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Local author publishes book

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By Kirsten Laskey

If Los Alamos writer Kendal Fortson’s book, “ Brother to Jackals,” was a song, it would be a cannon; and if it was a shape, it would be a Mbius strip.

It appears Fortson has not been timid in his literary debut, he charged right in. The book, he said, is about “sex, drugs and existential dilemmas.”

Pour Yorick Publishing, a New Mexico publishing company, released “Brother to Jackals,” this month.

It’s a book, Fortson said, New Mexico readers should enjoy because it offers them something different than other books. “I think it will be interesting for people in New Mexico because (it’s contemporary),” Fortson said. “We have a lot of rich culture but sometimes the literature can get stuck in the past.”

Plus, local readers might be able to relate to the book because some scenes in the story are set in Los Alamos, where Fortson grew up.

Fortson started working on the book while he was in college, but got the bulk of it written during the past year.

Writing is not his only interest; Fortson is also musician and performed in a band. However, “this book (helped me) take writing more seriously,” he said.

Fortson, a former runner, added one of the appeals for him is that writing is a lot like running because it is an individual activity. “It’s all on you,” he said.

Writing is very personal but once something is published, it becomes public, he said.

Several authors who have influenced Fortson’s writing include William Faulkner, Charles Bukowski, George Orwell and James Joyce.

For those who would like to see their own work published, Fortson recommends carrying a notebook to jot ideas down, writing in a non-chronological order because chronological writing can lead to writer’s block and reading a lot.

His ideas seem to be worth following, Fortson said his book has gotten a positive reception from at least the alternative press and music magazines that he sent his book to.

Fortson’s book is available at Otowi Station.