Ken Bagnis is an accomplished musician and practicing psychotherapist. He has been crafting stories and singing for rock-n roll bands since his early youth in Cleveland, Ohio. Musical success took the form of tens of records sold, supported by a North American tour in a filthy Econoline van which lasted several years. Ken shares at least four eerie connections with Hawaiian entertainer, Don Ho including a number one record on the island of Oahu for two straight weeks. When the tour ended on super sunny Christmas in Los Angeles, Ken vowed he would never drive in the snow again. Wandering down a side street lit by the Gazzarri’s parking lot, he contemplated starting a new life as close as possible to the Sunset Strip. With the fortuitousness which always surprises one in retrospect, he collided with the girl of his dreams. The marriage survives but Gazzarri’s has not.
Represented by: Marisa Corvisiero and Veronica Park
Q: Tell us about your early youth in Cleveland, Ohio.
Ken: How early are we talkin’? I remember a lot of snow and singing for a few rock bands. We came up with bitchin’ names for the groups like SAVAGE FEW, DECEIVER and THE BLACK PANTHERS. My mother suggested we might want
to change that last one. I wasn’t a very politically aware twelve year old. I was a huge fan of my brother’s black light panther poster. We had jackets made.
Q: You are a practicing psychotherapist, what does that entail?
Ken: Now I’ll get all serious…I am the director of a private psychiatric facility in Los Angeles. We treat adults with psychotic disorders. Our continuum of care supports each client throughout his or her journey from mental illness to
wellness. Our guiding principle is that with proper support, each individual has the potential for recovery and improved quality of life. I love my work. I recycle the same creative energy I used as a musician and everyday is a new
adventure. I have a guitar in my office and I’m not afraid to use it.
Q: What can you tell us about your upcoming Young Adult novel, Sidewalk Rockets?
Ken: Sidewalk Rockets is such a fun adventure. It’s my first novel and I’m deeply in love with it. My favorite description is The Goonies meets The Hardy Boys, if the Hardy Boys were a rock band. I was listening to a ton of 70’s rock when I wrote it, so you can feel its groovy influence. At its heart, it a coming of age tale that explores deeper themes of courage, friendship, and mending a broken family (I totally borrowed that from my synopsis). If you’re an editor, buy it immediately.
Q: You have two kids and two cats. Which pair is more mischievous and why?
Ken: Just this morning my kids got into my wife’s makeup case. Their faces were COVERED in black mascara. Ears included. “Look how pretty, Daddy.” Very glam, just like their daddy in the 80’s. I laughed until I tried to wipe it off. Who
knew makeup was so greasy? After an unscheduled shower, they were late for pre-school. I have pictures. BTW, the cats slept through the whole ordeal.
Q: What's your favorite type of foreign food and why?
Ken: I can eat obscene amounts of sushi. It’s consistently delicious, healthy and light. Even if I get it at a grocery store, it’s still pretty damn good.
Q: Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without?
Ken: The correct authorial answer would be coffee. I hate to be a conformist but… I kicked the habit for several months. I was a tea guy. I was content and insisted it was all I needed. “It does the job without making me crazy.” I must be a fan of
crazy because coffee is, once again, central to my existence (Takes a sip). I could have worse addictions.
Q: If you could go back in time, what year would you travel to and why?
Ken: June of 1987. The Front Row Theater. My high school graduation. After shocking my younger self with my salon quality hair and how well I have aged, I would insist that I dump all of my tens of dollars into Apple stock. $1.25/share. Buy the ’78 Grand Prix in twenty years when you’re a kazillionaire. Oh! Before I disappear in my time machine…skip the “root perm” young Kenny. BAD idea.
The Cla(y): An extremely lazy abbreviation of