Sitting down with Keith Kappes to talk is like reading one of his columns – you're never sure exactly where it is going to take you, but you know it will be an interesting ride. My ride with Kappes this weekend took us from the wild horses of the Outer Banks in North Carolina to Athens, Greece and back to Frankfort to chat with a state senator. We talked about his new book too.
Kappes was in Grayson on Saturday, at the Carter County Public Library branch, to promote and sign copies of his new book, The View From My Keyboard, published by the Jesse Stuart Foundation. A collection of newspaper columns Kappes has written over the years, it tells multiple stories, on multiple topics, all from the point of view of a Carter County native who has seen the world and decided there was no place he'd rather be than home in Kentucky.
The book started as a project for CNHI, the parent company of this newspaper and The Morehead News, where Kappes formerly served as publisher. At one point they were looking to put together books from each of their newspaper properties, he explained, and he came up with the idea of collecting some of the articles that had received the best response from his fans. Though that book never materialized when he was with the company, he was able to work out an agreement with CNHI, who owns the material from his columns, to have the book published by a third party.
"The hard part wasn't picking the columns to include," Kappes said of the collection of 125 articles. "It was deciding what to leave out. It's like asking you to pick your favorite children."
One of those he did include, he explained, was the story of seeing the ocean for the first time as a 14 year old boy, and the sense of awe and wonder it ignited in him. The way that he segued into that, relating it to my own experiences on seeing the Mediterranean Sea for the first time and my nine-year-old step-son's love affair love affair with the beach, is exemplary of Kappes' skill as a storyteller and the way he relates content back to the reader, making them feel a part of the journey.
If you want to be a part of that journey, his book is available online, from the Jesse Stuart Foundation at jsfbooks.com or on Amazon. You can also find it at the Grayson Gallery & Arts Center in Grayson, or at CoffeeTree Books in Morehead, where Kappes will hold another book signing this coming Saturday.
Kappes said that while he has been asked about putting together another book of columns, and has the material to do so, his focus now is on finishing some fiction projects he is working on. But he isn't ruling out another book of columns in the future. So fans should keep their eyes peeled, because he still has stories to tell.
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