Author Spotlight on Candace Calvert

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m a big fan of the TV show “Grey’s Anatomy”. If you’re like me and you also enjoy that show, then you’re really going to want to buy Candace’s book Critical Care when it comes out. Before I get ahead of myself, let me first introduce my guest.

Candace Calvert is an ER nurse who landed on the “other side of the stethoscope” after breaking her neck in an equestrian accident that convinced her that love, laughter–and faith–are the very best medicines of all. A multi-published author of humorous mysteries, she begins an exciting new direction with the debut of her novel Critical Care. Her medical drama series offers readers a chance to “scrub in” on the exciting world of emergency medicine, along with charismatic characters, pulse-pounding action, tender romance, humor, suspense–and a soul soothing prescription for hope.

Candace Calvert

Candace Calvert

Wow, I’m excited already and we haven’t even gotten started. First, can you tell us what your book is about, and when it will be released? 


After her brother dies in a trauma room, nurse Claire Avery can no longer face the ER. She’s determined to make a fresh start–new hospital, new career in nursing education–move forward, no turning back. But her plans fall apart when she’s called to offer stress counseling for medical staff after a heartbreaking day-care center explosion. Worse, she’s forced back to the ER, where she clashes with Logan Caldwell, a doctor who believes touchy-feely counseling is a waste of time. He demands his staff be as tough as he is. Yet he finds himself drawn to this nurse educator . . . who just might teach him the true meaning of healing.

Critical Care is scheduled for release June 1st—it feels a bit like waiting for a baby’s due date! Without the stretch marks and food cravings . . . okay, maybe the occasional chocolate. Purely medicinal.

I can only imagine all of the research that must have gone into writing this pulse-quickening medical drama. Tell us about your experiences while doing research for your novel.

The book research, frankly, was anticlimactic. Those adrenalin-infused moments came during my three decades of working as an ER nurse. Beginning in rural Oregon in the days of starched dresses, white stockings and caps (finally took mine off after yet another child called it a pirate hat), and when ambulances were retro-fitted Cadillacs driven by local funeral homes. I continued that ER thrill ride in northern California as a charge nurse, mobile intensive care nurse, and (like my book’s heroine Claire Avery) a peer counselor for Critical Incident Stress. There were scary times, painful heartbreaks, long and exhausting hours, Christmases spent pumping stomachs . . . warm camaraderie, moments of joy, prayers, and plenty of great stress-busting belly laughs. In the Mercy Hospital series, I attempt to let readers “scrub in” on it all.

When did you know that you wanted to be a writer?

I wrote in journals as far back as I can recall, and was one of those obnoxious students who looked at an essay assignment as a reward.

I dabbled in correspondence writing classes during my years in the ER. But it wasn’t until my inspirational story, “By Accident,” was published in Chicken Soup for the Nurse’s Soul, that I started to think seriously about writing for publication. The book made the New York Times’ list and (as one of 101 story contributors) I was suddenly “almost 1% of a best selling author!” Heady stuff, trust me.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers who are hoping to be published one day?

The same advice you’ll hear most often:

1) Write the best story you possibly can. Which means studying structure, setting daily writing goals, sharing work with fellow writers who have similar goals and experience (or, better, are one step ahead). Write and rewrite, even when you don’t feel like it.

2) Network with other writers/authors/industry professionals via loops and conferences to learn “the ropes.”

3) Learn to take constructive suggestions graciously from critique partners, contest judges, agents, and editors. But make changes only when they seem truly valid (for instance if several people point out a particular weakness). Remember that a writing “voice” is unique ( your finest asset) and making changes willy nilly to please people, is the best way to lose it.

4) Read voraciously. Learn what works in a story, what doesn’t, and why. Analyze your favorite book, scene by scene.

5) Take rejections on the chin (I got 99 before I found my agent) and keep trying. Persistence is as important as talent. Maybe more important. Let your fellow writers encourage you and console you, and do the same for them.

