Author Q & A: Dan Klefstad Author of Shepherd and The Professor, also The Caretaker @danklefstad

My thanks to Dan for answering my questions and giving some very interesting answers.
“The Caretaker”  It’s about a man who’s retiring after decades of working for a vampire. The story is a fictional memoir that doubles as a letter to one person

What book do you wish you had written? I wish I written Let the Right One In by John Alvide Lindqvist. He also wrote the screenplay for the 2008 film. But the movie leaves out at least two plotlines — one involving the vampire Eli, the other about Eli’s human guardian. These threads show Lindqvist as a serious explorer of gender identity, and a master of horror. A brutal, tender, absolutely chilling book. So jealous someone else wrote this.

Where do you do your writing? And where would your ideal location be? I write in two places: my office in my Victorian-style home in DeKalb, Illinois, and at the kitchen table of my getaway condo in Williams Bay, Wisconsin. If I won the Lottery, I’d buy a castle in Ireland or Scotland and write there. I guess I prefer to be surrounded by old things when I compose. For editing, I need a newer place without clutter or distractions.


What’s the best part about being an author? And the worst? The best part is finally sharing something I created — something I’m proud of — with the world. The worst part is always starting, staring at a blank Word .doc.

Who if anyone inspired/encouraged you to write? My mother was an early cheerleader. I was a teenager when I started and really had no idea what I was doing. My stories were disorganized, heavy on exposition, filled with spelling errors, and mostly boring. It took years for me to figure out how to tell a story with a proper beginning, middle and end. Then it took several more years to work up the courage to break the rules I learned, and try to advance the craft.


How many books do you currently have on your to be read pile? Half-a-dozen right now but I need more. As editor of NPR/WNIJ’s “Read With Me” book series, I’m constantly reading and looking for authors to interview.


How do you prioritize what to read next? Well, the “Read With Me” series will soon transition from a seasonal to a monthly one. So I’ll read whatever is topical, whatever I think my listeners will be interested in.


Are your book shelves arranged by jacket colour or by author? Can I cheat and borrow from the 2000 film High Infidelity: “Autobiographical.” That would sound cool and profound. Instead, I arrange in themes — philosophy, histories, novels, biographies. Sorry if that’s boring. Every now and then my wife will rearrange my office, including the books on the shelves. She arranges them aesthetically.

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