The 21st Edition of the Book Festival of the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta (MJCCA) is underway and on day three 80s super heart-throb and travel writer Andrew McCarthy spoke about his new book The Longest Way Home: One Man’s Quest for the Courage to Settle Down.
Hard to believe this brat pack member and star of cult movie classics Pretty in Pink, Weekend at Bernies, and Mannequin is 50 year olds young. He still has his boyish charm and in this book opens up about his internal struggle to find himself. He notes his book is about “a love story, travel, and personal growth.”
In conversational style McCarthy sat back comfortably in his lounge chair and spoke of his odyssey to discover home by going far away. The book begins as he finally commits to wed his then fiancée and has to leave for a writing assignment. He is sad to leave his love, but relieve to be out on his own. This sets an internal spark to ask why he may have these conflicting emotions.
McCarthy began by how he fell into acting. When he was fifteen he had tried out for basketball and was cut from the team, at his mother’s suggestion he tried out for the play and got the part. Once he performed on stage, he felt a certain thrill and knew that is what he wanted to do. He felt in essence “complete”.
This lead to other parts and a string of hit movies. He became part of the “it” crowd in Hollywood at 19. When asked how does it feel to be part of movies that have been able to stand the test of time. McCarthy believes that what really fueled the longevity of these movies is that at that time in the 1980s, it was one of the first movies available on video cassette. In essence people could take him home with them and watch it over and over again. This memory was burned into the collective conscience.
He loved acting but there was a point he felt he was rudderless and began to escape by traveling the world. He kept a journal but was not much into journaling but he could capture a scene. These writings turned into articles and he found that he really enjoyed travel writing.
As in acting, writing creates an intimacy. McCarthy described it as, “I see you, letting you see me.” This opened up a new career that has taken McCarthy all over the world as a travel writer.
Now his real passion is to share the world to America and make the fear go away between cultures. McCarthy joked that travel is more than going on vacation, it is a way to see others do the things you do but in a different way.
McCarthy still dabbles in the movie business and just wrapped up a movie about a corporate guy who falls in love with a teacher. A typical Hallmark “feel good” production.
His philosophy is simple in his work, “he arranges the furniture of the story, opens his heart, and shares a bit of himself that reveals a bit of ourselves”.
McCarthy shared a joke of two fish, one fish said to the other fish, isn’t the water fine today? The other fish says “what water?” Hopefully his book will give you insight into discovering the world near and far that is ever present is overall a good story.
Get the book The Longest Way Home: One Man’s Quest for the Courage to Settle Down by Andrew McCarthy and keep up with the author at Twitter @AndrewTMcCarthy or http://andrewmccarthy.com/index.php
Be sure to capture part of the 21st Edition of the Book Festival of the MJCCA running through November 18 which has fifty-two authors with thirty-eight events in eighteen days.
A fun way to learn more about the literary scene, A Cappella books is on site selling books, so you can get them signed and are a perfect gift for this holiday season.
Visit: www.AtlantaJCC.org/bookfestival follow on Twitter @mjccabookfest www.Facebook.com/mjccabookfest or call 678-812-4005
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