(N) Today we welcome Philip L. Levin, founder of Doctors Dream Publishing, Biloxi, Mississippi.
Welcome and thanks for being with us today! I know that when we met at the Florida Writers Conference a couple of years ago I learned that you are a physician with a passion for writing a variety of genres, and you host an online video show that showcases authors. I had such a great time with you for that video session though I was terrified walking into that room. Thank you for being so kind!
Looking at your book list, writing is certainly a priority for you. TIME TRAVELERS just came out in July of 2020 from what I read.
How would you describe your latest book in 20 words or less without using the blurb?
In “The Time Travelers” I intersperse three time periods in one small Alabama town, 1871, 1932, and 2020, with the characters traveling between them to study and create their history.
When did you begin writing and how long have you been writing?
I wrote my first story as a child, edited and produced a college newspaper, paid all of my medical school tuition with articles I sold, and continued writing throughout my adulthood. I’m 68 years old and I’d say I’ve been writing for at least 60 of them. Both of my parents were writers. My mother, a college-level English Literature professor, published 30 books and a thousand articles. My father edited “Geophysics” magazine, wrote poetry, and published scientifically.
You write in a variety of genres – what are they and do you have a favorite?
My first book, “Inheritance,” is a murder mystery thriller. One of my friends who read and loved it asked when the next mystery was coming out. I shrugged, saying, “I’ve already done that genre!” I enjoy writing in almost every genre. I have three photo journal children’s books with pictures I took in Africa, China, and the Galapagos Islands. There’s a three-book early reader fantasy chapter book series, “Princess Priscilla” with her pet troll. I edited and published seven anthologies while president of the Gulf Coast Writers Association, four fiction and the other three Mississippi History. I have a memoir about my work as a medical missionary in Kenya. My contemporary romance, “Andrew Comes Home,” won several RWA awards across the South. “Searching for Gildeen” includes 28 short stories from my work as an emergency room physician. Other books include a ghost story, historical fiction, and even poetry. Also, I write medical articles for local magazines. My YouTube channel has over 120 shows, including recently a series of cooking videos. As you mentioned in the introduction, I used to host a television show interviewing authors. About 80 of those interviews are on my YouTube channel as well – “PhilipLevin.”
Do you have a favorite place to write?
My spacious office overlooks a birdfeeder and bath sitting under a huge oak tree. My office walls are decorated with photos I’ve taken from my travels around the world, and I have a small medical set up here as well. However, I’ll write anywhere. Sitting out on the patio next to my French girlfriend relaxing with wine and watching the sun set over the river. Or, waiting in the car while she goes shopping. At work, in between patients, I can write or edit. Anywhere is fine with me.
Do you write at a laptop/desktop or do you write longhand?
Write longhand? Really? Hah. I have both a laptop and a desktop and I write on either, depending on where I am.
What’s your favorite part of writing a book?
Plot, character, and style make up a book’s fundamentals, weaving each in a tapestry of poetic prose makes my endorphins surge. I love the thrill of creation, the joy in polishing a grand story. Next comes the publishing. I tried professional publishing, and I vastly prefer self-publishing where I can control the formation and molding of my creation. I publish my hardbacks through Korea, paperbacks through KDP. Finally comes the marketing, the hardest of the three, yet providing a joy of its own as I meet people in the art fairs where I sell, my booth displaying twenty of my books for sale.
Who’s your favorite character in your new release?
The Time Traveler himself. Though a minor character who only shows up in a single chapter, he definitely shines the brightest. Punk Rock look, his time capsule lined with clocks, he delights in fudging history. He’s the picture on the book’s cover, which, by the way, is my wild cousin Bill Levin, the chief guru of Indianapolis’ Church of Cannabis.
Did you do any research before starting your books or do it during the writing of the books?
It depends on the book, I suppose. Certainly for my medical articles I research them before I write. For fiction, I’m more likely to do spot research, finding a species of fish for the submarine to find, when did Roosevelt get shot, or what’s a coastal town in North Carolina.
What book is currently on your nightstand or what is the last book you’ve read? What did you enjoy most about it?
I’m taking a Masters in Fine Arts in Creative Writing from SNHU. Naturally there’s a lot of reading involved. For this semester over the past three weeks I’ve read three science fiction books, “Nova” by Margaret Fortune, “The Girl from Everywhere” by Heidi Heilig, and “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelly. Of the three, “The Girl” is my favorite, incredibly creative, fast paced, and a strong plot concept. I’m writing a young adult fantasy about a mermaid city, so I’m concentrating on that general genre.
How can readers stay in touch with you?
My website, www.Doctors-Dreams.com lists my books and allows anyone to leave a message for me.
Thanks so much, Dr. Levin for being with us! Stay safe in all you do and we’ll look for that next book in the near future!
Join me in welcoming author Lois Winston on our March 10th blog!!! She’s the author of the Anastasia Pollack Mystery series – so I’ll expect all of you COZY MYSTERY fans to join in the fun!!
The March 24th blog will contain some book marketing ideas – and how FANS can help their favorite authors, too!
Stay safe and keep reading and writing!! Nancy Q.