Sunday, April 18, 2010
My background (three decades as an ER nurse) makes writing medical drama seem as natural as the feel of a stethoscope around my neck. And I’ve long been disappointed that while medical TV shows (like ER, Grey’s Anatomy, House, Mercy, etc.) depict plenty of action and interpersonal conflict, they sorely neglect the element of faith. As a nurse, I’ve seen countless prayers sent heavenward by patients, family, and staff. My books offer medical realism, heart-warming romance and an encouraging prescription for hope.
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
The birth of my children, a daughter and a son—who has now, to my great delight, given me a grand daughter.
How has being published changed your life?
By giving me the opportunity to connect with people (readers and other writers) all over the world—to touch lives, encourage, even more than in my years of practice as a nurse. It’s awesome. And a privilege I don’t take lightly.
What are you reading right now?
Once in a Blue Moon, a new novel by one of my favorite Christian authors: Leanna Ellis.
I love Leanna's books, too. What is your current work in progress?
I’m brainstorming a new medical drama series set in Texas. The Lonestar Mercy series.
Sounds good to me. What would be your dream vacation?
I’ve been fortunate to have had several “dream” vacations—still pinching myself at having been to places like the pyramids in Egypt, the Sistine Chapel, and skimming over a rainforest canopy in Costa Rica. I dream of taking a world cruise with my husband one day.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
The Mercy Hospital series is set in northern California, some of my favorite places: Gold Country, the Pacific coast, and San Francisco. I love to personally research places—go there and “collect” sights, sounds, smells . . . food, music. People. I want my readers to feel that they are in the scenes.
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
Maybe Beth Moore. I’ve taken several of her Bible studies, and find her so amazing: passionate, laugh-out-loud funny, humble . . . real. I’d love to hang out with her.
I've been to one of her tapings at James Robison. Does that count? What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
(Smiling) As my Followers on Twitter will tell you, I’m a “foodie”—love everything about cooking, from reading labels and sniffing vegetables at the grocery store, to the sound of garlic sizzling in olive oil. And I’m a bird watcher, too. I can get pretty excited about Painted Bunting or Ladder Back Woodpecker. Have binoculars, will travel.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Most critically: balancing time spent writing with other important priorities—family, friends, exercise, relaxing “down time,” worship. Having God at the center helps keep those priorities in the right place.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Read good books, network with other writers. Write and write and write, enjoying the journey without the immediate goal of publication in mind. “Stretch” your writing muscles much the same way an athlete stretches and tones his body. It takes time and discipline to become an Olympian . . . and a published author.
Tell us about the featured book?
Charge nurse Erin Quinn escaped personal turmoil to work on the peaceful California coast. But when a hazardous material spill places Pacific Mercy Hospital on disaster status and stresses staff, she's puts to the test. And thrown into conflict with the fire department's handsome incident commander who thinks her strategy is out of line.
Fire Captain Scott McKenna has felt the toxic effects of tragedy; he's learned to go strictly by the book to advance his career, heal his family, and protect his wounded heart. When he's forced to team with the passionately determined ER charge nurse, sparks fly. As they work to save lives, can they handle the attraction kindled between them . . . without getting burned?
Sounds wonderful. Please give us the first page of the book.
Fire captain Scott McKenna bolted through the doors of Pacific Mercy ER, his boots thudding and heart pounding as the unconscious child began to stiffen and jerk in his arms. He cradled her close as her small spine arched and her head thumped over and over against his chest. “Need help here. Seizure!”
“This way.” A staff person beckoned. “The code room. Someone page respiratory therapy stat!”
Scott jogged behind a trio of staff in green scrubs to a glassed-in room, laid the child on a gurney, and stepped back, his breath escaping in a rush of relief. He swiped a trickle of sweat from his forehead and tried to catch a glimpse of the girl’s face. He’d swept her up too fast to get a good look at her. Now, with merciful distance, Scott’s heart tugged. Six or seven years old with long black braids, frilly clusters of hair ribbons, little hoop earrings, she looked disturbingly pale despite her olive skin. Her dark eyes rolled upward, unfocused, as the ER team closed in to suction her airway, start oxygen, and cut away her flowered top and pants . . .
I can't wait to read it. How can readers find you on the Internet?
I invite readers to visit me at my website: http://www.candacecalvert.com/
My blog RX Hope: http://candacecalvert.blogspot.com/
On Twitter: http://twitter.com/CandaceCalvert
And at my Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Candace-Calvert-Books/164196907024
Thank you for hosting me, Lena. It’s been a pleasure.
And I love having you here, Candace.
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