Tuesday, May 17, 2016

On the Shoulders of Giants

with guest Richard L. Mabry, MD.

I first heard the words, “I stand today on the shoulders of giants,” when a new president of a major medical society of which I was a member took office. He then went on to list the people who had gone before, each accomplishing a great deal in our specialty of medicine, all of them well-known names in the medical community. These were truly giants in our field.

I was curious, so I researched the words and discovered that most authorities attribute the phrase to Sir Isaac Newton, who said, “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” Most of us think of Newton’s accomplishments in physics and mathematics, but there was more to him than that. Interestingly enough, Newton was said to be a devout Christian, although somewhat unorthodox in some of his views on doctrine. His witness was carried out through his professional activities and his daily life. And that’s how I think it should be in the area of Christian fiction.

I believe it’s safe to say that each person who writes novels that can be considered Christian fiction wants to sell books. It’s a simple assumption. First, book sales indicate people reached with whatever message the novel carries. And the money is nice, although (and I speak from experience here) very few novelists make enough money from their writing to quit their day jobs. But how does one go about becoming a “giant” in the field? Frankly, I’m not sure there are many individuals who have attained this status. A few names come to mind, but in my opinion, the aggregate of all our efforts is more important than individual numbers attributed to any specific authors. In that sense, all of us who write can be giants.

There are many authors who seek to convey the Christian message through their novels, and they do it in different ways. I’ve only been involved in the world of Christian fiction for a decade, yet I can see a great variation in the way messages are presented. In some books, the plan of salvation is laid out boldly. In others, the witness of the author is portrayed in the way characters handle various situations. Each serves a purpose, and there’s room for all. Or, as we say in Texas, “That’s why they make Fords and Chevrolets.”

Some Christian novelists publish in the general market, but most of us seek distribution through publishers aligned to the Christian Booksellers Association (CBA). There are many reasons for this. Some wish to include overt Christianity in their novels, and editors in the American Booksellers Association (ABA) have a strong sense that these things don’t sell. But I can attest from personal experience that, even in the absence of such things as conversion experiences and altar calls, the way our characters react speaks to Christianity or its absence, and readers notice it. How often does it cause a change in their lives? No one knows. But this is what keeps me writing.

When I finally found my writing voice, it presented a subtler Christian message than some of the others, but it seemed to work. I’ve been told by people who are Jewish, agnostic, or atheist that they enjoy reading my work. How much of the message comes through to them? There’s no way to tell…but the seed has been planted. I especially prize the endorsement from a fellow writer, a practicing Jew, whose novels were best sellers in the general market: “The Christian message is intriguing.” That and the nice words of my non-Christian friends who enjoy my books are the kinds of thing that encourage me. 

It is notable that a book of fiction, The Pilgrim’s Progress, is second only to the Bible in sales throughout the world. The author, John Bunyan, wrote the book, of course, while in Bedford County Jail. He could have been released at any time during his twelve years’ imprisonment if he only promised he’d cease preaching. His family suffered, as did he, but his faith never wavered. He was a giant for Christ, and I am proud to stand on his shoulders.

So do Christian novels make a difference? I think so, although some have more influence than others. Yet if even a single person who reads one of these books is changed by it, the effort necessary for its production will have been well expended. Does that mean that my novels qualify me for the designation, “Giant?” I don’t think so. Yet, together with others, we accomplish God’s purpose. Maybe, if we stand on the shoulders of others, together we can be giants as well.

What writer, either fiction or non-fiction, do you consider a “giant” in writing? Why do you say that? Can a single writer accomplish more than a number of lesser ones? Why? Let us know.


Richard Mabry is a retired physician, now an award-winning, best selling author of “medical suspense with heart.” His latest novel is Medical Judgment.


 Medical Judgement

Someone is after Dr. Sarah Gordon. They’ve stalked her, then set a fire at her home, and she has no idea what will come next. Her late husband’s best friend and a recovering alcoholic detective are trying to solve the mystery before it’s too late, but both appear to be vying for her affection as well. Sarah finds herself in constant fear as the process plays out. The questions keep mounting. Who is doing this? Why are they after her? What will they do to her? Will it mean her death? And, meanwhile, whom can she trust?

