Exceptional Short Fiction Book Launch Party, Kevin Callahan
Happy fourth birthday Flying Ketchup Press!
In 2018 we set out to inspire the local and regional poets who wanted to build a writing community here in Kansas City and beyond. Poet, Artist, and Designer Kēvin Callahan has been there for us all the way, designing layouts, anthologies, and more. This September, we released a collection of Kevin's incredible short stories. Read more below. Meet Kevin and six other local authors at our Book Launch party and Book Drive on Saturday from 1 to 4 pm in North Kansas City at the iWerx building.
A review for A Sheltering Place:
MY FAVORITE BOOK OF THE YEAR
I loved this book unequivocally. It wended its way into my heart and soul and has stayed there. In fact, I kept lingering over the last few pages, not wanting the book to end. What Callahan captures so honestly and lovingly is the Midwestern spirit--determined, willing, kind, scrappy, inventive, full of grit--a what-you-see-is-what-you-get, soul-baring humanity. The book is full of short vignettes of the author's life, from being in the high school wrestling team to farm work to marrying a woman no one thought he'd marry (and then stayed in love with for an entire lifetime) to the plights of his family, neighbors and friends in his Iowa farm life. But the true heart of this book is in its soul: I came away from this reading inspired. I felt STRONGER for having read this book. I felt more brave and more accepting of my own humanity. Any author that can do that is exceptional, in my book. I grew up in Wisconsin, and the touchstones, the sense of time and place--right down to the music of the eras--were perfectly placed. This book is, in a word, wonderful!
Flying Ketchup Press Interview with Kēvin Callahan, author of "A Sheltering Place: Musings of an Iowa Farmboy" talks about writing...
Why do I write?
Thirty years ago, I began carrying and filling sketchbooks. I traveled a lot for business and pleasure. After finishing each sketch, I would make notes about the drawing and what was happening in my life. Soon, I began to write entire stories in long hand. I did this because, as an avid reader, I felt I had something to say and could make my stories enjoyable.
The vast majority of my stories are non-fiction, stories of growing up on a farm near a very small town. Only after I left home, graduated from college, and went into the white-collar workforce, I began to understand that to the preponderance of people I met that my upbringing was an anomaly to them. That and the way I lived, that kind of farm life, was rapidly disappearing. I wanted to catch it in words before it was all gone.
When and where do I write?
I write best when I have some downtime. As a designer and painter, I must set aside time to write. I definitely do not have a discipline like writing at least so many minutes a day or writing early in the AM or PM. Once I begin to write, I don’t like to stop, and I might write for hours. These days I write nearly all my work on my MAC, at home, or on the road. I find long hand tedious, so I have abandoned that form of writing. I have, however, composed a few short stories and many poems on my iPhone. When a story idea pops into my head, I write myself an email. I use these as a running list of possible stories/poems. I have found if I do not do this, the idea goes away, sometimes resurfacing weeks or months later if I am lucky.
Advice for young writers?
Giving advice is like scooping up sand with your hands; most of it runs out. The very best advice I have for anyone young or older who wants to write is to R•E•A•D! Read, read anything and everything. Then, try to understand how (good) writing is composed when you read. The more you read, the better you will write. Also, write in an authentic voice. Make the work your own. As in painting, it is good practice to work in the style of any great writer (or painter), but ultimately you need to find YOU in your work.
And, by all means, edit, edit, then get another to edit for you.
ISBN-13: 978-1-970151-44-2 softcover
ISBN- 13: 978-1-970151-51-0 ebook
Live now on Amazon and Kindle, bookstore orders available October 15th.
A Sheltering Place is a memoir by Kēvin Callahan, award-winning painter, designer, photographer, and poet, in tribute to his boyhood in southern Iowa. Inspired by his original reoccurring column in his hometown paper, Callahan weaves in the recipe for a daily life richly observed with wit, wisdom, and original sketches. The narratives share longing and heartache; wrestling mats and hunting escapades; first kisses and 1970s rock and roll. This is the true heartland: making ends meet, celebrating each other–an American Artist’s life well-lived. Callahan writes: “…that little boy growing up and running free on the Iowa prairies still lives inside me.”
Kēvin Callahan, author, artist, traveler has a BFA from Drake University and studied art at both the Chicago and San Francisco Art Institutes. Callahan is an “accidental poet," the author of many published short stories and a novel. His award-winning artwork hangs in collections throughout the United States and in Canada, Europe, and Israel. His distinctive modern portraits and figures are shown worldwide, including a line of handcrafted wood items at prairieprimitive.net. He maintains a studio and gallery, the Elegant Line, in Parkville, Missouri, where he resides with his wife, Karen. His two grown sons are both accomplished artists. You can find more of Kēvin's artwork at http://kevin-Callahan.artistwebsites.com
Tales from the Deep, Short Fiction illustrated by Alex Eickhoff, Holloween 2022
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Sprouts Meditations: Artists, Poets & Writers, Spring 2023
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