It is our pleasure to introduce to you author Kenneth Bond Lippincott. He has been a member of ACFW and ACFW Colorado Springs Chapter since 2017.
Kenneth Bond Lippincott, BS, BCM, MA Retired educator and community activist, Kenneth served as a pastor, teacher, coach, and administrator in Colorado, Wyoming, and New Jersey. Married 52 years, Ken and wife Karen have two daughters, Kristin and Krystal, and six grandchildren plus nine others that call them gramma and grampa. They reside in Fountain, Colorado.
How did you celebrate the publishing of your first book?
I didn't celebrate my first book until I received my first shipment of books.They were delivered in the dead of winter by a UPS deliveryman. My wife took pictures of the action steps he made in bringing my books from truck to garage, which included my shaking his hand before the mountain of book boxes. Next, my wife took pictures of me in my dining room unpacking and displaying my first copy of Freedom's Tree.
What message do you hope readers take away from your books?
*Inhumanity to any man withers the fruit of Freedom's tree, but truth and justice, grace and mercy call forth life renewed.
*All are bruised, all flawed, all with secrets, and everyone wants a second chance. The question is what would one do to gain it and at whose expense.
*Women have the power to bring out the best in a man... or the worst.
If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?
Since I am happily married, I would resist the temptation to spend time with Misty MacNaughten. Instead, I would like to fellowship with John Mark Cannikin, a carpenter by trade. He arrived, shared the good news, and walked to the far end of the valley to help Adam Claymore. Cannikin is Gaelic for cup. We would talk about the brothers Tunnicliffe for one.
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favorite and why?
Adam Claymore is my favorite, but Misty MacNaughten evokes my emotions as she is so flawed and needy. Adam (first man) Claymore (Clayton Moore, actor) is the Lone Ranger type. He fights for truth and justice. Lonely and a widower, one of Adam's flaws is that he puts himself in the midst of battles better fought by someone else. Complete with a friar's ring, this rancher becomes smitten when he sees lovely Karen (my wife's name) Gustafson (my grandmother's maiden name).
Before writing, you were a teacher, principle and a pastor. How have they influenced your writing? When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I was called to write at 22 when a dream became an oil painting and the painting became the basis for a book I was to write. I worked on it for 48 years, while I was a teacher, principal, and pastor for 43 years. Meanwhile, my wife and I were very involved at our church and in the community, Neighborhood Watch.
Once I retired, we successfully battled against marijuana in Fountain and gained a permanent, no cost opt out on smart meters for anyone who applied not to have one. After that I asked God “Quo Vadis?”—What now Lord? What came to me was “What haven’t you done that I told you to do?” It was then I knew I wanted to be a writer.
That summer I finished my first book Freedom’s Tree. My life experience greatly influences my writing. My fictitious setting represents favorite Colorado locations mostly along the Rocky Mountain Front Range where I taught and administered schools and pastored churches. I write about what I lived as the basis. I am many of the characters in my stories at different ages and life points. I have much to laugh at and make fun of in what I have lived in small towns along the front range. This also includes nearly ten years, the ‘70’s, in New Jersey, while working at the state department of education.
I work to treat my writing as a small business that will become an income stream, if I can survive learning how the business works against the author.
Where do your story and character ideas come from?
The painting I made, after a dream, began my work. I dream scenes. I pray before I write asking that God would lead me and confessing that I could not do it on my own, nor do I want to! In all the towns we lived and worked in, I sought to make positive change, which was not positively received, as I was a newcomer, an outsider. Also, many of my characters are wranglers. I have purchased at least 12 western statues from the Michael Garman Gallery. I study the faces on the statues to capture their countenance.
What book and author have been the most influential in your life?
Of course, the Bible has most influenced my life the most of all books, but I think the question seeks to find out what book written by a man or woman most influenced my life. The answer to that question is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I got to teach TKM the last 16 years of my 43-year career as an educator. It taught the importance of being able or wanting to be able to see things from another person’s point of view.
Harper Lee has impacted my writing regarding seeing things from another’s point of view, developing subplots that merge with the main plotline at the climatic point…strategic writing.
If you were deserted on an island, which three people would you want to have with you? And why? On person has to be a fictional character from your book, another has to be character from another book, and the last one has to be a famous person.