6) Most important of all: enjoy the journey. You’ll meet people, experience a roller coaster of emotions, spend your grocery money on postage . . . and you’ll have the incredible thrill of using the gift you’ve been given by God. Published or not, you’re a writer and that alone is awesome. When (not if) you’re finally published, the clocks will start moving at light speed and you’ll scramble to make deadlines, do marketing, meet obligations, and accomplish all the rest of the busywork that comes with this crazy business. Savor the journey right now.

In keeping with the humorous theme of this blog, I have one final question for you. What’s your favorite comedy movie or movies?

I’m nuts about romantic comedy, and it’s hard to choose. I love old classics, especially with Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn, like The Philadelphia Story, and Bringing Up Baby. I love older contemporaries like Goldie Hawn and Chevy Chase in Foul Play, and others like Sweet Home Alabama, Notting Hill, and Four Weddings and a Funeral. And, especially, that great old movie, “American Dreamer,” about an aspiring romance writer who wins a contest, flies to Paris, gets a concussion and wakes up believing that she actually is her (wildly adventurous) heroine. Fabulous fun!

I’ll stop now. But you’ve made me crave Diet Dr. Pepper and popcorn.

Thank you, Sharon, for this opportunity. I’ve enjoyed it.

Now for the big contest! Each comment that you leave with the accurate name of one of the characters on Grey’s Anatomy will afford you one entry in the drawing. There are no limits on how many entries you may have. The winner’s name will be announced on Friday May 15th so you have until midnight Thursday the 14th to post your final comment. Let the games begin… 



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29 Responses

  1. Sharon, I like Dr. Miranda Bailey’s name.

    This book sounds very interesting. Pat

  2. This book (actually Candace Calvert’s own life experience) sounds fascinating. I’ve never read any fiction books that are centered around the medical profession, but I’m sure it will be one of those page-turners keeping you wondering about the life and death outcome of the characters. I would love to read this book.!

    Hmmm….Does it have all the romance like what you see on Grey’s Anatomy?. Wow. Izzie Stevens got married. I’ll tell you to whom in my next entry (LOL).

  3. To Alex Karev. I know them all. They’re like family. (heeheehee)

  4. I thoroughly enjoyed this interview, and wish you all the success in the world! Since I’ve already pre-ordered the book, no need to put me in the contest. I just wanted to say how excited I am to know that a really fine writer will be making her debut in a new genre, and anything that has to do with Medical Romance and faith is great as far as I’m concerned!


  5. Pat, I’ve loved watching the way Dr. Bailey’s character has grown over the years. She used to be all tough, but now she’s the doctor with a heart.

  6. Oh my goodness, Susan, was last night a tear-jerker or what? I loved the whole wedding scene. I hope Izzie doesn’t leave the show because I really like her character.

  7. Lynne, I couldn’t agree more. I visited your website (great site by the way) and I see you’r a romance author as well. As far as I’m concerned, faith and romanance are a wonderful mixture for exciting storytelling. Blessings to you in your writing.

  8. Great interview Sharon and Candace! I’m looking forward to reading Critical Care. Wish Candace all the best.

    Grey’s Anatomy was a tear-jerker last night. Watching those kids die one after the other. Heart-wrenching when they were on the brink of the next step in their lives. However, I love this show. The hour goes quickly. Enjoyed Izzie Stevens and Alex Korev getting married. And the fact that Meredith Grey and Derek are finally having a healthier relationship is amazing.

    All the best,


  9. Great interview! And, this book sounds like an exciting and heartwarming read!

    I had to cheat to find a GA character name, because between work, two boys and writing, I don’t find time to watch alot of TV. Plus, it is hockey season. But, I was happy to hear about the addition of Kevin McKidd, who plays Owen Hunt, to the cast. I loved him in Journeyman.

    I’ve already ordered a copy of Critical Care as well. I just wanted to send my best wishes to Candace.

    Barbara Burnham

  10. Hi Lupe,
    Thank you so much for your well wishes to Candace and I. I’m delighted that you stopped by my blog and I hope you’ll come again. It’s always nice to meet a fellow Grey’s Anatomy fan, and it’s especially nice to meet a fellow writer. Hope your writing is going well.

