Kelly Mitchell is A poet, writer, creative ninja and influential linguistic artist. Refusing to be defined by any ‘one’ thing or subject, Kelly thrives in generating messages from a broad spectrum of writing mediums and genres including Sci-Fi, poetry, erotica, satirical opinion pieces, and fiction works.
Matthew Zakutny Combines creativity with the ability to see what the world needs. He has mastered the skill of utilizing what is readily available to create something brand new. Matt enjoys challenges and often sees the path forward all the way through the end result before others.
TBE: Tell us about your book ‘The Tour of Insanity’. can you share with us something about the book that isn’t in the blurb?
Matthew Zakutny: The book Is a construct of the world as it should be and not what it is. Proving that as humans we are very easily led rather than be leaders.
Kelly Mitchell: I didn’t know that changing how things are was even an option. I am guilty of quiet compliance and have now flipped script into an advocate for change. I feel a bit empowered now—ROAR.
TBE: Your book, The Tour of Insanity: A Manifesto For Better Home Design, takes the domestic home as its subject. What inspired you to write on your house?
Matthew Zakutny: The American dream is to live inside a white picket fence in the middle of a suburban development where you have a big front yard and distance from your neighbors. The idea is not just flawed, but completely needs to be re-written.
Kelly Mitchell: Matt. Listening to his valid, and frequent, complaints and ideas to progress home building, made me curious—and when I am curious, I am relentless in finding answers. The concept was all him and his enthusiasm coupled with common-sense practicality, made me a willing accomplice.
TBE: You’ve made a wonderful habit out of tracing the roots of things we pretty much take for granted. When did you first discover how engrossing the histories of carpeted bathroom and laundry could be?
Matthew Zakutny: This is all Kelly.
Kelly Mitchell: When you want to change something, you need to zone in on why it is the way it is. A point of reference provides understanding and a launch pad for discussion, change, and perfection of a concept. History provides answers for everything that exists, it’s the relevance of the thing that rolls on a sliding scale—and that’s where you find the humor.
TBE: Of all the minutiae you put to the microscope in The Tour of Insanity, is there any one tidbit that you find most astonishing?
Matthew Zakutny: I won’t ever get over false balconies.
Kelly Mitchell: Romans – they are the devil.
TBE: If you were living, say, a thousand years ago, what aspect of your home do you think you’d miss the most?
Matthew Zakutny: The hearth. The fireplace. It was once the central part of the home, now forced to the side and not even existent. Although needs change, some parts of history don’t need to disappear.
Kelly Mitchell: I know I’m supposed to say something like indoor plumbing, or central a/c units – but honestly, I would miss the dog door. Not having to interrupt my day for a demanding, spoiled-brat of a pooch that has to go bark every time a bird takes flight is complete rapture. Living the dream.
TBE: The element of humor is an integral part of your work. Do you ever feel obligated to be funny? How do you integrate humor into your prose?
Matthew Zakutny: Kelly really brought the humor out in this book. As I was going back and forth with her about ideas we found that some of the things we just accept are really humorous and sad really. She was able to take those things and turn it into something engaging.
Kelly Mitchell: Obligated? No. Most of the time, satire leaps out of me unprovoked. My philosophy is people relate to humor, just like if someone smiles at you, you are compelled to smile back involuntarily. Smiling is a universal language. Collaboration through diversity is born from the warmth of a smile and humor makes for a receptive audience. The key to communication and innovative ideas to provoke thought starts with a chuckle and connecting relatable experience with your audience.
TBE: Do you read much and if so, who are your favorite authors?
Matthew Zakutny: Douglas Adams is my favorite author. He died.
Kelly Mitchell: I’m a bookworm. Anne Rice, EL James, George Orwell, George RR Martin, Terry Goodkind, and honestly – a lot of video game origin stories are phenomenal.
TBE: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Matthew Zakutny: I admire Garfield’s way of life.
Kelly Mitchell: Great answer. To build on Matthew’s answer, I admire Garfield but want Pablo Escobar’s swagger—cause if you aren’t rich, it’s not fun. But honestly, for writers, there is no life outside of writing. You’re either doing it or thinking about it. Everything you see, everyone you know, every conversation you have—you work it into pages.
TBE: What was one of the most surprising things you learned during creation of your book?
Matthew Zakutny: I have a lot of issues with home designs, but I never realized just how much!
Kelly Mitchell: That writing and researching about home design was fun! I didn’t expect to be so intrigued and have such a good time doing it.
TBE: Is there anything you are currently working on that may intrigue the interest of your readers?
Matthew Zakutny: I am sensing a tour of insanity 2
Kelly Mitchell: Uno Mas? *devilish grin* 🙂