Book Title: Mortal Weather by KP McCarthy
Category: Adult Fiction (18+), 310 pages
Genre: Literary Fiction, Novel
Publisher: Top Reads Publishing
Release date: September 26 2023
Content Rating: PG-13 + M rating. There is bad language, no explicit sex scenes, but there is a lot of death and some references to suicide.
Stanhope Ellis finds himself absorbing the stories of quirky characters who have one thing in common: closeness to death. As he struggles with whether he’s Death Man 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? The unforgettable characters, including several dogs, will captivate you from the first page.
If we meet sometime over the next several months: you may find me hard of hearing. “KP?” you might say, then “KP!” And again, at intervals, with growing annoyance. Sorry, but there’s still a good chance I won’t respond. The reason is simple: My ear is listening for “Kevin.” It’s my name. But these days, “Kevin” is problematic when paired with “McCarthy.” My surname is the most common “Mac” name in Ireland, I’m told, and if you’re a McCarthy, there’s a good chance you’ll be a Kevin. In the US, however, Kevin McCarthy is a well-known political creature. We are not related. In fact, we are polar opposites.
Many years ago, long before The Anti-Kevin became famous, I considered using a pen name just to make a statement. I liked Devin Listener because I figured Devin, which means “poet,” was close enough to my real name that I might actually respond when called, and listening was something I wanted to continually remind myself of. I grew out of wanting to use a pseudonym like that, however. My parents had seriously deliberated over my name, finally choosing Kevin because it seemed the luckier choice. I want to honor that.
When I first wrote the novel, I considered toughing it out with my given name. I’m actually a few years older than the politician, so can legitimately say I had the name first. But the name recognition is so great that using it would’ve amounted to hoodwinking readers. The clincher, of course, is that, for many, the name is strongly negative. What to do? For a while, I went with Kevin Patrick McCarthy, and still use it on occasion, but it’s a mouthful. A triple moniker works best when at least one of the names is a single syllable, as in George Bernard Shaw or Katherine Anne Porter. In the end, I chose KP largely because that’s what my hilarious brother sometimes called me (the accent strongly on “P”). Unfortunately, initials are probably still used more often by female writers to sidestep discrimination. I’m sorry for any confusion there, but I think readers are relatively forgiving. I just have to work on my hearing.
Among other things, Kevin Patrick McCarthy has been a geothermal geologist, a technical writer, a critic, and a screenwriter. His humor, essays, poetry, and fiction have been widely recognized. “Enough Sky,” the epigraph for Mortal Weather, was Commended by The Poetry Society (UK) in 2014. He is a fourth-generation Coloradoan who now lives in the Pacific with his wife Tricia, and their dog, Nani.