“A Day in The LIfe” with Writer (and Doctor!) Daniel Kalla

Despite continuously publishing novels over the past two decades, Daniel Kalla still hasn’t quit his day (and often night) job. Daniel Kalla began his writing career the way many aspiring artists do– by attending medical school. It was while working as an Emergency Physician that he decided to find a hobby to fill the famously generous amount of free time that comes with practicing medicine. So, he joined a screenwriting course and quickly fell in love with the art of writing.

It was during the SARS outbreaks of the early 2000s when Daniel Kalla, inspired by his work as a doctor, penned his first published novel, Pandemic. The novel focuses on a mysterious flu-like virus emerging from China, calling into question Yogi Barra’s opinion that it’s “tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”

13 novels—translated into more than 10 languages—later, Dan’s side-gig as an ER Physician continues to influence his writing. He is supported by his editing team including his mother, two daughters, and two brothers. And his late father acted as the inspiration for the protagonist of his historical fiction trilogy, The Far Side of the Sky series.

These days, Dan is still avidly writing. The latest of his novels, The Darkness in the Light, follows a psychiatrist investigating a series of mysterious suicides in the remote town of Utqiagvik, Alaska. And his last novel, Lost Immunity, was just shortlisted for the 2022 Crime Writers of Canada Best Novel Award.

Dan spends the remainder of his free time travelling, playing tennis, promoting his dog on social media, and being an amazing father to his daughters.

Written by Ashley Kalla – daughter

This is my six-year-old rescue dog, a needy Catahoula cross with a heart of gold named Milo. He’s my constant shadow and now also the reluctant spokesperson for my latest book.
Daniel Kalla
Since spring is here, it’s time to dust off the road bike. I love my usual ride that takes me around UBC, over the Burrard Bridge, and then for a lap or two around Stanley Park. Safety is paramount, even if it’s desperately unfashionable!
Daniel Kalla
I’ve been lucky enough to live my whole life in Vancouver. Early spring and late fall are my two absolute favourite seasons here. And Spanish Banks is one of my happiest places in the world.
I’ve worked as an ER physician at St. Paul’s for over twenty-five years and, while the pandemic has only been raging for two of them, it feels more like forever. I can’t imagine ever working again without mask or goggles.
OK, I snuck this photo is from my last vacation with my daughters. But it’s near impossible to find a “sanctioned” photo that I’m allowed to post of them. The one on the right is busy writing her first-year law exams, and the one in the middle penned the cheeky bio for me.
This is my usual writing space, and it’s not usually anywhere near this tidy. Chaos fuels me, or so I like to believe.
Daniel Kalla
With the release of a new novel come book signings. And this is my first one, a “stock signing” for Book Warehouse on Main Street.
Daniel Kalla
Much as I love the arrival of the warm weather and the first blooms, I’m always sad to see the ski season wind down. But fortunately, there are still a few days of spring skiing left in me.


Which ’hood are you in?

Dunbar. I live just a stone’s throw – well, If you could throw a stone two kilometres – from the house I grew up in in the Arbutus corridor.

What do you do?

I write, I doctor (as an ER physician), I parent (the kids are grown but they still need some), and I generally keep myself as active and busy as my sometimes-lazy-ass nature allows.

What are you currently working on?

My latest novel, The Darkness In The Light, is just hitting the bookshelves. But these days, I’m working away on the next one. It’s a process that helps to keep me sane.

Where can we find your work?

At your local independent bookstore, library, or nearest Indigo store. Or online via many options, including through my website.