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writer : 22@locuto.com
Kevin McCarthy
Locuto the Imaginist
+64 027 360 0815
http://locuto.com
illustration
Unquenched, now beacon.

Two nonfiction books, about 60 essays, and 35 poems published. Ran a writer’s critique service for six years. Semifinalist in a novel competition (2020). Poetry placed in The Poetry Society (UK) National Competition (2014), the Bridport Prize Competition (2018), and the New Millennium Competition (2015) — also shortlisted for the Robert Graves Poetry Prize (2018) and the Summer Literary Seminar Fellowship (2018). Received scholarships to Aspen Summer Words — for fiction in 2017 and poetry in 2018. Screenplays placed in many competitions, including a Silver REMI Award for dramatic screenplay at the Houston International Film Festival in 2008. Geologist. See locuto.com for essays and vitae.

(Please don’t confuse me with the Anti-Kevin — a California legislator. No relation. We are polar opposites. I believe the only famous McCarthy I’m related to is Justin Huntly McCarthy, who is best known for the play, IF I WERE KING. The 1938 film adaptation, with Ronald Colman, is worth watching.)


years experience: 30

This writer is looking for an agent
SKILLS
Writing, Ghost-writing, Copywriting, Technical writing, Fiction writing
GENRES & SPECIALTIES
General fiction, Fantasy/science fiction, Reference, Biography, History, Mind/body/spirit, Travel, Science, Literary Fiction, Essays, Poetry
BEST-KNOWN PROJECTS
"Enough Sky" -- http://poetrysociety.org.uk/poems/enough-sky/
"As If Hope Matters: A Critique of Modern Storytelling"
"Courageous Pulls Through"
PROJECTS ON OFFER/ PROPOSALS AVAILABLE

What if storytelling was fatal? That’s the premise of MORTAL WEATHER — a novel of humor, heart, and ideas, with a dash of magical realism and a liberal helping of adventure-romance. It’s about jokey work talk, ricochet relationships, dharma dogs, holy knees, lowly gegging, the eternal return, and making a good end. Readers say it changes the way they see the world.

* * * *

MORTAL WEATHER. Contemporary fiction. Upmarket Commercial / Book Club. 100,000 words.

Story listening makes life bearable for history buff Stanhope Ellis, until he learns that people are dying after talking to him. As he struggles with whether he's Mister Death or a cosmic witness, he meets a wise nurse, Gayathri Das, who helps him navigate the emotional minefield. But will she die, like the others?

Plot comparable to Maugham’s THE RAZOR’S EDGE. Style comparable to the work of Jess Walter, Trent Dalton, and Richard Powers.

Descriptors: Dangerous Protector, Adventure Romance, Stories Within Stories, Zeitgeist, Book Club, Upmarket

The title comes from an epigraph: http://poetrysociety.org.uk/poems/enough-sky/

* * * *

MW is quintessential book club ficton: a commercial concept with a literary execution. It was a semifinalist in the 2020 University of New Orleans Press Lab competition. Many experienced editors have evaluated it (**). The novel assumes a degree of sophistication, yet there's *an accessible against-the-odds love story at its core.* It’s written *with real energy and imagination.* Its humor *may appeal to readers of David Sedaris and Gail Honeyman.*

In an industry clogged with unfinished material, it stands out as *effective and well-executed.* It *satisfies on many levels.* It is *a tightly plotted and carefully calibrated novel that follows a clear arc.* Most important, however, it is timely and inspiring: *In an abjectly miserable year, it was a genuine pleasure to immerse myself in the world of your novel and feel a little hope again.*

Hindu mythology is a touchstone. Spirituality in fiction gives many pause -- including me. Yet, if the proper balance is struck, the end result is an unforgettable read. A bestselling author says MW could well *strike a nerve and make $25 million.* The story's spiritual aspects are handled *in a surprising, light, and contemporary way.*

In an April, 2021 beta reader survey, some readers were effusive: "The recurring themes read as a mystery, the characters were alive and lovable even in their broken places, and the writing was fluid and engaging.” “This is an existential adventure. Stanhope is all of our voices, all of our questions and searches for meaning.” "The writing style seems intuitive, sincere, open, loving, and generous." Though the story is, by all accounts, unusual, two-thirds of the readers said they would recommend it. (The vast majority were under 45; all were college-educated. I believe that readers over 50 will probably be most receptive.)

