Posts about writing and authorship, written by Kaleb Nation

5 Things I Learned From Losing Everything

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If you have big goals but you’re going through hard times, you’re not alone. I was 20 and had everything I’d dreamed of. 4 book deals. A fancy car. Living in LA. Two years later, I lost everything but $23. Here are 5 things I learned from losing everything and what I did to get it all back.

Most Bizarre Moments In My Life

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My life has had many bizarre moments. The past few months have seen some of the bizarre-est (sic). I talk about them all in my new vlog:

Some of the things I’ve been up to lately include….

  • appearing in at least 3 music videos, which have been seen over 100,000,000 times (OH SNAP)
  • being cast in a national Taco Bell TV commercial (100% TRUE)
  • guest-hosting Dr. Drew On Call on HLN at least 4 times (You were watching, RIGHT?)
  • adopting the most adorable puppy in the world (You won’t BELIEVE her name… but it’s REAL).

But probably leading all of the bizarre-ities (sic) would be discovering that my first novel, THE FARFIELD CURSE, was translated into Russian and has been in Russian stores since 2012. I had no idea. Nobody tells the author anything.

Watch my new vlog to find out how I discovered my book in Russian! Here are some photos:


Speaking of photos… here’s our new puppy…

“Don’t Cha wish your puppy was cute like me?”

Power Showers And The Creative Trance

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I just took my first shower in 4 days.

It lasted almost two hours. I bathed, showered, washed my hair, scrubbed my skin, shaved, moisturized, deodorized, brushed my teeth, mouthwashed, brushed my teeth a second time, conditioned and fixed my hair, slipped into fresh clothes, and finished it all off with some sprays of cologne.

Doubling up with a bath and shower took the longest. I bathed before showering to loosen up days of filth.

I call it a Power Shower.


The “before” was atrocious. Last night I didn’t go to sleep until 4 in the morning. I had my first meal at 3:45AM: mini muffins and bacon. I have little memory of the past 4 days except for what I’ve written in my notes “to catch up on after this is done” and the still-echoing clicks of my laptop’s keys.

After barely seeing me for days, my girlfriend visited my office yesterday. She couldn’t stick around because of my condition.

I didn’t even notice it’d gotten that bad. I didn’t even notice anything but my keyboard.

I call that the Creative Trance.

Writers and creatives know what I’m talking about. A new idea appears with such strength that everything around you drops five levels in importance. Your mind says you MUST explore this idea. You MUST make it happen. Nothing else could POSSIBLY be more important than the idea until the idea isn’t an idea anymore, but real and sitting in your hands, completed.

In the Trance, I don’t see the days as they pass through the window behind my desk. I don’t notice when the sun sets and the darkness falls. The glow of my computer screen hypnotizes my concentration from everything happening elsewhere.

My bottle of water is empty but I can’t mentally bring myself to take 5 seconds and grab another. I get thirsty, glance at it, see it’s empty, consider getting more, then immediately become distracted by the words on my screen and forget my thirst entirely.

Did you text me? Email me? Warn me of a deadline? I didn’t even notice.

The Trance has taken over. Writing season has begun.


Luckily it doesn’t last forever. The Creative Trance is only that jumpstart on a new project: that jolt of energy and concentration needed to transform an idea from an intangible concept into something real, something that doesn’t just live in your head. It blocks out everything else in the world and makes regular routines seem easy to delay. You can call them back later. You can read your texts another time. You can eat and sleep tomorrow. All that matters is writing, creating, building. Making it happen.

I’m a writer — we live for the Trance. Two or three Trance weeks a year keeps me sharp with book ideas.

The week ends eventually. A two-hour Power Shower ceremony can transform a crumbled, overworked, sleepless creature into a normal human again. Then I’m back, just like before — the only remaining evidence hidden in my slightly bloodshot eyes and the new thing I just created.

It’s harder for the non-writer half of a couple to understand the Trance. When you date a writer, you date all of their characters too. When you date an entrepreneur, you date their work. They love you most, but they love their work too.

