New Year, New Voices: Night Call

New Year, New Voices: Night Call

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Hello Canada,

My name is Brenden Carlson, and I am publishing my first novel, Night Call, in June of 2020. It has been an incredible journey going from amateur writer to nearly published author, and it all began in 2008, when my parents accidentally bought me the wrong book.

My mother, while out shopping in the mall, happened upon a popular book being sold due to a movie adaption coming to theatres soon: Watchmen, by Alan Moore. Knowing I was a fan of comic books, she bought the book and gave it to me, an impressionable and very naïve fourteen-year-old in grade 8 at the time. Had she opened the book before buying it, it would have never made it into my home. That graphic novel was the singular thing that made me want to write, to craft stories as fantastical, deep, and—to be brief—batshit crazy as what Moore and Gibbons had brought to life.

My actual writing career—or journey, rather—began in the early 2010s, when I began experimenting with dead-end stories, typing out plots and chapters late at night in my last two years of high school. I worked on a stolen version of Word 2010 on my old ASUS laptop, chugging away writing or editing or scrapping documents, trying to make something—anything—work. I’m sure I have the back catalog of these ideas somewhere in my computer, though it’ll be a long time before I revisit any of those nightmares.

It wasn’t until my second year of university in 2014 that the idea which would become Night Call began to form. When I try to remember my most direct inspiration, the first thing that jumps into my head is a Christmas commercial by the Salvation Army, showing a homeless family living outside of an electronics store touting the newest phones. It gave me a realistic and timeless theme that would encompass this novel and the rest of the series: the only thing that changes is technology. Given the turmoil which has been seen in the recent decade, this theme is something that will undoubtably hit home for many.

Looking back at how my writing career began in the early 2010s and how it has evolved up to now, I’m looking forward not only to seeing my first novel on shelves this year, but also seeing how far I will go in another decade.


Brenden Carlson