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Interview with Author Richard Mabry and a Giveaway!

Welcome to Readers Write to Know!  I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance.  This week, I am so happy to have returning to us Dr. Richard Mabry. I’ve met Dr. Mabry several times over the last couple of years, and had the privilege of attending a class he taught on writing medical dramas. I’m so thrilled he’s back with us with his new release. AND – he is giving away a copy of his latest release to one incredibly lucky winner — so read on below to see how you can enter to win!

Tell us a little bit about yourself: I’m a retired physician, now writing what I call “medical suspense with heart”. I got into writing after the death of my first wife. I turned my journaling into a book that Kregel published, The Tender Scar: Life After The Death Of A Spouse. At the writers’ conference where I began to learn about the craft of writing, I was challenged to try my hand at fiction. After four years, four richard mabrynovels, and forty rejections, I got my first contract. I’ve won a few awards and gotten nice reviews along the way. My latest novel, Miracle Drug, is my ninth.

Tell us about your current release: The story involves a doctor who, by a strange twist, becomes personal physician to a former President of the US. Both the ex-President and the nurse with whom the doctor is in love return from a trip overseas with a rare and universally fatal infection. There’s a chance that an experimental drug might help, but there might only be enough to treat one patient. And the tension builds from there. (And, mind you, this was written and edited before Ebola became a household word, so I’m proud of the job I did anticipating some of the actions such an infection would make necessary).

Do you feel pressured to compromise your standards in order to reach a larger audience or be more successful? I’ve been a Christian since my teens, and since I have a Christian worldview, I write that way. I’ve always felt that writers who incorporate sex, profanity, and similar things into their writing were merely using these as gimmicks. I’ve never felt pressured to descend to that level with my own writing.

How do you push past the fear of your writing being average and be bold enough to sell it to a publisher(or agent or audience if you self publish)? Like most authors, I’m a poster boy for the Imposter Syndrome. We don’t like to blow our own horns (which makes handling publicity tough), and wonder when someone is going to tell the world we’re untalented frauds. I had to learn early on to get past this by sheer willpower. But my private persona is that of an introvert who’d rather be sitting alone in his office writing instead of posting on social media, meeting with editors and agents, andrmmiracledrug interacting with the public. Nevertheless, all authors do those things, because that goes along with the job description.

What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? In my thirty-six years practicing medicine, the last ten as a professor at a prestigious medical center, I wrote or edited eight textbooks but I never dreamed of writing anything non-medical. After the death of my first wife, my journaling became a book still read by thousands who have lost a loved one. Since I was retired, I tried my hand at fiction, but I have to confess it wasn’t due to any long-held dream. Rather, it was a reaction to a challenge (and you know what happens when you challenge a man).

How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher? When I started writing, self-publishing was basically ‘vanity publishing’, where someone paid to have his/her book published. Now, self-publishing is not only respectable, many authors are turning to it for a number of reasons, some of them financial. I started with a traditional publisher because they offered me a contract- that’s it. I decided that if someone wanted to pay me to write, while handling the editing, cover design, and much of the marketing, I was happy to let them. And I still am, although I have self-published one novella and have another ready to go. Authors who have a foot in both worlds are called ‘hybrid’, I don’t know if we get better mileage than others, though.

Do you have your plot line and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write? I start with a ‘hook’-a single sentence that tells me what the book will be about. Then I populate the book, figure out the arc, and rough in what Jim Bell calls the ‘knockout ending’. I often get 10,000 words in, only to find that things have changed, both in the plot and the characters, since I started. I’ve even been known to start over at that point. I don’t know who the villain will be until I’m writing the last few chapters, and often the person I had in mind won’t be the bad guy. Donald Westlake calls this ‘push fiction,’ and says that if he doesn’t know how a book will end, the reader can’t guess. Makes sense to me.

What do you do when you hit a roadblock and have NO idea what to write? Opinions vary as to whether there’s even such a thing as “writer’s block”. If I hit a point where I don’t know what to write, I may take a day off and let what Stephen King calls “the boys in the basement” work on the problem. Usually, I wake up the next day with an idea of how to proceed. Sometimes the inspiration comes on my morning walk, even on the golf course. But I’ve never been totally stuck for a prolonged period.

Which of your characters most reflects your personality? I’m often asked if one of the male doctors in my book reflects me. The answer is no. Although lead characters should have a flaw (preferably one that improves as the book progresses), I have not just one but too many to count. What most of my male and female protagonists reflect are the traits I wish I had. But they’re not real. Sometimes I wish they were. I’d like to have coffee with them sometime and find out the secret of their success.

