Never Lie to Your Reader

        My manuscript is now in the hands of a contest, and my agent has had some early discussions with publishers.  I have worked on it it snatches of spare time over many years.  Now I have to wait and see.  Will anyone care what one country Doc has to say?  I don’t know.

        I did want to take a minute to tell why I wrote it though.  You probably already know.  One of my regular readers said, “When a man writes like that, and that much, there is a reason.”  I liked that.  There is.

        My agent always says even though you are writing fiction, you must never lie to your reader.  I like that too.  I think my agent is going to be famous someday, because he has a lot of good true sayings like that.

          With my book, that is what I tried so hard to do; show you the truth, at least as best I know it.  Of course, we Docs are in the secret business, so it had to be fiction.  I take an oath not to tell any of my patient’s secrets, and I was determined to do it that way.  But in real life as well as a writer, you have to stand up and tell the truth for your patients, no matter how bad the truth may be.  Because we have been in the secret business so long though, folks have been left out of the inside stories of modern medicine, and the writer part of me wanted to show it in my way before I was gone from this old Earth.            

        Like a good fiction writer, Indie never lied to his patients, no matter what.  I think that is why I loved him so much.  Indie is near the end of the line these days, and I wanted to immortalize him.  He sure wasn’t perfect, and he didn’t pretend to be, but he always put his patient first, even when it wasn’t in his best interest.  That is why he is my hero.

        I appreciate all you guys who have stuck with me on my journey.  If we can’t find a publisher, my agent is committed to see me through to the end, and we’ll self publish.  You deserve to get to read the whole thing, and we’ll find a way to get it out there.

Dr. B

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21 Comments on “Never Lie to Your Reader”

  1. Mrs. Chili Says:

    You’ll find a publisher; I just know it. I believe in you.

  2. drtombibey Says:

    mschili,

    You are one of my early cheerleaders. When you speak I listen, and I believe it too.

    All the best to all the chilis. One of these fine days, me and Marfar are gonna meet you guys.

    Dr. B


  3. Dr. B, I must agree with Mrs. Chili – I also think you will find a publisher. I’m not saying you’ll make a mountain of cash and become rich and famous [because, well, let’s face it, no writer is rich and famous anymore], but I DO believe that people will want to know the truth, people will want to know and hear your story, and I know that you have loyal readers enough right here to keep you from giving up on finding a publisher.
    I wish you, as always, all the luck in the world, and I do sincerely hope and wait to see your book on a shelf in my room someday :).

  4. drtombibey Says:

    msslightly,

    I have been fortunate all my life to have excellent friends.

    I always felt if the book allowed me to widen that circle of folks who believed in a life of grace and dignity that would be all the success I could hope for. It has already done that, so anything else is icing now.

    Like I said to mrschili, in my travels I hope my wife and I get to meet msslightly at a book store somewhere also.

    Dr. B

  5. julius Says:

    Congrats on entering the contest!

  6. julius Says:

    opps, hit submit before I said more! Anyways, congrats! Also, telling the truth is what I believe makes you a good doctor. After reading your stories here, and all you’ve said, I believe you are one of the good docs everyone can trust! Again, congrats on getting in the contest, and I look forward to reading the book!!

  7. drtombibey Says:

    julius,

    Bless your heart young man, you make me feel like carrying on the Doc tradition many more years.

    Dr. B

  8. Cindy Carter Says:

    I have enjoyed the snipets I have read here on your Blog. Ranger Dog has too!

    Remember good fiction allows one to willingly suspend their disbelief while they read. The way you write, I can “see” what it is you are saying. I picture the people..

    Indie, to me, is the type of man that is a good man. That being said, to me also, his appearance is one of someone who looks “mean” although he is not. He probably “scared” people when he would raise his voice. Regardless, people respected him.

    You, the “young Doc”, again to me, is a tall and lanky guy that couldn’t scare anyone even if you tried. You are also incredibly handsome! Children and animals like you immediately. And, little old ladies try to “fatten” you up!

    I suspect they went to see you and then asked Indie if your “treatment” would work. That is until he declared that you were “in fact” a doctor and someone they could trust.

  9. drtombibey Says:

    Ms. Cindy,

    You’ve got it all about right except I am too old to be very good looking these days, but then again in fiction I guess Bibey can be whatever he wants to as long as it isn’t too far off the truth, huh? I was tall and lanky back in the days of the Mandolin Case.

    The little old ladies have succeeded to some degree. They always bring me food, and I need to cut back.

    And you are right about Indie. He just liked to be contrary for the fun of it, but he would never hurt a soul. Yeah, when I came to town some folks would ask Indie if my new fangled treatment was any good.

    Indie always laughed ’cause I never would drink any of that moonshine. He said I was a d@^! Boy Scout.

    Dr. B

  10. Billy Says:

    Ms Cindy hit on something when she said that she “sees Indie” when you talk about him. I don’t know how you do it but you have an uncanny ability to paint with words just enough that I start to pull out of my minds trunk the Indie I know.

    If all your readers could photograph his image in their mind, they would all look different. But each reader would be convinced that their photo was the one true Indie.

