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Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Healer's Defense (or or how did I get to this place?)

Actually, this has turned out to be more of an exciting time than I would have anticipated.

You would think that after the publication of my original trilogy, that any more books being published would be just another (ho-hum) thing. Not so. And I'll tell you why.

To provide some perspective, I'm going to take you back to late 1988. We had recently gotten a new computer/word processor (an Amiga). It was also then at a medical conference, at lunch, where I sat with other attendees, and we griped. About what? We were griping about the state of medicine as portrayed in the lay media, and how they never seemed to get it right. Well, on the way back home, I conceived this grand design of how I was going to write a novel, which would tell the tale of what it was really like to be a physician, and tell it with the accuracy of one who had "been there." But it was also going to incorporate some of my own iconoclastic views on what it meant to be a 7th generation physician. My own dad had recently died, and unknowingly left me his legacy of what it meant to be a physician.

And thus began The Book of Drachma (at that time it was simply called Tim's Novel). It started off with the intention of being an epic medical fantasy, but even in my own mind, it was in three parts. I worked at it, mainly at night, and I rather quickly wrote the first part, along with a few chapters of the second part. When the first part was done, I sent it off to publishers (in those days, you sent them an actual paper manuscript), and while I did keep writing for a while, I heard nothing from publishers.

Then change happened. I went through a divorce, changed jobs and locations, and my interests were not on my writing. But somewhere in my office, over the years, I kept a copy of Tim's Novel. And then in 2009, I just happened to mention to one of the folks who worked in my office that I'd written a novel (or the first portion of a novel), but it was only on paper printed in rapidly fading ink. Michelle offered to transcribe what I'd written onto a word-compatible format, and so began my blogging career. I would dutifully blog one chapter per week, which gave me a great head start on writing the second and third parts of my novel. And by this time, the characters and the story had taken on a life of their own, and I was but along for the ride. It was also at this time that the old Google had a most wonderful place, where people could "meet" in a purely electronic way, could sit down over a virtual cup of their favorite beverage, could listen to music, and generally share life. And so now I had developed something of a following. And my novel now had a name - The Book of Drachma.

And now, with the almost finished three-part novel, I approached publishers again, and this time, Tate Publishing agreed to publish my novel, but they were definitely of the opinion that it should be a trilogy (for obvious marketing reasons). And I began the process of rapidly learning the issues involved in the trade of book publishing. It was in 2012 when my first novel became a printed reality, and after about 23 years I had actually become a "published author." And it really felt good.

Perhaps because I was so busy with my day job, and perhaps because the luster of getting published had lost its shine, publishing the second and third books happened, and they happened without much fanfare. But at the same time, what I had written kept nagging at me, and the characters which I had created weren't done with their stories yet. So, I resumed writing, and by this time, I knew what the world of publishing had for me, and I had learned more about the craft of writing. I began rather quietly, and I began by realizing what I was up against, and how this story was not going to be completed in less that three volumes. I had too many characters, and too many interconnected story lines to wrap things up neatly in one book. So I proposed to my publisher that I had another trilogy I was working on, and they agreed to a three book deal.

Even though this is something of a continuation of the first trilogy, the new characters and the old seemed to meld, and I really believe this is as good a story (if not better) than my first effort. I did learn some useful things, though, in the writing of The Book of Drachma, and I learned them from you. One of the things that you'll notice is that I've included a list of characters, and in place of the usual prologue, what I've included is a synopsis of what happened in the first trilogy.

Unfortunately, I haven't gotten the constant feedback I did in writing The Book of Drachma, so here it is - Heir of Drachma, Book One - The Healer's Defense. I present it to you with some trepidation, and with high expectations. And that's why this time is exciting!


  1. It is my great pleasure to visit your website and to enjoy your excellent post here.

  2. And thank you so much for stopping by! But just to let you know, that the little bit of feedback which I have been getting thus far from The Healer's Defense has been very good. Very encouraging.