Rookie Report: John Van Kirk
Song for Chance
Red Hen Press
LNL: Summarize your book in ten words or fewer.
JVK: Former rock star at sea, nearly drowns, learns to swim.
LNL: If this book were the lovechild of two others, who are its parents?
JVK: Doctor Faustus and Build My Gallows High (I’ve actually never read Build My Gallows High, but the film based on it, Out of the Past, is a noir classic and was a definite influence on Song for Chance.)
LNL: What ingredients go into the recipe of your writing style?
JVK: Noir shadows, philosophical reflections, childlike wonder.
LNL: Name one book you wish you could read again for the first time.
JVK: This is a tough question, because I enjoy rereading books. So it would have to be a book that I think would somehow be improved by not having already read it. A book whose pleasure is somehow diminished by rereading, a book that gave me a thrill I have not been able to recapture. I honestly can’t think of one.
LNL: Answer a question you wish people would ask you about writing.
JVK: Do you enjoy writing? The truth is that often I don’t. It’s work. Hard work. I enjoy having written, though. And there may not be anything I enjoy more than the feeling of having written well. That gives me a sense of accomplishment unmatched by any other activity.
Get a copy of Song for Chance at Indiebound
John Van Kirk’s first published short story earned him the O. Henry Award in 1993. He won The Iowa Review Fiction Prize in 2011. His work has been published in The New York Times Magazine, The Hudson Review, The Iowa Review, West Branch, Kestrel, The Sonora Review, and Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, as well as several anthologies. Song for Chance is his first novel.