One “Hell” of a Side Hustle: Kip Langton’s Debut Novel
By Kipp Jarecke-Cheng, Chief Communications Officer, Publicis Health
For lots of artistic and literary types, working in advertising is a great way to balance professional and personal creative pursuits. But when you spend your days churning out ideas for client campaigns, it sometimes can be difficult to nurture your creative side hustle. So when a colleague succeeds at bringing a non-work creative project to life, it’s worth celebrating their achievements.
By day, Kip Langton works as a copy supervisor at Publicis New York, where he works on clients such as ORGOVYX. By night (and on weekends and virtually all other non-billable time), Kip is a novelist whose debut novel, Hell of Hosanna, was published on August 2, 2022, and is now available for purchase on Amazon.
Within its first week of release, Hell of Hosanna quickly became Amazon’s number one new release in absurdist fiction, number two bestseller in absurdist fiction (surpassing A Confederacy of Dunces), number 9 in alternate history (ranked higher than a few Stephen King books and in the top 10 list with the likes of The Great Gatsby), and number 68 in the largest sci-fi genre, dystopian fiction. On Amazon’s overall ranking list, with millions of books to compete with, Hell of Hosanna made it to number 3,000 within the first week of publication!
I recently had a Kip-to-Kipp Konversation to find out what the other Publicis Kip has been up to and find out more about his new novel.
Kipp Jarecke-Cheng: I know you’ve previously worked at Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness, what are you up to these days at Publicis?
Kip Langton: Yes, I worked at SSW for almost six years. Now I’m back in the network — at Publicis NY. It’s great. Amazing, actually. Just finished up a DTC TV spot. Managed to sell in black and white. Our hero is this ultra-original Blues musician and we snagged Wally Pfister as our director. He was the cinematographer for Memento, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Inception, etc. Christopher Nolan’s go-to man. So, very proud of that — and the result is breathtaking. Super atmospheric, high-contrast visuals. Totally cool.
KJC: Tell me a little bit about your new book, Hell of Hosanna.
KL: Hell of Hosanna is a sci-fi novel. It takes an in-depth look at the modern-day human condition through the eyes of a young man trying to find his way in a future world spun out of control. It was a fun thing to write, and I really hope people have a fun time reading it! Subgenre categories are absurdist, alternative history, and dystopian.
KJC: This is your second novel, right?
KL: This is actually my first traditionally published novel. The rest had been self-published. So, this is really my first dip into the professional world of publishing. I’m as debut as it gets now.
KJC: How does your creative work at Publicis inform your creative writing?
KL: The creative work at Publicis is key to fiction writing. Clarity of the idea. Ability to convey that idea efficiently and effectively while still having the energy that drives it. It’s a hard balance but advertising teaches you that. Striking a balance in language and craft. Same in fiction, too.
KJC: What advice would you give to our Publicis colleagues who might be interested in pursuing a creative side hustle, like writing a novel?
KL: 100% an uphill battle. You put in your weekends, and you get .0002% returns. It’s just how it is in the publishing world. BUT — the returns are AMAZING when you get them. Persistence is genius in disguise when it comes to getting seriously published. My advice is to keep fighting on. If you believe in your work, eventually someone else will. Eventually…
Kip Langton is widely recognized for his creative achievements, having won or been shortlisted for more than 40 creative awards, which include the Cannes Lion for Innovation, New York Festivals, Innovation by Design-Fast Company, London International Awards, W3 Award, Clio Award, Shorty Social Good Award, Epica Award, and Communication Arts Award of Excellence. He is a versatile writer who works across genres and has held a variety of creative positions for some of the most famous agencies in the world. Kip is a graduate of Davidson College and lives in New York City.
Check out Kip Langton’s debut novel, Hell of Hosanna, available for purchase on Amazon.