Red was wrangling a pair of teenagers out of a nook when she recognized the doctor at the corner table. He was nearing the tail end of a latte, but she wanted to catch him before he sauntered out the door. Dr. Theodore Homa was tucking an interesting looking book she recognized in his satchel when she walked up. She asked him about it and working vacations.
M3: Glad you stopped in today, Ted. Introduce yourself to the M3 Readers, book jacket style.
TH: I am 66-year-old practicing primary care physician. I am the recipient of a heart transplant three years ago. While I was recovering, I became an author and wrote Archimedes’ Claw. I am passionate about practicing medicine, so that I make a difference. I am married to the same woman for 41 years and have three children and ten grandchildren. I am a faithful Christian.
M3: Quite a nice picture of family life. Any of them on your list of people you would like to thank or do you have others?
TH: Yes, many people. My wife especially, as I drove her nuts reading and rereading proofs and copy. Robert Maniello, MD, a retired neonatologist, who is a journalist and did my first read and edit. I learned from him the hard lesson of disposing of some things I had written for the sake of the story.
M3: Sounds like you had some really good help. Where did you get your start in the publishing industry?
TH: I started with a search for editors and publishers and my research led me to Author House. I actually started the book before I knew where it was going and did it during the year and a half after my heart transplant.
M3: That does not sound like much of a convalescence. Most would be looking to do as little as possible. Did that leave you with a bone to pick with the industry?
TH: There is a great sense of inertia I get from the industry as a whole. It seems it takes quite a lot of energy to get things rolling. I can’t quibble about that, as I was told by Dr. Manniello that it would not be easy to get recognized.
M3: It certainly does take some effort. Since the ball is rolling, do you take a break from the fray with a hiatus?
TH: I am back full time working at practicing medicine. I also take time to blog and keep deadlines.When I vacation at my summer home in Cape Cod, and like this month I have a rental in Bonita Springs, I am working hard on the sequel.
M3: So, the short answer is no! How does your day job affect your writing?
TH: My day job actually gives me some insight into some of the situations I have written about in my novel.
M3: Interesting. Has the economic state changed anything for you as a writer?
TH: I am fortunate enough to own my job. In spite of the poor economy, I am fortunate that I don’t need to depend on being an author. I imagine that is something that can affect many writers, and novelists.
M3: It truly does. Since this is your first novel, do you have any advice for the budding authors in the M3 audience?
TH: Yes, it is the same advice I would give anyone who takes on a new occupation. Do it only if you love it. Be a perfectionist. Work hard and accept valid criticism.
M3: We all can use some valid criticism. How did following that advice work for you?
TH: I have a sense of pride in what I have done. The reward of a good review is a driving force. Holding the book in my hand for the first time was a special moment. Hard work and persistence always works, unless you don’t have a good product to sell.
M3: Very true. Tell me about your writing colleagues.
TH: Those fellow authors are hard working people. They are motivated to weave their stories in a way that entertains others. I appreciate them and learned from them, as I am an avid reader.
M3: All writers need to read more than they write to stay in touch with the language. Talk to me about Archimedes’ Claw. What makes it stand out in its genre?
TH: It seems to be a new genre: historical sci-fi. But is loaded with romance, lost love, redemption, mystery and intrigue. Certainly goes beyond the usual demographic. My favorite thing is that women over 60 are captivated by it. One told me it helped her remember what real romance was like.
M3: I am certain your wife loves that! You really are excited about your book. What makes this so close to your heart?
TH: I achieved it in response to a very difficult time in my life. Finishing it and writing it well for a large audience, including history buffs, romantics, people of faith, and keeping it full of mystery and the reader eager to turn the page were all part of my personal victory over end-stage heart failure.
M3: What a great one it was, too. Have you had any victories over the industry?
TH: My readers are happy.
M3: Another great victory! How have your marketing efforts panned out?
TH: I am partnered with a professional social media publicist for the foreseeable future, and it seems that partnership is important.
M3: Time for you to put on another hat. Play advertiser and give the M3 Readers a reason to buy your book in 15 words or less.
TH: You, alone, discover the secret to time travel. What would you do with it?
Faithful M3 Readers,
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(c) Ann Marie Dwyer 2012
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