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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Just asking...

It is now nearing the end of January, and I've finished the work of writing and editing The Book of Drachma, all three volumes of my trilogy. And, yes, there is some sense of accomplishment in all this. But there is something else, too - a sense of impatience, of something that I should be doing, but I am not.

Well, more on that a bit later.

Let me just, for a few moments, tell you something of what went into this whole writing thing. As many of you know, I am a physician. That has become my identity. It is what defines me and establishes how I perceive the world, and my relation to the world around me. It is as inescapable as my own body and temperament. And I believe that this is something that most physicians the world over, and through the millennia, from the ages of darkness and ignorance, down to the present time, have accepted. Some have accepted this eagerly, others with reluctance, but let me tell you that with few exceptions, this is what separates us, and yet defines us within each generation of humanity.

And it is just that which got me going on my track of writing The Book of Drachma. For it seems to me that the lay media still don't get it right. There is a very distinct difference between what is written about us, and what is written by us. Now, all the rules of good writing still apply, regardless of who is writing what. And all the standards of story-telling still hold true. Nevertheless, it is my contention that there is a chasm out there that does need to be occasionally crossed by physicians; approaching the world of fiction writing from inside rather than outside the world of medicine.

It was with this motivation that I started my novel (in 1989), and I guess it was this same motivation that kept me from destroying what I had begun. What I started was a novel, roughly divided into three parts, with no intention of writing three distinct books. That was the publisher's idea, and that's how it got published - as a trilogy, with each part gradually more complex than its predecessor. And now it's done,  for what it's worth.

And what is it worth? All the hours I put into this opus - was it worth doing? I guess that's not for me to decide. Well, let me tell you that the feedback I've been getting has been generally favorable (aside from comments such as "not enough smut"). And people keep asking about the sequel, which I guess is a good sign.

Well, that brings me back to my original concern, namely what do I need to be doing? I know the book is unlikely to sell itself, and get out of the Edmond/Oklahoma City arena without some kind of major effort (apparently on my part), or some kind of push. So, if any of you out there have any ideas at all, I'll certainly listen to them. For despite being a physician, I do think The Book of Drachma does offer something reasonably unique to persons from all kinds of backgrounds.

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