Q. Any new Echo Heron True Medicine books?
A. Yes, just now published EMERGENCY 24/7: Nurses of the Emergency Room
Q: Of your nine published works which book do you like the best?
A: Don't really have a 'favourite', however, I do like NOON AT TIFFANY'S a great deal, although I had the most fun writing the Adele Monsarrat medical thriller series. Of the non-fiction list, I like TENDING LIVES because the chapters are so varied, rather like a roller coaster ride.
Q. How did a critical care nurse end up as the author of eight published books?
A. Writing has been my escape of choice since I was a kid—dysfunctional families of origin can do that to a person. So, I was actually an author long before I became a nurse.
Q: Are all the experiences in your non-fiction nursing books true?
A: Yes, and in many cases, very.
Q. What is being a writer like for you?
A. I love it - it's Brain Gym 24 hours a day where your soul gets exercised. But don't let me wax too euphoric - it can seem like having homework every day and night of your life.When I am working on a book, I write 10-14 hours a day, 6-7 days a week. I am completely focused on what I'm creating.
In the words of 1940's screenwriter Gene Fowler: "Writing is easy - just stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead."
Q: We watched your son Simon grow up over the 18 years covered in Intensive Care and Condition Critical. How old is he now and what is he doing?
A: Simon is 47 (!!) and has had his own twisty career path. Right out of college he became a mortician (I heard that collective gasp of shock). I believe he made this career move because I brought him to work with me one too many times. His most interesting 'client' to date? Jerry Garcia. He is married. . . to a nurse, of course, and has two beautiful sons.
Q: Whatever happened to Janey?
A: Janey worked in the OR for a few years. She lives in Southern California.
Q. I have a hard time finding some of your medical thrillers. Why? And how do I find them?
A. The reason you can't find PULSE, PANIC, PARADOX and FATAL DIAGNOSIS is because my publishers had a lapse of good judgment and took them out of print. To date I have put MERCY and CONDITON CRITICAL out on all ebook readers. Next to go up on e-readers will be the Adele Monsarrat mystery series.
Q: In most of your books, you or the female main character are single but waiting for that soulmate. Are you married or 'hooked up' yet?
A: It is all too true that the life of a writer can be lonely. Besides being a complicated, strange and isolationistic lot, we don't get out much. Plus, I live in a National Park and the only way to get to my cabin is to hike in or come in by mule.
However, despite all this, I have 'hooked up' with a kindred artistic and peculiar soul who has braved the trail and claimed me. UPDATE: Although my friends and family are still having a hard time believing it, I married the above-mentioned individual in March of 2012.
Q: How is Mooshie, the world's most bizarre and traveled cat?
A: Sadly,The Moosh died at the end of 1998 after 15 years of pet/owner bliss and mishap. At the time of his death he was still addicted to dry sherry, English Breakfast tea, potato chips and a heating pad. I am currently finishing a book about our insane travels together: working title is MOOSHU PORK WITH PANCAKES—TO GO.
Q: I understand that you are a bit of a nomad. Where have you been, and why do you move around so much?
A: It would be easier to tell you the places I haven't been...like, Outer Mongolia is one. As to why - I ask you this - why not? For a writer, it's all material. Call it research.
Q: Are you still working as an RN?
A: I worked my last shift in an ICU in San Francisco at the end of 1994 and then lived to write about it in TENDING LIVES. That shift - which was exactly as I describe - brought everything to a head and made me realize I could do more for the nurses and patients through writing about the world of medicine. That being said, I do keep my RN license and ACLS current as a sort of safety net.
Q: Would you ever return to nursing?
A: I truly miss working in an ER and all those great adrenaline rushes. However, after all the political rabble-rousing I've done, I'm not sure there's a hospital administration in the country that would hire me.
That being said, I love writing and would be hard pressed to stop or even slow down.
Q. Is it true that you were a nurse on a Hollywood movie set?
A. Yep. It was a terrible movie but a hell of an experience! Unless you enjoy sleep deprivation and general abuse, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.