Dr. Richard Mabry: Stress Test

I’m so pleased to host fellow medical thriller author Richard Mabry, MD today to Redwood’s Medical Edge. Richard has a new book out and we are running a contest to give away one FREE book to a commenter who is willing to post a review of the novel. In the comments section– please leave a note about what you’ll do to help promote Stress Test along with your e-mail address. Winner chosen at random. Must live in the USA. Winner drawn Saturday, April 20th at midnight and announced here on April 21, 2013.

Welcome back, Richard!

I love the books written by the late Robert B. Parker. You may not recognize his name, but Parker is the man who wrote the novels on which the TV shows featuring private detective Spenser and police chief Jesse Stone are based. I think one reason I like Spenser is that he’s just enough of a smart-aleck for me to identify with him. Someone once asked him why he was a private detective, and I love his answer: “Because I can’t sing and dance.”

What Spenser is saying is that he does what he does because he likes it and can do it well, as opposed to other choices he might have. So, when I’m asked why I write, I have two standard responses. The first, like Spenser, is “Because I can’t sing and dance.” The second is the oft-quoted and very true phrase about true writers: “We write because we can’t NOT write.” And there you have it.

I’m a retired physician. I was in solo private practice for 26 years, then spent another 10 as a professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Although I wrote or edited eight textbooks and had over 100 scientific papers published in professional journals, I never once thought about non-medical writing. Then my wife of 40 years died, and one tool I used to help me climb out of the deep depression I felt was journaling. When a friend read these raw journal entries, he encouraged me to turn them into a book. But I had no idea how to proceed.
From there, it was a matter of attending writer’s conferences, going through the cycle of write/edit/write/edit/write, and shopping the finished product to editors. Fortunately, The Tender Scar: Life After The Death Of A Spouse found a home with Kregel Publications, and it continues to minister to thousands each year. But while I was writing my non-fiction book, authors and editors urged me to try my hand at fiction. I tried it and found that I liked it.
Over the next four years, I quit once and almost quit another dozen times. You’ll notice I said I “almost quit” along the way. Why didn’t I quit? Because, time after time I found myself sneaking back to the computer to write some more. Truly, I couldn’t NOT write.
So that’s why I write “medical suspense with heart.” The genre fits. I enjoy the challenge. And…I can’t sing and dance.


Dr. Richard Mabry is a retired physician, past Vice-President of the American Christian Fiction Writers, and the author of five published novels of medical suspense. His books have been finalists in competitions including ACFW’s Carol Award and Romantic Times’ Inspirational Book of the Year. His last novel, Lethal Remedy, won a 2012 Selah Award from the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference. His most recent medical thriller, Stress Test (Thomas Nelson), was released in April, and will be followed by Heart Failure in October.

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