Monday, January 9, 2012

Up Close & Personal with Author – Kenneth Wayne. Two novels: Clip; and An American Branch

Where were you born Kenneth and where do you call home?
I was born in the United States, but I have lived in Japan since 1984. 

What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 30 or less words, what would you say?  My most recent book is Clip. Thirty words or less: Clip is about a man who spots himself in a sex video that has gone viral on the Internet and the effects this has on his life.
An American Branch was the rough draft of a novel that I wrote before Clip, but I spend the past several months rewriting it.  I released it at the end of last month.  It’s about how the consequences of our actions are usually different from what we anticipate because of our inability to perceive the ripple effects they have on our environment. 

If you gave some of your characters an opportunity to speak for themselves, what would they say?
I guess you need to read the novels and find out what they say.  That’s what happens in my novels, I come up with an environment and the characters take over. 

Do you have plans for a new book?  Yes, I do.   Is this book part of a series?  I guess all my books are a part of a series.  They synthesize the time in which they were written.  Simply, I started writing in the mid-1970s.  Apart from a few short stories, I started writing a slice-of-life novel that took place in an average town in the Pacific Northwest.  It centered on the lives of a dozen or more characters.  It was slightly patterned off of Anna Karenina in that it consists of short chapters, each one focusing on the life of one of the five or six main characters.  The next chapter would focus on another character and the novel would advance chronologically through the story by rotating through the cycle of characters.  It was written in third-person, omnipotent voice and in present tense so that it reads as if the events are currently unfolding.  As you can guess, the novel was massive, rambling and has yet to be edited or given much of an airing.  I think only two people besides me have ever read it.  Many writers, perhaps most, start with such a book as a way to find a voice. 
For me, I found one character in that first book, an everyman of sorts, named Charles Journeyman.  He kind of became my Chichikov (the protagonist in Gogol’s Dead Souls), average in height, weight, looks, etc.  Since then every novel I have written has the protagonist named Charles Journeyman.  He is not always the same person; rather, my Journeymans probably live in parallel universes. 
I found that using one character as the focus, it keeps my writing more manageable in both size and scope. In addition, I have settled into writing in first-person, past tense.  I have found that has made it easier for me to ensure that I can continue to write my novels, while also handling my life as a father and the primary bread winner for my family.
Overall, since my first novel, I wrote two novels and a travelogue in the 1980s, one in the 1990s, and Clip in the first decade of the current century; in addition to papers and books I wrote for my day job.  

What or who inspired you to write?  And how long have you been writing?  I started writing around 17 or 18.  Reading the short story, “ABEL SÁNCHEZ: UNA HISTORIA DE PASIÓN”  by Miguel Unamuno made me realize the power in writing; how the writer was free to write what one found difficult to say in daily conversation.

Have you based any of your characters on someone you know, or real events in your own life? About 2% of my writing is based on real events, I think. 

What books have most influenced your writing most and why?   Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Vonnegut, Brautigan, Kafka, Bukowski, Camus, and numerous others like Kerouac.

Is there an Author that you would really like to meet?  Leo Tolstoy.

Do you prefer ebooks, paperbacks or hardcover?  Ebooks since the quantity of books does not affect the weight.

Where do you prefer to buy your books?  Mostly Amazon and Smashwords.

Are you a self published (Indie) Author?  Yes.

Have you ever read a book more than once?   War and Peace, Slaughterhouse-Five, and Sombrero Fallout.

Is there a particular movie that you preferred over the book version?  "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas"

What book are you currently reading and in what format (ebook/paperback/hardcover)?  1493 by Charles Mann in ebook format.

Are there any new Authors that have grasped your interest and why?  I don’t know what you mean as new.  I liked Jonathan Safran Foer’s first book back in 2002 as well as many other authors.  Indie authors I have enjoyed recently are Nick Wastnage, Poppet, Kristen Stone and Gerry McCullough (to name a few).  Check out the authors listed on to find some great new writers.

Who designed the cover of your book?  Unfortunately, I did.

Do you have a book trailer? No, I don’t.  I would love to have some talented people make a couple for me.

What are your thoughts on book trailers?  With so many people being obsessed with video, I’m sure it’s a way to attract some readers to novels. 

Do you have any advice for other writers?  Write what you want.  Don’t worry about genre so much.

Do you write under a pen name?  Yes, I do.

Do you ever write in your PJ’s?  I don’t have a pair.  I write in whatever I’m wearing at the moment.  I always wear cotton, so I write in cotton.

Cats or dogs?  Both.  White wine or red?  Both.  Coffee or tea?  Both.

Favorite food?  Indian or Japanese.

Vanilla or chocolate ice-cream?  I don’t eat ice cream anymore.

What do you normally eat for breakfast?  Granola with raw nuts and dried fruit.

What are 4 things you never leave home without?  Keys, Kindle, wallet, and MP3 player.

Laptop or desktop for writing?  Both.

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?  In my office at home.

If you were deserted on an island, who are 3 famous people you would want with you?  Winona Ryder and Norika Fujiwara.

One of your favorite quotes -  1% is not democracy 99% is.

List 3 of your all time favorite books?  My books and almost anything written by the authors I mentioned earlier.  Maybe, The Castle, Malone Dies, and Anna Karenina.

What is a movie or TV show that you watched recently and really enjoyed?  “Democracy Now!” with Amy Goodman

Where can your readers stalk you?  

My blog:

Is your book in Print, ebook or both?  ebook

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting this. Patti, you are the greatest!


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