Dear Readers, I was really glad when God brought Richard Mabry, MD, into my writing life. He’s been a great help to me, and both my husband and I love reading his medical suspense novels. This is the first of his novellas I’ve read, a good addition to my Christmas book collection. It’s a departure from his usual medical suspense novel, and a very good one.
Welcome back, Richard. Tell us about your salvation experience.
I resisted God and anything church-related well into my teens. Then one evening my grandmother (who lived with us) talked with me once more about salvation. I’d known about the process and the meaning of being a Christian but had always put it off, determined not to worry about it. I don’t know what changed, but that evening I accepted what I’d pushed away for so long. I guess I expected a blinding flash of lights or blare of trumpets. What I found, instead, was an internal peace.
You’re planning a writing retreat where you can only have four other authors. Who would they be and why?
That’s a toughie. I’d probably pick the two men who first got me started on my own road to writing: James Scott Bell and Alton Gansky. Then would come two women who’ve taught and mentored thousands of writers of Christian fiction: Susan May Warren and DiAnn Mills. And if there turned out to be an overflow crowd so I could add more faculty members, I have a dozen names on the tip of my tongue.
That would be a powerhouse retreat with the people you’ve chosen. Do you have a speaking ministry? If so, tell us about that.
After my first book, The Tender Scar: Life After The Death Of A Spouse, I did a lot of speaking on the subject of grief and loss. But after the publication of my first novel, I had to devote so much time to my writing and the marketing of my work that I had no time to speak on recovery from grief and loss. My teaching of the craft of writing has replaced that ministry, but even that is now limited to two or three writing conferences per year.
What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you and how did you handle it?
Actually, I was involved but wasn’t the one who got embarrassed. When Kay and I were married, our pastor was quite afraid that he’d use the name of my (deceased) first wife—so much so that he practiced using Kay’s name. Then, at the end of the ceremony, he said, “I now present to you Dr. and Mrs. Kay Mabry.” Both Kay and I grinned, the pastor turned red, but I managed not to comment on it. Anyone who knows me knows the self-restraint that took.
People are always telling me that they’d like to write a book someday. I’m sure they do to you, too. What would you tell someone who came up to you and said that?
I try to make them realize (without pouring water on their dreams) that writing a book is hard work, and is something for which the average person isn’t prepared. If they’re serious, I suggest they start by attending one or more writing conferences to learn about the mechanics of writing and the current state of publishing. I advise them to buy a half-dozen or more books on various aspects of writing—books like
and Structure, Browne & King’s Self-Editing
For Fiction Writers, Lukeman’s The
First Five Pages—then read them, highlight and underline passages, learn
the basics. They should read widely: good books so they know what that type of
writing looks like, bad books so they know what to avoid. And when they’re
finally ready to put their own words on paper, they need to have what they
produce critiqued by knowledgeable people. If they’re able to get the type of
criticism we all have received, then to revise their work and try again, they
might be ready to start on their own road to writing.
So very true. Tell us about the featured book.
This is a novella—a bit less than half as large as a regular novel—and I wrote it with the Christmas season in mind. Here’s the back cover copy:
The colored lights on the snow gave it a holiday appearance, but the dead woman’s body in the yard added a grisly touch. How did Ina Bell Patrick die? Did someone kill her? And why?
The dead woman had no direct heirs, so two nephews and a niece stood to inherit—Dr. Dr. Laura Morris, who was left to make all the arrangements, attorney Robert Morris, who could certainly use the money, and Zack Morris, who disappeared two years earlier. Then there was neighbor and “best friend” Fay Autrey, who was certain the dead woman intended to leave her some money—a great deal of money.
The police were still looking for the killer who left the frozen body in the snow when it seemed someone was trying to pick off the heirs, one by one. Who would win the race—the police or the killer?
Please give us the first page of the book for my readers.
It was a scene that made you want to sing “Silent Night”…or at least hum a few bars. A full moon shone on the blanket of snow covering the yard of the home. Drapes at each side of a picture window were drawn back to display the holiday decorations within. Although Christmas had come and gone five days earlier, the tree’s colored lights still burned, reflecting off the ornaments and tinsel scattered through the branches.
lights on the eaves of the house at Redman
Lane cast a multi-colored glow over the scene.
The only false note was the front door of the house, standing wide-open and spilling light on a narrow path across the porch. Officer Adela Reyes of the Hilton police department slowed her cruiser to a stop at the curb. An open door at three in the morning indicated either trouble or a careless homeowner. She scanned the scene before lifting the microphone from its clip on her car’s dashboard. Reyes pressed the button to transmit. “This is Officer Reyes. I’ve got an open front door and lights still on at
7710 Redman Lane.
I’m going to check it out.”
“Roger. Are you requesting backup?”
“I don’t think so. It’s probably just someone who forgot to lock up. I’ll call in if I need help.” …
How can readers find you on the Internet?I work hard to maintain a social media presence. I have a website, I blog twice weekly, and have both a Twitter page and a Facebook fan page. I’m also on a few other sites, but these are best ones for a reader to find me. And, of course, they can also email me at Dr R L Mabry at yahoo dot com.
Thank you, Richard, for sharing this new book with us. I know my readers are as eager to read it as I was when it arrived in my house.
Readers, here’s a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.Silent Night, Deadly Night
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