Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Getting to know Candace Calvert

Candace Calvert has stormed into the fiction scene with her debut medical drama, Critical Care. Candy loves writing, cooking, hummingbirds (just follow her tweets!), God and exudes joy! I hope you enjoy getting to know her a little better and if you haven't bought her book, what are you waiting for?!

Over to you, Candy:~

If you could have chosen your own name, what would it be?

I'm just glad my older brothers didn't get their choice: they were pushing for “Champion,” after Hollywood cowboy Gene Autry's horse. Candace is fine. Most people call me Candy.

Your first pet's name?

A cat named “Whiskers.”

Your best
friend's name in primary (elementary) school?

Merri McGrego

Did you have a special toy that went everywhere with you when you were young? Please describe.

I was enamored with a series of stick horses (Fury, Flicka, Black Beauty), and worked to perfect a great trot and lip-rattling whinny. Then sobbed, broken hearted, when my grammar school principal confiscated one of those beloved horses “for safety” on the playground. I stand firm: Flicka was not a weapon.

If you were stranded on a desert island what one object would you want with you? (Besides your Bible)

A tie between my Kindle and my eyelash curler. Seriously, I'd want writing paraphernalia--think of the novels one could pen with all that time.

What's your favourite ice cream flavour?


Rel:~ REALLY...pumpkin?! That's a bit frightening for the Aussie palate :)

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Initially I wanted to be a dance hall girl like Miss Kitty on “Gunsmoke”--my mother gently (and wisely) discouraged that. My second choice was to become a d

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I have been blessed to travel many places, but have yet to visit the UK . . . and how about Australia?

Favourite book?

Too hard! It
depends on mood, season of life, circumstances. I loved Anne Rivers Siddons Up Island, and I'm currently nuts about Sara Gruen's work. And then there's Grisham, and cozy mysteries, and so many great CBA titles . . . don't make me choose.

Favourite movie?

Another impossibility. But I'm partial to romantic comedy, old ones like “Philadelphia Story,” o
r “Bringing up Baby,” and contemporaries like “Sweet Home Alabama,” “Four Weddings and a Funeral, ” “Notting Hill,”. . . oh, and that great movie, “American Dreamer,” about the aspiring romance writer who gets a concussion in Paris and becomes her heroine! Plus the Anne of Greene Gables series, and “The Man from Snowy River”, and . . . impossible, I warned you.

Rel: Hehehe...of course, I had to post the picture of the Aussie movie in your list ;-)

House, Grey's Anatomy, ER or General Hospital?!

Lately, I confess to watching
snippets of General Hospital via the mini-TV on my cross-trainer at the gym. Good dialogue, and this soap opera does attempt to address a range of social issues. But IMO, all of these medical dramas are missing a critical element--faith. That's why I write (what my publicist tags) “hope opera.”

Scrapbooking, knitting, cooking or aerobics?

I love cooking the way I love writing. Similar really: start with a good recipe (sto
ry premise), and solid basic ingredients (well-developed characters, strong conflicts, structured plot) then go creative by adding seasonings and herbs much the way that snappy dialogue, intriguing settings, pacing, and quirky details “spice” a story. I should type in my apron!

The most difficult patients - surgeons, psychiatrists or nurses?

Out of the frying pan into the fire! It depends on the person, of course. But nurses have a reputation for needing control . . . and I've seen a surgeon hurl scalpels. We should consult that psychiatrist.

Where is the most interesting place you have been?

Recently, it w
ould be atop a camel at the pyramids.

Great Barrier Reef, Uluru (Ayers Rock) or Sydney Harbour Bridge?

I'm drooling. Probably the Reef--I love snorkelling.

What's your most fervent prayer?

That I can truly “let go and let God.” That nurse control thing, again. Not easy.

What is yo
ur favourite Bible verse (or "one" of your favourites) and what does it mean to you?

The same verse that is the basis for Critical Care: Jeremiah 29:11 11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. For me, this verse brings immense comfort and relief, makes me feel cherished, and reminds me again to “let go and let God.”

Besides God, who has influenced you the most?

Probably my father. He was brilliant, dynamic, tireless, sometimes maddening . . . and an incredible

What's the bravest thing you've ever done?

Foolishly brave: jumping out of a plane at 13,000 feet.

Wisely brave: trusting God after life smacked me down on the dirt (literally, in a riding accident), broke my neck and threatened my spirit.

What was your
most embarrassing moment in High School?

In a conver
sation with a boy I was trying to impress, I gestured dramatically and stuck a French fry up my nose.

How did your husband propose?

