Candace Calvert writes gripping and at times heart rendering medical dramas filled with hope, great romance and hunky heroes! She has quickly become a favorite of mine as her stories are populated with real people facing real decisions, but who are still firmly planted in the world of fiction.
Thanks so much Candace for joining us on our blog today. Can you tell us a bit about yourself? Any hobbies you have?
It’s a delight to be here—thank you for this opportunity to connect with your readers. In a nutshell, I’m a former ER nurse, wife, Mom, and proud grandmother to seven (ages 2 to 23!) When I’m not writing, I love to garden, hike, bird watch, and travel—in fact, hubby and I will be taking a Rhine River cruise this fall. Folks who follow me on Twitter and Facebook know that I’m a passionate “foodie,” very happy wearing an apron and brandishing a wooden spoon.
Jess: Oh the Rhine River is beautiful! My hubby and I got a chance to see some of it a few years ago and it’s gorgeous! I can totally relate to wearing an apron and brandishing a wooden spoon. Baking is one of the joys of my life.
What got you into medical inspirational romance novels? What do you think it is about this genre that people like so much?
Of course, the classic advice is “write what you know,” and I spent three decades in the trenches of ER. But more than that, I was disappointed that while TV’s very popular medical shows offer the lights-and-siren action, hospital lingo, and loads of interpersonal drama, they very rarely address issues of faith. As a nurse, I know that’s unrealistic; so many prayers are sent heavenward by patients, family, and by medical and rescue professionals. I wanted to “help Grey’s Anatomy find its soul.” People sometimes call me the author of “medical hope opera”. I like that!
Jess: I love what you have done for this genre.
How much time do you usually spend on the research element for your books? Do you visit locations and conduct interviews?
Having worked in the emergency medical field for a long time, I’m accustomed to the hospital setting. And I ask still-practicing colleagues for clarification of new procedures. I’ve been blessed to work with professionals in law enforcement, firefighters, military, and search and rescue and chaplaincy volunteers. I do visit my story settings and enjoy offering readers imagery that puts them “into the scene” right down to the taste of scrumptious regional food, like the fajitas and pecan pralines in Trauma Plan—tough work, but I am very dedicated (wink). And, of course, I did leap into my own skydiving research . . .
Jess: I’ve noticed and appreciated the way the setting is often included in your books. The “flavor” of each place is right there in the book. I couldn’t do the skydiving…I’ll leave that stuff to my hubby!
When you get writers block, what do you do to try and get out of it?
Oh dear, I try not to ever say the “block” word—it’s like saying things are “quiet” in the ER; stirs up all sort of trouble! Seriously, I find that physical exercise stimulates the brain as well as the body. And sometimes indulging in an alternate creative effort gets the juices flowing, like trying a great new recipe. Or painting a wall—evidenced by the small eggplant purple wall above the shower in our guest bathroom.
My (Jess) favorite book of yours is Trauma Plan, I just loved Jack! Which book has been the most joy to write? Any that were hard to write?
Thank you for enjoying Trauma Plan! I’d have to say that it was one of my favorites, too. I enjoyed writing Dr. Jack “Rambo” Travis, offering readers all the color of San Antonio. And I loved meeting former rodeo clown Bandy Biggs. He was one of those unplanned characters who sort of wandered (bowlegged) into the story, and captured my heart. He still hangs around my office offering peanut butter sandwiches . . . and hope.
Code Triage was perhaps most difficult to write because of the subject matter: my first marriage didn’t survive similar challenges. I’m so grateful for our God of second chances!
Can you tell us what’s up next from you regarding books?
The third book in my Grace Medical series, Life Support, is scheduled for release in March—I’m eager to share this Houston set story. And (drum roll) I’ve very recently signed a new 3-book contract with Tyndale House to bring readers another exciting medical fiction series! I couldn’t be more pleased.
Jess: Congratulations on the book contract! I’m sure there are many eager readers out there (myself included) looking forward to reading more from you.
If you could be any fictional book character for a day, who would you be, and why?
It’s too hard to choose what character I’d be! So many books, so many different experiences. Maybe I’ll pick a wild card here and say I’d be (the spider) Charlotte in Charlotte’s Web. What a unique way to see the world, what a cool way to knock the socks of people (writing those words in her web)! Charlotte had such a great, wise, and encouraging heart. An expected and memorable heroine.
What do you know about Australia, and is there anything in particular you would like to see if you came for a visit?
Some of my biggest impressions of Australia come from watching (over and over!) “The Man from Snowy River”—I love that movie. Horses, romance, action, and spectacular scenery, how can it get any better? Hubby and I love snorkeling, so we’d want to see The Great Barrier Reef. Do the sights in Sydney (local food, of course), and then arrange an opportunity to see Australian birds and wildlife—a must for us! Your beautiful country is definitely on our travel list.
Jess: I’ve seen “The Man from Snowy River” and yes the scenery is spectacular. I’ve yet to visit that region of Australia, but would love to. I hope you get to visit Down Under Candace! Thanks for joining us today for a great interview!
Thank you for hosting me here, ladies—this has been delightful.
I invite your readers to visit me online at:
(My foodie-author blog) Authors’ Galley: Manuscripts and Wooden Spoons
Candace is kindly giving away a signed copy of one of her books. The competition is open to international residents. To be entered into the competition leave a comment with your email address and we will draw the winner on Friday the 20th September, 2013.
Candace Calvert Books (and links to our book reviews):
Critical Care (Mercy Hospital 1)
Disaster Status (Mercy Hospital 2)
Code Triage (Mercy Hospital 3)
Jess’ favourite genre is contemporary women’s fiction and contemporary romance fiction. She also enjoys historical fiction with a focus on romance. She loves books set in country towns or farms with a cowboy featured in either historical or contemporary settings.
She is currently writing her first novel, a contemporary women’s fiction/romance set in a small country town.
Jess is a mum of two children and married to the calmest man alive. She loves to bake and go for walks. A writer of contemporary romance, Jess write stories about the heart and where love is worth the journey.
Jess and Helen, thanks for sharing this. Candace is a great writer and a great person.
And Candace, I'm sending my best wishes to you. Heal quickly, friend.
Candace thank you for giving us insight to your writing world. I am so excited for your upcoming series and to know you have a contract for 3 more has made my evening. I love your books. To be honest I'm not sure I could pick a favorite, but I did love the characters in Critical Care.
Jess and Helen thank you for sharing this wonderful interview.
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Enjoyed your interview, Candace, & love your blog & books! I appreciate the special person you are & offer up prayers for a speedy recovery!
Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!
Enjoyed the interview. A speedy recovery and prayers for you, Candace. Thank you, Jess.
Richard: thank you SO much for your kind words–better than an RX. 🙂
Katrina: You bless me, friend. Thank you.
Bonnie: thank you for the prayers. I'm being a good patient.
Pat: I so appreciate your stopping by–and your kindness.