Kenneth John Atchity aka "Kenneth Atchity" or "Ken Atchity" (1944– ) is an American producer and author, who has worked in the world of letters as a literary manager, editor, speaker, writing and career coach, columnist, book reviewer, brand consultant, and professor of comparative literature. At home among the many worlds of communications and storytelling, he was labeled a "story merchant" by a visiting ambassador to the United States. "I believe in the power of stories to change the world," he said in a keynote talk at a Houston writers conference, "and I've been privileged to spend a lifetime helping storytellers get their stories to the widest audiences in book, brand, and film."
He and his companies, The Story Merchant, Atchity Entertainment International, Inc. The Writers Lifeline, Inc., and The Louisiana Wave Studio, LLC, in Shreveport, Louisiana produce films and develop books for publication; and books, screenplays, and films for television and cinema, and consult with writers about their career strategies and tactics.
Atchity was born January 16, 1944 in Eunice, Louisiana, son of Fred J. and Myrza (née Aguillard) Atchity; he grew up between Louisiana and Kansas City, Missouri. He has two children, Rosemary and Vincent.
His son, Vincent Atchity, graduated from Georgetown College in 1986 and his daughter, Rosemary Atchity, from Columbia University in 1990. Both Rosemary and Vincent have two children, Meggie and Teddy; and Vincent, Oliver and Eliot John.
Atchity is married to documentary filmmaker and NHK producer Kayoko Mitsumatsu, founder of yogagivesback.org for which he serves on the board of directors. He resides in Los Angeles, California, and New York City.
After receiving a Jesuit education from Rockhurst High School and Georgetown University, where he studied Greek and Latin, Atchity received his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Yale. His dissertation, Homer's Iliad: The Shield of Memory, was awarded the John Addison Porter Prize. He went on to become a professor of literature and classics at Occidental College, where he served as the chairman of the comparative literature department, and as Fulbright Professor to the University of Bologna.
In 1976, Atchity founded L/A House, Inc., a consulting, translation, book, television, and film development and production company whose clients included the Getty Museum and the US Postal Service. L/A House began by extending Atchity's teaching of creative writing to doing manuscript consultation and soon moved on to publishing with the production of Follies, a magazine covering creativity, of which he was the editor. In the 1980s L/A House moved into television, with a syndicated television pilot of "BreakThrough!" of which Atchity was executive producer and co-author.
In 1985, L/A House began development of a set of video/TV romance novel film projects entitled "Shades of Love," which became 16 full-length films, produced in 1986–87 with Atchity as executive producer, that aired throughout the world, distributed by Lorimar, Astral-Bellevue-Pathe, Manson International, and Warner Brothers International, nominated for Canada's Gemini Award; in the U.S. they premiered on Cinemax-HBO. Atchity resigned his tenured professorship at Occidental in 1987 to devote full-time to entertainment and publishing.
In 1989 he sold L/A House and founded AEI (Atchity Editorial/Entertainment International), a literary management and motion picture production company. Chi-Li Wong, formerly Associate Director of the Ft. Lauderdale Film Festival, joined him as partner in AEI, in 1992. AEI was incorporated in 1996, its name changed to Atchity Entertainment International, Inc. in 2005.
Atchity founded The Writers Lifeline, Inc. (incorporated in 2002) to continue the consulting work of L/A House and to prepare intellectual property for representation.
In 2006, he and manager-partner Fred Griffin of Houston's Griffin Partners, along with a group of investors from Louisiana and Texas, acquired The Louisiana Wave Studio, LLC in Shreveport, Louisiana from Walt Disney Productions. The LWS is the only tank specifically designed to make waves for motion pictures in North America. Films produced at the LWS include "The Guardian," "Mayday—Bering Sea," "Shark Night 3D," "Streets of Blood," and "I Love You, Philip Morris."
Responding to changes in the worlds of entertainment and publishing, in 2009 AEI shifted its energies to raising independent financing for motion pictures to advance its clients interests. In 2011 Atchity and Wong were nominated for an Emmy for producing "The Kennedy Detail" (Discovery) based on their clients' Jerry Blaine and Lisa McCubbin's New York Times bestselling book by the same title published by Gallery/Simon & Schuster in 2010.
In 2010, Atchity also founded Atchity Productions for independent film productions, and Story Merchant for strategic coaching for writers.
The Messiah Matrix
In 2012, Atchity published his first novel, The Messiah Matrix. The novel centers on a fictional marine archaeological find of a rare Herodian coin honoring Augustus. A romantic interest develops between the American archaeologist who has discovered the coin, and a young Jesuit priest who is intrigued by its implications. It turns out that a powerful faction of the Jesuits has been preparing to announce that the fictional character Jesus of Nazareth was based on the life of Caesar Augustus, and the coin is crucial evidence for their claims. Regarding the thesis of his novel, Atchity wrote: "Although this premise is wrapped in a fictional story, the historical aspects of the novel were meticulously researched. I considered writing a non-fiction book on the subject, but soon realized that if I were to reach a wide audience a historical novel would be a more effective medium. The fact that the novel is based on actual history creates a powerfully compelling story."
