Dr. Richard Mabry is a retired physician, now writing “medical mystery with heart.” His novels have garnered critical
acclaim and been finalists for ACFW’s Carol Award, both the Romantic Times’ Inspirational Book of the Year and Reviewer’s Choice Awards, the Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and the Selah Award. He is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, the International Thriller Writers, and Novelists Inc. Emergency Case is his latest novella.
He and his wife live in north Texas, where he writes, works on being the world’s greatest grandfather, and strives to improve his golf game. You can learn more about him at his website, and via his blog and Facebook page.
1. What’s the most important thing you want readers to take away from your books?
Every book I write has the same basic message—God doesn’t protect us from bad things, but He does promise that we’ll able to get past those with His help. And—taken from my own life—sometimes we come out of our trials stronger and in a better place. But whether the outcome is good or bad, our faith will bear us up.
2. If you could go back in time and start your career over again, is there anything you would do differently? If yes, why? If no, why not?
That’s hard to answer, mainly because I’ve had two very different careers. The first was medicine, and although there were some tough times, I wouldn’t change a thing. There were rewards that more than made up for the difficulties. Then, just as my wife and I were ready to retire, just as I was cleaning up my golf clubs for a time of leisure, she had a terminal stroke. God used that experience, the worst one of my life, to deepen my understanding of Him. He gave me once more the love of a wonderful woman and called me—often unwillingly—into a new career of writing. Doing that, I’ve been able to share my experiences with a different audience. So, no, I don’t think I’d change a thing. God had it all planned out, and I’ve discovered that His way is best, even when it doesn’t appear that way to us at first.
3. What author/authors have had the most influence over your writing?
As I plunged into the craft, I benefited from the instruction of a number of Christian writers—Jim Bell, Karen Ball, Gayle Roper, Randy Ingermanson, and so many more. I have read (and continue to read) the works of Brandilyn Collins, Ronnie Kendig, Alton Gansky, and too many others to recount. But I’ve also gained from reading (and imitating) the work of “secular” writers such as the late Robert B. Parker, who taught me how to write in simple declarative sentences, and the late Donald Westlake, who introduced me to the technique of “push fiction,” letting characters lead where the story takes them. I’m certain I’ve skipped over some, but the answer is that I’ve learned from every writer I’ve ever encountered.
4. Tell us three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
I have a background in music, from singing with the Dallas Symphony Chorus once to serving as a music director several times, to singing a role in the Cross-Winds Follies presentation of Guys and Dolls in the Azores.
I’ve played and coached baseball much of my life and was fortunate enough to be in the first base coach’s box when Mickey Mantle hit his last home run. (Even though it was a grooved fast ball, it was great to see). I’ve had the opportunity to play with and against some of the greats in the game.
And while on vacation in Hawaii, I was fortunate enough to play beach volley ball with the (at that time) world champion Pittsburgh Steelers. When the game was over, Franco Harris turned to me and said, “Thank you for playing with us, sir.” That “sir” convinced me that I was in over my head, even in beach volley ball.
5. What are you working on now?
I was wondering what a person would do if they received a mysterious package containing a cell phone, one that rang with a message for them. Of course, since I write medical thrillers, I had to make this happen to a doctor. And what if her husband was kidnapped and was being held hostage to assure her carrying out the commands the mysterious voices made? Then, what if that was to give a medication to a past Vice-President of the US, medication that would cause his death? And that’s the premise of my next novel, Doctor’s Decision, which I plan to indie-publish in the fall of next year.
6. Anything else you’d like to share?
Thanks for letting me come back for an encore visit. My time with the Suspense Sisters was great, and I’m sorry that time pressures associated with a change to indie-publishing necessitated my dropping out. To the readers out there, I hope you enjoy the Christian fiction this site introduces to you. To the writers in our audience, I’ll reinforce the advice we’ve all received—keep on writing.
KILLER OR TARGET?
The relationship between Dr. Kelly Irving and her husband, attorney Jack Harbaugh, has cooled recently, but she figures they’ll muddle through and repair it.
But when she backs down her driveway, her car hits a bump that turns out to be the partially snow-covered body of a man her husband recently represented. Not only that, the gun that killed him belongs to Jack, who seems to be the primary suspect.
As events escalate, Kelly can’t decide if her husband is a murderer or the next victim. Eventually, they put their marital differences aside and find the person masterminding the syndicate behind all this, while trying to keep Jack alive.
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