Welcome, Richard. How did you come up with the idea for this story?
This is a story that has evolved over many years. It began when Rachelle Gardner ran a contest on her blog. I had given up writing, but I said, “Why not?” and submitted this line, which won. “Things were going along just fine until the miracle fouled them up.” Soon thereafter, Rachelle became my agent, and I eventually got my first fiction contract. Now that I’m publishing independently, I decided it was time for this novella to see the light of day. I hope readers will enjoy it.
James and I are both glad you didn’t completely give up writing. We love your books. If you were planning a party with Christian authors of contemporary fiction, what six people would you invite and why?
That’s a tough one. I’d invite Candace Calvert and Jordyn Redwood, so I’d have someone to talk with about medical fiction. Then, to add romantic suspense to the mix, I might choose DiAnn Mills and Susan Sleeman. Finally, to keep the conversation going (and add some interesting back-and-forth), I might include James Scott Bell and Randy Ingermanson. Of course, there are so many more, but these would do for starters.
Sounds like a wonderful group. I’d have to be a fly on the wall with that one. Now let’s do that for a party for Christian authors of historical fiction, what six people would you invite and why?
Since my reading in his area is very limited, let me confess that I haven’t read everything these people wrote, but I know they’re all excellent. I’d start with Robin Hatcher and Kim Sawyer. Then I’d add Kristy Cambron and Lauraine Snelling. And to give the gathering a southwest flavor, how about Mary Connealy and my current host, Lena Dooley? That should give us quite a conversational mix.
I would love to be a part of that group. Many times, people (even 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?
The populace, especially those not in the field, assume that once an author is published by a given house, they stick with that one for life. Unfortunately, that’s not true. Although I’m sure that some of my colleagues have what amounts to lifetime contracts (and good for them), many of us have to come up with ideas and synopses to sell publishers so they’ll publish our next book or two or three. That remains a problem for most of us. I’ve been fortunate enough to be under contract with two excellent publishers, and then—because of financing problems by a new house—I found myself out in the cold, so to speak. I had done some independent publishing of several novellas, so I tried it with my next two novels. And I haven’t looked back.
I so understand what you’re talking about. I’ve been with 4 different excellent houses, and now I’m also publishing some independent novels. Tell us about the featured book.
Let me give you the back-page information to provide an idea about this book.
“Brother” Bob Bannister is content with his life and his itinerant healing ministry, until one night he finds that the woman who walks off the stage under her own power isn’t one of his shills. At that point, doubts begin to intrude on his previously untroubled existence.
Dr. Abby Davis is tired of her family practice and at odds with God. Dealing with critically ill and dying patients has crushed her spirit to the point she’s ready to quit. But she soon realizes that there’s more to healing than ministering to the physical body.
Scott Anderson was the oldest graduate of his seminary class. Then again, most of them hadn’t turned away from a medical practice, hoping to atone for past mistakes (including his wife’s death) by ministering to men’s souls. Now he hopes he hasn’t made a colossal mistake in switching careers.
Each of these individuals becomes linked to the other, and each find that God has a purpose for them—but, as it often does, the lesson comes with discomfort.
I am so eager to read this book. Please give us the first page.
Bob Bannister, still wearing his suit pants and an unbuttoned, sweat-soaked dress shirt, sat in the small room he was using as an office. His jet-black hair was tousled. Through the closed door, he could hear the sounds of the last stragglers filing out of the old Albertson’s that was now the Gospel Tabernacle of Goldman,
Bannister had a glass of amber liquid at his elbow, but he ignored it to focus
his attention on the sheet of figures in front of him. Texas
A noise from the back of the room made him look up.
“Got a second, Brother Bob?” Randy Futterman was standing in the partially open doorway. Where the man had spent most of his adult life, there was neither privacy nor manners, so talking about knocking or the meaning of a closed door was an exercise in futility.
“Sure. Come in and close the door.” Good old Randy, sometimes a bit slow on the uptake, but devoted as an old hound dog. Of course, some of that loyalty came from Randy’s status as a wanted man. One phone call from Bannister could probably put him back in prison. However, so long as he did what he was told, the man performed adequately as an assistant.
Randy removed his baseball cap and held it in front of him like a shield. He took three hesitant steps into the room, halting several feet from where Bannister sat.
“Uh, about tonight’s service,” Randy said.
Bannister picked up his glass and took a sip. “Yeah, it went well. Give that woman something extra before you put her on the bus.”
“Uh, uh…that’s just it. We can’t do that.”
Bannister put down the glass—actually, he slammed it onto the table he used as a desk, some of its contents spilling onto the sheets before him. His voice rose. “What do you mean? After every service, it’s the same routine—old one out, new one in. You know how it works.”
“I know,” Randy said. “But there’s a problem.”
“Why? We’ve always put that person on a bus out of town as quickly as possible. We don’t want to risk people recognizing them and asking questions.”
Randy twisted his cap with both hands. “Yeah, I know. But…you see…the thing is, somehow this lady slipped by the ushers to get into that front row seat.”
“I don’t understand.”
“She wasn’t the person we planted.” Randy’s Adam’s apple did a dance as he swallowed twice. “I think you really healed her.”
Now I’m even more eager to read this story. How can readers find you on the Internet?
I have a web page, as well as blogging on my personal page twice weekly—Tuesdays about “stuff” and Friday about “writing.” I post information that’s of interest to writers and readers daily on my Facebook professional page. I also have a presence on Twitter.
Thank you, Richard, for including my blog in your promotion. I know my readers love your books. That is an interesting cover, too.
Readers, here are links to the book.Bitter Pill - Paperback
Bitter Pill - Kindle
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