  11. Barbara, you bring up an excellent point about the addition of Kevin McKidd who plays Owen Hunt. He’s a really nice addition to the cast. I haven’t seen “Journeyman,” but I did enjoy him in “Made of Honor.” Thank you for stopping by my blog. Congrates on being the 2008 NaNo Writer winner. Happy writing…

  12. Sharon – great interview with a wonderful new author! Candace, the book sounds fabulous. Best wishes to you and great success!
    (oh, and personally, I think the guy on the cover can seriously compete with Derek Shepherd )


  13. Sharon, being a guest in your corner of cyberspace is completely delightful. And I so appreciate your readers stopping by and leaving such great comments. I can hardly wait to share Critical Care with you.

    And, Nancy, I agree. My publisher’s choice of a cover image is a winner. . . my Dr. Logan Caldwell ( aka “McSnarly,” ) is indeed competition for Grey’s McDreamy! 😉


  14. Nancy, you are so right. The guy on the cover is gorgeous. Candace’s book will draw readers just from his face alone. Of course once they start reading I bet they’ll be too engaged with the story to put the book down.

  15. Candace, again I thank you so much for being my guest today. I can’t wait to read your book! I’m curious about Dr. Logan Caldwell. 🙂

  16. Candace, congratulations on your book. I love the cover. Can’t wait to read the story. I am another author who writes medical romances. My BABIES IN THE BARGAIN is coming out on July 3, at The Wild Rose Press. And my second, PRESCRIPTION FOR TRUST will follow on December 4. I absolutely love medical romances that sound like Grey’s Anatomy, the only show that I watch, and never never miss.

    Grey’s Anatomy’ s characters: Richard, the chief. Carly, Lexy Grey, George,…

  17. I’ve got Critical Care on my wish list awaiting its release. The story takes place in my hometown, which I think is way cool.

  18. Congratulations, Mona, on your upcoming release. I can tell that you’re just as big of a Grey’s Anatomy fan as I am by the way you listed a number of the character’s names. Thank you for visiting my blog and congratulating Candace on her new book. We’re all so excited for her.

  19. Keli, I just visited your blog and related so much to your struggle with finding the perfect word when you’re writing. Thank you for stopping by my blog and blessings to you in your writing.

  20. Sounds like a good book. June yu say? Okay one month to finish my to be read pile so I can start it right away. LOL
    I don’t really watch Grey’s but my co-workers like to do recaps with each other so I picked up the name Miranda Bailey.

  21. My read pile grows so fast I can barely keep up, but just like you, Mari, I’m going to make time to read Candace’s book. 🙂

  22. I enjoy the series a lot although some of the characters get on my nerves at times especially Meredith !

    My favourite character is Cristina Yang.
    She is so different from the other characters and is certainly not in the mould of the normal femme fatale type looks.

    I hope we see more of her in other shows and on the big screen.

  23. Hi, Carol, I’ll definitely enter you into the drawing. Thank you so much for visiting Robin’s website and my blog.

  24. Believe it or not, I’ve never watched Grey’s Anatomy. I’m into the real thing-forensics, real ER. But I can give you a character’s name: Dr. Swender. My sister watches it diligently. Please enter me in your drawing. If ‘Critical Care’ is anything like Harry Kraus’s books, we are in for a delight! Thank you.

  25. Hi, Linda. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment to enter the drawing for Candace Calvert’s book “Critical Care.” Unfortunately, the contest ended on May 14th and the winner has already been announced. I tend to have contests on a regular basis so I hope you’ll stop by again and enter one of them.

  26. Hi Sharon,
    Thanks for having all these great authors on your blog. My older niece is a nurse anesthetist. Unfortunately she doesn’t talk too much about her job because I would love to hear those stories. So much drama. Once again, so many books and so little time.

  27. Mary, I know exactly what you mean. I have five books in my reading que right now and several more I’m waiting to add once I finish these. So many book and so little time indeed.

  28. Loved the review and getting to know Candace a little more as well. The first book of hers taht I have read was Rescue Team, and I can confidently say that it won’t be my last 🙂

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