I would include Adam Claymore, the Lone Ranger type, from my book series, who seeks truth and justice, while meting out grace and mercy. Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird, who would get along with Adam despite conversation re living out values and principles. If he were alive and twenty years younger, Billy Graham, so the rest of us would stay grounded in the word.
How long does it take you to write a book? How often do you write? Do you have a daily habit of writing? How many hours a day do you write?
Freedom’s Tree took 48 years, while Restoring Blair House two years to write with publishing taking nearly six more months. I write when I’m not marketing almost daily. If I wake up early, I write several hours, take a nap, and then do chores or errands, but I will either spend time with my wife in the evening, or go back to writing sometimes until three in the morning.
Are you working on another book? Plans for future work?
I’m writing the third book in The Rock Creek Trilogy titled An Increased Abundance. I have two books in mind after my current project. One begins forty years after the trilogy, set in Colorado Springs either at El Taco Rey or Western Omelet, perhaps both where the two main characters meet my wife and I in the present and they provide an update re the river valley and specific characters. The other is to follow one specific character as he walks to other towns beyond the valley. Additionally, since I enjoyed teaching structured poetry, I’m going to explore writing poetry.
Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
Absolutely, I write about what I know. For instance, Ken Bond had a heart attack when he was attending seminary. During his recovery, he and his daughters Kristin and Krystal delivered newspapers to help make a living. Finally, he becomes a pastor. Exact details!
Have you ever written a character based on you in some part?
As indicated multiple characters are me in the circumstances. In fact, in Restoring Blair House, I have new teacher Karen attending a workshop regarding a study titled How to Find Community Leaders and Make Them Work for You. I wrote the book and led workshops by that title for school administrators in New Jersey, Virginia, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. Karen attends my workshop, meets me, and will reconnect with my wife and I forty years later in Colorado Springs.
Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
Absolutely! This is fun…some readers have known me for nearly 60 years. I am several of the characters in my books, and they reflect me at the age and circumstances of the time period. Few realize that Adam Claymore is a play upon my casting Adam as a Lone Ranger character type. The television series starred actor Clayton More. I write for those who read for plot, those who study characters in a mystery, and for those who will put on the scripture I use to begin a chapter, like a lens to read through. I’m not necessarily developing the scripture through the chapter, but I do salt the feed for those skilled at reading through the lens. All three are legitimate ways to read my work, but I secretly relish those who feast upon the details I provided.
How much of yourself do you put into your books?
I am multiple characters in my trilogy. The setting is fictitious, but I write about what I lived in small towns, many of them. I certainly embellish!
What do you love/enjoy most about writing?
Compared to my career work, writing is stress free. Publishing is not. Also, I enjoy how God moves my writing and me as I write.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
I have been pleasantly surprised by God’s faithfulness in guiding my writing, in answering my prayer to bring those he would have me minister too and those he would have buy my books. When I am faithful to depend on Him, He rewards my priority to be under His Lordship.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
I am energized by writing. I get tired, but easily refreshed and hungry for more.
What is the biggest surprise that you experienced after becoming a writer?
I was surprised at how little the author makes when a book is sold by or through the publisher compared to when I make a direct sale. Also, I was surprised at all the promotional opportunities that do not result in book sales.
Who/what spurs me to write or inspires me?
My wife is my muse, the Lord called me to write, and my life verse is reflected through my stories. Matthew 5:16.
Any advice you’d like to give to aspiring writers?
Don’t wait! Write now! Write the whole thing, get it down on paper, so you have a hard copy printed from your computer. And then learn to enjoy the art of revision for that is where you put flesh on bones, blood in arteries, and breath in the lungs by adding sensory input of sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell, be they odors or fragrances.
How many children do you have? Do you see any young writers in any of them?
I have two daughters, one my lovely daughter and the other my darling daughter. My lovely daughter partners with her husband to operate an alternative Christian high school where she uses her writing skills most days in writing the school newsletter, promotional flyers, etc. She follows her father’s footsteps where her talent takes a back seat to her ministry.
Do any of your family members make occasional cameos in your books?
Yes, both of my daughters are Ken Bond’s daughters when they were age 7 and 9.
What’s something you are really good at that few people know about?
Encouraging my wife.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
My wife and I go to the movies at least once a week. We lead a weekly Bible study and a 50+ senior group. Until recently we led the Neighborhood Watch for our subdivision. Additionally, we are in the midst of organizing local prayer meetings in support of our president and his agenda plus national and local issues. Additionally, we organize quarterly “Singspirations” at our church.