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.