by guest blogger Richard "Doc" Mabry

I retired from medicine almost 20 years ago. The death of my first wife was devastating, but God blessed me once more with the love of a wonderful woman, and within less than a year, I planned to retire. I had been a solo practitioner for 20 years before joining the faculty of a med school for the final 10 years of my practice. I missed my patients, of course, as well as the daily contact with my colleagues, but I looked forward to time spent writing. 

I had been working on a book detailing my experiences after the death of my first wife, and through a number of fortunate experiences, it was eventually published as The Tender Scar: Life After The Death Of A Spouse. This non-fiction book is now in its second edition, and I looked upon it as the ministry I was called to by that event. But there was more to come.

At the urging of several writers to “try my hand at fiction,” I began to write novels. I tried forty times, but that door seemed closed. Then, when I had given up, an agent said she’d represent me, and she presented my book to an editor who’d just been charged with starting a fiction line. That book, which I called Run Away Home, was published as Code Blue, and I entered the whirlwind that was the life of a published author.

I won’t detail the ups and downs of the next several years. But suffice it to say that fame and fortune did not automatically follow. Then came the pandemic, and I didn’t write during (or after) that time. My dear, sweet wife had been both my most ardent supporter and my severest critic since I first started writing, and it didn’t escape her notice that I had not written anything since my last work, Critical Decision, was published in the spring of 2021.

I had (really, without conscious thought) concluded that it was time for me to lay down my pen. She disagreed. She suggested several ideas to me, but I couldn’t get them to work. While her idea of a medical person trying write a mystery didn’t pan out, in my writing I developed two characters who seemed to show promise—a nurse with a bad experience after an almost-marriage and a widower doctor who had never given thought about another marriage. Then I brought them together through the heart trouble of the nurse’s mother.  Soon I had populated the story with a few additional characters, and eventually I had a novella written. There were edits—lots of edits—after that, but I’m now ready to announce that Medical Mystery is available for pre-order.

Until its “official” release on January 18, 2022, the Kindle version of my newest novella will be available for 99 cents. Also, if you haven’t read it, my “Christmas novella,” Silent Night, Deadly Night, is also available in Kindle format for 99 cents until Christmas. And for whoever wins the print copy (when they are available), if you’ve already pre-ordered the Kindle version of Medical Mystery, I’ll give you a copy of one of my previous books. Sound fair?

If there’s a moral to this tale, I guess it’s this: despite age, or infection, or political upheaval, or whatever—if you’ve been given the gift of writing, it’s for a reason. Don’t argue with God. Use the gift.

Dr. Richard Mabry is a retired physician, now writing “medical mystery with heart.” His novels have garnered critical acclaim and been finalists for ACFW’s Carol Award, both the Romantic Times’ Inspirational Book of the Year and Reviewer’s Choice Awards, the Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and the Selah Award. He is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, the International Thriller Writers, and Novelists Inc. Emergency Case is his latest novella.
He and his wife live in north Texas, where he writes, works on being the world’s greatest grandfather, and strives to improve his golf game. You can learn more about him at his website, and via his blog and Facebook page.


Ruthy here: I loved that Doc reached out to me! It had been too long since he'd written another wonderful story, and his last line reminded me of one of my life mantras, a quote from the late and great Erma Bombeck, a woman who made the world smile with thought, hope, laughter and promise...

"When I stand before God at the end of my life I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say I used everything you gave me."