People

Daniel Kalla

It’s launch day!

Today, We All Fall Down – the new suspense novel from bestselling author and Vancouverite, Daniel Kalla – comes out. This is the tenth novel from Kalla, who also works locally as an ER physician at a busy downtown hospital. ‘What might happen,’ Kalla asks with We All Fall Down, ‘if the Black Death were to return today from the depths of the Middle Ages?’

We’re delighted to feature Kalla in our Q and A:

i. I work as a(n):
Emergency Room physician and a writer of medical suspense and historical fiction.

ii. I do this creative work because:
I need to! Writing has become the ultimate release from my “day job” in the ER and my favourite pastime. The truth is, once I started writing longform fiction over twenty years ago, I haven’t been able to stop. Not that I’ve ever wanted to.

iii. Personal qualities that help me in my work are:
Curiosity, drive, obsessiveness and the ability to type really fast, although never accurately (god bless autocorrect!)

iv. The greatest challenges around doing this work are:
Finding the next idea/concept/theme/set of characters that inspires me enough to want to commit a year of my life telling that particular story.

v. Creative childhood hobbies:
Video game programming, drawing (terribly), writing and… wait… does aggressive use of firecrackers/fireworks count as creative?

vi. Other creators who inspire you:
Too many to even cite. Other authors who have particularly inspired me in my writing include: James Michener, Michael Crichton, Ken Follet and Robert Harris among many others.

vii. Training that has helped me in this career:
I don’t have formal training in my writing career. But reading, living, working in an ER and just being an engaged observer of life have all helped me to develop as a writer.

viii. A common trap that can hurt people in this career:
To focus too much on writing what you think others want to read, rather than the story you want to tell.

ix. Some proud career moments:
My first starred book review (a specific distinction of excellence) from the publishing journal, Publishers Weekly, made me feel like less of an impostor. But perhaps my proudest moment as writer came when a ninety-year-old survivor of the Jewish ghetto of WWII Shanghai shook my hand and thanked me for bringing her back to her “rich youth” as she read my historical novel, The Far Side Of the Sky.

x. If you want to work in my field, I suggest that you:
Persist. And persevere. There are lot of setbacks, hurdles and naysayers along the way to writing a novel, let alone finding a publisher. But for me, there’s little that competes with the satisfaction of typing the last sentence on your own manuscript.

xi. A professional goal I have for the future:
Honestly? None. I feel kind of blessed to be where I am. I just want to be able to keep working in the ER and telling new stories through my writing.

xii. If you want to see my work, go to:

danielkalla.com

www.creatorsvancouver.com

Header: Denys Nevozhai

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