    The reason is you have an amazing gift to show each of us an Indie we can all see in our soul.

    Amazing.

  11. drtombibey Says:

    Billy,

    With Indie it was easy, ’cause he was the most real cat I ever knew.

    Dr. B

  12. jeffhop Says:

    Hey Dr. B,

    You already have an agent. That is a good thing, now don’t worry and let him/her do the hard work of selling your story. I didn’t understand your comment on my blog. Were you saying that I was being cryptic in my writing?

    It seems like you have people who enjoy your work. You have accomplished your mission. Why do we write? Because we love it, we love the process. We create lives. We educate.

    If you write something that is true to yourself then you are bulletproof. Absolutely.

  13. drtombibey Says:

    Jeff,

    Hey thanks for your visit.

    I loved what you wrote. What I meant was I tend to write in a cryptic way because of the confidentiality requirements of life as a Doc.

    Man I also 100% agree that you have to write what is true to yourself.

    I love this one: I read about a guy who did an expose of the music business. For legal reasons he chose a fiction format. After the book came out, all the bad guys he dissed for being so arrogant wrote him and said they loved the way he got on people.

    Dang fools didn’t even realize they were the very ones he had in mind.

    Like you, I admire the artist who takes his/her chances with showing the truth.

    Dr. B

  14. Karen Says:

    Good luck, Dr. B 🙂 Your authenticity shines through your writing. That is a rare commodity these days and something that I believe publishers will find exceptionally attractive.

  15. drtombibey Says:

    Ms Karen,

    Thanks so much. In a way it is easy to write about medicine and bluegrass music, ’cause those are the only things I know much about.

    I have been reading about the wildfires in Australia, and our prayers are with you guys. Is the fire south of Queensland?

    Dr. B

  16. Karen Says:

    Thanks Dr B. It has been an horrendous few days in our beautiful sunburnt country. It’s the worst natural disaster in our nation’s history. It really is incomprehensible how ferocious and devastating the fires were. The fires are mainly in the state of Victoria which is on the southern tip of mainland Australia (only Tasmania is further south). We lived there for 6 years – in fact, two of the places we lived in were affected by the fires. All my family live in Victoria but are thankfully out of danger. They are about an hour away from the worst hit areas. The fire was so intense that people simply didn’t stand a chance – no matter how well prepared they were. The death toll is now up to 130 and climbing. Entire towns have simply been wiped out. Arson is suspected in a large number of cases so these towns are now crime scenes. Over 750 homes have been destroyed. It really is catastrophic. We have a nation in mourning at the moment. My three-year-old understands what’s going on – he asked me some very insightful questions today about where people are going to get clothes and food from. Then he told me he wanted to give the people whose houses burned down a present. We’re going down to the bank tomorrow to give some money from his piggy bank (and mine!) to the cause. Life is so precious…thanks for your thoughts and prayers.

    In a painfully ironic situation, north Queensland is in flood. Some towns are totally underwater. A 5 year old was taken by a crocodile in flood waters yesterday. We certainly have both extremes going on in this vast country…

  17. drtombibey Says:

    Ms. Karen,

    I saw your Prime Minster on T.V. this am, and he was chocking back the tears.

    Hey it is just a little thing to help but if you will post a link about where to send money for relief, I’ll send some and maybe some of my readers will too.

    Dr. B

  18. Karen Says:

    Thank you so much Dr. B! You are an angel. The Red Cross are co-ordinating the main fundraising for disaster relief. Their address is http://www.redcross.org.au – the website is rather slow as there are so many people donating, so please be patient.

    Thanks again for supporting our people. It’s going to be a long road to healing…

  19. drtombibey Says:

    Ms Karen,

    I’m going to move this to my front page for a couple days. Far important than the fact I am gray haired!

    Dr. B

  20. Maria Hooley Says:

    I’ve entered numerous contests, and there’s two things I’ve learned from them. First you have really good judges, judges which don’t really help or hurt your writing, and the bad judges. Take the feedback with an open mind but don’t let it touch the part of you that wants to write something that matters unless it will help you. Second, Find something good in the contest results, even if it’s avoiding something bad. An example of this is that in one year I entered both a mainstream short story and a young adult short story. In the mainstream story, the main character was a girl who’s father died in Vietnam. In the ya short story, the teenager’s sister committed suicide. The only thing these two pieces have in common is that I wrote them. Neither are true; however, when the judges read them (two different people I might add) they suggested I was working through personal issues. What I took away from that is that I was really grateful to be more mentally stable than the judges thought I was. Oh, and I did place 3rd in the YA category.

  21. drtombibey Says:

    Ms Maria,

    Hey there. I appreciate your visit and you sharing these thoughts.

    Yeah I figure as long as they don’t threaten to shoot me or sue me I’ll try to learn from whatever feedback I get.

    I am a semi-retired Doc and got into writing to preserve some thoughts for my kids. I have already gotten more out of it than I ever dreamed I would regardless of what happens from here on.

    When you create fiction and they think it has to be real, you have done a good job. 3rd place is VERY good. Way to go.

    By the way, nice name. My daughter is a Marie.

    Dr. B


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