I was all irritated recently, because Kaleb Nation, the author/YouTube channel host, contacted us to suggest that we write about his new book. There was a hitch though — he wasn’t giving us any details about the book, nor would he tell us the title. I wasn’t about to waste my time with that, so instead I was like, “F**k it, I’ll just do a comprehensive interview with him about other sh*t,” and I wrote up a bunch of questions. Then I realized NMR had already done a comprehensive interview with him back in February. I’d already told him we’d do an interview, but now I had nothing I really cared to ask him. So I was like, I’ll ask him some really mean, hurtful questions. That will teach him to not give us any book details. I ended up softening out the questions some (we are trying to run a magazine after all), but as you read the ones I did ask, imagine me doing it with an edge. For the record though, as fiesty as I was, Kaleb comes across like a really nice guy, so maybe check into the Secret Kaleb Book at his website, KalebNation.com after all. Dammit.
For the record, is “Kaleb Nation” your official real name?
Kaleb Nation: Yes! Kaleb Nation is the name on my birth certificate.
Most of your new book’s details are still a secret, but is there some tiny snippet of a reveal that you can give to NMR readers?
I can’t even say the title yet — that’s why I keep calling it the #SecretKalebBook! But I can reveal that it is a supernatural conspiracy theory story and the first in a YA series. It’s different from a lot of books out now: there are no wizards, vampires, or televised fights to the death. It has a uniquely paranormal feel to it. I researched real conspiracy theories for almost 3 years to write this book, so some of the revelations inside may or may not be fiction at all.
Do you just sit down and write, or do you plot out the details of the book in advance?
Both. I started writing this book from a sudden idea and just wrote it out until my fingers stopped. Then I went back and figured out where the pieces I’d written might fit into a larger story: how did the characters get there, what would they do next, who was trying to stop them? Then I really plotted things out. Plotting is my road map. I didn’t write anything else until the entire book was formed in my head and written into a gigantic outline. There are so many details in this book that interconnect with the sequels that I’d be entirely lost without my plot outline.
You’ve got almost 500 YouTube videos posted — aren’t you tired of making videos yet?
You mean 500 videos… on one channel! I think across my channels there are at least 650 now, and I still post 5 days a week on the 60SR show! Thankfully I’m not tired of Youtube. I love the community and making videos for the viewers. I don’t think I’ll be giving Youtube up anytime soon.
You say that you’re no longer fazed by meeting famous people. Has anyone gotten starstruck over you?
That happens sometimes, and I really don’t know how to react most of the time. People… like me? They actually think I’m a cool person? It’s odd because I know me in real life and I’m probably not as cool as they think. But I’m so grateful for them. The dedicated people are the ones who keep me going. The people who Sharpie #SecretKalebBook on their arms and post it to Twitter are my favorites.
And I’m not completely impervious to being starstruck. If I saw JK Rowling I’d probably drop into a faint.
Bullying is now an emerging topic in our culture. Did you get bullied a lot for being “The Twilight Guy”?
Oh yes! I still get death threats every day through email and Youtube comments. But they’re just trolls. I’ve been on Youtube so long that I don’t even notice. “Oh look, another death threat. At least they described my murder more creatively than the last one. And only two spelling mistakes!”
I saw you interviewed the cast of “Breaking Dawn” on the red carpet. If you were a vampire in real life, who is the first person you would bite?
Selena Gomez. It’s the only way I’ll manage to steal her from the Bieber.
What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done?
Plotted to steal Selena Gomez from Justin Bieber by turning her into a vampire.
Have you felt a level of frustration from your fans for not giving away plot details to your new book? Has it cost you readers?
Yes, some of them get frustrated, but I do this all the time. They’re used to me holding things back. I have to wait until the moment is exactly right so they can enjoy the book at its best. If it costs me any readers, I didn’t need those fickle people anyways. The awesome people stick around.
Your new book is going to be “supernatural with lots of explosions.” What experiences have you had with the supernatural?
I once had a bowl of chili that was otherworldly. Other than that, there were some strange happenings as I wrote the #SecretKalebBook, but I’ll save those stories for after it’s out.
Vodka, whiskey or tequila?
Would you pull the wings off a beautiful butterfly for a million dollars?
Do you want the nice answer or the honest answer? The nice answer is no, I’d never hurt a butterfly. The honest answer is unfortunately yes. Most butterflies only live a few days so he’s probably on his way out anyways. Besides, after I collect the money I could use it to hire a lepidopterologist to reattach the poor critter’s wings, and still have cash left over to build a butterfly paradise in his honor. Just being smart here.
As you get older do you feel you’ll need to write edgier material to keep up with your fans or will you constantly write for the younger demographic?
I don’t really hold back on anything when I write, I just write what fits for the story I’m trying to tell. I wrote my first book (The Farfield Curse) when I was 14, so it was obviously slanted younger because *I* was younger. The #SecretKalebBook is certainly more mature than my Bran Hambric books but still fitting for my audience who’ve grown older with me. I might try my hand at adult books one day, but I think I need to be an adult a little longer before I can do a good job at that.
What are you going to be for Halloween?
The vampire who changed Selena Gomez and pulls wings off butterflies. Or a mafia boss. I still haven’t decided.
Who wins in a fight? You or Fred Figglehorn?
Fred. He’d punch me while I was asking for a photo for my Instagram.