One of my favorite books from last year was Heart Failure by Dr. Richard Mabry. (If you missed that review, you can find it here.) So I am super excited to be able to introduce Dr. Mabry to you today! His newest book, Fatal Trauma, releases this week, and I can’t wait to read it! He’s also offering to give away a copy — you’ll find the details at the bottom of today’s post.
Welcome, Dr. Mabry! What inspired you to write Fatal Trauma?
The concept had its origin when I was a professor at a medical center. We were talking about a resident who confronted a gunman in the emergency room and talked him out of his weapon. Later I asked the novelist’s favorite question: What if? I started with two brothers, members of a drug cartel, one with a gun and the other suffering a gunshot wound. I put them in an emergency room staffed by a doctor struggling with his own self-image. Then I had the gunman holding his pistol to the head of the nurse whom the doctor had been dating. After that, the characters told me what came next.
That sounds intense! Do you have a favorite character from this story? Why is this one your favorite?
I suppose I identify with Dr. Mark Baker, the physician in Fatal Trauma, because there are times when doubt creeps in to trouble him. Physicians strive to get it right every time. That’s difficult, but Mark does this, even when someone has him and his girlfriend at gunpoint in a busy emergency room.
Doctors carry tremendous responsibility with their decisions, as you well know. How else do you feel your background in medicine has benefited your writing (aside from the obvious knowledge of medical conditions and their treatments)?
Actually, my past writing of medical texts (I wrote or edited eight) and medical papers (I had over 100 published) didn’t help me as I started writing fiction. In fiction, the reader is looking for entertainment more than knowledge, and the writing is entirely different. On the other hand, my background in medicine taught me to dig deeply for facts, rearranging them and juggling as necessary to reach a valid conclusion.
That logic and attention to detail certainly help create a more plausible story. Have you given any of your own personality quirks to your characters?
Occasionally, one of the characters in my novels has a minor characteristic that’s mine or borrowed from someone I know, but most of the time they’re creatures of my imagination. I have, on the other hand, based some of the fictitious locations on cities with which I’m familiar. For instance, my book Lethal Remedy and my novella Rx Murder are set in a mid-size city not dissimilar to where I went to college.
Can you give any hints about your next book?
Abingdon Press will release my next novel, Miracle Drug, in September. In it, a physician finds himself suddenly responsible for the care of an ex-President who returns from an overseas trip with signs of an unusual infection, generally fatal and for which there is no known cure. As though that’s not stressful enough, the doctor’s girlfriend comes down with the same infection. The physician finally finds an experimental medication that may be effective, but it’s possible there’ll only be enough to treat one person. Although I wrote this before Ebola became a household word, it’s interesting how accurate my guesses turned out to be.
That sounds like another one for my reading list… What is one thing you wish you had known before you began writing/publishing?
I wish I’d known how important it was to edit, rewrite, edit, and re-polish my novels before submitting them for consideration. I got good advice, but I was so proud of having written a complete novel, it was difficult for me not to send it off right away. Also, I wish I’d known that writing was just part of the process—after that first contract comes editing, marketing, and writing the next novel. Although it never gets easier, it’s a nice problem to have.
After the death of my first wife (an event that actually led me into writing, culminating in the publication of my book, The Tender Scar: Life After The Death Of A Spouse), I clung to this verse: Romans 8:38-39. If I had not been certain that nothing—not even death—could separate us from Christ’s love, I would have sunk deeper into the despair I had to fight in those days.
Since I’ve had a number of novels published, I’ve begun signing them with this Scripture reference: Psalm 139:1-5. It reminds me that God has known me from the beginning, and He is aware of every word I speak or write.
God’s concern for those little details of our lives — and His inseparable love for us — are such an encouragement, especially during those very hard times. Thank you so much for visiting with us today, Dr. Mabry!
It began with Dr. Mark Baker facing a gunman who had nothing to lose. It could end with him behind bars.
In the Emergency Room, Dr. Mark Baker and Nurse Kelly Atkinson stand at the mercy of a gunman who declares, “If he dies, everyone here dies.” At the end of the evening three men lie dead. One of them is a police officer Mark and a surgeon, Dr. Anna King, couldn’t save. The other two are members of the feared Zeta drug cartel, and their threat of revenge puts the lives of Mark, Kelly, and others at risk.
It isn’t long before the shootings begin, and Mark finds himself under suspicion as a killer, yet still a potential victim. Because of Kelly’s growing love for Mark, she is hurt when he turns to his high school sweetheart, now an attorney, for help.
Who is the shooter? And can Mark find out before he becomes the next victim?
More about Dr. Mabry:
Richard Mabry is a retired physician, author of “medical suspense with heart.” His novels have been a semifinalist for International Thriller Writers’ debut novel, finalists for the Carol Award and Romantic Times’ Reader’s Choice Award, and winner of the Selah Award. His latest, Fatal Trauma, is his eighth published novel.
You can connect with Dr. Mabry online: