Dr. Kang lands fiction deal with Penguin, credits Seven Doctors Project

by Chuck Brown, UNMC public relations | January 10, 2012

When Lydia Kang, M.D., joined the Seven Doctors Project in 2008, she thought she could get some help with some poetry she had written.

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Lydia Kang, M.D.
Three years later, the assistant professor of internal medicine has written three novels and her latest, tentatively titled "The Fountain," has been picked up by Penguin, which published the likes of Ernest Hemingway, Agatha Christie and Jack Kerouac.

"I never thought I could write a novel. I thought my writing was awful," Dr. Kang said. "In the group, I found real writers who were nothing but supportive."

A source of strength

The support from the Seven Doctors Project -- which pairs local writers with UNMC faculty members who are interested in writing in a workshop setting -- gave Dr. Kang the courage to follow her muse.

She wrote her first novel in 2009.

"I honestly thought I could get the book published in a few months," Dr. Kang said. "I had no idea how long the publication process is."

Ropes to learn

She eventually shelved her first book as well as a second as she struggled to find an agent. But throughout the process, her grasp of the craft grew and as the idea of her latest novel hit her, she was ready.

Her latest book is young-adult fiction about a 17-year-old girl who tries to "rescue her kidnapped sister with the help of a band of outcasts with mutated genes." The book is set in 2150 at a time when genetic manipulation is outlawed.

Balancing act

The book will hit the shelves in 2013. In the meantime, Dr. Kang looks to balance her responsibilities as a part-time UNMC faculty member, a parent and a new author.

Also, in February she will help lead the next session of the Seven Doctors Project, which pleases the project's founder, Omaha poet Steve Langan.

"Lydia put in the time, work and effort needed to deepen and perfect her writing," Langan said. "Lydia is an inspiration to all of us in the Seven Doctors Project, and we're grateful she's coming back to help lead the next session."

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Stephanie Siemonsma
January 13, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Congratulations! You are so creative and such an insightful person Dr. Kang!! You never know maybe it will make it to the Bigscreen!! Enjoy it! Stephanie Siemonsma RN

Gleb Haynatzki
January 11, 2012 at 1:45 PM

There are so many of us who like to read a good book, and so few who can write one. Way to go, Dr Kang!

Dianna Flores
January 10, 2012 at 10:31 AM

I recently joined the Internal Medicine Division in an administrative position, and have had the pleasure of working with Dr. Kang. Witnessing the passion she has for her patients and students, I can only imagine the artistry that will be reflected in her writing. I look forward to reading her first book!

Lindsey Hall
January 10, 2012 at 9:31 AM

That is really awesome Dr. Kang!

Laura Egler
January 10, 2012 at 9:03 AM

Congratulations Dr. Kang! What an amazing accomplishment! I can't wait until it comes out :)