I always enjoy chatting with today’s guest – especially when it means that he has a new book releasing soon… as in July 17th!
Dr. Richard Mabry is a retired physician, now writing “medical mystery with heart.” His novels have garnered critical acclaim and won or been finalists for multiple awards. Guarded Prognosis is his twelfth novel. He has also published four novellas and a non-fiction book. 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.
When Dr. Caden Taggart saw the two men sitting in his waiting room, he didn’t think they were patients. He was right, and when they introduced themselves as agents of the Drug Enforcement Agency, things started to get bad.
Then Caden felt as though someone had gut-punched him when his father, Dr. Henry Taggart, told him he probably had carcinoma of the pancreas. When he talked about his son assisting with his suicide, Caden wondered how he could talk him out of that.
When he shared his news with his wife, Beth, she tried to assure Caden that God was in control. But as things progressed, he was unsure that was true. At first, he feared for his freedom. Then for his ability to cope. Eventually, he feared for his life.
Hi Dr. Mabry! Welcome back to the blog!
Richard: Always “over”—no question about it. (And I put on a new roll when needed, unlike some folks).
Carrie: Yes, why do people not put on a new roll?
Richard: Actually, I like Coke Zero. Can’t stand the taste of Pepsi.
Carrie: ugh. me either.
Richard: Learned to love the ocean when I looked out at it every day for almost 3 years during my Air Force tour in the Azores. Besides which, I get short of breath at altitude.
Carrie: That would do it 🙂
Richard: Print when I’m reading at home. My Kindle when I’m asked to read in view of an endorsement, when an e-book is on sale (yes, I’m cheap), and for reading material on a trip.
Carrie: I’m the same way – my Kindle has made travel so much less cumbersome!
Q: Which books are “on your nightstand”?
Richard: I may get criticized because I don’t confine my reading to “Christian fiction,” but from time to time I like to re-read some of my favorites, choosing from a bookcase full of them. At present, I’m re-reading the novels of the late Donald Westlake. They provide plenty of laughs (unless he’s writing under the pen name of Stark—those are definitely dark).
Carrie: This is a no-condemnation zone as far as branching out from CF on occasion 🙂
Q: Characters often find themselves in situations they aren’t sure they can get themselves out of. When was the last time you found yourself in a situation that was hard to get out of and what did you do?
Richard: I had such a situation recently with a new WIP. One of the pitfalls of being a “pantser” is that I don’t have an outline, so I often don’t know the next move by a character. BTW, Westlake calls this “push fiction,” saying if he doesn’t know what’s next, neither will the reader. Usually I let the scene alone for several days, and my brain generally comes up with an answer. In this case, I had a dream that told me where to go with the plot.
Carrie: oh i love that!
Q: Some authors like to hide little things in their stories. Is there anything you have hidden in your book?
Richard: In my earlier books, I copied Al Gansky and “hid” the word “tarmacadam” in some of my books. Lately, I’ve often included the phrase which I’ve seen in other books, and liked: “…let out a breath he didn’t know he was holding.”
Carrie: I really like that phrase as well! <consults dictionary for ‘tarmacadam’> lol
Q: Things seem to quickly go from bad to worse for Dr. Caden Taggart. What inspired the plot for Guarded Prognosis?
Richard: Actually, there are two elements to the plot. I wanted to write about a doctor who found that his father, also a surgeon, might have an incurable disease. This was a scenario drawn purely from my imagination. Then, as the writing progressed, I put in information about some other things taken from my own experiences. I had a second part to the plot, but my wife—my first reader—suggested a different problem for the protagonist, one involving DEA compliance. I took her advice, and it seems to have worked.
Carrie: Wives often have good advice 😉
Q: What is one of your favorite quotes from the book & why do you love it?
Richard: When the elder Dr. Taggart comes to grips with his diagnosis, he quotes the French military surgeon, Ambroise Pare, who said,“I dressed the wounds. God healed the patient.” I love it because as a physician I’ve learned that medical skill goes only so far. After that, it’s in God’s hands.
Carrie: Amen ♥
Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.
Richard: In late November or early December, I plan to release my next novella. In Emergency Case, a doctor starts to back out of her snowy driveway when she runs over a corpse that proves to be the body of her attorney-husband’s client.
Carrie: oh my!! Can’t wait!
Dr. Mabry is offering a copy of Guarded Prognosis to one of my readers! (Print if US winner, ebook if international winner) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What do you like most about medical mysteries?