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On The Table Read Magazine, “the best book magazine in the UK,” author Kathy J. Forti talks about her new book, STACKS Awakening Truth, and what inspired her story.
Written by JJ Barnes
I interviewed Kathy J. Forti about her life and career, what inspired her to start writing, and the story of her latest release, STACKS Awakening Truth.
Tell me a bit about who you are.
I am an intensely curious person who has never followed a straight career path trajectory. I started off as a researcher and associate producer for CBS-TV News in NYC back in the late 70’s. I was researching a story on childhood cancer at the new NYC Ronald McDonald House where families stayed who had children being treated at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital. When I stepped into the House, I had the strangest feeling that I belonged there. Consequently, I abandoned a better-paying TV job and took the position of helping run the NYC Ronald McDonald House. That’s where I wrote my first book on death and dying for children.
I soon found myself invited to do in-service trainings for therapists working with this children’s issue. These professionals assumed I was also a health care professional, which I wasn’t. At the time I only had a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism from NYU and here I was suddenly helping therapists. So, the next logical step was to go back to school to become a real therapist, which I did, leading to my receiving a Ph.D.
I was a clinical psychologist for 30+ years, which is something I thought I would always be. But life threw me another curveball in 2003 when my heart stopped and I had a near death experience. I found myself going through a tunnel towards a bright light, but for some reason I was stopped and sent back. I returned to my physical body a very different person—more like a physics geek. This led to my inventing holistic healing software known worldwide as Trinfinity8.
Now I’m on my latest career writing sci-fi novels about discovering portals into truth. Life is an incredible journey. You never know where you will end up.
When did you first want to write a book?
I wrote my first published children’s book in the early 80’s called The Door to the Secret City. It was metaphysical in nature and one of a kind. No one had ever addressed the subject of death and dying for children. But my natural inclination to write goes back to early childhood. I wrote essays that won awards. I even wrote a mystery play to act out with my friends. Then in High school I was writing mini romance stories.
When did you take a step to start writing?
I never thought about becoming a published author. It was just something fun which I liked to do. I got more serious in 2014 when I wrote Fractals of God: A Psychologist’s Near-Death Experience and Journeys Into the Mystical, about my own NDE and the amazing technology that was all in my head upon returning to my physical body. That experience increased my psychic abilities and most everything I wrote after that seemly divinely inspired.
How long did it take you to complete your first book from the first idea to release?
The STACKS Library of Truth book series story came to me in a dream I had one night. I got up and started writing it down. When I got serious about actually making it into a book series several years later, book one took about six months from first draft to finished product and release.
How long did it take you to complete your latest book from the first idea to release?
The second book in the series: STACKS Awakening Truth was the same process.
Focusing on your latest release. What made you want to write STACKS Awakening Truth?
I had a therapy client who once told me about their own near-death experience where they went to a place where they could read the truth on everything. “Kind of like a Library of truth?” I asked. And from that moment on the seed was planted in my subconscious. It was an intriguing concept and akin to what is referred to in ancient texts as the Akashic Records.
What were your biggest challenges with writing STACKS Awakening Truth?
Time was the biggest challenge at first and then the fear that I might not do the story justice. When COVID came along I had more alone time, so I used it to write what I thought was a one book story called STACKS Library of Truth. In the beginning of March 2020 I was prompted by a strong premonition that I needed to get myself to the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. to do my research to get the story setting as factual as possible.
At the time I remember wondering what the big rush was, but I followed my intuition and flew to D.C. where I spent a full week in the Library going behind the scenes and getting help from many of the librarians. One week later the Library was shut down indefinitely due to COVID. Had I not followed that instinct, the book would not have the true realism it has.
Who or what inspired you when creating your Protagonist?
As a psychologist I wanted believable characters, with their own real foibles to overcome. The main character of Zach has Acquired Savant Syndrome with Synesthesia as a result of a childhood head injury. As a result he is both blessed and cursed with some very unusual abilities—one being seeing numbers in everything. When you’re a therapist you see some unusual conditions. Many of my clients had Dissociative Identity Disorder, formerly called Multiple Personality Disorder. You lean a lot about psychopathology as a therapist and it comes in handy when writing novels. I wanted my character, Zach, to reflect how he deals with life through a different lens.
Who or what inspired you when creating your Antagonist?
Washington politics and those who sell their soul for power make for good boogey men. I knew a lot about the political power scene from hearing client horror stories over the years and from friends who worked on the Hill. I wanted a story about searching for and finding truth amidst a sea of lies. Call it true swamp material.
What is the inciting incident of STACKS Awakening Truth?
Using his unique abilities, the main character of Zach discovers a portal into an interdimensional Library of Truth hidden right inside the Library of Congress (LOC). I remember walking around the LOC and marveling at all the Minerva statues and wondering if they could mean something hidden. It became a part of the story. I even wrote part of the first chapter right inside the Main Reading Room. If these walls could only talk, I thought. I listened and I wrote.
What is the main conflict of STACKS Awakening Truth?
The main conflict in STACKS is freeing the truth which has been held hostage by the power elite to enslave mankind.
Did you plot STACKS Awakening Truth in advance, or fly by the seat of your pants and write freely?
I knew where the story was supposed to end, and some of the plot points along the way, but most of it just flowed onto the page as I wrote. It felt like I had otherworldly muses helping. There were some things I did not know and had to look up and was more surprised to learn my “imagination” was right on. A few events in the book became prophetic of what is occurring now in our world.
Did you get support with editing, and how much editing did STACKS Awakening Truth need?
I go through my books about 10 times before I feel good about handing it over to an editor to find what I missed. For both STACKS books, it required little editing by an outside source—so they told me.
What is the first piece of writing advice you would give to anyone inspired to write a story?
Write a few hours every day. The more you write the easier it becomes. I remember reading how Stephen King wrote five pages a day, so I gave myself the goal of 3-5 pages. Some days I surpassed that. It’s also good to remember that whatever you do get down on paper is only a first draft. After my first draft I go back and puff it up with more detail and dialogue until it flows off my tongue as I read it back.
Can you give me a hint about any further books you’re planning to write?
I’m writing Book 3 in the series now and am about halfway through the first draft. Each book gets more involved and complex. There are some days where the plot takes me in a direction I hadn’t foreseen. And yet it always is surprisingly better.
And, finally, are your proud of your accomplishment? Was it worth the effort?
Absolutely. So many of my fans said that they couldn’t wait to read Book 2, STACKS Awakening Truth. They didn’t want the story to end. They began relating to the characters as if they knew them. That would make any writer feel good. One woman told me she cancelled going to a dinner party so she could finish reading my book. You have to laugh at that one.
Pop all your book, website and social media links here so the readers can find you:
STACKS Library of Truth book series available on Amazon in Kindle and Print format. Coming soon to Audible.
WEBSITE: StacksLibraryofTruth.com; FACEBOOk: @StacksLibraryofTruth
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