Find Richard online: Facebook, Twitter, blog, and webpage.



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Interview with Author Ginger Solomon

Welcome to Readers Write to Know!  I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance.  This week, I’m so happy to have Ginger Solomon, a fellow Inspy Romance contributor as my guest. I have long admired homeschooling moms who are able to write — I am the type of writer who has to be alone in the house to truly find productivity. Ginger homeschools five children, and still writes amazing romance novels. I hope you enjoy her interview as much as I did!

Tell us a little bit about yourself: Ginger Solomon is a Christian, a wife, a mother to seven, and a writer — in that order (mostly). When not homeschooling her youngest five, doing laundry or fixing dinner, she writes or reads romance of any genre, some sci-fi/fantasy, and some suspense. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, president of her local writing group, and writes regularly for three blogs. In addition to all that, she loves animals, horses especially, likes to do needlework (knitting, crocheting, and ginger solomonsometimes cross-stitch), and loves to sing in the choir at church.

Tell us about your current release:

–Blurb for Love in Mistletoe Springs:

The Mistletoe Springs animal shelter loses their grant, endangering the lives of countless stray dogs, cats, even birds and turtles. The community attempts to save the shelter by running a Christmas in July fundraiser. Groups of volunteers scramble to get all the details together while managing their personal lives. For ten people, love gets in the way.

–Blurb for Mr. Christmas and Miss Scrooge:

Mitch Silverton agreed to be in charge of decorating for the fundraiser. And he needs his boss, Margaret Holberg, to donate her family’s vast array of decorations to make the day unforgettable. BUT…

She’s not sharing. Christmas is not a holiday she wants to celebrate in July, and saving the animal shelter is not high on her list of important things to do.

He wants her to share more than the decorations. He wants her heart. Will he succeed in changing Miss Scrooge into Mrs. Christmas?

If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? Absolutely. I write because I can’t not write. Even if my story only ever helps my teenaged daughter, who reads all my books, then that’s enough for me. I aim to always glorify God in my life, which bleeds into my writing. While I don’t share the salvation message, I do write from a Christian worldview. Even when my characters are struggling with sin, I write them back into the fold of God byMistletoe Springs the end of the book.

Do you feel pressured to compromise your standards in order to reach a larger audience or be more successful? I think this ties in to the previous question, and my answer would be no. I don’t write for the monetary rewards. I write for the glory of One. If He’s not pleased, it doesn’t matter how many people like my book or how much money I’ve made, it was a failure. On the flipside, if He is pleased and glorified, then I’ve done what I’ve set out to do.

What is your personal, most effective way to get past writer’s block? I have a fantasy novel that I play with. I’ve never intended for it to be published. It’s something that I’ve just had fun with. I don’t have to worry about believability, grammar, consistencies, etc. I just write and enjoy the characters as they come alive to me. Amazingly, it is one of my daughter’s favorites, and she often begs for a new chapter. Maybe someday I will publish it, but that wasn’t the goal when I started writing it.

Do you have your plotline and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write? I have a few things researched before I begin—location, weather, and moon phases. I also generate a calendar so I can make sure I keep the days straight. I’ve tried doing the plotline and character development in advance, but it backfired and I found the story stifled, so I deleted it all and started over. And even for my current work-in-progress, I tried to do a character worksheet, but as I wrote the story my heroine revealed herself differently than she did in the “interview.” I’ve decided I just need to write the story. That’s what works for me.

Do you have pre-determined length in mind when you first begin a book? With Mr. Christmas and Miss Scrooge, I had a predetermined length because it was going in the Love in Mistletoe Springs set, but otherwise I aim for 75,000-90,000 words. Typically my first draft finishes in the 65,000 word range, and with edits and extra description, I add the extra necessary words.

What is one thing that you “never saw yourself doing” and either do it now or have done?This answer is not writing related, so I hope that’s okay. Believe it or not, when I was a teenager, I didn’t think I’d ever be a mom. I didn’t really care for children, though I babysat regularly. Maybe that’s why. 😀 Then after I got married, I thought two children would be a good number. My husband wanted five. And in God’s wonderful sense of humor, he sent us seven—five boys and two girls. Ironically enough, I still don’t care for other people’s children after more than a couple of hours.

Find Ginger online: website, Inspy Romance BlogPinterest, Facebook, and Twitter.

Find Ginger’s book on Amazon.




 

 

 

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I’m so grateful for your visit, today.
You would bless me if you added me to your Subscribe via any Reader feed reader or subscribed Subscribe via Email via email.
You can also become a fan on Become a Facebook Fan Facebook or follow me on Follow me on Twitter Twitter. I would love to see more of you!


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