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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

3-Year Blogoversary Party ~ Interview with Richard L. Mabry and Giveaway!

Welcome to Christian Bookshelf Reviews, Richard! Thanks for celebrating my blog's 3-Year Blogoversary with us! Will you tell us a little about yourself?

I’ve been in Texas since birth with the exception of three years overseas in the Air Force. I was in solo practice of ENT (ear, nose, throat) for 26 years, a professor at the UT Southwestern Medical Center for 10 years, and have been retired for 11 now. I started writing after the death of my first wife in 1999, eventually writing a book, The Tender Scar: Life After The Death Of A Spouse, published by Kregel in 2006 and still in print. While I was trying to write my non-fiction book, several writers encouraged me to try my hand at fiction. After four years, four novels, and forty rejections I got my first fiction contract.

How many books have you written/published and which one was the toughest to write?
I’ve had six (soon to be seven) novels of medical suspense published. But the hardest book to write wasn’t one of my novels. It was The Tender Scar. Even now, when I read some of the chapters I cry.

What is something the average reader wouldn't know about you?
Some years back, I played beach volleyball with Franco Harris and the Pittsburgh Steelers in Hawaii. And even though I was younger then, when we finished, Franco shook my hand and said, “Thank you, sir.” That’s when I knew I was getting old.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
Unlike the “plotters” among authors, when I start writing a novel, I have no idea who the bad person will turn out to be. As Donald Westlake, who called this “push fiction,” said: “If I don’t know what comes next, how can the reader guess it?”

Where do you like to write?
I have a small (I mean, really small) office at home. After coffee and the news, I go in and check email, read blogs, and then try to get to work. And in case anyone is curious, no, I don’t have a word quota. Sometimes life gets in the way. But I always seem to make my deadlines.

When you are writing a book, do you just write as you go or do you have a set outline for the novel?

When I start a novel, I begin with a “hook,” then I populate the novel with the main characters. I decide on the opening and ending scenes, figure out what kind of twist(s) I can put in to avoid a “sagging middle,” and then see where the characters lead me. I’ve usually written about a fourth of the book before things solidify.

What is the best and/or worst part about being a writer? 
I think it’s true—writers don’t enjoy writing, they enjoy having written. I love the sense of accomplishment when I finish each stage of the novel. But I hate wondering why I got to a particular tough spot and how my character is going to get out of it.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Kay and I have four grandchildren, three of whom are within reasonable driving distance, and they keep us busy. We’re active in our church. I play golf every Wednesday, weather permitting. And we both enjoy reading (when we have time). Retired or not, we never seem to have much free time.

Is there a place you’d like to visit, but haven’t yet?
We’ve been to so many great places I’d like to visit again, we don’t do a lot of planning to try new places. First, we want to go back to Maui, Germany (the Black Forest), western Canada, and several others.

Do you have a favorite Bible verse?
When Cynthia died, I clung to Romans 8:38-39. Recently I’ve begun to add Psalm 139:1-5 below my signature on my novels. Beyond that, my favorite verse can change according to circumstances. And, for writers, there’s always Ecclesiastes 12:12.

Do you have a favorite song and/or movie?
To show my age (and predilection for good movies—what ever happened to them?), I like Kismet and Seven Brides For Seven Brothers.

What's your favorite season and why is it your fav?
I enjoy spring, because it marks baseball spring training. Second best is the fall…football season.

What's your favorite party food?
No contest—fried shrimp, with plenty of red sauce for dipping.

Some this-or-that questions:

Snowstorms or Thunderstorms? 
Love snow, if I can enjoy it through a window, near a fireplace.
Chocolate or Vanilla?
Chocolate, always.
Tea or Coffee? 
Coffee to about 10 AM, iced tea with lunch and sometimes dinner. Hot tea? The English know how to serve it: with milk and sugar.
Call or Text? 
I’m old-fashioned…call, definitely.
Cats or Dogs?
Dogs, but my preference is that they stay outside and someone else takes care of them. (Actually, there may have been times I could say that about my children, too.)
 Early-bird or Night-owl?
Early-bird, probably a hangover from so many years of rising early to get to the operating room.
Introvert or Extrovert?
No matter what you see on the outside, beneath it all, I’m an introvert.
Facebook or Twitter? 
I engage in both, but prefer Twitter. If you can’t say it in 140 characters, send me an email.

