A Nice Brew & Something New with Dan Klefstad


One the greatest joys I have discovered as a blogger is the many opportunities to meet writers and readers from all walks of life. During my last several months of trying to build Books, Vertigo and Tea I have an established so much more than just a mere blog. I have developed kinship among readers and authors alike that have enriched and expanded my life as a reader. From self published Indie Authors to more well-known names, I have been graced with an opportunity that not only encourages me to branch out but has presented me with a new knowledge and respect for the titles I love and the heart that is poured into them. I am never been one to shy away from an opportunity to absorb and learn more. I love the connections and the passion that is writing and its devoted community. This is a newer feature where I hope to share some of these newer experiences.

Recently I was contacted by Dan Klefstad. This was a new name, so instantly I was intrigued. It turns out the Dan has written a short story  The Caretaker that was published in Crack The Spine, a digital literary magazine that happens to publish a collection ranging from flash fiction and poetry to even some non-fiction. I was unfamiliar with Crack the Spine, but instantly book marked the site upon the discovery thanks to Dan. Feel free to click the logo to the left to check it out.

Thoughts on The Caretaker by Dan Klefstad

The Caretaker is a short story that comes in the form of roughly 18 pages, give or take. Being that it is a fast read, it is nearly impossible to elaborate on without revealing the story in its entirety, so here is a the intro.. a nice little teaser:

Dear Applicant

Congratulations. Out of hundreds of applications, yours stood out for your “unwavering persistence to get the job done.” Well put! No doubt, you will deserve the eight-figure salary and opulent benefits that come with this job. But I must warn you: The more you read, the more my employer will consider you a threat if you decline our offer. If you have no intentions of taking the job, delete this message now before reading further.

(Continued below).

I found The Caretaker to be an enjoyable and steadily paced short story that managed to deliver a very unique and satisfying experience over the span of a small course of time. Dan Klefstad has offered an alternate perspective on one very guilty pleasures, vampires. You can read The Caretaker as published in Crack the Spine here.

Dan Klefstad & His Inspiration Behind The Caretaker

I am the morning newscaster and book series editor for NPR station WNIJ. After my on-air shift ends at 9 a.m., I interview authors from all over northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin — novelists, short story writers, poets, memoirists. Here’s my archive: http://northernpublicradio.org/topic/wnij-read-me


Each interview has been a master class in storytelling, and in the creative process, whether I’m interviewing someone with an international reputation (such as Robert Hellenga or Amy Newman) or a self-published writer from my neighborhood. I guess it made sense that I’d try to write my own stories. So, earlier this year, I published my debut novel, Shepherd & the Professor, on a traditional contract. Then I wrote this story, “The Caretaker” that I want to expand into a novel. The journal Crack the Spine was the first to express interest, so I went with them.

As for what inspired this piece…Let’s just say I’m a person who, like many others, works very hard and dreams of spending my “evening years” in peace and luxury — traveling the world, eating at the best tables, drinking the finest wines, and living life to the fullest. But I’m not there yet; I have several more years of work for an employer that demands much of me. But this employer, unlike the vampire Fiona, is on a mission to serve others. I am, of course, talking about public radio — independent, public service-minded journalism. It’s a mission I believe in — but, truth be told, it takes a toll. I’m sure everyone who works in the not-for-profit sector will identify with that statement.

I live in DeKalb, Illinois, with my wife Susan who inspired the protagonist of Shepherd & the Professor that can be found here on Amazon.

I want to extend a special thank you to Dan for not only providing me with this opportunity but his willingness to answer my questions and bear with me as I struggled over the last few days to compose posts.

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17 thoughts on “A Nice Brew & Something New with Dan Klefstad

  1. Interesting piece, Danielle! Great idea too. I really enjoy hearing how people get involved in writing, etc. It’s amazing hearing the different stories.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Been a while I haven’t heard about vampires out there. I definitely like the idea behind this feature. Getting to know the author and the things that made him write his story are always so fascinating. It also sheds some light on these more “self-published” authors since there’s a high chance that a lot of people haven’t read their book!

    – Lashaan

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am hoping it will accomplish some new connections for everyone. I am starting feel terrible about these newer “features” though because I seriously have no true schedule haha. I am terrible for posting them in any sort of organized manner. I do am to posts Pairing Teas & Reads twice a month, but that is it. The rest is chaos at the moment 😛

      Liked by 1 person

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