Monday, September 23, 2013

Kathryn Page Camp Visits the Barn Door

Is there a story behind your book Writers in Wonderland: Keeping Your Words Legal?
As a lawyer who is also a writer, I have long been interested in the issues covered by this book. Through the years other writers have asked me legal questions that I was happy to answer or, in many cases, to research and then answer. Encouragement from my fellow writers became the primary motivation for writing the book.

What started you on your writing journey?
I started writing in high school, but after publishing a few poems in a regional magazine and having two short stories rejected by national magazines, I turned my attention to writing briefs and professional articles as part of my legal career. Then, about ten years ago, I read If You Want to Walk on Water, You Have to Get Out of the Boat by John Ortberg, and God used it to convict me that I should be writing for him. That’s when I began writing non-fiction for the Christian market.

What kind of books do you enjoy reading?
I love reading traditional mysteries (Agatha Christie, P.D. James) and middle-grade children’s books. I also read some classic authors and have just discovered Anthony Trollope. Most of the non-fiction I read is historical or biographical.
Among my recent favorites are Life of Pi (young adult) by Yann Martel, Requiem: Poems of the Terezin Ghetto (poetry) by Paul B. Janeczko, and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (non-fiction) by Rebecca Skloot.

If you were a style of music, what style would you be?
I’d be what most people think of as classical, which includes more than the so-called classical era. But that still covers a wide range, and I’d rather be a lively and unexpected and slightly unorthodox piece, such as Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, rather than a slower and more predictable (but still marvelous) Bach cantata.

What is your favorite season of the year? 
I love them all, but I especially enjoy autumn with its gorgeous color.

What do you like most about the area where you live and/or grew up?
I live in Indiana just outside Chicago, and I love it. There are so many reasons: numerous cultural activities, including some great museums; all four seasons to experience; multiple colleges and universities; and a large lake to sail on.

What is a favorite memory from your childhood?
We lived in Scotland the year I was in 6th grade, and we spent the Christmas holidays on the Isle of Tiree in the Inner Hebrides. There were a number of flat-topped boulders on the shore across from our cottage, and I used to pretend that each boulder was a separate department in a department store. I was Meg and Jo and Beth and Amy (each of the Little Women) in turn, buying Christmas presents with my dollar.

Where is your favorite place to travel/vacation in?
My husband and I like going places we haven’t been before, so we don’t often return to the same place. But my favorites are Scotland and Istanbul (with a side trip to Ephesus).

How is Writers in Wonderland different from other books on the market?

I’d be the first to admit that there are a number of other legal-themed books for writers, and I used many of them as a starting point for my own research. But they aren’t always easy for non-lawyers to understand, and those that manage to limit the legalese tend to be boring. I’d like to think that this book is unique among the competition because it entertains while teaching.

Writers in Wonderland has a Lewis Carroll theme, and you even included some of his poems in the appendices. How did you come up with that idea?

I don’t remember why, but I used phrases from Alice in Wonderland for the chapter titles in one section. Someone from my writers’ critique group said they sounded out of place and I should either eliminate the references or expand them to the entire book. I had been looking for a way to make the book more interesting, so I chose the “expand” option. I’m glad I did, because finding passages that worked was half the fun of writing the book.

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
I’m trying to break into the Christian fiction market. I have a completed novel about a minister’s wife with an abortion in her past and a teenage member of the congregation whose parents are pressuring her to take the same step, and my current work-in-progress involves a young attorney who idolizes her father until his pedestal shatters under him. No nibbles yet, but, as Orphan Annie sings, “Tomorrow is only a day away.”

Positive comments from Author Michael Poore
Michael Poore, author of Up Jumps the Devil, says: “Writers in Wonderland isn’t just informative and wise, it is FUN! Finally, a lawyer who can be helpful without making us want to scream.”

Back Cover Blurb

Many writers see the law as a Lewis Carroll fantasy—inside out and totally illogical. They would rather write than worry about legal issues. But authors who ignore the law are the real residents of Wonderland.

Writers in Wonderland was written for writers, not lawyers. It uses everyday language and shares cases with interesting facts to explain the basic legal principles of interest to writers. These include copyrights and defamation and book contracts.

So join Lewis Carroll and his characters as they help you avoid the King and Queen of Hearts’ courtroom.

To buy Kathryn's book:

About Kathryn:

A licensed attorney, Kathryn Page Camp is the author of the non-fiction books "Writers in Wonderland: Keeping Your Words Legal" (KP/PK Publishing 2013) and "In God We Trust: How the Supreme Court's First Amendment Decisions Affect Organized Religion" (FaithWalk Publishing 2006) as well as numerous articles. When she isn’t writing, Kathryn enjoys reading, photography, and sailing Lake Michigan with her husband of thirty-plus years. They have two children and a son-in-law and live in Northwest Indiana. You can find Kathryn on the web at  

To connect with Kathryn:

Kathryn Page Camp is giving away a copy of Writers in Wonderland: Keeping Your Words Legal. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses.

To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You may enter the book giveaway twice -- once on each spotlight post. (It's not too late to go back and leave a comment on yesterday's post.)

Off to read another great book!
Sandra M. Hart

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