MORTAL WEATHER is a signature achievement, so far. Experienced editors say the story is essential. Please help me create additional opportunities, as I still have a lot to say. I'm happy to send particular chapters, but this cinematic novel is best considered as a gestalt.

* * * *

(Sadie) “I jumped at every chance to see Mo, with or without Gemma. Stopped wearing church clothes, though. It just embarrassed me to do that and my sister wouldn’t loan me her dresses anyway. Now I didn’t have to be pretty; I could just be curious. So I asked about his guitar. I’d never heard anything like those clean, wandering tones. It sounded like what the soul wanted to say. Like heaven built out of pain.”

* * * *

(Stanhope) How do you prepare for the Grand Canyon? The view might be more staggering if you suddenly materialized on the rim or made the long approach blindfolded. But it’s surprising, regardless. You want to focus on the deep or the wide, but vivid panoramas force you to take both together. They crack you open. You look for unity, to avoid being overwhelmed, and you can make some headway there, matching peripheral strata. But eventually, transcendence enfolds you, steps you down glowing stairways to the silver Colorado.

* * * *

(Stanhope) Yow. She looks at me and sees the Boy Wonder — and she hasn’t even seen the uni. I can’t untangle that for her now. It would be a spiritual felony to harsh her radiance. She’ll learn the truth soon enough. Until then, I have to play the part. The realization hits like a silver-screen smackeroo. Am I ready for my close-up? Seeing myself amped through Gaya is surreal and a little scary. The rush I felt in the movie theater surges back with attitude. Maybe it’s the caffeine. Muscles bulge in my shirt.

* * * *

(Gaya) I felt the world was falling away because Shiva could not see. So I became hyper-vigilant. I watched everything -- and saw too much. I even developed insomnia. Every day, I felt worthless. I had believed in Mahir so entirely that I could not disbelieve him when he set my value at naught. The rewiring of my brain — the softening of my eyes — was a protracted process.

* * * *

*The narrative arc feels just right. The story aims big in a sense but is at home in details that are honest, 'real' but not mundane, there's a quirky sensibility to it that I loved. It is a real accomplishment to reach for the cosmic, to take aim for something large and keep it grounded in an accessible story line. I loved that about the book, and that is how we can all identify with Stan, in those things that 'just happen to us.' He takes it on with bravery, curiosity, even a sense of humor. I find Stan a character that both men and women will believe in and care about. And I think the novel's themes have a contemporary and youthful appeal. Who isn't right now searching ... tasked with growing even when we don't want to!*

* * * *

The cast of characters is diverse but the story is not about diversity. It's about humanity. My wife and I have been traveling since June, 2019, and all along the way — across Canada, Iceland, Scandinavia, Europe, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand — I have not hesitated, when asked, to describe MORTAL WEATHER. Without exception, listeners respond with real excitement.

A second, similar novel, TANGERINE STARWARD, is in progress. Two others will follow. After that, a fantasy quartet called THE DOG LIVES. Three additional books may be assembled from other published work: COURAGEOUS PULLS THROUGH AND OTHER STORIES (eight humor pieces -- see locuto.com); AS IF HOPE MATTERS AND OTHER ESSAYS (eleven literary essays); and LETTERS TO AMERICA (eight recent columns on American politics and culture). I also have a book in mind called APPLIED AMERICAN TRANSCENDENTALISM, in which Emersonian ideals are applied to everyday circumstances. Finally, I will self-publish ENOUGH SKY -- POEMS FOR THE PACK, VOLUME 1 (90+ poems).

Thanks for listening!