- 14 Days with Alzheimer's (film festivals)
- Expatriate (Aaron Eckhart) (2011) (Informant Media Entertainment)
- Hysteria (Maggie Gyllenhaal, Rupert Everett) (2011) (Informant Media Entertainment)
- The Lost Valentine (Betty White, Jennifer Love Hewitt) (2011) (Hallmark Hall of Fame/CBS)
- The Kennedy Detail (2010) (Sunday Night Special)(Discovery)
- Gospel Hill (Danny Glover, Angela Bassett) (2008) (Fox)
- The Madam's Family (Ellen Burstyn, Annabella Sciorra) (2004)(CBS)
- Life or Something Like It (Angelina Jolie) (2002)(Fox)
- Joe Somebody (Tim Allen) (2001)(Fox)
- Shadow of Obsession (Veronica Hamel) (1994)(NBC)
- Falling Over Backwards (Saul Rubinek) (1990) (Astral)
- Amityville 4: The Evil Escapes (Patty Duke) (1989) (NBC)
- Shades of Love TV movie series (1987–1988) (Cinemax/HBO)ry)
- The Messiah Matrix" (Imprimatur Britannica/Story Merchant Books) (2012); ISBN 9780957218901
- How to Quit Your Day Job and Live Out Your Dreams" (Skyhorse Publishing) (2012); ISBN 9781616086862
- Seven Ways to Die (with William Diehl) (AEI/Story Merchant Books) (2012); ISBN 9780615608068
- How to Publish Your Novel (SquareOne) (2005);
- How to Escape Lifetime Security and Pursue Your Impossible Dream: A Guide to Transforming Your Career (Helios) (2004); revision of The Mercury Transition, below.
- Writing Treatments That Sell: How to Create and Market Your Story Ideas to the Motion Picture and TV Industry (with Chi-Li Wong) (Holt/Owl Books; Quality Paperbacks, Writers Digest Book Club) (Second Edition, 2003);
- The Classical Roman Reader (Holt 1997); (Oxford University Press 1998);
- The Classical Greek Reader (Holt, 1996); (Oxford University Press, 1998);
- The Renaissance Reader (HarperCollins, 1996); (Harper paperback, 1997). ISBN 9780062701299
- Cajun Household Wisdom (Longmeadow Press, 1995). ISBN 9780681007727
- The Mercury Transition: How to Escape Lifetime Security to Live Your Impossible Dream (Longmeadow Press, 1994).
- (editor) Homer: Critical Essays, including essays "Greek Princes and Aegean Princesses: The Role of Women in the Homeric Poems" (with E.J.W. Barber) and "Andromache's Headdress" (G. K. Hall) (1987);
- A Writer's Time: A Guide to the Creative Process, from Vision through Revision (W.W. Norton) (1986) (Quality Paperbacks, Book of the Month Club, Writer's Digest Book Club) (David & Charles paperback, United Kingdom, as Writing: Make the Most of Your Time New revised and expanded edition, A Writer's Time: Making Time to Write (1995) Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, in The New York Times review, called AWT "the best recent book on writing"; ISBN 0-393-31263-1
- Sleeping with an Elephant: Selected Poems, 1965–1976 (Valkyrie Press)(1978);
- Homer's Iliad: The Shield of Memory Introduction by John Gardner (Southern Illinois University Press) (1978);
- (co-editor and contributor) Italian Literature: Roots & Branches including his essay, "Dante's Purgatorio: The Poem Reveals Itself" (Yale University Press) (1976);
- In Praise of Love Libretto for choral symphony premiered at Lincoln Center (1974).
- (editor) Eterne in Mutabilitie: The Unity of the Faerie Queene (Archon) (1972).
- "Kenneth Atchity: Books". Amazon.com. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
- "Ken Atchity Author and Story Merchant with Host Yi Tian on ActorsE Chat". ActorsEntertainment.com. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
- "The Journey with Dr. Kenneth Atchity 02/11 by Stephanie Kathan". Blog Talk Radio. February 11, 2011. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
- "storymerchant.com". storymerchant.com. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
- "aeionline.com". aeionline.com. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
- "thewriterslifeline.com". thewriterslifeline.com. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
- "thelouisianawavestudio.com". thelouisianawavestudio.com. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
- "Film and Fiction Fusion". Webdelsol.com. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
- "www.yogagivesback.org". www.yogagivesback.org. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
- Atchity, Kenneth (2012). The Messiah Matrix. Beverly Hills: Imprimatur Britannia, Ltd. pp. Kindle location 4340. ISBN 978-0957218901.
- "griffinpartners.com". griffinpartners.com. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
- [dead link]
- Nichols, Kimberly (Nov 15, 2012). "Mongrel Patriot Review: Producer and Writer Kenneth Atchity". Newtopia Magazine. Retrieved March 28, 2016.
- Atchity, Kenneth. "The Messiah Matrix: Premise". The Messiah Matrix. Retrieved March 27, 2016.
- "A Writer's Time: Making the Time to Write (9780393312638): Kenneth Atchity: Books". Amazon.com. Retrieved April 20, 2013.