Interview with Deborah Shlian

You are a medical doctor. The move from hard science to a creative pursuit such as writing fiction represents a significant shift. Share the background leading up to this decision and the ways this work shift has affected you on the personal level.
I was always interested in writing - even as a youngster. I wrote plays and poetry from grade school through high school including several musicals produced at summer camp. The recognition I received from teachers and classmates was certainly a great motivator. However, I also loved science and wanted to be a physician like my father. He told me that I could always be a writer after becoming a doctor, that there were many well-known writers who were also MDs. Unfortunately, medicine is a strict taskmaster, requiring one’s total attention and passion. So, while I wrote scientific articles and chapters in non-fiction medical texts while practicing medicine, it was only after I left full-time practice for administration that I found the time to write my first novel. All of the six novels I've written so far have medical themes.
Why mysteries like Wednesday’s Child and Double Illusion? What makes them so compelling for you to write?
The mystery genre requires a certain discipline in terms of how you tell your story i.e. how and when you reveal clues to solve whatever puzzle you’ve created for the reader and/or your characters to solve. At the same time, a good mystery should have interesting characters that are every bit as compelling as those you might find in a more “literary” novel.
What was your funniest writing-related moment?
It’s not really funny, but sometimes characters become so “independent” that they almost tell you what they would do in a particular situation. I have written a scene that I thought was fine and then days later, it’s as if the character is talking to me (in my head of course), telling me that the lines he or she is supposed to be speaking aren’t true or the situation just doesn’t work for them! It’s quite weird.
So, what's your current writing project? Is it a mystery, too?
I am currently finishing a thriller titled “Unintended Consequences”. Here’s the log line: While investigating the cause of her mother’s rare neurological disease, ex-Army nurse Mackenzie Dodd with her own secrets uncovers a diabolical government experiment aimed at developing a 21st century biologic weapon.
Published 2016-07-01.
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Books by This Author

Silent Survivor
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 98,580. Language: English. Published: July 31, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
Army nurse, Mackenzie (Mac) Dodd returns to Florida from Iraq with more than one secret. Coming to terms with guilt at her inability to stop a young Marine’s suicide, Mac encourages fellow vets to share PTSD experiences on her SILENT SURVIVOR blog. But soon she is ensnared in a web of conspiracy, deceit, and a sense of duty and honor that could ultimately cost her own life.
Audiobooks in the Digital Age: Taking Control of the Publishing Process and Profits
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 7,390. Language: English. Published: June 16, 2011. Categories: Nonfiction » Publishing » Self-publishing, Nonfiction » Reference » Personal & Practical Guides
A seasoned audiobook narrator and author offer the first "how-to" eBook to help authors navigate new technology and find greater profits by self-publishing audiobooks.
Double Illusion
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 69,490. Language: English. Published: March 30, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
Every parent’s worst fear is coming true. Someone is kidnapping babies.
Wednesday's Child
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 80,600. Language: English. Published: July 6, 2009. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
Leigh Novak left behind a faithless husband to begin a new life with her young son Jeremy - as a family doctor in a small northern California town. But Hartwood held a bitter welcome for them both and a secrt only the children knew.