Are you currently working on any new novels? If so, would you give us a hint?
As you know, the publishing world works waaaaay ahead. My next novel, Critical Condition, scheduled to release April 15 from Thomas Nelson, is already done—edited and ready to print. Now I’m working on a novel, Surgical Judgment. Here’s the tag line and tease:
It began with Dr. Mark Baker facing a gunman who had nothing to lose. It could end with Mark behind bars.
In the Emergency Room, Dr. Mark Baker and Nurse Linda Atkinson stand at the mercy of a gunman who declares, “If he dies, everyone here dies.” Mark’s quick thinking saves their lives, but at the end of the evening three men lie dead. One of them is a police officer whom Mark and a surgeon, Dr. Anna King, couldn’t save. The other two are members of the feared Zeta drug cartel, subsequenly putting at risk the lives of Mark, Linda, and others.

Dr. Richard Mabry is a retired physician, past Vice-President of the American Christian Fiction Writers, and the author of six (soon to be seven) published novels of medical suspense. His books have been finalists in competitions including ACFW’s Carol Award and Romantic Times’ Inspirational Book of the Year. His novel, Lethal Remedy, won a 2012 Selah Award from the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference. His medical thriller, Stress Test (Thomas Nelson), garnered rave reviews from Library Journal and Publisher’s Weekly. Richard’s latest novel, Heart Failure, released on October 15.
You can learn more about Richard at his website: rmabry.com. He can be found on GoodReads, Twitter, and his Facebook fan page is “rmabrybooks.”

Enter for a chance to win a signed copy of one of Richard L. Mabry's books (winner's choice!).  Giveaway is only open to US residents. Ends 2/15

How to enter: Sign into the Giveaway Tools form below (it might take a moment to load) and submit each entry you complete. Commenting alone will not get you entered – you must click enter on the form. Happy entering!

Open only to those who can legally enter. Winning entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Giveaway Tools and announced here as well as emailed and will have up to one week to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Giveaway Tools or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. I am not responsible for any packages lost or damaged in the mail. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.


  1. I love Medical stories. I enjoyed this interview.

  2. I've read the first two Prescription for Trouble books & really enjoyed them. Looking forward to reading some more of Richard Mabry's books! :)
    Thanks for the giveaway! :)

  3. Hi Melanie. Thanks for having Richard here. Hi Richard. Bet it really was hard writing that first book. And I can understand why you would cry when you read. Sometimes it is hard to tell something about them without getting tearful and choked up. Been there. But, was glad to know I didn't have to wonder where he was going. Thanks for the giveaway. Hoping to win. GOD bless you both. Maxie

  4. Super visit with Dr. Mabry. And I enjoy his books so much.

  5. I have a couple of your books on my Kindle, but haven't had the chance to read them yet. They look great!! Thanks for a wonderful interview and giveaway!!

  6. I love Richard's books; have read all of them but HF!!! Thanks for this giveaway!. I enjoyed this interview with Richard.
    jacsmi75 at gmail dot com

  7. I totally agree with the statement "Writers enjoy having written!"
    I've heard tons of great things about your books and look forward to reading one soon.

  8. Ahhh, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers! I love that movie! :) My family always groan when I pop it into the DVD player. Your books sound terrific, and I'm pretty sure that first one was tough indeed. It was nice getting to know you better, and thanks for the fun! Cheers :)

  9. I love Richard's writing and look forward to each book I read. Thanks for hosting this giveaway.

  10. Thank you for explaining what Push Fiction is. I never knew there was a term for it and I love it! I have wanted to read Stress Test for a while now.

  11. Melanie, Thanks for having me here. Happy to help you celebrate your "blogoversary." And thanks to those who comment and enter the contest to win a signed copy of one of my books. Good luck to you all.

    1. Thank you for celebrating with us, Richard! :)

  12. I guess Dr. Mabry has been writing for some time but this is the first time I've seen his books. Thanks for the intro, this looks like a fun book to win.

  13. I looked up Critical Condition on Amazon, sounds great! As does the intro for Surgical Judgment...

  14. I enjoy books about medical stories. I have worked in the medical field most of my adult life, so they fascinate me! Thank you for this giveaway and for writing Christian books - may God bless your writing Richard!

