We’re continuing today with my interview with medical thriller writer Candace Calvert. Be sure to pick up her latest and greatest novel, Trauma Plan.
Welcome back, Candace!
Jordyn: Tell us about your current release.
Candace: Trauma Plan is the first book in my (Texas set) Grace Medical series. Here’s the back cover blurb:
Sidelined by injuries from a vicious assault, nurse chaplain Riley Hale is determined to return to ER duties. But how can she show she’s competent when the hospital won’t let her attempt even simple tasks? To prove herself, Riley volunteers at a controversial urban free clinic despite her fears about the maverick doctor in charge.
Dr. Jack Travis defends his clinic like he’s commander of the Alamo. He’ll fight the community’s efforts to shut its doors, even if he must use Riley Hale’s influential family name to make it happen.
As Riley strives to regain her skills, Jack finds that she shares his compassion—and stirs his lonely heart. Riley senses that beneath Jack’s rough exterior is a man she can believe in. But when clinic protests escalate and questions surface about his past, Jack goes into battle mode, and Riley wonders if it’s dangerous to trust him with her heart.
Jordyn: What’s one thing readers might be surprised to learn about you?
Candace: Like the nurse heroine in Trauma Plan, I’m also a certified lay chaplain.
Jordyn: Most embarrassing moment while nursing? Most triumphant nursing moment?
Candace: Embarrassing: I once walked into an ER treatment room, glanced at the partially clad young man on the gurney and asked, “Can you expose your upper thigh without taking off those bicycle shorts?” He stared at me for a moment, then struggled to do that: healthy skin exposed. Confused, I asked him where his “infected boil” was. It turns out that the clerks had put the wrong ID sticker on this man’s chart. He was there for a sore throat. I can’t tell you how many times nurse friends STILL snicker and ask me, “Can you expose your thigh . . .”?
Most triumphant: Once there was a woman brought in as a possible overdose, she was unconscious, pale, rapidly deteriorating. We were about to intubate, give reversal agents and lavage. In talking with the husband, I learned that she’d also taken Benadryl because of a “sudden rash and itching.” She was in anaphylactic shock, but too far gone to show the hives. We turned her around in moments with the appropriate interventions. It was a small “triumph,” but I always think about the “what ifs” had we proceeded along that OD path instead.
Jordyn: Most embarrassing writing moment? Most triumphant writing moment?
Candace: Most embarrassing: Probably my first submitted manuscript years ago. After I mailed it off (snail mail era), I was looking through the Word file and realized that I’d accidentally pasted a huge chunk of Internet research smack in the middle of a scene. To this day I always check my manuscripts compulsively, then still hesitate and take a deep breath before pushing the “Send” button. Submission PTSD.
Triumphant: The most obvious would be getting that first call from my agent Natasha Kern saying she was interested in signing me. But, in truth, the moments continue. Not so much the starry reviews or awards, but rather the connections I make with readers; the incredible notes that say my stories have touched their lives, made a difference, offered hope in tough times. For me, this is exactly like “the best part” of nursing.
Jordyn: What are you writing now?
Candace: I’m currently writing (working title) First Responder, the third book in the Grace Medical series.
Jorydn: Any final thoughts?
Candace: I’d like to say how very happy I am that medical drama has found its place in today’s Christian fiction market. I love teaming with talented writers like Dr. Harry Kraus, Hannah Alexander, Dr. Richard Mabry and Jordyn Redwood (!) to invite readers into our exciting world. And help “Grey’s Anatomy find its soul.”
Thank you for hosting me here, Jordyn. It’s a pleasure to connect with your readers. I invite them to stop by my website: candacecalvert.com or visit me on Twitter and Facebook. Happy reading!
Candace Calvert is a former ER nurse who believes love, laughter and faith are the best medicines. Her Mercy Hospital and Grace Medical series offer readers a chance to “scrub in” on the exciting world of emergency medicine—along with a soul-soothing prescription for hope. Wife, mother, and very proud grandmother, she makes her home in northern California.