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writer :
Kevin Patrick McCarthy
Captain Coherence
Unquenched, now beacon.

Two nonfiction books, about 60 essays, and 35 poems published. Writing coach. Geologist. Semifinalist, University of New Orleans Press Lab fiction competition, 2020; Shortlist, Robert Graves Poetry Prize, 2018; Commendation, The Poetry Society (UK) National Poetry Competition, 2014 (top 10 out of more than 13,000 entries); Highly Commended, Bridport Poetry Prize, 2018; Silver REMI Award for dramatic screenplay, Houston International Film Festival, 2008, etc.

years experience: 30

This writer is looking for an agent
Writing, Ghost-writing, Copywriting, Technical writing, Fiction writing
General fiction, Fantasy/science fiction, Reference, Biography, History, Mind/body/spirit, Travel, Science, Literary Fiction, Essays, Poetry
"Enough Sky" --
"As If Hope Matters: A Critique of Modern Storytelling"
"Courageous Pulls Through"
Capsule Reviews of Original Work (CROW)

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, prancing ecstasies, 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 his storytellers are dying. 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?

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

Greek and Hindu mythology are touchstones. The title comes from an epigraph:

* * * *

This 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.* Despite the subject matter, it's subtly prescriptive, *aphoristic,* and *occasionally laugh-out-loud funny.* The story is told with *confidence, humour and perspicacity.* It includes *really striking imagery* and *breathtaking moments of insight.* The spiritual aspects are handled *in a surprising, light, and contemporary way.*

MW is *a joyous story of love and life and death.* 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.* The cast of characters is diverse but the story is not about diversity -- it's about humanity.

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." (The vast majority were under 45; all are college-educated.)

On 30 August 2021, four additional beta readers weighed in. Two of them -- ages 25-30 (Canadian) and 50-55 (South African) -- gave the manuscript 5 stars, of a possible 5. The young Canadian woman wrote, "As part of my jobs as beta reader and editor, I have read many books, and over time, the stories fade, 9 times out 10, but I can tell, and feel, that I will remember these characters for a long time. I will continue to think about Stan and Gaya and Anshu and Pidge and the Spuds for a long time, and for me, that is the best outcome I could hope for from a book."

Experienced editors say the story is essential. 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 Captain Carrot. I can’t untangle that 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. 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!*

* * * *

A second novel, and a screenplay, are in progress. A fantasy quartet called THE DOG LIVES is planned. Three additional books may be assembled from other published work: COURAGEOUS PULLS THROUGH AND OTHER STORIES (eight humor pieces - see; AS IF HOPE MATTERS AND OTHER ESSAYS (eleven literary essays); and RESOLUTIONS FOR EVOLUTION (nine columns on American politics and culture - see In nonfiction, APPLIED AMERICAN TRANSCENDENTALISM, in which Emersonian ideals are applied to everyday circumstances, is planned. Finally, ENOUGH SKY -- POEMS FOR THE PACK, VOLUME 1 (90+ poems) will soon be self-published.

Thank you for listening.