  15. I love Richard Mabry's Prescription for Trouble series. I look forward to reading his other books, too.

  16. Melanie what a great interview! Dr. Mabry I love your books!! Thanks to you both for sharing, it's always fun to learn new things about authors. Thanks for the giveaway, I'm excited to think that I could be a WINNER!! :-)

  17. I have yet to read any of Mr. Mabry's books, but I have read about them all over the blogosphere! I would love to win this giveaway!
    kandrajane at bell south dot net
    Kandra from OK

  18. My mom would love these. Right up her alley!

  19. I have heard good things about Richard's books but haven't read any yet. If I win, I'll have a tough time deciding which one to choose, but I'm sure they all are, so it will be a win-win situation either way. Ü

  20. Thanks for the giveaway! I love your books, Richard :) I really enjoyed this interview.

  21. Hello Richard Mabry! Thank you Melanie for having the interview! So cool to find out new things about the authors we read! I have read Stress Test and Heart Failure. I really liked both of them but Stress Test has been my favorite so far! I love reading about your writing process and the quote from Donald Westlake! I look forward to reading your next book! mommiebethers{at}gmail{dot}com

  22. Have only read one but I loved it!

  23. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is such a fun movie! I've seen Medical Error around the blogosphere quite a bit but haven't had the chance yet to read any of his books. They sound interesting though!

  24. I 'discovered' Dr. Mabry's books around two years ago. I really enjoy the intelligent, suspenseful and clean reads! Excellent books.

  25. Enjoyed Heart Failure. Looking forward to reading more of your books.

  26. I haven't read any of Dr. Mabry's books yet. They sound so good!

    Judy B

  27. I love Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, I have to watch it at least twice a year!

  28. Richard, I can understand your frustration during writing. ..That is why I do Reviews. I cannot seem to compile my thoughts enough to even begin writing.

  29. I haven't read any of your books yet, but they sure sound good. I will be looking for your books from now on.

  30. This is my favorite kind of book. I love medical suspense.

  31. I can just see you wham he said Thank you Sir and you realized that you were getting old. We may be young at heart but the body tells on us. I just make it a point to be around older people. Then I can be the baby of the group. It works for a while anyway. LOL fishingjan[at]aol[dot]com

  32. Wow, I'm overwhelmed by the number and content of the comments. My thanks to those of you who've read and liked my books. Music to an author's ears. And to the commenters who aren't afraid to say they haven't tried my work yet, I wish each of you luck but hope that, even if you don't win, you'll try one of my books. (Hint: if you search "prescription for trouble bundle" on most major online sellers, you can get two ebook versions of one of my earlier novels for less than the usual cost of one).

  33. Richard. Enjoyed your post. I have not read any of your books yet but will look forward to doing so.
    I wish I had known of your book The Tender Scar when my husband passed 2 year ago. I'm sure it is a very touching book. I also love mysteries and medical based books. The story line looks great. Thank you

  34. Code Blue was awesome! I would love to read the rest! Thanks for a wonderful interview and for hosting the giveaway!

  35. I have loved your other books! The medical info is always great!

  36. Discovered Dr. Mabry through a blog hop. I have been wanting to read one of his books ever since.

  37. These books sound interesting, he would be a new author to me. my goal this year is new authors.

  38. What a great interview, thanks for sharing your thoughts. Liked the Bible verses you shared, laughed out loud about the one for writers!

  39. I love medical thrillers and have a couple of these on my Kindle. Thanks for having a giveaway!

  40. These books sound interesting. Thanks bfor the giveaway.

  41. Great interview. Thanks for the giveaway!

  42. Love medical novels, so I will have to check out his work. Thank for the giveaway!

  43. Thank you. This sounds great. I would love to read your books.

  44. I've been such a big fan of Dr. Mabry for a while now! Thank you so much for this opportunity!

  45. Would love to try one of his books! Thanks for the giveaway! :)

  46. How do you write the ending if you aren't sure who the villain is? Or do you wait until a villain is established before writing the very ending? I need to look into The Tender Scar. My grandmother might appreciate it. :)

  47. We have Richard's books in the Church Library. Thanks for the opportunity to win this book.


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