Don’t fear the Creative Trance. Give it a few days, your writer will be human again soon. Buy air freshener in bulk, it’s cheaper.


Writing In Seasons

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I was interviewed by Chris Trondsen at Erika Tascon’s Birthday Bash last month! Watch it if you want to see me incredibly hyped up on too much caffeine and if you want to meet my new friend The Little Hair That Would Not Stay In Place

Among other things, I explain how I write in “seasons” around 2:56. I point it out because my seasonal writing goes against everything in those library books about how to “be a writer” —

“REAL writers write EVERY day and once they finish a book REAL authors IMMEDIATELY start writing on the NEXT one so they are ALWAYS writing like REAL writers…”from The Only Real Way To Be An Author by Huckster Notawriter

It makes sense in theory on paper (pun was required). If you work out every day, you’ll get stronger. If you write every day, you’ll write better. But they fail to mention that some writers aren’t the norm.

Most writers are rabbits.

They can bounce from one project to the next, finishing a book in their children’s series then another in their adult series just in time to release a racy e-novella under their fourth pen name. They hop around with their semi-robotic routines, their superhuman discipline, their ability to crank out thriller after thriller and never run out of steam or have the slightest dip in quality.

These writers annoy me. No amount of energy drinks can help me keep up with their spirit-crushingly spectacular pace.

Other writers are bears.

Sometimes plotting and writing and editing and polishing an entire novel is such a mental exercise that your muse simply needs to rest. For a LONG time.

My muse needs 6 months of hibernation for every 6 months of writing activity. Like clockwork, my mind switches to creative mode at 5PM PT, which is why you’ll often see me posting word count updates to Twitter at 3 in the morning.

If I push myself to write in the off-season or at different hours, everything comes out wrong and falls apart into a frustrating mess. My muse just isn’t awake.

I’ve learned to work with it. Half of the year, I’m online: making videos, websites, shows, projects, everything from that side of my life. Then the writing seasons creeps up on me. Before I even realize what’s happening, I’m suddenly writing in a frenzy again.

Keep writing, but keep loving writing too.

I’ve learned to not be afraid of doing things my way. If you have school or a job or commitments and can only write on Wednesdays after 7PM, don’t feel like you’re any less of a writer than someone who never pries themselves from their pens-and-microwavable-food-covered desk. If you scheduled writing time for every day at noon but find yourself uninterested and uninspired, relax. Do something else. Take notes for tomorrow so you feel better. Writing doesn’t expire. Often letting an idea simmer for the night will deepen its flavor it the morning.

Now that I’ve finished this alarmingly lengthy blog post, I just realized something… I think writing season is about to start again.

It’s Here! HARKEN In Print

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Since January 13, my conspiracy thriller HARKEN has reached thousands of people all over the world through the Kindle ereader. So many of you are buzzing about the book that #HARKEN has been a trending topic on Twitter multiple times.

But there is something special in being able to hold a real book.

That’s why I’m so excited to announce HARKEN in print for the first time! Now you can own the first book in the Harken Series, share it with your friends, and read it even when the flight attendant says to power off all devices.

But this isn’t just a print edition. The first 2,000 preorders from the Harken store will be signed by me as a special thank-you for all of your support. And, on the last page, I reveal the title of book two.

24 hours before my announcement, I sent an email with the news to everyone who signed up at ReadHarken.com. They got a chance to grab a signed copy before the rest of the world hits the site and the books run out. So if you haven’t, you should sign up for future emails from me!

If you’d like to preorder HARKEN for $9.99, visit this page.  Harken preorders have ended. Now you can get it in paperback for $8.99!

More soon. Don’t Trust Anyone.


Kaleb Nation

P.S. If your name was in the special fan acknowledgements of the Kindle edition, it is also in the print edition!


HARKEN Is Finally Here!

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Harken-Book-CoverHARKEN: The Novel by Kaleb Nation

After surviving an assassination attempt, Michael Asher discovers that he is at the center of a worldwide conspiracy higher than any earthly power. A supernatural organization with authority over world leaders, celebrities, and the wealthy desperately wants him dead. Tumbling into a web of international secrets, Michael is forced to fight back and dig up the truth. Who is the puppet master? And how far into the maze can he venture before he is lost forever?

