News Ticker

Señor Keck writes a new book

by Hana Webber, Opinion Editor

Photo by: Hana Webber

On campus, he teaches Spanish 3, 4, AP, and (as of next year) Spanish Literature, as Señor Keck. Outside of Leigh, he is father to a nine-year-old daughter, an avid Raiders and Sharks fan, and in the evenings an English teacher for non-English speaking immigrants in Sunnyvale.
However, David Keck is also an author, of Porrua House published “Venganza de Quetzalcóatl”, and soon to be published, “The Boomerang Effect”.
Keck is a local, and attended De Anza for an AA degree in criminal justice. While in pursuit of a career opening in the Santa Clara County as a juvenile probation officers, he discovered that applicants were required to establish bilingual skill in Spanish.
As a result, he switched to a Spanish major in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree at age 19. His immersion in the Spanish culture, which began with his study abroad in Mazatlan, Mexico, evolved into a year of teaching abroad in the country.
“I chose to write this first book because I was interested in how the Spanish language and Christianity came to this continent. Mexico opened the doors wide open for me when I went to Mazatlan in 1991. I wondered how the culture was formed. 80 percent of Mexico is mestizo, a mixture of indigenous and European culture,” said Keck.
The novel “La Venganza de Quetzalcóatl”, which eventually would become his master’s degree thesis, took 10 years to publish, including Keck’s many years of devoted research between his bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
“I went to Mexico City to interview some of the descendents of the Aztecs. They were reluctant to share some of the cherished information of their heritage, especially their ceremonial procedures. But they entrusted their culture in me. ‘We see you’re sincere, and this is the only way for this culture to survive,” explained Keck.
His current novel undergoing the creative process is “The Boomerang Effect”, which Keck describes as a critique of the American and Mexican government.
“Mexico has its own boomerang effect because the government treats its citizens exactly like the Spaniards treated the Aztecs. For America, the Boomerang effect took place during 1980s; we were sending money down to the Contras in Nicaragua during the Cold War, and other groups fighting the Sandinista rebels were being backed by the Russians. To fight Russia, we were supposedly sending money there, and to help the poor people. But, as we know now, the Contras would take that money to Colombia and buy cocaine, and sell it in North America–and that’s how the problem of crack cocaine and gangs arose in the 80s,” said Keck.
The main character of the book is based off a boy, Freddie, who Keck coached in East San Jose. The struggles Freddie overcame stem from the history of crime and government irresponsibility discussed in the novel, and are what inspired Keck to write–as a tribute to Freddie, the Chicano culture, and a lead to further understand the depths and complicated background of these societal conditions.
The other main character, Teresa, is a rebellious young girl who lives in Nicaragua amidst a Civil War. The two prove to be very perceptive about the events in Central America, and as the story progresses, these two protagonist’s parallel stories intwine.
As of now, Keck hopes to publish a bilingual version of “La Venganza de Quetzalcóatl”; the translation process aimed to preserve its authentic portrayal of the time, in collaboration with Frank Von Rassler who assisted the text’s direct translation to medieval English. He also looks forward to finalizing “The Boomerang Effect”.
“I plan to continue writing in my free time. I write for myself, the way I would like to learn history. If you do art for money, it’s not going to come out the same. So I’m doing it the way I want to do it–that’s the most important thing,” concluded Keck.