Today is release day for Medical Judgement. Leave a comment for an opportunity to win your own copy. Winner announced in the Weekend Edition.


Trixi said...

For me, one "giant" in Christian fiction is Francine Rivers. I knew when I read her book "Redeeming Love" that I was changed from the inside out. It carried a message that God had been trying to get though my heart for years. That message freed me from a hurt so deep, I didn't think it would ever heal. She had a way of writing that spoke to me. I've read several of her other books and they have such spiritual depth to them. I know God uses her writing to reach people where they are. She deals with real life issues with grace & extending God's mercy in a way that anyone can relate to, in my opinion. If you read her testimony (I think it was in the back of the book), she used to write in the secular world because it was more profitable. Until God began to convict her heart and she choose to remain true to who she was in Christ through her writing. And she gained so much more than monetary worth, she invested in God's kingdom, a much more eternal reward :-)

As to the second question; Can a single writer accomplish more than a number of lesser ones? Not necessarily (again only my opinion). I think if a writer is true to their Christ-like nature, whether they are a "big" name author or not, God can use that person to portray the message He has for them. I've read novellas that pack a powerful spiritual message, I've read self-pubbed authors who God has used to speak to my heart. I know God can use any writer anywhere to portray any message to any person He chooses....you as an author just need to listen for His voice & write what He puts on your heart to.

I hope that answered the question! It certainly is a deep one to ponder, you made me really think on this Richard...and that's a good thing! Please add my name to win a copy of your newest thriller "Medical Judgement". I've read two of your other books and know I will enjoy this one just as much!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Welcome, Dr. Mabry! So excited to have you here. I always hesitate to call a physician by his given name as myself, a retired RN I once heard a physician say, my name is Dr. I earned it.

I am so excited to have you visit us in Seekerville. Thanks for taking time to join us.

We've rolled out the best donuts, Krispie Kreme, in your honor.

Tina Radcliffe said...

It is my personal belief that if you are called by Him to write you should write. Obedience is the key, not the message. You do your part and he will do his. Like a pastor in a pulpit. It's not our job to hand count the souls redeemed, its our job to show up.

Mary Preston said...

A very interesting post & I have no doubt the comments will be too.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Giants. I'll have to ponder that. You bring up many things to consider. What makes a giant? Sales numbers or ministry? Both? And how do we count heart reached and tally that up. Hmmm. Must think on this.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Good morning to our Australian friend, Mary Preston!! We're like ships passing in the night. You rise as we go to bed. :)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

I love that you're here on release day, Richard! Congratulations to you!!!! Cue the party hats! Let down the confetti! Release days are so exciting, and they should never, ever, ever get old!

I love what you're saying here. The Shoulders of Giants idea is a thought-provoker, and when I think of it, I see the work of so many who have gone before, not just writers... but the people with courage enough to sail to a new land. To carve an existence where little existed. To build towns and trails and cities and expansion, and while I know that expansion is not P.C. to talk about these days, how blessed are we to have this huge, wonderful country?

So your shoulders of giants analogy is what I think of when I write contemporary or historical romance. We're here, doing this, because brave people had the courage of their convictions so long ago.

We are blessed!

Hey, congratulatory party cake for this release, and Richard, is this book going to SCARE ME so I can't sleep????

Because it sounds wonderful.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Richard, I'm laughing that Tina is doing the Doctor thing and I went straight to your first name...


Clearly I wasn't standing on ceremony! Or shoulders, LOL!

One more quick Ruthy note: I never worry if a book/series is a current giant. Giants take time, and if it helps people here and there, that's giant enough. And if enough people like it, then the readership grows.

But I think of those who've gone before me as the real giants. They paved the way.

Caryl Kane said...

