At the age of 5, Kališ was introduced to the Beatles and their A Hard Day’s Night album. His love of music began amid the backdrop of a floundering Communist Czechoslovakia, modern day Dubnica nad Váhom nad Nová Dubnica, Slovakia. Then, it was a state about to be brought down within a domino tumbling of nations, beginning in 1989 with the fall of communism in eastern Europe.
Kališ was lucky. His Father had a good job that provided for the family and while on his travels he brought back music for his son to listen to. “My father bought Yellow Submarine and the masterpiece, Sgt. Pepper´s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” Then Kališ’ Father brought home Beatles for Sale, Magical Mystery Tour and Let it Be while travelling in Vienna.
I still listen to these albums.
By the age of 13, Kališ was a huge music fan, a die-hard Beatles fan and a citizen of the newly Democratic Slovakia. He was also being educated in the best schools and getting noticed for his literary talent.
Things changed for the author in 1996. Just 15 years old, Kališ traveled from Slovakia to Toronto, Canada. While there, he studied the English language for two months.
At first the experience was a complete culture shock. He became aware of the vast differences in people who grew up with freedom and the people of his own country who didn’t know what to do with it.
I realized how long a road Slovakia had to travel to get to freedom.
Fighting loneliness, feeling freedom for the first time in his life and feeling the pull of a new culture, he bought his first albums by George Harrison and the Doors. And, since the Beatles called him their “great model”, he also bought Elvis’ first self-titled album.
It was “the album that started it all” said Kališ, but did he mean for Elvis or for himself? Dropped in 1956 by Sun Records, it contained the hit “Don’t step on my blue suede shoes” and shot Elvis Presley to stardom.
Inspired Kališ says, “I wrote half of my first book of poetry that was published in Slovakia” just one year later.
The entire experience, its adventure, the insights he had gained and a few new albums that included “the album that started it all” followed the author back to Slovakia. Months later he received “The Mayor of the City Trenčín´s Prize for Poetry” in Joseph Branecký´s literary contest. He won it again in 1998. He also published his first book of poetry entitled Shards of 20th Century. The author also has other titles and literary prizes to his name.
Upon his return to Slovakia in 1996, Kališ’ parents gave him Wolfang Tilgner’s biography: The Life of Elvis Presley
for Christmas. It ignited his quest to know Elvis. Now, the author knows just about everything a person can about Elvis, has most of his albums and particularly loves his later work.
For years, Kališ worked, went to college, got his PhD, read books (especially political biographies and Russian literature) and listened to music. His growing intellect, writing talent and opinions easily interwove with his love for music and the character of Elvis Presley was born into the central idea for the novel.
One day in December of 2003, he sat down and wrote the first seven pages of the book The Stars We Wrecked.
“I wrote about seven pages. Then I stopped. My Father read the unfinished story on my open computer by coincidence. He just said, ‘I like it a lot. It´s really interesting. You should continue your idea.’ The novel is alive thanks to his words.”
Author Milan Kališ’ book The Stars We Wrecked is available through DonnaInk Publications for pre-order now and will be available in upcoming year.
Link to Elvis Presley Website: http://www.elvis.com/
Link to Elvis Presley Bio at Biography.com: http://www.biography.com/people/elvis-presley-9446466
Link to DonnaInk Publications site: http://www.donnaink.org/
Link to Pre-Sale for Milan’s Title: http://www.donnaink.org/#!product/prd1/513533031/the-stars-we-wrecked
Link to Facebook Publisher Page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMilanKalis