Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Author Quirks: Candace Calvert

I'm starting a new blog feature: a single-question author interview featuring the authors of books I've reviewed. We're starting off with Candace Calvert, author of Critical Care.

What's a quirky or little-known fact about yourself, your writing, and/or one of your novels? (For example, you can tell us about a non-standard pet you have, an unusual way you do your writing, a strange real life incident that inspired a scene in one of your novels, or so on.)

Candace Calvert's answer:

In my new Mercy Hospital series, I invite readers to “scrub in” on the fast-paced world of emergency medicine, with all its gripping emotion. But I try to temper those nail-biting scenes with moments of warm humor, because (after my long decades in the ER) I know what a life-saver that can be. Like the very real time when . . .

A favorite ER doc—an infamous jokester named Norman--teased us incessantly about “having to work with an all female crew.” He was merciless in his eye-rolling melodrama. So . . .

I had custom tee shirts printed: a variety of pastels (in sizes to fit the smallest and the largest of us) with glittering neon letters that read: “NORM’S ANGELS”—ala the vintage TV show, “Charlie’s Angels.”

The unsuspecting physician showed up for his next ER shift to find himself completely surrounded by his doting all-female crew (from front office registration staff to RN’s) proudly proclaiming his name. It was the first time we’d ever seen the man (blushing and) speechless. I’ll never forget one of the patients saying, “Oh, how lovely. Is that your hospital bowling team?”

The yellowed and aging photo of that zany moment is still floating around in a desk in some California ER. A testament to the therapeutic value of humor. Life gets gritty, real, and many times far too tragic, in the world of emergency medicine. Staff camaraderie—a laugh, a well-timed hug—is priceless.

Perhaps that’s the reason why-- in CRITICAL CARE-- that nurse Claire Avery nearly sits on a chicken at Daffodil Hill. Or why Dr. (“McSnarly”) Caldwell makes a fool of himself trying to dance “The Watermelon Crawl.”

Sometimes you just have to laugh.

Ms. Calvert, thank you for taking the time to tell us more about yourself.

No comments: