KIPP VAN CAMP
Author of THE SECRET OF ROCKS HYRAXES
Tell us a bit about yourself – something that we will not find in the official author’s bio?
I love athletics. On the side I coach my 16 year old sons track and field team, specifically the throwers (shot put, discus and javelin). The experience working with young people is more beneficial to me than I ever have been to them. I am more convinced now, than ever, that the world is in good hands when the younger generation takes over!
Do you remember what was your first story (article, essay, or poem) about and when did you write it?
I had a patient whose wife had just died. She was an artist. Shortly after she died, this patient’s health deteriorated quickly. I soon was forced to hospitalize this man with his failing health. Upon learning that the wife had been an artist, I asked the son to bring in one of the wife’s paintings to hang on the hospital room wall for the patent to gaze upon from his hospital bed. The son brought in a self-portrait, in which the wife had painted a portrait of herself. She was an excellent artist and captured her own expression. The man became so inspired at seeing his wife’s face once again that he re-discovered a will to live, and soon recovered. I wrote this as my first short story and it was published in the local newspaper as “a wife’s powerful influence, even from the grave.” This was my first short story in 1990, during my internship. I’ve been writing ever since.
What is the title of your latest book and what inspired it?
The Secret of Rocks Hyraxes. My father died of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). This experience inspired me to write this historical fiction novel about stem cells, AD, and how a father can shape a man’s life.
How long did it take you to write your latest work and how fast do you write (how many words daily)?
It took me 12 weeks to write “The Secret…”. It then took another year to edit, re-write and reorganize the manuscript. When I am writing fulltime, I can write 4000-5000 words a day.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
As soon as I finish a chapter, I send it to my sister and my nephew for their input. They have been invaluable assets in developing my writing style.
Is writing the only form of artistic expression that you utilize, or is there more to your creativity than just writing?
I engage in autologous stem cell medical research. This is actually quite a creative endeavor, as I am designing protocols and new therapies for a vast number of untreatable diseases.
Authors and books that have influenced your writings?
James Rollins-our genre is similar. James Herriot-Our writing styles are similar. AJ Cronin-Our ability to take a difficult medical or scientific topic and to explain it in easy to understand explanations is quite similar to Mr. Cronin.
What are you working on right now? Anything new cooking in the wordsmith’s kitchen?
I have begun formulating the second book in this series, “The Secret of Rocks Hyraxes”. I am planning three books in this series, at least at this point in time.
Did you ever think about the profile of your readers? What do you think – who reads and who should read your books?
I believe anyone who is inquisitive about science and medicine should read my books. I also think that anyone who finds theology and religious studies interesting will be able to relate to my novel.
Do you have any advice for new writers/authors?
Keep writing, and NEVER take ‘NO’ for an answer!!!
What is the best advice (about writing) you have ever heard?
Believe in yourself and your writing. You are the only person who writes like you. Trust yourself!
How many books you read annually and what are you reading now? What is your favorite literary genre?
15. A Season of Life by Gregory Marx
What do you deem the most relevant about your writing? What is the most important to be remembered by readers?
I spend much time researching my subjects. Each geographical location, each scientific reference, each theological reference, and each medical statement is based on fact. This makes my story extremely plausible, even though it is fiction.
What is your opinion about the publishing industry today and about the ways authors can best fit into the new trends?
Getting published is a decision, not chance or blind luck. Getting published takes dedication, and methodical effort. Everything necessary to get published is now at our fingertips, technologically speaking.