Tippett releases first novel

Published 3:43 pm Wednesday, December 30, 2020

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By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

Kay Tippett of Clanton will release her first book “Where We Had Been” on Jan. 1.

Her story focuses on Pammy, the daughter of Tom and Daisy from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby.”

“The Great Gatsby” becomes public domain on Jan. 1, 2021, allowing Tippett to release her book building on its characters.

“When the novel ends, when ‘(The Great) Gatsby’ ends, one of the things that Nick Carraway says is that Tom and Daisy are careless people,” Tippett said. “They just kind of wreck people’s lives as they go, and then they sink back into their money, and they don’t think about the aftermath. Tom and Daisy have a child Pammy, and I am thinking, she is living with this. What is going to happen to her. Are they going to wreck her life too? Or is she going to rise above this?”

The idea to write something inspired by “The Great Gatsby” started in 2015 as a part of her master’s thesis.

As a part of her studies, Tippett read Fitzgerald’s work. Tippett said her daughter was also working at the Fitzgerald house in Montgomery, and told her a lot of the history of the couple. She had been familiar with “The Great Gatsby” from watching the 1974 movie with her mother. However, Tippett did not read “The Great Gatsby” until she was teaching 11th grade when she read it to be able to teach it.

Tipett thinks she may have been drawn to looking at how the characters’ later decisions would impact their child because she is a high school teacher.

She said she dedicated the book “to the third and fourth generation” in light of Numbers 14:18, which says “The Lord is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation (KJV).”

Tippett first became interested in writing in the ninth grade at the encouragement of her English teacher.

“She made us keep a journal,” Tippett said. “Every day, we had to write in a journal, and that’s really how I got started writing, through journal writing.”

Tippett also had to write poetry in the class.

“Then, she got me involved in a little poetry group that met on Sunday afternoons,” Tippett said.

She said writing is therapeutic for her.

“I enjoy it … There is something going on in my mind all the time,” Tipett said.

This often gives her ideas for stories.

The book is being released on Blurb.com and will also be available on Amazon.

Tippett said “Where We Had Been” will make more sense to those who are already familiar with the Gatsby story.

Tippett’s daughter, Olivia, developed the cover for the book and is helping promote it.