I am excited to welcome award winning author of mysteries and thrillers, Darden North, M.D., to Not Even Joking today. After reading the post, be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win an audio book copy of North’s thriller FRESH FROZEN.
Time to Celebrate
By Darden North, M.D.
There is cause to celebrate as I begin this piece, at least for me and I hope as well for those who read and enjoy my work. I just completed the first draft of my fifth suspense novel, “When the Bee Stings.” While there will be rewrites and editing (much of each—I’m sure—based on past experience), I am happy. The driving force for me to complete a novel is a new idea, or two or three, for the next one.
My 2016 resolution is that number six will be crafted under a rigid schedule of rising early to write an hour or so daily, following a well-mapped story outline. Of course, that has been the plan before and a shattered resolution. However, “When the Bee Stings” was drawn from a loose synopsis and series of blurbs or “elevator pitches,” and that’s a start. The major obstacle for me to rising early to write is that my full time medical and surgical career as an obstetrician-gynecologist generally requires a 6:45 am arrival to the hospital. That’s already early in anyone’s book.
A common question asked of me in interviews or in simple conversation is How do you find time to write? I think I’m like most people. I find time to do things I really want to do. And like most fiction authors, I find great satisfaction in creating characters and conflict. What could be more fun than dreaming up a fictional somebody that reminds any reader of someone they know (and maybe don’t really like), followed by throwing that poor somebody into all kinds of trouble on your page!
Back to reality—I noted a survey in the January 2016 “Contemporary Ob/Gyn” magazine in which physicians were probed regarding factors considered most important in their choice of the specialty. Only three percent answered Having a balance between work and personal life. While I personally found that number low and probably not representative of true soul-searching, I agree with the near majority that the ability to care for women throughout the patients’ lives, the ability to deliver babies, and overall job satisfaction are vital considerations. Nowhere in the survey did it ask if time allotted to write medical thrillers and suspense novels was important. I am fortunate in that my ob/gyn group in Jackson, Mississippi, is large, but still personable, and all of us doctors are provided time away from the office and hospital for family, friends, and other pursuits.
I have been in private medical practice since 1986 and a published novelist in print since 2005. My first novel “House Call” was followed in 2006 by “Points of Origin.” Later came “Fresh Frozen” and most recently “Wiggle Room.” In the last few years, I have met the challenge of eBooks, particularly from a marketing aspect, but more recently spent time working successfully with narrators to produce “Points of Origin” and “Fresh Frozen” as audio books. The next step, I hope, is the adaptation of my novels into film, which I believe is any author’s dream. A few years ago, a trip to New York City to participate in the annual Mississippi Picnic in Central Park (typically held the second Saturday in June on Dead Road between the Bandshell and Sheep Meadow) connected me with a movie production team. Fingers crossed: “Fresh Frozen” just might make it to the silver screen. By the way, if you will be in NYC June 11, 2016, please come by the Mississippi Picnic in Central Park and stroll through. I’ll be there (I think it’s at least my fifth appearance) signing all my novels with other authors and artists. There will be music, beauty queens, politicians, and other nice folks as well as sweet tea, fried catfish and maybe samples of caramel cake. I suggested to the event organizers that they put the caramel cake in the authors’ tent.
A native of the Mississippi Delta, Darden North, MD, is a nationally-awarded author and board-certified physician in obstetrics and gynecology. He practices full-time at Jackson Healthcare for Women in Jackson, Mississippi. A graduate of Ole Miss and the University of Mississippi Medical Center, he is a certified daVinci robotic gynecologic surgeon and proctor and still delivers babies. Wiggle Room, a captivating contemporary thriller published by Sartoris Literary Group and set against the backdrop of the Iraqi war and the Deep South, is North’s fourth novel. He has written three previous books—Fresh Frozen, House Call, and Points of Origin, which received the national IPPY Award, Southern Fiction category. Fresh Frozen and Points of Origin are also available in audio. North lives with wife Sally in Jackson and is currently writing a fifth novel. In his spare time, he gardens, takes long walks for exercise, watches TV, reads, and travels with family. Sally and Darden have two young adult children, two dogs and two grand dogs. Visit Darden North the author online at: www.dardennorth.com.
FRESH FROZEN by Darden North, MD
Tinker Murtagh thinks his new job is simple, but he’s never robbed a medical clinic before—and he’s never dealt with someone like Dr. Henry Van Deman. In “Fresh Frozen” by Darden North, a childless young policeman and his desperate, infertile wife meet Lucille Wax and her sales catalogue of human embryo and egg donors. Suddenly their Mississippi community faces grisly murder, the world of Hollywood celebrity, and a physician with a hidden agenda.
WIGGLE ROOM by Darden North, MD
Brad Cummins is an Air Force surgeon who returns from overseas deployment after serving four months at the height of the Iraq War, during which he fails to save an injured soldier but mends the GI’s attacker. He endures rigid criticism from his peers, yet survives the medical tribunal’s investigation.
Back in Jackson, Mississippi, still blaming himself for returning the insurgent to the killing fields, Cummins discovers his look-alike brother shot to death and is certain that he was the intended target.
Both the police and Brad’s fiancée discount his fears as paranoia, forcing Brad to consult a psychiatrist. Then his fiancée is found murdered in his apartment. There is no doubt in his mind that he is marked for murder.
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