Thursday, March 12, 2015

Guest Author: Judith Lucci, Creator of Author 911, an Online Resource For Writers Writing Medical Scenes

Today’s guest is Judith Lucci, creator and administrator of Author 911: The Authors’ Writing & Medical Academy, an online resource for writing medical scenes. Judith brings a wealth of knowledge and decades of experience to this website. She’s a registered nurse and has worked in the ICU, ER, neurology, medical & surgery, home health, and public health nursing. She’s also a professor of nursing at a large university in the South and holds graduate and doctoral degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Virginia. Judith has authored textbooks, research studies, theoretical articles, policies and just about anything needed in a clinical or educational environment. She is also the author of the Alex Destephano Medical Thriller Series, which currently includes three titles: Chaos at Crescent City Medical Center, The Imposter, and Viral Intent. Welcome to Adventures in Publishing, Judith! Please tell us about Author 911.

Thanks for inviting me to speak to your readers, Marianne. Author 911: The Authors & Writers’ Medical Academy is my latest project to help authors write medical scenes correctly. The site includes interviews with experts in a variety of areas in healthcare and medicine, links to educational websites on the workings of the human body, a tutorial on ballistics and gunshots, and information on poisons and fight scenes. There’s also writing tips and author spotlights. It’s all new and under development and I hope it allows writers to create believable, realistic stories.

Your Alex Destephano medical series has gotten outstanding reviews. Please tell us about them.

My Alex Destephano novels are a compilation of my very active imagination, my years as a clinical nurse, and current events in the news.  The main characters are Alexandra Destephano, a nurse attorney who is legal counsel for Crescent City Medical Center, and Jack Francoise, a dedicated, gnarly, unyielding New Orleans police commander who covers the 8th Precinct and the French Quarter, where in the deepest, sleazy and sordid areas copious crime occurs. Add in dashing surgeon Robert Bonnet, Alex's ex-husband, and psychiatrist Monique Desmonde, her best friend, and the cast is complete. Crescent City Medical is intent on offering the best care in the world but is constantly challenged by competition, health care reform, incompetent management, psychopaths, murder and viral disease outbreaks, not to mention bad guys intent on doing the hospital harm. Chaos at Crescent City Medical Center, The Imposter, Viral Intent and Toxic New Year (release date Winter 2015) are fast-paced, riveting medical thrillers that offer readers believable drama and memorable characters and allows them to escape into the complex, often mysterious world of health care. 

What are your goals as a writer?

I have three goals when I write: to engage the reader to keep them reading, to entertain the reader and to educate them. I have been a college professor and clinician for many years, and each of my books has underlying themes. In Chaos I talk about the changes in health care based on the Affordable Care Act. The Imposter highlights the dismal state of psychiatric medicine in the US. Viral Intent highlights ethical and political issues currently in society.

What is the time span in your novel?

Chaos takes place over a week, The Imposter a week as well, and Viral Intent only four days. Toxic New Year spans several months.

How much research goes into your writing?

There is a ton of research in all of my books. I know a lot about medicine and health care but not so much about explosives, AK47s, drones and counterterrorism.

When, why, and how did you start writing?

I have been writing ever since I can remember. For many years, as an academician I wrote research reports, theoretical articles, and textbooks, and I only returned to fiction writing in recent years.  I love writing…It allows me to continue to teach and educate my readers as well as entertain them.   Writing allows me a ‘work through’ and rights the wrongs that I have experienced in clinical practice.

What inspires you?

I am inspired by my readers. There is nothing more exciting for me than to receive an email from one of them or a great review.  They energize me and propel me forward.

Where do you get your ideas?

My plot lines come from copious research, my experience, a TV show, the newspaper, almost everywhere.  An ongoing plot line in all of my novels came from the New Orleans Police Department website for unsolved crimes.

How much do you read? Which genres?    

I read incessantly. I love thrillers, literary fiction, suspense, historical fiction, just about everything.  I am amazed by people who say to me “I never read.  I don’t have any time.”  I have learned about people and the world by reading. I cannot imagine a life without books.

Can you tell us what you’re working on now?

I am currently working on the fourth Alex book, Toxic New Year, which I hope to release in a few months. I also have another series, Michaela McPherson, Private Eye.  Mic is a retired homicide detective in Richmond, VA who, no matter how hard she tries,  cannot retire. These will be shorter books but just as exciting as the Alex series.

What advice do you have for beginning authors?

My advice would be to read, revise, write, read, revise, write, revise and get a great editor.  It is impossible for many authors, myself included, to edit ourselves and find simple errors that don’t stand out to us.

Thank you, Judith. Best wishes on Author 911 and your medical series.

Judith loves to connect with readers. You can visit her blog or contact her via email at Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and her new website Author911.

# # # 

Don't miss a word. Follow my Adventures in Publishing. 
Subscribe here and receive a free PDF of my Kindle short story "Ino's Love."

1 comment:

Susy said...

Sometimes writing about medical scenes appears to be an impossible task. And even occasionally better to use outside help, for instance, these guys from writing service.