Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Meet W. Lawrence Gold, M.D., Author of Medical Thrillers and Screenplays

I met Larry about 7 years ago when I was editing for Moongypsy Press. I was assigned NO CURE FOR MURDER. It didn't need much editing, and I devoured it. I've been a fan and a friend of Larry's ever since. His books are right up there with Robin Cook's. He knows his stuff--and he can tell a story that'll make  you want to rip the pages to get through. Here's Larry in his own words, telling you about what's new--including THE DOCTORS' LOUNGE.



I was born in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn, moved to Queens, and then, as New Yorkers say, my family ascended to the Island.
After graduating from Valley Stream Central High School, I went to Adelphi, a college then, a university now, and then to medical school in Chicago.
The war in Vietnam interrupted my postgraduate medical training with a year in Colorado Springs and another as a Battalion Surgeon in Vietnam. I spent seven months in the Central Highlands with the 4th Infantry and five months in an evacuation hospital in Long Binh outside Saigon where I ran the emergency room.
I returned intact in 1968 to complete my training in internal medicine and diseases of the kidney, nephrology.

I worked for twenty-three years in Berkeley, California in a hospital-based practice and served as Chief of Internal Medicine and Family Practice. For many years, I was an active member of the quality assurance committee.
We retired in October 1995 before fate could intervene. We sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge for a life at sea in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.

Four years later, exhausted from repairing everything on board, (often many times) we sold the sailboat and within a year took the lazy man's out; we bought a Nordic Tug trawler. We motored around Florida, the Bahamas, and the entire East Coast and Canada.

I've written fourteen novels, ten in the Brier Hospital Series, and one non-fiction book, I Love My Doctor, But…a lighthearted look at the patient/doctor relationship.

I write primarily to entertain, but I can't help but pass on to readers observations and beliefs culled from years of practice, and yes, my biases, too. I strive for realism in portraying the medical scene that is gripping enough without melodrama or gimmicks.

With even a minor degree of success in writing novels, comes responsibility to readers. I attempt to produce honest material that reflects my beliefs. Exposing these beliefs to the public through my writing requires courage, stupidity, or both. My fans have been generous, and although nobody enjoys criticism, I've learned much from that, too.

The novel that expresses most clearly my candor, and my bias, is For the Love of God. The novel reflects my attitudes toward those who are willing to sacrifice the lives of their children for their personal religious beliefs.
We live in beautiful Grass Valley with 11 year old Bennie, a Yorkie who just looks like he's on steroids and Wesley, a 1 year old rescue, a terrier of some sort.

After having written a number of novels, it was time to sit back and reflect upon the writing process as well as aspects of promotion and sales, lessons always learned the hard way.

While I’ve had excellent reviews of my work, in general, sales have been surprising. My best seller, First, Do No Harm, was the first in the Brier Hospital Series, and while not as well-written as my later novels, that novel and its sales have taught me several lessons. These include the downside of an incompletely edited novel, the importance of character, and writing in such a way that the reader feels the need to move on to the next chapter.

The Brier Hospital milieu has proven popular, but a series has its advantages and disadvantages. The advantages including reengaging the reader in a familiar environment and well-known characters while the disadvantages include making sure that each novel stands on its own feet and can be read in any order. In addition, characters, while familiar to some, must be at least briefly reintroduced. A successful series is self-propagating, an unsuccessful one is a dead end.

I began to think of writing the Doctor’s Lounge to reflect what readers liked best in the Brier series; episodic and dramatic medical scenarios and engaging characters.

Among my most popular characters, a little surprising in this youth oriented world, are a couple, Lola and Jacob Weizman, both octogenarians. I introduced these characters in the murder/mystery novel, No Cure for Murder and readers have been calling for them to reappear.

We’d all like the inside scoop when we discuss back-room politics, religion, education, the arts, the law, and the inner sanctum of medicine. In my newest Brier Hospital novel, ‘The Doctors’ Room’ we get that insider’s view into medical practice and complex ethical issues.

Jacob Weizman has after sixty years of exemplary medical practice, suffered a crisis of confidence and has withdrawn from hospital practice. He spends his mornings in the Doctors’ Lounge where he becomes a sage, a sounding board, consultant, advisor and all around mentor for physicians, nurses, and even for hospital administrators.

Through Jacob’s involvement, the reader can observe the realities of medical practice and how it affects practitioners and patients alike.

Medical fiction at its best is dramatic without being campy, exciting without being unrealistic, and educational without being pedantic and laden with jargon. Hopefully, The Doctors’ Lounge fulfills these criteria.

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1 comment:

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