Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Author Interview: Candace Calvert 2/2

We're continuing today with my interview with medical thriller writer Candace Calvert. Be sure to pick up her latest and greatest novel, Trauma Plan.

Welcome back, Candace!

Jordyn: Tell us about your current release.

Candace: Trauma Plan is the first book in my (Texas set) Grace Medical series. Here’s the back cover blurb:

Sidelined by injuries from a vicious assault, nurse chaplain Riley Hale is determined to return to ER duties. But how can she show she’s competent when the hospital won’t let her attempt even simple tasks? To prove herself, Riley volunteers at a controversial urban free clinic despite her fears about the maverick doctor in charge.

Dr. Jack Travis defends his clinic like he’s commander of the Alamo. He’ll fight the community’s efforts to shut its doors, even if he must use Riley Hale’s influential family name to make it happen.
As Riley strives to regain her skills, Jack finds that she shares his compassion—and stirs his lonely heart. Riley senses that beneath Jack’s rough exterior is a man she can believe in. But when clinic protests escalate and questions surface about his past, Jack goes into battle mode, and Riley wonders if it’s dangerous to trust him with her heart.

Jordyn: What's one thing readers might be surprised to learn about you?

Candace: Like the nurse heroine in Trauma Plan, I’m also a certified lay chaplain.

Jordyn: Most embarrassing moment while nursing? Most triumphant nursing moment?

Candace: Embarrassing: I once walked into an ER treatment room, glanced at the partially clad young man on the gurney and asked, “Can you expose your upper thigh without taking off those bicycle shorts?”  He stared at me for a moment, then struggled to do that: healthy skin exposed. Confused, I asked him where his “infected boil” was. It turns out that the clerks had put the wrong ID sticker on this man’s chart. He was there for a sore throat. I can’t tell you how many times nurse friends STILL snicker and ask me, “Can you expose your thigh . . .”?

Most triumphant: Once there was a woman brought in as a possible overdose, she was unconscious, pale, rapidly deteriorating. We were about to intubate, give reversal agents and lavage. In talking with the husband, I learned that she’d also taken Benadryl because of a “sudden rash and itching.” She was in anaphylactic shock, but too far gone to show the hives. We turned her around in moments with the appropriate interventions. It was a small “triumph,” but I always think about the “what ifs” had we proceeded along that OD path instead.

Jordyn: Most embarrassing writing moment? Most triumphant writing moment?

Candace: Most embarrassing: Probably my first submitted manuscript years ago. After I mailed it off (snail mail era), I was looking through the Word file and realized that I’d accidentally pasted a huge chunk of Internet research smack in the middle of a scene. To this day I always check my manuscripts compulsively, then still hesitate and take a deep breath before pushing the “Send” button. Submission PTSD.
Triumphant: The most obvious would be getting that first call from my agent Natasha Kern saying she was interested in signing me. But, in truth, the moments continue. Not so much the starry reviews or awards, but rather the connections I make with readers; the incredible notes that say my stories have touched their lives, made a difference, offered hope in tough times. For me, this is exactly like “the best part” of nursing.

Jordyn: What are you writing now?

Candace: I’m currently writing (working title) First Responder, the third book in the Grace Medical series.

Jorydn: Any final thoughts?

Candace: I’d like to say how very happy I am that medical drama has found its place in today’s Christian fiction market. I love teaming with talented writers like Dr. Harry Kraus, Hannah Alexander, Dr. Richard Mabry and Jordyn Redwood (!) to invite readers into our exciting world. And help “Grey’s Anatomy find its soul.”

Thank you for hosting me here, Jordyn. It’s a pleasure to connect with your readers. I invite them to stop by my website: or visit me on Twitter and Facebook. Happy reading!


Candace Calvert is a former ER nurse who believes love, laughter and faith are the best medicines. Her Mercy Hospital and Grace Medical series offer readers a chance to “scrub in” on the exciting world of emergency medicine—along with a soul-soothing prescription for hope. Wife, mother, and very proud grandmother, she makes her home in northern California.


  1. Delighted to be included in your "honor roll" of medical writers, Candace, and to work beside you and Jordyn (as well as Harry Kraus and Hannah Alexander) in the field.
    Thanks for letting us get to know you and your characters a bit better.

  2. I LOVE reading these posts! Candace, how wonderful that you figured out about the anaphylactic shock! And I was laughing about your including some Internet research in your MS! Your books sound very interesting. I already follow you on twitter, but will follow your blog now.

  3. Richard, my delight on all counts!
    Heather, thanks for stopping by! I'll soon be turning the tables on Jordyn and hosting her on my blog, RX: Hope. And at my Facebook author page (Candace Calvert Books) I'm interviewing my READERS! Such fun--hope you'll join us.

  4. I was a student when a patient called me into his room to ask for help putting "this" on. I tried, but it just wouldn't fit his knee right. He howled in laughter. It was a scrotal support. Red faced, I backed out and called an orderly. The story traveled all over the hospital. I never lived it down.

  5. Oh. My. Goodness. That would have been like a feeding frenzy for my team! Too funny, Sandra!

  6. Love the interview and seeing the 'human, humorous side of you ;-)'

  7. Great interview, Candace! I think we ALL have some of those "most embarrassing" stories to tell, no matter what our day job is!

  8. Mary, Kristen: how would get by without a chuckle now and then? Even at our own expense--which reminds me of why I SO love writing heroes who (no matter how "tough," like McSnarly and Dr. Jack) are okay with occasionally making fools of themselves. Give me a man with a self-deprecating sense of humor, please!

  9. Loved reading the interview and getting yet another peek inside you!

  10. This was such a fun interview to do with Candace and she was a great sport. And, she asked wonderful interview questions for me and I can't wait to visit her blog.

    Heather, Sandra, Margy, Kristen, and Linda-- thanks so much for your comments.

    I love being with these fine medical thriller writers. Not only are they amazing authors but truly great people. I feel like a rookie at the Super Bowl!

    I guess it wouldn't be fair unless I shared one of my most embarrassing moments. The hospital was on a craze that "every" surgical site should be marked by the patient. Generally, we only worry about this if there are two of something.

    My patient was getting her appendix out but I was a new nurse and going to follow all the rules. So I said, "I need you to mark your site."

    She said, "Where?"

    I said "Just put an "x" where it hurts the most."

    So she does and off to the OR. Well, evidently that X-marks-the-spot was the exact area the surgeon needed to cut into and he was very upset about it!!

    I came to work the next day and all the staff had yellow Post-it notes stuck to their body marking their "surgical" incisions.


  11. Oy indeed, Jordyn! Oh. Dear. I can SO relate on all counts. Embarrassment followed by a good-natured if overtly cruel ovation! Some day I will tell you my painful blind date (departing from an ER shift) prelude. Sigh. Amidst the hope, healing and miracles . . . there is definitely some slapstick! Thank you for hosting me here, my friend. I've enjoyed it.