Sunday, August 29, 2010
Welcome, Richard. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I write “medical suspense with heart.” Let’s break it down:
I practiced medicine for over four decades, so it’s no surprise that my novels have a medical setting.
I’ve been reading suspense all my adult life, and I’ve learned a few things about it along the way, so I write suspense.
You can take the “with heart” a couple of ways. There’s a bit of romance, although not enough to make the male audience put down the book. But my work also features the love God has for His children. And that’s important for me to communicate.
And you do it so well. Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
God has given me so many great days that it’s hard to choose. I suppose I’d pick the day I first held my granddaughter.
Yes, holding each grandchild for the first time is like touching heaven. How has being published changed your life?
It has validated the call I felt when I attended my first writing conference. I went there thinking I’d like to write a non-fiction book after the death of my first wife. The publication of that book, The Tender Scar, fulfilled that particular dream. But the subsequent publication of my novels, Code Blue and Medical Error, makes me more certain than ever that God has called me into this endeavor after my retirement from medicine.
What are you reading right now?
I tend to re-read the works of some of my favorite authors in order to keep my own writing fresh. I’ve just finished a legal thriller by John Grisham and a medical thriller by friend/fellow physician Michael Palmer. These are in addition to the “to be read” pile of books by my fellow Christian fiction authors.
What is your current work in progress?
I’ve completed all three of the books contracted by Abingdon and am currently at work on my next novel. Here’s a taste. “A man she swore she’d never trust again offered a drug that could save lives. It looked like a miracle drug until deadly side effects surfaced.”
I'm interested in it already. What would be your dream vacation?
Two weeks with Kay on Maui, with no cell phone or Internet access.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
I agree with you. I just finished teaching a workshop in Shreveport yesterday on Taking the Setting to the Next Level. If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
My pastor, Chuck Swindoll. Not only is he a fantastic preacher and wonderful Christian, I think he has more and better stories than anyone I’ve heard.
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
That would be golf. I’ve had a standing golf date every Wednesday for many years with my friend and attorney, Jerry Gilmore. We’ve consoled each other through the death of our spouses, congratulated each other when God blessed us again with the love of wonderful women, and maintained our friendship whatever the circumstances. Oh, and we don’t keep score!
If I played golf, that's the way I'd want to play. What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Sloth! It’s nice outside. There’s a book I want to read. I’d like to see a movie. But instead I have to write. How do I overcome it? Like anyone else, I just do it. Apply rear end to chair, write, revise, keep at it. Lather, rinse, repeat.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Learn everything you can about the craft. When you think you know it all, realize you don’t, so keep studying. Practice, practice, practice. Get your work critiqued by someone who knows whereof they speak (not your Aunt Erma, she’s prejudiced). And don’t give up. God’s timing isn’t ours.
Tell us about the featured book.
Here’s a little about Medical Error:
Dr. Anna McIntyre’s life was going along just fine until someone else started living it. Her patient died because of an identity mix-up, her medical career is in jeopardy because of forged prescriptions, and her credit is in ruins. She thought things couldn’t get worse, but that was before she opened the envelope and saw a positive HIV test with her name on it.
Her allies are two men who are also competing for her affection. Dr. Nick Valentine is a cynic who carries a load of guilt. Attorney Ross Donovan is a recovering alcoholic. The deeper Anna digs to discover who’s behind the identity thefts, the higher the stakes. Finally, when her life is on the line, Anna finds that her determination to clear her name might have been a prescription for trouble.
Please give us the first page of the book.
Eric Hatley’s last day alive began routinely enough.
He paused beside his brown delivery truck, shifted the bulky package, and turned in a tight circle to search for the right apartment.
Shouts filled the air. Firecrackers exploded all around him. A dozen red-hot pokers bored holes through his gut.
The package flew from his arms. He crumpled into a privet hedge at the edge of the sidewalk, clutching his midsection and recoiling when his fingers encountered something wet and slimy.
A wave of nausea swept over him. Cold sweat engulfed him.
Eric managed one strangled cry before everything faded to black.
* * *
Dr. Anna McIntyre bumped the swinging door with her hip and backed into Parkland Hospital’s Operating Room Six, her dripping hands held in front of her, palms inward. “Luc, tell me what you’ve got.”
Chief surgical resident, Dr. Luc Nguyn, didn’t look up from the rectangle of abdomen outlined by green draping sheets and illuminated by strong surgical lights. “UPS driver, making a delivery in the Projects. Got caught in the crossfire of a gang rumble. Took four bullets in the belly. Pretty shocky by the time he got here.”
“Find the bleeding source?”
How can readers find you on the Internet?
My website is http://rmabry.com. I blog twice a week at http://rmabry.blogspot.com/.
And I can be found on Twitter and Facebook as RichardMabry
Lena, thanks for having me as your guest. I hope your readers like Medical Error.
I'm sure they will. Thanks for sharing it with us.
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