Questions answered by James J. Murray, Fiction Writer
What is the working title of your next book?
Where did the idea for your book come from?
Several years ago, I sold my pharmacy business. Soon, I realized that I missed the work, the people and the patients. My wife suggested that I write about it. I liked the idea, but that presented a whole new set of challenges: do I write a “how-to” book, a memoir or something else? I chose the something else. I always dreamed of writing fiction, but never had the time. Now I had the time and a rich history in clinical pharmacy to draw upon. I decided to write a suspense novel about a clinical pharmacy practice turning sinister.
What genre does your book fall under?
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Hugh Jackman would play Jon Masters, Nicole Kidman would play Gwen Masters, and Javier Bardem would play Jorge Nuevo.
What is a one-sentence synopsis of your book?
The life of a successful clinical pharmacist implodes when he discovers that the investigational drug study he’s managing is a sham, causing him to be indicted for drug trafficking and leading him on a quest to prove his innocence as he uncovers a global network of illegal drugs destined to become the nation’s latest and most addictive recreational substance.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
About two years.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Little has been written about a pharmacist protagonist who battles an international crime organization, so my book is unique in that respect. I would say that this novel is a mixture of those by Joseph Finder and Robin Cook. Joseph Finder puts everyday people into impossible situations that test their talents to the limit, and Robin Cook always focuses on some sinister aspect of medicine and the medical profession.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Being an avid murder mystery and thriller reader for many years, I would often turn to my wife and say, “What would happen if…?” One day a few years ago, while waiting for a flight to travel on vacation, I turned to my wife and asked her that very question. We began discussing a plot and then added some characters to the equation. By the time we had boarded the flight, I’d given the characters names and my wife suggested that I write a story outline. That outline turned into this first novel and I’ve been writing ever since.
What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
This book focuses on infusion pharmacy, a little known aspect of the practice of pharmacy. It also offers an interesting perspective on modern life in China.
Thanks for allowing me to share thoughts about my debut novel. I plan to publish this work by late spring and hope that you’ll enjoy it as much as I did writing it.
Darrell Scott, the father of Rachel Scott, a victim of the Columbine High School shootings in Littleton, Colorado, was invited to address the House Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee. What he said to our national leaders during this special session of Congress was painfully truthful.
“Since the dawn of creation there has been both good & evil in the hearts of men and women. We all contain the seeds of kindness or the seeds of violence. The death of my wonderful daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, and the deaths of that heroic teacher, and the other eleven children who died must not be in vain. Their blood cries out for answers.
“The first recorded act of violence was when Cain slew his brother Abel out in the field. The villain was not the club he used.. Neither was it the NCA, the National Club Association. The true killer was Cain, and the reason for the murder could only be found in Cain’s heart.
“In the days that followed the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed at how quickly fingers began to be pointed at groups such as the NRA. I am not a member of the NRA. I am not a hunter. I do not even own a gun. I am not here to represent or defend the NRA – because I don’t believe that they are responsible for my daughter’s death. Therefore I do not believe that they need to be defended. If I believed they had anything to do with Rachel’s murder I would be their strongest opponent
I am here today to declare that Columbine was not just a tragedy — it was a spiritual event that should be forcing us to look at where the real blame lies! Much of the blame lies here in this room. Much of the blame lies behind the pointing fingers of the accusers themselves. I wrote a poem just four nights ago that expresses my feelings best.
Your laws ignore our deepest needs,
Your words are empty air.
You’ve stripped away our heritage,
You’ve outlawed simple prayer.
Now gunshots fill our classrooms,
And precious children die.
You seek for answers everywhere,
And ask the question “Why?”
You regulate restrictive laws,
Through legislative creed.
And yet you fail to understand,
That God is what we need!
“Men and women are three-part beings. We all consist of body, mind, and spirit. When we refuse to acknowledge a third part of our make-up, we create a void that allows evil, prejudice, and hatred to rush in and wreak havoc. Spiritual presences were present within our educational systems for most of our nation’s history. Many of our major colleges began as theological seminaries. This is a historical fact. What has happened to us as a nation? We have refused to honor God, and in so doing, we open the doors to hatred and violence. And when something as terrible as Columbine’s tragedy occurs — politicians immediately look for a scapegoat such as the NRA. They immediately seek to pass more restrictive laws that contribute to erode away our personal and private liberties. We do not need more restrictive laws. Eric and Dylan would not have been stopped by metal detectors. No amount of gun laws can stop someone who spends months planning this type of massacre. The real villain lies within our own hearts.
