Lethal Remedy, Prescription for Trouble Series #4Lethal Remedy, Prescription for Trouble Series #4
Richard Mabry
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What happens when the race to stop a lethal bacteria becomes a race to stop a killer?

Dr. Sara Miles' teenage patient is on the brink of death from an overwhelming, highly resistant infection with Staph luciferus, known to doctors as "the killer." Only an experimental antibiotic, developed and administered by Sara's ex-husband can save the girl's life.

But potentially lethal effects from the drug send Sara and her colleague, Dr. Rip Pearson, on a hunt for hidden critical data that will let them reverse the effects before it's too late. What is the missing puzzle piece? And who is hiding it?
     


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Richard L. MabryRichard L. Mabry, M.D. is a retired physician and medical school professor who achieved worldwide recognition as a writer, speaker, and teacher before turning his talents to non-medical writing after his retirement. His inspirational pieces have appeared in numerous periodicals. He and his wife, Kay, live in North Texas.

Favorite Verse: Romans 8:28-29 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

Tough times also bring me around to Psalm 115:3. Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.


 

 Our Interview with Richard Mabry


 

Please tell us a bit about yourself.
 
I’m a physician, retired after 26 years in private practice and 10 as a professor at a major medical school. My wife of 40 years passed away in 1999, and I wanted to write a book for those going through a similar loss (published in 2006 as The Tender Scar: Life After The Death Of A Spouse). That started me on the road to writing, a road that I’ve discovered has lots of twists and turns, but traveling it has been a satisfying journey.

What is your favorite Bible verse?
 
Romans 8:38-39
  “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (NLT)

How did you get started as a CBA writer?

As a Christian, when I decided to write The Tender Scar, I knew it would have a Christian theme. As I began toying with the idea of trying my hand at fiction, I determined that whatever I produced would uplift and encourage Christians and draw in non-Christians by mirroring the changes God can work in a life.

How did you come up with the concept for Lethal Remedy?

For many years I was privileged to be a consultant to a number of pharmaceutical companies. I was struck by the absolute need for the researchers working on various drugs to be absolutely honest in reporting their work and ethical in carrying out the trust placed in them. Then I wondered, what would happen if someone decided to hide critical data to rush a much-needed drug into production and use. That was the germ of the idea for Lethal Remedy.

How much of your personal experiences as a physician are tied up in the books you write?

None of the scenarios or characters are real, although I’ve borrowed a few traits from colleagues and patients I’ve encountered over the years. More important, I’ve drawn from experience gained in private practice and academic medicine to produce books with medical details that are as accurate as I can make them.

What is the symbolism for the title Lethal Remedy?

We—meaning doctors and patients alike—depend on medications for relief of problems that can range from trivial to critical. In this case, the cure could prove to be worse than the disease for some patients receiving it.

 

Do you have a favorite character in the Lethal Remedy? Why?

Most definitely. I identify with Dr. John Ramsey. He was about to retire when his wife died, and his world collapsed around him. For him, the key to getting through it was to return to the practice of medicine. I’ve truly been there, done that—but for me, it was writing, rather than a return to practice, that helped me resume my life.

How much research did Lethal Remedy take?
 
Probably more than most of my books. I always check the medical aspects of what I write, because medicine is constantly changing. In this book, in addition to getting those details right, I had to come up with various disorders that could be tied together with a single thread of causation, and a cure that is plausible. I can’t say more than that without spoiling some of the suspense.

What is the most interesting fact that you learned while researching and writing Lethal Remedy?

I believe it was the research I just talked about. It was like working a jigsaw puzzle with diseases, their causes, and treatment as the pieces.

How many books will be in the  Prescription for Trouble series?

This is the fourth and final book in the series. However, the books are all free-standing, and can be read in any order.

What are some of the challenges you face as an author?

The challenges never stop. First there’s actually writing a novel, complete with cast of characters, story arc, appropriate hook. Then there’s acquiring an agent. After that comes finding a publisher. Then it’s a matter of letting the reading public know the work is out there, hoping it sells, and crossing your fingers as you wait for reviews. And somewhere along the line, the cycle has already started again, so that at some point an author is writing, revising, negotiating, and marketing. The fun never stops.

What aspects of being a writer do you enjoy the most?

Probably the fellowship with other writers. By and large, we’re a group of people who sit for hours on end at our computers and listen to voices in our head. When we meet at a writer’s conference, it’s nice to talk with others who understand what that’s like.

What clubs or organizations are you involved with helping with your writing?

I have the privilege of serving as Vice-President of the American Christian Fiction Writers, a 2300+ member organization devoted to helping develop writers of Christian fiction. I also am a member of our local ACFW group, and speak to other regional groups from time to time.

What do you do to keep your writing fresh and improve on it each time you write a book?

I never want to stop learning the art and craft of writing. After I complete the first draft of a novel, I go back through it and ask myself, “What can I change to make this more interesting, more challenging, different?” It helps that most of the time I don’t know who the villain will be when I start writing a book. And sometimes the answer surprises me.

Are there any other new projects on the horizon?

I’m at work on the first novel in my next series, with a working title of Stress Test. It features Dr. Matt Newman who is kidnapped and awakens in the hospital ICU to find that he’s accused of murder. His only hope lies with a red-haired attorney, Susan Murray, who’s just sworn she’d never again have anything to do with doctors.

What advice would you give to a person trying to become a fiction writer?

Study the art and craft. Read novels, both the good ones (to see how the author did it) and bad ones (to see what to avoid). Write, have your work critiqued by someone knowledgeable in the craft, then revise. Do it again and again. And go to conferences if you can. This is a great opportunity to network as well as learn.

What message would you like your readers to take from reading Lethal Remedy?

You may think there’s no hope, but God knows better.

What is your greatest achievement?

Despite having served as President or Vice-President of all the major medical organizations in my specialty, despite having written numerous medical textbooks and lectured all over the world, and despite having achieved a certain amount of success as an author, I believe the greatest achievement any man could wish for is being a good husband, father, and grandfather. I hope I’ve succeeded.

 

What do you do to get away from it all?

I have a standing weekly date on the golf course with my long-time friend and attorney. We don’t play that well, but since we don’t keep score, we just revel in the occasional good shots and forget the bad ones. Also, each fall Kay and I retreat to the mountains of North Carolina to see the foliage and relax.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I hope readers will enjoy Lethal Remedy and the other books in the series. (And before they toss out all their prescription medications, I hope they’ll read the author’s note at the end of the book.)


 

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