During a hike in the Sierra Mountains.

What is the best advice you have received about marriage?
That God must be part of it.

Your favou
rite activity as a Grandma

I love rocking babies. And have two new ones, a boy (Drake) and girl (Ashland).

Critical Care

As a former ER nurse you are obviously writing what you know - have you had to put in much research into the medical side of your book?

Though I have countless memories of ER settings and cases, I do fact-check (in an attempt to stay current) via online medical sources. And through the generosity of several medical and rescue personnel who offer to read my manuscripts.

Describe each of your main characters with one word

Logan Caldwell: Forceful

Claire Avery: P

You have great dialogue between Claire and Logan - doe
s that come easily or do you work hard to get it right?

In truth, dialogue comes naturally to me, and is one of my favorite things to write. I'm one of those quirky authors who “hears” characters talking--whole conversations sometimes. Often in the shower. Hard to take notes with a bar of Caress body soap.

How has your past experience working w
ith ER doctors flavoured Logan's character?

I've been privileged to work “in the trenches” with teams comprised of ma
ny personalities . . . strong personalities. Nurses and doctors alike. Logan Caldwell's character arose from a combination of doctors I've known. Strong, competent, dedicated physicians you could trust with your life. Good and heroic people, but still human beings--wounded and flawed as we all are--and quite capable of turning “McSnarly” (demanding, critical, impatient, and seemingly insensitive) faster than you can shout, “STAT.” I loved revealing the true (tender, hopeful) heart of “Dr. McSnarly” that beats beneath those faded blue scrubs.

There are two more Mercy Hospital stories (yay!) ~ a sneak peek, please


(Working title) Disaster Status is scheduled for release in January 2010:

ER nurse Erin Quinn (introduced in Critical Care) escapes personal turmoil to work at the peaceful California coast. But when a pesticide disaster brings dozens of victims to Pacific Mercy Hospital, she suddenly finds herself immersed in community panic--and at odds with ambitious fire captain Scott McKenna, a man who is no stranger to the toxic effects of tragedy.

(Working title) Code Triage (release date not yet disclosed):

ER physician Leigh Stathos (from Disaster Status) expects to leave behind her San Francisco home and her broken marriage, and finally move on with her life. But a terrifying and tragic crime puts Golden Gate Mercy Hospital in lockdown, and sends Leigh's estranged husband, intense and dedicated police officer Nick Stathos, back into her lif

What is in your writing pipeline after this series (no pressure - LOL!)?

I'm thinkin
g about that as we speak (and as I write book three). I had tentatively proposed a second series of medical dramas, set in Texas locales. A character introduced in the third Mercy Hospital book is (conveniently) from Houston . . . but there are no concrete plans as yet. My first published works were mysteries, so I'm also drawn to the idea of writing medical romantic suspense for the CBA. We'll see.

You know I have faith in a wonderful plan!

Thank you, Rel, for this wonderful opportunity. I'm honored.

Candy ~ it has been an absolute pleasure :) Looking forward to more of your stories to come!

Relz Reviewz Extras
Review of Critical Care
Friendship Friday with Candace
Visit Candace's website and blog
Buy Candace's book at Amazon or Koorong
Come back on June 8th for a spotlight on Claire & Logan


Julie Lessman said...

GRANDMA???? Really? You're a GRANDMA??? Dear Lord, Candy, that's just NOT fair being a grandma and still looking like you do! And you jumped out of plane at 13,000 feet??? Who ARE you??? Apparently a heck of a young-looking writer who is WAY braver than me ...

Great interview, Rel and Candy -- can't wait to read the book!


Rel said...

Too true, Julie :)

Thanks for dropping by and encouraging Candy, and me too!!

CandaceCalvert said...

Rel--cannot believe how you put this together with all these COOL photos! You found Gene Autry's horse!

Thank you so much, its such an honor to be featured her on your terrific blog site. :-)


CandaceCalvert said...

Julie--how great to "see" you here!
Thanks for the kind and words--I'm laughing. I have a video of that crazy jump from the plane--and trust me, no one looks good with wind up their nostrils! Almost as bad as a french fry. ;-)

Looking forward to see you in Denver!

Jenny said...

Sorry about the 'Stick Horse Incident', and I'm glad your mom thwarted your 'career' goals. *g*

I went out and bought this one on Rel's recommendation, and hope to squeeze it in sometime soon.

Just a side note - it seems like the name Quinn is popping up with a little more frequency in character first & last names these days. My great grandmother's maiden name was Quinn, and Quinn is also my younger daughter's middle name.

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