Tag Archives: medical fiction

Indie Authors: Do You Need a Test Reader or Book Reviewer?

I’ve beta-read for several authors. I provide comprehensive beta-reader reports on all aspects of the writing.

I’m interested in multi-genre novels (three have included a faith-oriented adventure/thriller; a faith-oriented time-travel romance; a sci-fi romance); and I’ve done a Sherlock Holmes spin-off mystery. I’ll be especially pleased to see historical fiction, Boomer-Lit and other novels centered on mature protagonists, and fiction that features characters with physical or psychological disabilities.

I’ve also done medical topic consulting for the author of a murder mystery/thriller. My Registered Nurse education, experience and extensive textbook library can provide factual, consistency and continuity evaluation for any physical or mental health issue.

In addition, I’m a scholar of the First World War (restricted to the British and German aspects), and of everything Irish: history, culture, geography, wildlife, weather, agriculture, politics, psychology, religion and whatever you’re having yourself. I’ll also double-check miscellaneous facts from any period for historical novels.

For Beta Reading ONLY: I can accommodate digital manuscripts in formats supported by the Balabolka Text-to-Speech reader: AZW, AZW3, CHM, DjVu (DjVu+OCR), DOC, DOCX, EML, EPUB, FB2 (FB2.ZIP, FBZ), HTML, LIT, MOBI, ODS, ODT, PDB, PDF, PRC, RTF, TCR, WPD, XLS, XLSX. Be sure to send your manuscript with plenty of lead time before a response is needed, because when I Beta read, I double-check irregularities I hear during an audible text reading by doing a screen reading of that passage, and I can screen-read only for short time periods, due to a visual disability that makes screen reading difficult and uncomfortable over long periods of time.

I’ll provide reviews of published books, too. My reading taste is generally eclectic, with favorites in literary fiction, historical fiction, and faith-oriented fiction (primarily Roman Catholic, Buddhist, Muslim, Judaic, and Latter-day Saint). I’d like to see more multi-genre/fusion fiction works, and I’m willing to take a chance on a genre I don’t usually read if the blurb and a sample chapter are intriguing.

For Book Reviews: Bound, printed books preferred. This is because the above-mentioned visual disability, and when I’m reading for a book review that will be published worldwide, I need to be able to both relax and concentrate on the story for long periods. I will provide a mailing address for you to order and ship a copy of your book. If I choose not to retain the book in my personal library, I will donate it to my public library.

You can suggest your manuscript or book in this response form:


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The Ten Rights of Medicalized Fiction (Intro):

What Every Indie Author Needs to Know.

Medicalized fiction is not the same as medical fiction.

Medical fiction deals primarily with one or more healthcare issues, whatever the genre of the story, and whether or not healthcare professionals are main characters. Medicalized fiction consists of any story in which characters are born or give birth, die of injury or disease, if they get into fights or wars, eat, sleep, work or strenuously exert themselves, feel emotions – in fact, if they engage in any activity at all (because if characters are doing nothing, there’s no reason to write anything) – their author will need to address the physical and psychological toll these activities take on their bodies and minds.

It doesn’t matter if the writing is about humans or animals or aliens – life leaves its marks on “real” beings, and plausibly constructed characters, whatever their genetic origins or abodes in the Parallel Universe, need to show those scars. This is what medicalizes fiction.

“But it’s just entertainment,” some may object. “And what about artistic license?” Most authors would like to reach the largest possible audience, and if this happens, erroneous writing may become the vector that makes some serious damage go viral (in more ways than one). If you’re writing something that’s too loosely based on The Bathroom Barber-Surgeon’s Pocket Guide to Gallbladder Removal, you must understand there is a potential for harm from wrong information disseminated in fiction.

This harm could come to laypersons, many of whom have absolutely no background in health issues, but who believe that what they’re reading is accurate, and may then mistakenly mismanage their own health, which could conceivably result in legal liability. But even if nobody ever tries to sue, harm can still come to an author’s reputation, because healthcare professionals are also people who like to be entertained by fiction, but if they encounter flagrant fiddling with known facts, their suspension of disbelief will be destroyed, and they may close the cover (or shut off the show, if the problem is with a screenplay) in disgust.

The origin of the “Rights.”

I’m a retired Registered Nurse, and I’ve always thought that Nursing would be an ideal occupation for the obsessive-compulsive, because the job demands that nurses repeatedly wash their hands and “check up” on things: on the doctor, the pharmacist, the patient, and, of course, themselves. This requirement is intended to minimize the possibility of medication errors, and although no person and no system is perfectly foolproof, it usually works.

One of the ways nurses do this checking is to follow the Five Rights of Medication Administration: the Right Patient, the Right Drug, the Right Dose, the Right Time, and the Right Route of administration. Our discussion of how to write good medicalized fiction will incorporate and build on that list:

Right Character
Right Drug
Right Dose
Right Time
Right Route
Right Damage
Right Disease
Right Demise
Right Rescue
Right Writing

We’ll dissect each of these “Rights” as they apply to fiction, so stay tuned to this blog!




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Coming Soon in a Post on This Blog!

What Every Indie Novelist Needs to Know…

about The Ten Rights of Medicalized Fiction. Stay tuned!


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