Complementing my daily blog interviews, today’s Author Spotlight, the one-hundred and thirty-third, is of Barbara Ebel.
Barbara Ebel is a physician and writer. She attended medical school and residency in Louisville and practiced in Kentucky and Florida. Although she doesn’t presently practice anesthesia, she is a medical guest lecturer on topics ranging from physician suicide to Malignant Hyperthermia and has written a healthy living book called Younger Next Decade: After Fifty, the Transitional Decade, and what You Need to Know. She also uses her M.D. skills in other philanthropic ways.
As an author, she is situated in the right spot, nestled in a wildlife corridor in middle Tennessee with her husband and pets. She has lived up and down the East Coast and always enjoys being close to the Atlantic, the Gulf of Mexico, or lakes and rivers.
And now from the author herself:
Why do readers bank on John Grisham to deliver a novel with behind-the-scenes legal action? Because it’s testimony (no pun intended) to the fact that authors should write what they know. Grisham graduated from law school and specialized in personal injury litigation and criminal defense in Mississippi. As most of you also know, he primarily writes his plots taking place in the geographical area of the south.
My second question is this: would you simply pick up a book to read about the law? Probably not. Otherwise, it might prove to be too boring, unless you were in law school or studying for the Bar exam. However, isn’t it thrilling to read his material and learn in layperson’s terms the inside of the legal system and its maneuvers which you know are mostly grounded in reality because of the author?
I like the fact that besides Mr. Grisham’s story, I will learn something from what I read (good or bad)!
But what’s the other difference here? Even though the background or continuing thread throughout his novels is legal, his plot and characters must be defined and palpable. Can you empathize with the down-trodden, unemployed attorney, can you feel the character’s excitement as he tries his first case, or can you understand his or her frustration when a judge fails to grant the terms of his court motion? Maybe he’ll go home and pick up a bottle of whiskey because his case is on-the-line.
Why have I mentioned all of this anyway? If you like to dive into an interesting specialty in the backdrop of your novels, then let me introduce myself. I am a physician-turned-author and why I turned to writing is to sprinkle credible medicine into the background of my plots. Since I was an anesthesiologist – an unknown operating room doc behind a mask – I thrive on making my operating room scenes shine. (I consider it the courtroom of the legal thriller). It’s exciting to weave surgeries and office visits and trauma cases into my storyline and have my readers gain insight.
However, characters and plot must take center stage. Take my smart, or perhaps not-so-smart, yet esteemed neurosurgeon in Operation Neurosurgeon: You never know…who’s in the OR. Doctor Danny Tilson has a loving Tennessee family propel him to greatness, but as we find out, he’s only human. What befalls the rising neurosurgeon anyway? Can we sympathize with him? Doesn’t every single family member and his best friend, a paramedic, play significant roles in his life? Can even a dog insert a sigh of relief into life’s nasty twist of events?
Oh yes, and by the way, you’ll find a dog in each of my books. That’s because I have three. They are also featured in a children’s book series called Chester the Chesapeake which I wrote and illustrated with real pictures of the dogs. Anyway, I digress….
Please come visit my website and consider adding “credible medicine into the background” of your next novel. Besides discovering my other books, watching book trailers, and finding links for purchase, you’ll see the PRBuzz Press Release Wire data about Operation Neurosurgeon’s 2012 bestselling status and it’s Indie Book of the Day award!
Enjoy, and case closed / surgery’s ended.
Thank you, Barbara. You can find more about Barbara and her writing via…
The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with non-fiction author and White House correspondent Fred Lucas – the five hundred and forty-first of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, biographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.
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Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) 🙂 on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are fortnightly episodes, usually released on Sundays, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.