Vevay’s Kip Meyerhoff has led a unique and varied life.
From growing up in New York in his father’s hotel filled with a wide variety of personalities; to his work as a police officer and private investigator in Los Angeles; to his operation of Roxano’s Restaurant here in Vevay – his latest passion may be his most satisfying.
Meyerhoff has completed his second book – this one a novel filled with suspense and plot-twists that follows Los Angeles detective Roland ‘Rollo’ Michaels through life on and off of the job.
“Deadwood and Beyond” is a sure hit for readers, and is now available after a long journey of writing for Meyerhoff. He will have copies available and will be answering questions about his new venture tomorrow (Friday) night at the Community Art Center as part of ‘First Friday’.
“It’s a crime mystery,” Meyerhoff said. “It’s loosely based on some cases I had when I have my PI business, and all of the characters are based on people that you meet throughout life. The characters are real people….There is a lot of interaction between the good guys and the bad guys, and some times you have to keep on reading to find out which is which.”
Meyerhoff hopes that there will be sequels to this first novel, so that people can continue to follow the characters.
Set in modern day, Meyerhoff’s research took him back for a lot of research into new police procedures and other elements that have changed since he left the police force 30 years ago.
“When I retired in 1985, there wasn’t even DNA then,” he said. “The best you could do was a blood type. Lots of things have changed, so I needed to make sure that today’s reader would see authentic police work in the book.”
Along with the crime setting, ‘Deadwood and Beyond’ also deals with cancer on several levels, and the book is dedicated to cancer survivors and people touched by cancer.
“I wove that into the story, it’s an intricate part of the story,” Meyerhoff said. “One of the clients has brain cancer, a very successful man; and one of the protagonists, an employee, gets breast cancer; and we deal with those and the effects of those and how it affects the people involved.”
Meyerhoff has been working on the book for about a year, and has worked through several delays – including losing 4,500 words during an editing process – but after several draft revisions, the book is now ready for readers.
The novel comes from a background of Meyerhoff writing short stories of 3,000-4,000 words, but he had a desire to fully tell the story and better expand on the characters and the scenes in which things were taking place.
“In a novel, the thing is to draw the reader further and further into this world,” he said. “That’s had to do with a short story.’
Meyerhoff said that the materials and the ideas from the short stories formed the basis for the book, and after the first draft he began to incorporate the suggestions of the editor.
“I began to think more and more about the interaction of the characters,” he said. “So the second draft took me about three months, that’s when I had the adventure with losing some of it, but I got it in there.”
Meyerhoff said that after the second draft, the second editor was a woman, who brought a completely different perspective on his characters from the first editor, who was male.
“I guess I can sum it up in one question she asked,” Meyerhoff smiled. “She asked, ‘Why would she do that? A woman would never do that. She’s not going to react that way.’ That taught me a lot.”
“The process wasn’t so much about producing a book – I am proud of the book,” he continued. “The process was more about writing than it was about the book, the plot, the characters. It was a great experience.”
Along with copies being available at the Community Art Center for ‘First Friday’, the book will continue to be at the CAC; as well as at Barnes and Noble and on Amazon. It is also available in e-book format.
This is his second book (“Well, the third,” he laughs. “There’s another one sitting in my closet covered with rejection slips.”), following ‘Cooking with Kip: A Cook’s Memoir’ – which Meyerhoff says that he wrote as a legacy for his children and grandchildren. Proceeds from the sale of the book for ‘First Friday’ will go to the Community Art Center.