Bio: Dr. Richard Mabry is a retired physician, past Vice-President of the American Christian Fiction Writers, and the author of six published novels of medical suspense. His books have been finalists in competitions including ACFW’s Carol Award and Romantic Times’ Inspirational Book of the Year. His novel, Lethal Remedy, won a 2012 Selah Award from the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference. His medical thriller, Stress Test (Thomas Nelson), garnered rave reviews from Library Journal and Publisher’s Weekly. Richard’s latest novel, Heart Failure, was released on October 15.
How did you come up with the idea for this story?
The story is a product of two things—an article I read and the question Alton Gansky taught me to ask—“What if…?” I read an article about a man in the Witness Protection Program (which I learned is really called the Witness Security Program, or WITSEC for short). Then I began to wonder—what if the man fell in love? Would he tell his intended about his past, or try to keep it a secret? What if something happened that forced his hand and made him tell about his past? What would her response be? I wrestled with all that for a while, but eventually came up with Heart Failure.
If you were planning a party with Christian authors of contemporary fiction, what six people would you invite and why?
Since most of the Christian fiction I read is in the genre of thrillers and suspense, the invitation list is going to lean heavily toward those authors, with no disrespect to all the others out there. I’d invite Jim Rubart and Harry Kraus because I know they’d keep the conversation lively, even if they were just talking with each other. Then I’d ask James Scott Bell and Brandilyn Collins, because I’m certain they’d have a lot to say about the continuing changes in the publishing paradigm. Finally, I’d ask the two ladies who comprise the trio we’ve dubbed The Medical Musketeers, Candace Calvert and Jordyn Redwood, because, sooner or later, conversation at all the dinner parties I attend includes a medical question, and maybe one of them would answer it and give me a rest.
And I’d want to be a fly on the wall, so I could listen in. What about the guest list for a party of six non-authors? Who would you invite and why?
I’d start with my pastor, Chuck Swindoll. I suspect that Chuck could fill the entire evening with anecdotes, his laughter is infectious, and with him there I wouldn’t have to do grace before the meal myself. Then I’d include my friend/golf partner/attorney Jerry Gilmore, because he and his wife, Janie, must know most of the people in the world. We could spend much of the night just playing “three degrees of separation” with them. I’d want to invite pitching legend Nolan Ryan, not only to regale us with baseball stories, but to give us the inside scoop on the Texas Rangers. And, if I could get him, I’d ask professional golfer Phil Mickelson to join us and perhaps tell us how he manages to maintain his clean-cut image as a family man when so many professional athletes are no longer role models. My wife, Kay, would have to be there, of course, since she’s actually the glue that keeps me together in social situations—she’s gracious, thoughtful, and the perfect hostess.
With this one, maybe I could be part of the wait staff who could listen in. Many times, people (and other authors) think you have it made with so many books published. What is your most difficult problem with writing at this time in your career?
Just as in sports, where a player is only as good as his last game, an author is only as good as his or her last book. I was fortunate enough to have my first four books published by Abingdon Press, but those four books involved three separate contracts. After that I got a three-book contract from Thomas Nelson. But when that expires, I’ll need to come up with additional ideas, put them in the form of a proposal, and see if I can get yet another contract. So at present, I’m working on what would be my eighth novel. Right now it’s difficult for me to make myself write when there’s no guarantee of publication. But that’s what writers have to do—even multi-published ones.
Yes, and in the current publishing climate a lot of good, multi-published authors are in the same place. Tell us about the featured book.
Here’s the back cover copy for Heart Failure.
When her fiancé’s dangerous secrets turn her world upside-down, a beautiful doctor must choose between her own safety and the man she loves—and thought she knew.
Dr. Carrie Markham’s heart was broken by the death of her husband two years ago. Now, just as her medical practice is taking off, her fresh engagement to paralegal Adam Davidson seems almost too good to be true . . . until a drive-by shooting leaves Carrie on the floor of his car with glass falling around her.
When he confesses that Adam isn’t his real name and that he fled the witness protection program, Carrie is left with an impossible choice: should she abandon the fiancé she isn’t sure she really knows, or accept his claim of innocence and help him fight back against this faceless menace?
Please give us an excerpt from the book.
This is the end of the first scene in the book:
…Carrie found the garage remote on her key ring and raised the door. When they were inside the house, with the garage door closed, she took a seat on the living room sofa. Adam went through the small house, drawing drapes, closing blinds, and making sure all the doors and windows were locked.
Finally, he returned to where Carrie waited. He started to sit beside her on the sofa, apparently thought better of it, and sank into a chair. “I’ve wrestled with this all the way home. I thought I was finally safe, but maybe I’m not. I know what I’m going to tell you may change things between us, but you deserve an explanation.”
That was the understatement of the year. Thirty minutes ago, she and Adam were a newly engaged couple, winding down an enjoyable evening. By now they should be feeding each other ice cream like two lovebirds, talking seriously and making plans about their future together. But instead… “Yes,” she said, “you owe me an explanation, a big one. So explain.”
“Let me say this first. What I’m about to tell you started long before I met you. My life has changed in the past eight months. I’m different, and it’s because of you. I’m …” Adam leaned toward her. He clenched and unclenched his fists. “To begin with, Adam Davidson isn’t my real name.”
My book just arrived this week. I will start reading it today. Can’t wait. How can readers find you on the Internet?
They can learn more about me at my website, and read my blog posts twice a week. I’m on Twitter and have a Facebook Fan Page. I’m also on Goodreads, although I don’t make it there as often as I probably should.
Thank you, Richard, for sharing this new book with us. You know that both my husband and I love reading your medical suspense novels.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.Heart Failure - Christianbook.com
Heart Failure - Amazon.com
Heart Failure - Kindle
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