With his grown-out beard and backwards baseball cap, Adam Kline ’94 doesn’t seem like the kind of person one would see in a Hollywood boardroom or a New York publishing house. But with his new children’s book A Clockwork War and multiple screenplays in the works, Kline is poised to make waves in both industries.
Though he majored in English during his time at Kenyon, Kline began his weekend visiting a seminar in the Wright Center on Friday before giving a reading of his book in the Kenyon Bookstore on Saturday.
In its essence, A Clockwork War — originally self-published through Kickstarter with the title “With Kind Regards from Kindergarten” — is a book about the magic of a child’s imagination and the power of friendship.
Though the audience was mainly filled with alumni visiting for the weekend, Kenyon students and local families also came to hear Kline read.
As Kline began reading from Chapter Two of his book, one young boy in the audience clutched at his own copy and leaned forward in his chair, as if eager to hear every word. According to Kline, he wrote the book with the intention that parents would be able to read it to their children while also enjoying it themselves.
“We have tons of books in the house that I hate reading to my kids,” Kline said during his talk.
After the reading, the discussion turned to a Q&A where he briefly discussed the politics of his books, including A Clockwork War, Lucy and the Anvil and Escape from Hat.
“Part of what bothers me so much about the current government is that we need to be making decisions in the interest of children. And not just our children, all children,” Kline said. “My book is about taking care of kids.”
Since its release, Kline has sent copies of A Clockwork War to politicians both national and international — and both “good and bad,” according to Kline. Some, like Ivanka Trump and the office of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, have even responded to him.
Though Kline lives in Chicago, he has made his way into the world of Hollywood with his screenplays and work adapting books and helping to rewrite existing scripts.
On Friday, he visited Associate Professor of Film Jon Sherman’s senior seminar in film (FILM 480) to talk about his career in film and take a tour of the Wright Center.
“One of the things that I find so fascinating about Kenyon alumni is [that] people from all disciplines have something to say,” said Scott Baker ’94, associate vice president of alumni and parent engagement and a friend of Kline’s. “It was great to have him come in and talk to one of the film classes here.”
The group spent much of the three-hour class period discussing what it is like to enter the film industry.
“[The film industry] was all so confusing and difficult to navigate for me,” Kline said. “And it still is at times. But it was really amazing to be able to answer practical questions about representation and making money.”
The class also had the chance to read and discuss one of his current works in progress, a screenplay still in its early stages of drafting.