Dr. Richard Mabry is a retired physician, now writing “medical suspense with heart.” He is an active member of International Thriller Writers, a past Vice-President of the American Christian Fiction Writers, and a member the Romance Writers of America. His seven previously published novels have garnered critical acclaim and been recognized by programs including the ACFW’s Carol Award, the Romantic Times’ Inspirational Book of the Year, the Inspirational Readers Choice, and the Selah Award. His novella, Rx Murder, was released via Amazon in April, and his novel, Fatal Trauma, is scheduled for publication by Abingdon Press on May 19. For more information about Dr. Mabry, visit his website.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m a retired physician living outside Dallas, Texas, working on my golf game, and enjoying my grandchildren. I entered the area of writing non-medical material after the death of my first wife. The book that resulted, The Tender Scar: Life After The Death Of A Spouse, has been ministering to grieving individuals for a decade now. At the writers’ conference that I attended while attempting to learn the craft, I was challenged by two faculty members to try my hand at fiction. After four years of false starts and many rejections, I gave up on the idea—only to be brought back for one more try by some timely words from my now-agent. That led to my first fiction contract. My next novel, Fatal Trauma, will be my eighth one published.
What do you do when you are not writing?
My good friend and I have had a standing golf game each week, weather and schedules permitting, for over fifteen years. I read a lot—mainly detective stories and thrillers. And, since God has once more gifted me with the love of a wonderful woman, I sort of follow Kay’s lead regarding what needs to be done that day. (That’s not to say I’m the one who does it—sometimes it’s better to stay out of her way, so I retreat to my office to write).
How did you choose the genre you write in?
I’ve always enjoyed mysteries and thrillers (and there’s a difference in the two, but I won’t get into that). Since I practiced medicine for almost four decades, the last ten as a professor at a prestigious medical center, writing medical thrillers just seemed to be the natural course to take. That’s not to say I didn’t try other genres while garnering all those rejections. But eventually I found my “voice,” and it was in what I call “medical suspense with heart.”
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
My first editorial letter was an eye-opener. I still remember one line: “Do you know how in love with the word ‘just’ you are?” Ever since, I’ve done a word search and removed about half my uses of the word. Up to that time, I figured my job was done once a novel was accepted. I quickly learned that’s not the case.
The best compliment? It was probably when a non-Christian colleague, a NY Times best-selling author in the CBA, read one of my novels and endorsed it effusively. I still have those comments on the bulletin board in my office. The one that tells me I must be doing something right is, “Original and profound. I found the Christian message engaging and fascinating, and the story a thrill-a-minute.”
If you could go back in time and do something differently in your writing career, what would it be?
You know, my initial inclination is to say I wish I’d received a contract after my first attempt at a novel. Then again, the four years and forty rejections that preceded my first contract included lots of rewriting, sharpening my craft and deepening my understanding of the writing process. So maybe I’d do it the same way again.
What do you see happening in your career five years from now?
As I’m fond of saying, my crystal ball is cloudy. Publishing is changing almost as we speak. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with a great agent through all this. I’ve recently self-published a novella, Rx Murder, and we’ll have to see how that one goes. My publishers, both past and present, have been superb. I’ve already written and edited two more novels that are under contract to follow Fatal Trauma, making ten in all. If the Lord tarries, I suspect I’ll keep on doing the same old thing, one way or another.
While Dr. Mark Baker and nurse Kelly Atkinson are used to dealing with high-stress situation in the ER, they are not used to working at gunpoint. Despite their efforts, they are unable to save the wounded brother of a desperate gunman, and in the ensuing battle a policeman is also killed. It appears that the gunman and his brother are linked to a drug cartel, and now the boss, “El Jefe,” is out for revenge.
Mark soon finds himself a suspect in a murder and the target of a malpractice suit. Although he is a believer, he’s gotten too busy for God. Can Kelly overcome the situation and restore Mark’s faith? And can they solve the mystery of who’s behind the murders before Mark becomes a victim?
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