“As my son Craig lay under that table in the school library and saw his two friends murdered before his very eyes, he did not hesitate to pray in school. I defy any law or politician to deny him that right! I challenge every young person in America , and around the world, to realize that on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School prayer was brought back to our schools. Do not let the many prayers offered by those students be in vain. Dare to move into the new millennium with a sacred disregard for legislation that violates your God-given right to communicate with Him. To those of you who would point your finger at the NRA — I give to you a sincere challenge.. Dare to examine your own heart before casting the first stone!
My daughter’s death will not be in vain! The young people of this country will not allow that to happen!”
– Darrell Scott
Let the nation hear this man’s speech. Please send this out to everyone you can.
8 Ways to Help Your Favorite Author*
*and Get Your Fans To Help YOU
Blogger: Rachelle Gardner
→ You’ve got a book out, and you want to tell your friends and fans how they can help.
→ Or you have friends who are authors, and you want to see them succeed.
→ Or you have favorite authors whom you’ve never even met, yet you still want to help their books find readers.
For all of those situations, here are a few simple things that can make a world of difference to an author:
1. Amazon reviews. If you have positive things to say about a book, go ahead and say them! Don’t be false; don’t rave about a book you don’t really like. But write a good review if you can. Reviews are a powerful tool on Amazon that can make a big difference in an author’s sales.
2. Reviews on other retail sites. Barnes & Noble, the Apple store, Kobo, Smashwords… it helps to leave good reviews on any of the retail sites you visit.
3. Amazon “Like” button. See that little “thumbs up” icon on the Amazon page, right below the title and author? Click it!
4. Vote “up” positive Amazon customer reviews. At the bottom of each review, it asks, “Was this review helpful to you?” If you found a positive review helpful, click yes, and it will help move that one higher on the page.
5. Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. The crucial thing about these social networks is, don’t just post “I loved this book!” (although once wouldn’t hurt). Instead, pick several of your favorite lines from the book and quote them in your tweets and Facebook posts; and use the quotes to create fun Pins on Pinterest. You can get a lot more mileage this way, without becoming repetitive and tiresome.
6. Goodreads. Add the book to your “read” list. Write a review. Rate the book. You can also create lists in Listopia, and include the book in a list. There are public lists that anyone can add books to. In existing lists, you can “vote up” a book by clicking “vote for this book.” All of these things can increase a book’s visibility for potential readers.
7. Offer an endorsement. If you’re an author yourself, or if you have a substantial platform or notoriety in a particular circle, your endorsement could be valuable to the author. You could offer to write one that they could use to help promote the book.
8. Blog about the book. This is an obvious one, but I want to offer a caveat. I see many blog tours and allegedly “book reviewing” blogs that don’t actually offer reviews, but instead they’re simply canned synopses and/or author interviews that are repeated throughout the web. This isn’t helpful and doesn’t offer potential readers anything particularly valuable. If you’re going to blog, try to make it your own.
I hope that helps when you’re trying to figure out how to help out an author you love, or when you’re wondering how to ask your friends to help.
Now, if by any chance you’d like to put any of these tips to work right away, click on the image to check out my just-released e-book, How Do I Decide? Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing. If you like the book, then of course, any and all promotional participation is appreciated!
If you have any other great ideas for helping authors, please tell us in the comments.
Link to this article: http://www.rachellegardner.com/2013/01/8-ways-to-help-your-favorite-author/
There’s never been a better time to write than right now. If you have a desire to write, but haven’t yet, you should. Start writing today.
And if you have dabbled in writing and like it, don’t give up. Are you wondering if what you write is good enough? It is. No two people write the same way. Everyone starts out with a unique voice, and the more they write, the better they develop that voice.
Take time to write every day. Figure out when is the best time for you to put pen to paper, or fingers to keypad. When are you rested, most likely to be creative? When are you most likely to find some uninterrupted time? Schedule that time for you.
If you’re stuck for something to write about, try free writing. Write down whatever comes to mind, whether it makes sense or not. Something will emerge that you can use. Check out this link: http://web.mst.edu/~gdoty/classes/concepts-practices/free-writing.html
Believe in yourself. Finish that story. Write that novel. It won’t matter if it ever gets published: you will know you achieved something great, something most people have never done.
Hello to rileybanks, olganm, and jenniferkillby. I’m so happy that you all have joined my site. Please feel free to comment and reply,I look forward to getting to know you. How did you find this website? Are you writers too? Until soon, Carol
Oh my goodness. I just now found site stats on this website. I see we have chevybob, trlarson, bookendings, Armand R. Suzzeq, and Thomas R. following my website too. I’m thrilled to know you’re here. Now if you would comment and reply, I’d love to hear from you all. Please tell me a bit about yourself. Thank you. Carol
As hard as it is to believe, 2012 is a thing of the past. With 2013 we open a whole new book full of empty pages. I hope we all fill them with love, good health, and success in our endeavors. Wishing you the best today and always. Carol