if they haven’t talked to me or even spend a day hanging out with me than they’re not worth my time! Now you know why I deleted you…

Am I sick of always coming second? Absolutely, but am I okay with being the reason why my sister can’t do what she wants for her party, no. So where do I stand?

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The Legacy Family.

This is my drawing from 2010. It was my last drawing I did for my senior year and it was also my last for two years. Her name is Legacy. The reason why I named her that was because she was my last drawing, but it was also my last year in high school and I had this picture the iris was baby blue. So I asked my teacher if I could change it to purple, and he doesn’t like unnatural colors in our drawings, so really he never said yes, but he never told me no either. I just did it anyways. I changed it to purple and everybody, including myself thought I did a good job on it.

I was just laying down and started coming up with more ideas for future artwork, in other words “work I’d never get to do.” I started thinking of creating a male face as a mate to Legacy. This idea has actually been in my head for a while. I started creating ideas for a future tattoo, it would look like Legacy but she would disguised in a masquerade mask. That was my original idea. Then I got to thinking about creating others. That look like Legacy, but had their own identity.

So I went with my future tattoo idea, the idea has Legacy’s purple eyes, but the masquerade mask was black and red. So I thought the male face should look meaner and more captivating. I don’t know why, but since it would have black and red as the primary colors, I thought of the name “Luther”, would be an interesting name for him. I started thinking of a name for the tattoo idea, I came up with “Legion”. The love child of these two drawings. That thought lead to three more faces by the names of “Wolfgang,” “Scarlet,” and “Lucie.” Both “Legion” and “Scarlet” are from In This Moment songs. The name “Wolfgang” is from a name I had recently looked up earlier this morning. And last but not least, “Lucie” is just a cute girly name I picked out. She will probably be in light colors.

No Sleep Equals No New Ideas

It’s been awhile since I’ve actually good sleep. Probably around Monday was the last day where I had a good night’s sleep after that it’s been messed up like always. However last night I got four hours of sleep all at once, which was surprising. Then I got up around 5:30am and didn’t go back to sleep until 8am. I should have stayed up. Especially since my mom got up an hour later. That’s my luck for you.

So since my sleep has been like this all of my good ideas haven’t been coming to me at all. I’ll have little ideas but they’ll fade off an minute later and then I’m back to square one again. I’ve been like this for three days where I’ll have these little ideas and might post them and then be empty afterwards. The other day, which was Tuesday, I blogged five times from midnight to 8pm. They were scattered, but I posted alot of them. I was proud of myself. Now I can’t blog about anything at the moment. It sucks! Hopefully I’ll get some good ideas soon than later!

Wanting To Draw Again.

It’s been a whole year since I haven’t drawn anything. I don’t know if it’s withdrawals that I’m just now getting or what, but they’re definitely there now. I can’t even stand looking at my Linkin Park drawings, why in the world would I want to start drawing again? I can’t draw without watching other people drawing around me. I use them for inspiration and a little competition. I like to kick some butt or at least try to. I’ve always done that. Since I’m at home now, I don’t know if I’d be able to get anything done. My record to getting one drawing done, the shortest time is four days and the longest time is two weeks. Mike’s took me the shortest and Rob’s took me the longest.

Since The Vampire Diaries is starting this week. I actually really liked to draw all the cast members. I know it’s a lot and I think that’s the reason why I haven’t done it yet. Ten members is a lot more than six. The six almost killed my toes and I don’t know what my feet would do. I haven’t wrote anything in a few months. I haven’t doodled anything since January, and I don’t have that inspiration like I usually have. It’s just something I have in my head that I’d like to do. I’d also like to redo Rob’s drawing too, because his looks awful.

Another reason of probably why I haven’t is because everybody would want me to go back to school and go for drawing. Everybody goes back and forth. It’s either drawing or writing. Everybody wants me to be something or do something. I know how I use to complain about not doing anything, but I think after awhile especially doing this blog. Everything I do, is just for a hobby. I don’t want to do anything as a career. Because maybe I’ve just lost hope in all of it. I’m already losing ideas to do topics on here. I can’t draw without getting mad at myself. I’m just through with it. I might want to do things one day but the next I won’t. That’s just how I am.