Dear Readers, I’ve known Richard Mabry for a long time, and as soon as he sold his first novel, I fell in love with his writing. I eagerly await each new book. Critical Decision once again captured me in his story. The story line is unique and kept me guessing. He always writes relatable characters, and these quickly pulled me deep into the situation. You don’t want to miss this book!
Welcome back, Richard. Where do you write?
Unlike some of my colleagues who like to take their laptop to various places (from their living room to Starbucks), I do all my writing in my office. It seems like “going to work” when I do this.
I’m with you. Most, if not all, of my books are written in my office. And on a desktop computer. When deciding on how to publish, what directed you to the route you took?
I’ve covered the waterfront, so to speak. My first four novels were published by a house that was just getting started with Christian fiction, then I had an offer from a large house that published my next three novels, and finally I went back to my original publisher for three more. I’d probably still be working with a traditional publisher, but financing problems intervened so I managed to use agent-assisted publishing (sort of like indie, but with a bit of help from them) for six novellas and three more novels. So, to answer the question, I simply followed the route that opened in front of me, and so far it’s worked out.
What kinds of things do you like to do outside of writing?
I started playing golf with a friend about 20 years ago, and we’ve tried to continue that, although lately the weather has kept us off the links. My wife puts in her time doing Grandma duty. Other than that, we’re mainly homebodies.
What kinds of advice would you give to someone who wants to start writing?
Never stop learning. And never give up. It’s disconcerting when you see how many new books are published each year, but I urge you to keep on trying.
Very good advice. What is your favorite book? Favorite author? Do you have an author that inspired/inspires you to write?
My tastes are varied, but mainly I read mysteries, thrillers, and detective stories. The books and authors are too numerous to mention.
Where did you get the idea for Critical Decision?
My wife (who is my biggest fan and severest critic) was brainstorming with me, and she suggested a book that starts with a physician who finds a strange cell phone delivered to her house. Then it rings, and a voice tells her that she’ll never see her husband again unless she gives one of her patients a medication that will probably kill him. I took the idea and ran with it, and Critical Decision was the result.
From idea to final revision, how long did it take to write?
Most of my books are written in 6 to 8 months. This one took a bit longer—about 9 months.
Are you working on anything now?
I’m fiddling with a book, working title Medical Mystery, featuring a woman taken to the ER with an unusual EKG and slow pulse, her daughter who works as a nurse, and a family practice physician who has a crush on the younger woman.
Please tell us about the story of Critical Decision.
The book begins with a female physician who finds a package on her doorstep. It contains a cell phone, which rings. She finally answers it, and a voice tells her that unless she gives a patient a drug that will probably kill him, she won’t see her husband again.
Please give us a peek at the first page of the book for my readers.
Dr. Kathy Hoover stood at the back door, but soon found that shouting “Go do your business” to her canine companion had little effect. She was anxious to return to the office, but the dog didn’t seem to understand. She really hadn’t wanted to take the time to come home at lunch, but Darren was out of town, and Kathy forgot to let Archie out this morning before she left. If she didn’t want to clean up a mess on her return home, she figured it was best to go at lunch time and take care of that chore.
Finally, patience and the passage of time accomplished what she couldn’t manage by exhortations, and the deed was done. The dog at the center of all this seemed to sense that Kathy was leaving now. He whined to signal his disapproval. The master was at home and Archie was ready for playtime.
She looked down at the dog and shook her finger. “No time for play. I’ll be back this evening. Now be good.” She wasn’t certain the golden retriever understood, but when she turned toward the kitchen, the dog lay down quietly. Kathy headed for the garage but didn’t quite make it before the doorbell stopped her.
Kathy paused and listened to the door chime’s reverberation fade. The local TV news had run a feature just yesterday about packages disappearing from porches. What if… She sighed and reversed direction. It would only take another minute or two for her to open the front door, check to see if FedEx or UPS had left a package, and bring it in if one were there.
Kathy looked through the pane of glass beside her front door and saw a panel van just pulling away. It wasn’t the familiar dark brown of UPS, nor did it bear the blue and orange logo of FedEx. And it didn’t look like a Postal Service delivery truck. Didn’t she read that Amazon had their own delivery service in some areas? Were those vehicles marked in some way? Whoever brought it, she might as well look at what they’d left.
She unlocked the door, took one step onto her front porch, and saw a small box lying on the stoop. The package was about the dimensions of a shoebox, wrapped in plain brown paper, with her name on a label. Otherwise, it bore no address, no return data, nothing to indicate the carrier. Strange.
Kathy reached down to pick up the box. Now that the dog was taken care of, she needed to get back to the office. Then again, she couldn’t turn loose of the situation with the box.
Where can my readers find you on the Internet?
You can learn more about me at my website, and via my blog and Facebook page. I also have a presence on Goodreads.
Thank you, Richard, for sharing this book with my blog readers and me.
Readers, here’s a link to the book.
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