Friday, April 18, 2014

INTERVIEW WITH DR. RICHARD MABRY



Dr. Richard Mabry is a retired physician, past Vice President of the American Christian Fiction Writers, and author of seven novels of “medical suspense with heart.” His books have been a semifinalist for International Thriller Writers’ debut novel, finalist for the Carol Award, two-time finalist for the Romantic Times’ Reader’s Choice Award, and a winner of the Selah Award.


INTERVIEW
 
S.S: Welcome, Dr. Mabry! How long have you been writing?

For the thirty-six years I was practicing medicine, I wrote or edited eight textbooks and had over 100 papers published in professional journals. However, it wasn’t until my first wife died in 1999 that I thought about writing outside of medicine. After that book—The Tender Scar: Life After The Death Of A Spouse—was published, I took up the challenge of authors James Scott Bell and Alton Gansky, whom I met at a writing conference, and began writing fiction. My first contract for a novel came in 2009, and Critical Condition will be my seventh published novel of medical suspense.

S.S: Do you write full time? If the answer is no, what else do you do? If you are a full time author, what other jobs did you have in the past?

The answer here is “yes and no.” I’ve been retired from medical practice for almost twelve years, so writing is my only “paying job.” However, anyone who is retired will tell you that enough things arise during a day to completely fill our time, so I have to sneak in writing, just like a regular worker.

S.S: Tell us about the moment you finally felt like a “real author”?

I suppose it was when I held a copy of my first book. However, like most authors, I suffer from the “imposter syndrome,” constantly waiting for someone to jump out from behind a bush and tell me they know how big a fraud I am.

S.S.: Who has been your greatest supporter as an author? 

God blessed me once more with the love of a wonderful woman, and Kay has been both the biggest supporter and the most discerning critic of my writing.

S.S.: Do you write in any other genres?

Before I finally settled down to writing what I term “medical suspense with heart,” I tried my hand at cozy mysteries. That was definitely a mistake. Since then, I’ve stuck with what works.

S.S: How does your faith play into your writing?

I write from a Christian worldview, but don’t feel comfortable including altar calls and strong evangelical messages in my books. Rather, I try to portray the fact that all of us—Christian and non-Christian alike—face difficulties. The way we react to them, however, depends a lot on our relationship with God.

S.S: If you couldn’t write, what else would you want to do?

Given more talent than I currently possess, I’d want to play, coach, or manage in professional baseball.

S.S:  Tell us about your current release.

Critical Condition involves the struggles of Dr. Shannon Frasier as she deals with a drug-addict sister, a father who’s just been diagnosed with cancer, and threatening phone calls from a man who wants to know the dying words of a stranger who was shot dead on her lawn.

S.S: Where did you get your inspiration for this book?

Unlike my other novels, which sprang from specific situations or questions, this one was crafted specifically to address some of the troubles a believer faces, difficulties with which I am familiar either through personal experience or that of a close friend or relative. The more I wrote, the more real the struggles of the characters became.

S.S: What is the main thing you hope readers remember from your story?

The greater our burden, the more God helps us bear it. And we all have untapped strength when we need it.

S.S: Who is your favorite character in this book and why?

I identify with Dr. Shannon Frasier, who struggles with a professional problem I once faced as well. (That’s all I can say without spoiling the plot).

S.S: Who is your least favorite character in this book? Why?

That dubious honor goes to the villain, Walt Crosley, for reasons that will become obvious to the readers of the book.

S.S: What are you working on now?

I’m just completing the second round of editing on my novel of medical suspense, Dead On Arrival, which begins when a gunman enters an emergency room with his brother who’s been shot, saying, “Doc, fix him up. If he dies, everyone in here dies.”

S.S: Any writing goals you still hope to achieve?   

I’ve been more fortunate than I could ever imagine thus far. I suppose I just want to continue writing and sharing the stories with others.

S.S:  Now let’s get a little personal. Name two things on your “bucket list” that you haven’t done yet.   

I’d like to see a baseball game in every major league ballpark. (I’m about halfway there). And I’d like to shoot my age in golf (which I can do if I live to be 120 years old).

S.S: What is the hardest thing you have ever done?

That would be agreeing to turn off life support after my first wife’s massive brain hemorrhage. And yet it was that event that started me on this road to writing, and the book that came out of it has ministered to tens of thousands of grieving individuals in the eight years since its publication.

S.S.: Where can readers find you on the Internet?

I have a web page, blog, Facebook fan page, and Twitter page. Fans can also email me at Dr R L Mabry at yahoo dot com.

S.S.: Anything else you’d like to share with us?  

Thanks for this opportunity to get better acquainted with the readers of your blog. For the writers out there, keep on working at your craft and remember for Whom you’re writing. Readers, the next time someone tells you that Christian fiction is boring, tell them about the last book you enjoyed. We’ll convince them yet.

Leave a comment for your chance to win a copy of CRITICAL CONDITION. (U.S. only, please.)

6 comments:

  1. My thanks to Nancy and all the other "sisters" for this opportunity. Have a wonderful and meaningful Resurrection Sunday.

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  2. Thanks for this giveaway.......I love Richard's books and try to read them all!
    Happy Easter to all!
    jacsmi75 at gmail dot com

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  3. Thanks so much for the interview, Richard. And I love the opening of your next book! Wow! What a hook.

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  4. I can relate to the "imposter syndrome!" Thanks for sharing about your experiences.

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  5. Thank you for the great giveaway and the opportunity. I am certainly keeping my fingers crossed!

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

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  6. I appreciate all the comments. Hope you had a wonderful, meaningful Easter Sunday.

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