Monday, August 24, 2015

'All By Myself' by Ken Bachtold with Q&A


Mitch Donnelly and Grady Gilmore are two damaged souls. While walking in Central Park, novelist Mitch finds actor Grady in terrible distress, digging up the grass as if he can bury himself in the ground. After hearing the story of Grady’s long-time partner's betrayal, Mitch is afraid to leave him alone, so he invites him to stay in his spare room until he feels better. Mitch understands—he lost his first love in a car accident.

Upon Grady's arrival, Mitch is much happier and his writing improves. Grady, with Mitch's constant support, auditions and is cast as Iago in a production of Othello. Attraction slowly blossoms, but each man has been so terribly hurt in the past, both are afraid to act on it. With the encouragement of Emma Latimore, Mitch's outspoken landlady and friend, and constant chatter from a parakeet named Tweet, Mitch and Grady might find the courage to face their doubts and find a second chance at happiness.

What was the inspiration behind this book?
Often and idea or an opening paragraph comes into my mind while I’m doing something else (usually working out with weights or on my machines). That’s what happened with this book. I linked the title to an old 1920s Irving Berlin song, All By Myself (not the Celine Dion version). And the story just took off from there. I don’t outline, I just let the story and the characters unravel as they will. I worried about this, until I read somewhere that that’s exactly how Stephan King works, so I relaxed, and figured I was in excellent company!
To which character do you most relate?
As this story is in the first person (which is the style I feel most comfortable with) I identify with the main character, Mitch. But I have to let Grady’s feelings come out in subtle references (a glance, a frown, etc.) which Mitch interprets.
What is one of your favorite scenes?
I love the opening scene, of course. I usually do, because it is so vitally important to try and get the reader involved from the very first moment. Beyond that, I think I like the scene at the Party Store because they have so much fun clowning around. And, I could use the real Party Store on 14th Street because I’ve been there so often and can therefore, give the scene a true local. And, of course, the ending, second only to the opening in importance and it’s so tender and emotional – and most important happy! I hate sad endings in anything, i.e. movies, etc.

About the author:

BA & MA from San Francisco State University in Theatre (Acting and Directing) with a minor in Art.

My latest book (All By Myself) was just published by Dreamspinner Press and can be found on Amazon. This followed Dreamspinner’s publication of my last two novels (Seeing The Same Blue and Blue Valentine Blues).

Before that, Outskirts Press published Love Like Lightning – Ten Stories Of Love At First Sight, also on Amazon.

My original play, Starting Over (which I also directed), was just staged as part of the Ninth Annual Fresh Fruit Festival here in New York. Audience reaction was terrific. It was one of nine plays accepted out of 60 submitted. It was an MM romance. The blurb in the brochure for the festival read, "A play about love and loss. Griff has recently lost his longtime partner. Can he find happiness with Ben, the new neighbor down the hall. Supported by his sister and opposed by his widowed mother, now remarried to a homophobic preacher."

I've also written 5 musicals, book, music and lyrics.

Saloon (loosely suggested by the old melodrama The Drunkard) which opened The Gatetway Dinner Theatre in New Jersey to great reviews. It was subsequently optioned by Broadway producer Jerry Schloschberg (who, at the time was, producing the revival of On The Town with Bernadette Peters), but a show sluggishly following the old material opened and closed the same night and he backed off thinking there was now a "stigma" on the material.

The Facts Of Life (a musical about War, Prejudice and Aging, circa the ‘60s) was written at the BMI Music Workshop taught by Broadway orchestra leader Lyman Engle after several auditions before acceptance in the class. It was deemed worthy of a staged reading there.

Boo!, based on the old gothic novel The Castle Spectre was done by several regional theatres.

I was hired to doctor a musical based on Ephigenia At Aulis, called The Winds Of Aulis. I changed the name to Delimma! and wrote a subplot and mostly new lyrics. Although the play was fully backed, it never reached production and I never found out why.

I’ve written and staged numerous night club and cabaret acts and taught singing for the musical stage for 15 years.

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