Local settings set stage for Encinitas author’s stories

For local author Kevin Lydy, everyday scenes or events — so subtle that generally they would go unnoticed — through his eyes become a catalyst for a great story.

As a witness to these prosaic scenes, Lydy felt compelled to capture them and to re-imagine them into a creative work of fiction.

The result is Lydy’s second published book of short stories. Just released in February, “Around Every Corner” (Create Space, 2015) is a compilation of nine stories, many of them based on San Diego places, most of them inspired by little things. “Often a small idea can create a bigger spark,” explained Lydy.

Each chapter is a stand-alone story. “A Lifetime” was inspired by a walk on Moonlight Beach in Encinitas, said Lydy. “I saw this elderly couple tootling around in their yard and I thought, ‘I bet they’ve seen a lot of things here over the years.’ That’s where this story came from — it was about imagining their lives.”

Another story, “In Love With Summer,” came about after a drive down to Mission Bay. “I remember seeing all the Arizona license plates on the cars from our winter visitors, and I recall seeing two teenagers sitting on the beach,” said Lydy. “They looked like they were desperately trying to couple but didn’t quite know how.”

It was the combination of the young couple, the out-of-town visitors and the location that drove the story. “The plot describes a vacation romance and a surprising sequence of events. The couple go through their whole lives separately until the female — who is an aspiring actress — bottoms out, and turns to her summer romance who is the last place she has to go, and that’s how they wind up together,” Lydy explained.

Part of the fun of compiling these short stories is the organic nature of letting his imagination take flight, said Lydy. “As I write, the characters wind up doing things and saying things that make me say to myself, ‘Where did that come from?’”

It’s a process that is built upon a personal journey, “which is a lot of the fun,” he added.

Lydy has written since he was a teenager. “It’s always been a passion and it has always been in the background,” he said. A senior artist for video game company Sony Entertainment — recently bought out by Daybreak Games — Lydy has been in the video gaming industry for almost 30 years.

He’s a native San Diegan who has lived in Encinitas for 17 years. He was first published in college — he attended San Diego State University — but his career path ultimately led him in the direction of the visual arts.

Revisiting the role of author emerged when he decided that he was going to make writing a priority a year ago. Lydy’s previous book, “Above and Underneath,” published in 2014, uses the same short-story format as his latest book.

Alongside his passion for creating video games and writing fiction, Lydy is also a bassist. He plays with the Vinyl Pirates, a tribute band covering rock hits from the 1970s and ’80s, and accompanies singer-songwriter Scott Samuels.

He also writes a blog on Tumblr (KevinLydyStories) with posts that keep readers up to date on his endeavors.

“I hope that people enjoy the book,” said Lydy about his latest creative work. “And I hope that they go through all the things that I went through and enjoy the things I witnessed in writing it.”

Visit http://kevinlydystories.tumblr.com/ to read Lydy’s blog. To buy the book, visit http://www.amazon.com/dp/1505890373/ref=rdr_ext_tmb.

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