“Whip-smart, charming and irresistible.”
Lauren DeStefano, New York Times bestselling author of WITHER

*       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *

I’m so excited to finally share my book with you. You can buy HARKEN now for $2.99 on your Kindle (or using any of these readers). HARKEN will be available on Nook and other eReader devices within a few weeks.

From the first tweet to the final draft, HARKEN has been a wonderful journey leading to this day. The stories of Michael, Callista, Thad and the others are now yours too.

I hope you enjoy HARKEN as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Kaleb Nation

P.S. For updates on the HARKEN sequel, be sure to watch this page.

The HARKEN Midnight Release Party: You’re Invited!

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You’re invited to the HARKEN midnight release party! RSVP HERE.

With less than 9 days until HARKEN will be released, the wait is almost over. On Saturday 1/12/13 at 8PM PT, I will host a LIVE release party at Youtube.com/KalebNation, counting down to 9PM PT (midnight east coast USA).

At exactly midnight, HARKEN will be available on Kindle for only $2.99. Even if you don’t own a Kindle, you can still read HARKEN using the free Kindle Reader.

This is the biggest live show I have ever done. 

There will be prizes, games, Q&A, and special surprises you will never see again. Be sure to RSVP here. One person who RSVP’s will win prizes during the show!

Lauren DeStefano, the New York Times bestselling author of WITHER, said HARKEN is “Whip-smart, charming, and irresistible.” Read her full review…

I recently answered your most-asked questions… Where can you buy HARKEN? Is HARKEN a series? Why is HARKEN on Kindle first? My answers are here…

Get ready. Don’t Trust Anyone.

Kaleb Nation

First HARKEN Review: “…charming, and irresistible…”

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“Whip-smart, charming, and irresistible. The idea of Michael Asher and his abilities existing in real life makes me smile while simultaneously being afraid to look at anyone ever again.”

– Lauren DeStefano, New York Times bestselling author of The Chemical Garden trilogy.

I just received the first blurb for HARKEN and it’s from none other than super author Lauren DeStefano! I teared up a bit. This means my little secret book won’t be secret for much longer!

If you haven’t, you can read the first 3 chapters of HARKEN at ReadHarken.com. The book will be available on 1/13/13.

Be sure to add HARKEN on Goodreads. I can’t wait to share it with you!

Kaleb Nation

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HARKEN Cover Art Is Finally Here!

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HARKEN by Kaleb Nation cover art

The cover for HARKEN is finally here!

I’m so excited about it. It’s exactly the type of cover I wanted for this book: mysterious, iconic, not begging for attention but catching eyes all on its own. When you read HARKEN, you’ll understand just how well this cover fits.

I think fans who’ve been following along these past two years will be ESPECIALLY happy over the design, since a LOT of you have been parodying it without even knowing!

There are plenty of clues to the story in the cover art and I’m sure you’ll be digging around between now and January 13, when you can finally read it. Very soon, you’ll be able to enjoy the first 3 chapters in a free preview, sent to everyone who signs up at ReadHarken.com.

If you want your hands or eyes used in my videos, be sure to send your HARKEN photos in! Just take a photo and post it to Twitter with the hashtag #HARKEN. I usually RT it and some even go on the website and in my videos!

I can’t wait to share HARKEN with you! Get ready, it’ll be here soon.


HARKEN: My Next Book

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The secret is out. Watch the video announcement for the title of the #SecretKalebBook, available worldwide on 1/13/13.

Harken (Harken, #1)

Join me for a special LIVE stream TONIGHT (11/24/12) at 6PM US Pacific Time. I’ll finally be able to answer some questions about the-book-formerly-known-as The #SecretKalebBook. Watch the live stream at Youtube.com/KalebNation. The live stream is over but you can watch a recording of the entire show here!

Get ready. Don’t Trust Anyone

Kaleb Nation

P.S. Don’t forget to add the book on Goodreads!