Q. What are your newest releases?
A. From HERON QUILL PRESS
11/21 MOOSHIE: Life With an Unconventional Cat
4/15 EMERGENCY 24/7: Nurses of the Emergency Room
9/12 NOON AT TIFFANY'S: An Historical Biographical Novel
Q: Of your eleven 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. And, of course, I love the new MOOSHIE book.
Q. How did a critical care nurse end up as the author of eleven 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, 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 is now retired and living in Southern California with her husband.
Q. I have a hard time finding some of your medical thrillers. Why? And how do I find them?
Short A. They can now be found in most ereader format.
Long 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.
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, one kindred artistic and peculiar soul 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 — a physician no less.
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 working on a book about our insane travels together.
UPDATE: MOOSHIE: Life With an Unconventional Cat is now out and available
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.