Friday, 4 December 2015

The Pen Factor Interviews: K. M. Zahrt

Ken Zahrt has seized the reigns of his burgeoning writing career. Since becoming a serious writer ten years ago, Ken has self-published two books (Thanksgiving with Pop-Pop (October 2013) and Odd Man Outlaw (February 2014)) and is poised to release his third, a mystery novel with a literary twist. In June 2015, his short story, Pink Panties, Chocolate Pudding, and a Proposal, was The Pen Factor Runner-up. Guest-judge and award-winning writer Nicholas Shakespeare described it as “well written and fresh”.

Ken’s mystery-thriller novel, Odd Man Outlaw, wades through an increasingly murky trail of evidence surrounding the arrest of security guard, Edward Waters, suspected of aiding and abetting a known fugitive. Ken wrote the entire first draft by hand in composition notebooks on a flight to China in August 2007. The story was inspired by a job he took after college as a security guard at a nursing home. “There was a boiler room at the nursing home where homeless people would try to hide for warmth and shelter in the winter time. The story was built out of that place and evolved over time.”
Odd Man Outlaw by K. M. Zahrt
Ken values the feedback he received from submitting to The Pen Factor. “The Pen Factor is unique. I've never come across anything like it. It's really beneficial to get good feedback to know how your work is resonating with readers. When you send out work anywhere, rejections are inevitable, but there's no way to tell if there's something wrong with your story or if it simply doesn't fit what editors are looking for at that particular moment. The Pen Factor gives you a chance to get some honest feedback in a low-risk environment.”
Ken found his passion for writing via studying film and video at Grand Valley State University in Michigan. In 2006 he won the Department of English's Oldenburg Writing Contest for one of his first scripts and has been hooked ever since. Ken likens writing to a game of golf: “You can play the same course over and over, but the journey and the outcome of each round is different ... That's what's so engaging and challenging about it. The next round might just be the round of a lifetime.”

K. M. Zahrt reads from his book, Odd Man Outlaw

You can buy Ken's book here:


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