"The universe is made of stories, not of atoms."
Interview – Ken Atchity – Latest Novel – Brae MacKenzie
Kenneth John Atchity Author of Homer’s Iliad: The Shield of Memory – Which was his Ph.D. Dissertation. The work was awarded Yale Graduate School’s Highest Academic Honor – The Porter Prize; and was later published by Southern Illinois University Press (Edited by John Gardner). Mentors at Yale Included Thomas Ber.
Kenneth John Atchity Author of Homer’s Iliad: The Shield of Memory – Which was his Ph.D. Dissertation. The work was awarded Yale Graduate School’s Highest Academic Honor – The Porter Prize; and was later published by Southern Illinois University Press (Edited by John Gardner). Mentors at Yale Included Thomas Bergin, Thomas Greene, A. Bartlett Giamatti, Richard Ellinger, Eric Segal and Lowry Nelson Jr.
His Twenty Books Include:
Homer: Critical Essays (G.K.Hall), The Renaissance Reader (HarperCollins), The Classical Greek Reader (Harper-Oxford University Press),Italian Literature: Roots & Branches (Yale University Press), A Writer’s Time (W.W. Norton) Seven Ways to Die (with William Diehl) (Story Merchant Books) The Classical Roman Reader (Harper-Oxford), The Messiah Matrix.
Kenneth represents writers of both fiction and nonfiction. He accounts for numerous bestsellers and movies both produced in television and on the big screen. In 2011 he was nominated for an Emmy Award for Producing “The Kennedy Detail.”
We are very pleased to introduce our readers to his latest addition to storytelling which is called Brae MacKenzie.
Ken, Brae Mackenzie is a romance of Mythic Identity. What inspired her story?
I had it in the back of my mind for years, ever since I did a driving tour of Scotland and fell in love with the place and its mysterious past.
What made you decide to try out Romance?
Actually romance, for me, is a ‘return to the old neighborhood.’ My first film project after leaving academia was a series of sixteen romance movies (“Shades of Love”) that allowed me to explore romance from every angle. I’ve been in love with romantic literature since college when I read Denis de Rougemont’s Love in the Western World and realized the power of romantic love over our western imaginations. I conceived of Brae Mackenzie as the first of a series of romances about American women returning to the countries of their origins to discover their true selves in the myths of that country.
How has the audience received the book since its launch last week?
It’s too early to tell. It hasn’t been out long enough for anyone even to read it. I hope your followers will take a look—and write a review on amazon.com
What made you decide to give it a mythical underline?
It wasn’t really a conscious decision. I’ve always loved romance and when I wrote one I wanted to explore my equal fascination with local myths, which form such a strong part of our unconscious minds, our yearnings and questionings.
Can you tell us a bit more about your main character? What makes her relatable?
Like so many contemporary women Brae is juggling so many balls she doesn’t have time and space to question what she’s doing. Beneath it all, though, is that nagging feeling that she’s missing out on life—that there’s something in her depths that isn’t being satisfied.
Can you give us a bit more insight into what it takes for you to write your stories?
I realize, after readying this book for publication, that it takes courage among other things. What if no one likes the story? What if there’s no audience for it? At the end of the day, though, it’s a story that has haunted me for years and I felt it deserved to be out there to make its own way in the world.
Does it involve a lot of research and planning?
I tend to start with a bunch of facts that intrigue me, then find a story to incorporate them. As I write the story, I don’t stop to check out the veracity of the details—I just imagine what the story needs. Then, when I get stuck somewhere, I turn to serious research to get me unstuck and generally discover that the facts I imagined are more accurate than I could have predicted; I also discover facts that I had not imagined, and work them into the story as I go along. Finally when the first draft is done, I do the most serious checking and research which tends to enrich the story. That’s where the serendipity happens—when you discover facts you had no idea were out there and they somehow magically seem to work in your story.
How long does it take from an idea to a full book?
In this case it’s taken 30 years or so. I did the first draft when I was teaching mythology at Occidental College, shoved it in a drawer somewhere as other things took my attention. Found it, when cleaning out my drawers and asked my top editor to read it and tell me what she thought. She insisted I finish and publish it, so I spent a year revising it repeatedly until it was at the point where I needed to get it born and out there on its own to find its fate.
What’s next for Ken the author?
I just finished the first volume of my memoirs, A Story Merchant’s Story: Growing up Atchity. Now I’m working on the second “novel of mythic identity,” this one about a Sicilian-American woman, faced with a crisis in her career, who turns her back on it to go to Sicily for the first time and discover her origins. I love Sicily so much I couldn’t resist it.
What other romance novels are you thinking of?
I love to travel, to learn new things, to eat the local cuisine so I’m hoping to do a Japanese novel, as well as ones set in Ireland, England, France, Spain, Mongolia, maybe Brazil and Mexico.
Where can people look forward to meet you?
I’ll be meeting and assisting writers at the Dublin Writers Conference in June, hosted by Laurence O’Bryann of booksgosocial.com. Sign up at http://thebookpromoter.com/conference/ I’d love to meet your readers there!
Where can readers find the books?
Brae MacKenzie Available on Amazon
Read More at Nadine Martiz's My Addiction-Novels
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