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Daily Archives: November 3, 2012

Author Spotlight no.133 – Barbara Ebel

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…

Feel free to contact and visit her at her website: http://barbaraebel.weebly.com or at http://dogbooksforchildren.weebly.com.

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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.

You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything. You can contact me and find me on the internetview my Books and I also have a blog creation service especially for, but not limited to, writers.

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.

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Posted by on November 3, 2012 in childrens, ebooks, interview, novels, writing

 

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Short Story Saturday Review 015: The Outside World by Omoruyi Uwuigiaren

Welcome to the Short Story Saturday review slot and the fifteenth in this series. This week’s review is of 1,546-word story The Outside World (which comes from his collection ‘The City Heroes & Other Stories from the Heart of Africa’) by children’s author Omoruyi Uwuigiaren.

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One of the first things we’re taught as a writer is to avoid clichés and this story opens with one of the classics ‘dead as a doornail’. Whilst some of the language is a little flowery for adult readers, I can imagine children finding it charming as it’s not talking down to them but with them as they read.

I’m actually a big child myself, loving anything animated, and this story would make a good short film.

The characters in this piece are animals (cats) rather than humans but it doesn’t make them any less human and they are in fact very eloquent which adds charm to the writing. The names Ruyi has chosen for them are great, with Dag, Fred and Pork amongst them.

Like all good stories we have a dilemma early on and they discuss their predicaments and possible solutions.

It’s very hard to avoid ‘telling’ in any form of writing but there are some times when the dialogue is enough. For example, when we learn by what he is saying that Pork is alarmed so we don’t also need to be told that he is.

What Ruyi does well is let us learn of the human behaviour from what the cats are saying about them and the humans’ actions (not pleasant) and that makes the piece all the more realistic.

Any reader should learn / be entertained / moved by their stories they read and I’d say this has all three. By what is said of the cruelty, yet not told in a direct fashion so as to scare younger readers, it should hopefully be impressed on them that this is not acceptable and if they care about the characters they will care about animals in real life. It’ll certainly make me listen closer when I’m walking past a group of cats when I’m out for a walk next.

Writing for children is clearly Omoruyi’s comfort zone and if the rest of his collection is anything like this story, you’ll be in for a treat.

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Thank you Omoruyi for inviting me to read your story.

Omoruyi Uwuigiaren’s writing achievements include articles, cartoons, editorials and nine books. Guardian, Vanguard newspapers, Town Crier Times, Moronic Ox Literary and Cultural Journal, the Publicist International and other literary journals have published his works.

The book which this story comes from his collection ‘The City Heroes & Other Stories from the Heart of Africa’ which is available at http://www.open-bks.com/library/moderns/the-city-heroes/author.html, and Omoruyi blogs at http://omoruyiu.blogspot.com.

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Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I review stories of up to 2,500 words on this ‘Short Story Saturdays’ feature. 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 weekly episodes, usually released Monday mornings UK time, 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.

You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything. You can contact me and find me on the internetview my Books and I also have a blog creation service especially for, but not limited to, writers.

Next up is my author spotlight of novelist and children’s author Barbara Ebel, then 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, bloggers, 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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