Enn Kae

Biography

Enn Kae was born in a small town in the north-west of England to immigrant parents. When he was 11, his family moved to live in Scotland. At the age of 21, after graduating with a Masters in English from Dundee University (he also studied at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for a year), he left Scotland to live in England. He lived and worked there until 2012 when he left the damp isle for political and spiritual reasons. He has worked in many guises: office worker; car insurance salesman and, for the past 6 years, as an English teacher. He has taught one of the most vulnerable groups in Britain: socially disadvantaged young people at risk of exclusion. His stories evoke the sense of isolation and alienation that he encountered whilst growing up in the UK and they are also inspired by the kids he taught. He currently resides in The Netherlands with his partner and family of animals and he teaches English at a couple of universities in Rotterdam. He cites his main influences as African-American history and literature; Frantz Fanon; Noam Chomsky; Edward Said; Jean Baudrillard; Ayn Rand; William Blake and Prince, the musician.

Smashwords Interview

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Well, I grew up in many places and moved around a lot. I was born in Lancashire, in an industrial town, in England's north-west. It was okay but, looking back, it was a real gift that my parents moved to Dundee, Scotland when I was 11 as I firmly believe my life would have taken a drastically different path. When I was a student at Dundee University I had an opportunity to study in Illinois, America for a year. That really opened my eyes to the world. I always knew I would leave the UK but, back then, I was 18 and I never wanted to go back to Scotland. I hated having to go back but I had to finish my Masters. After getting my Masters, at 21, I moved to London and started working there and I actually ended up in Watford for 3 years and there began a very dark period in my life. I mean, I'm only 36 but I really feel I've been through the mill, so to speak, several times. After London, I ended up in Manchester for about 8 years and then I moved back to London to work for 2 before finally leaving England last year. So, really, all this movement and change and not feeling a part of anything has really informed my writing. I am an observer, first, and a participant, second.

Another thing which is very important to me as a writer is that I was ALWAYS at the margins. I never fit into any group, whether as a child, teenager or as a young adult. I think really, when you are in that position and when it becomes such a pervasive element of your being, you begin to see the world a lot differently than most. I suppose we all do to some extent but I never got the herd mentality. I never belonged to a crowd and, though I tried my best to, I was never really good at it. I always felt like an impostor or a phony. I suppose that my vantage point has really been my greatest asset and influence in my writing. One of the reasons I left England was because the 'matrix of control', so to speak, was (in my opinion) getting to a critical mass. When you are constantly at the periphery you can only survive as an observer and, as an observer, you really see how manipulated the masses are. Again, it probably happens a lot everywhere though where I live now - in The Netherlands - it's not as apparent to me. That's probably due to the language so I'm not experiencing 'the matrix' to the same extent but I have also observed that the sort of 'matrix of control' vis-a-vis the media isn't as heavy or strong as it is in the UK.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes I remember I began writing a novel when I was about 11 or 12. I never made it past the first page - though I delighted in writing the copyright symbol against my name. I remember thinking how badly I wanted to see that in print. My first proper story came for an assignment in my English class in high school. The teacher, Mr. Forrest, said I had a "vivid imagination.'' It was about a witch who cast a spell on a girl but she got her come-uppance in the end! Anyway, I will never forget what my teacher said. That was, of course, at a time when schools used to teach and weren't just places for indoctrination and what teachers told you really mattered because it was really difficult to achieve a high standard in anything. Anyway, I will always remember Mr. Forrest's words.
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Where to find Enn Kae online


Books

The Cull
By Enn Kae
Price: Free! Words: 18,940. Language: English. Published: August 20, 2013. Category: Fiction
A novella about a future dystopia - set in London's East End and Battersea Power Station; in a future world divided into a super-human race called The Pro-gens and the rest of us, The Re-gens. Abe, a Re-gen, uncovers a diabolical plan made by the powerful Pro-gens which threatens the future of humanity. Will he make it out alive to be with the love of his life, Ophelia, in Devon?
Zeek and the Hoodies
By Enn Kae
Series: Zeek World Series. Price: Free! Words: 1,620. Language: English. Published: September 29, 2012. Category: Fiction
Ezekiel was just an ordinary guy. One day he snapped at a group of young people that hung around his neighborhood. The events that followed led him on a journey - through wrongful incarceration, media manipulation and public vilification – into a man called “Zeek”: a vigilante who will clean up the very system that created him.

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