HELLO DR. MABRY! I consider C.S. Lewis a "giant". His perspective on truth has caused me to ponder my own views.

CONGRATULATIONS on your release of Medical Judgement!

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, Dr. Mabry! Welcome to Seekerville! I agree with Ruthy...so many have gone before us, following God's leading and paving the way. There was a time when Christian FICTION was frowned upon--it still is in some circles. So those editors and publishers who stepped out in faith and "took a chance" can be considered, in my estimation, "giants."

Richard Mabry said...

It's a pleasure to be here. As I said in the post, there are some people I consider "giants" in Christian writing, but you may have a different list. No matter. The aggregate of our work is what counts.

Tina, I'm "Richard" or "Doc" to my contemporaries. And I even get called "Mr." a lot. As we say in Texas, it doesn't matter what you call me, so long as you call me for supper.

As for today being the "official" release day, I saw online retailers start shipping Medical Judgment about ten days ago. There used to be an embargo on selling new releases until a given day, but that has apparently passed. No problem. Glad the book is out, and I hope the readers find it both entertaining and challenging.

Tracey Hagwood said...

Good Morning Dr. Mabry,
"Do Christian novels make a difference?" Absolutely. We are called to be salt and light and there's not a corner of this hurting world that doesn't have need of it. We never know what type of ministry will reach one particular person. Jesus was all about going after the one lost.

We are His hands, His feet and even His voice to those who don't know Him. That's a lot of ground to cover. That's why I love your comment, "Together, with others, we accomplish God's purpose." So whether writing books or songs, being a doctor, lawyer, pastor, neighbor, friend, nursery worker, etc. we are all part of His body, all necessary and valuable. We all have a sphere of influence and whatever it is, God has planted us just where we are to accomplish that purpose. Any one of us could be a giant in one person's life and help change eternity for them. To that one, that's the only giant they'll ever need.

Sorry, didn't mean to write a sermon and preach it too.

Congratulations on your newest book release, praying it reaches all those God intends it to. Looking forward to reading it, looks fascinating.

Jeanne Takenaka said...

First of all, Richard. Congratulations on your latest release!

Your words here today make such sense. I know that if I ever get published, I hope the words in my novels will speak to readers' hearts. What I've seen and heard from published friends is that God uses their words in unexpected ways. I love that He has so much more in mind for our stories than we can see as we're writing them.

I think Francine Rivers is a giant in this industry. And, having met her briefly, she's also humble and kind. Her stories have impacted me personally, and I've re-read some of them many times.

Who are some of the giants in your estimation?

Glynna Kaye said...

Do Christian novels make a difference? I definitely think so, even if only based on my own letters from readers and reader letters that other author friends have shared with me. They entertain. They encourage. They challenge. They comfort. They lay the foundation, perhaps, to a different way of thinking about life and who God is and how He loves us.

If you have some time, Dr. Mabry, would you please share a bit about your journey to writing Christian fiction? And about your writing schedule pre- and post-retirement?

Renee McBride said...

Thank you for your thought provoking post today, Richard. My son's name is Richard too. :-).

I've always considered J.R.R. Tolkien as a giant. He conveyed message through symbolism. Someone else here mentioned C.S. Lewis who's another great choice. But I have to say Jerry Jenkins has done a great deal to lift up Christian writers over the years. His Left Behind series inspired me to want to evangelize through my writing.

Richard, your latest release sounds like it would scare the beegeebers out of me. That blurb is very intriguing!

Thanks again for affirming our call to be Christian writers this morning. God bless your writing ministry.

Renee McBride said...

Thank you for your thought provoking post today, Richard. My son's name is Richard too. :-).

I've always considered J.R.R. Tolkien as a giant. He conveyed message through symbolism. Someone else here mentioned C.S. Lewis who's another great choice. But I have to say Jerry Jenkins has done a great deal to lift up Christian writers over the years. His Left Behind series inspired me to want to evangelize through my writing.

Richard, your latest release sounds like it would scare the beegeebers out of me. That blurb is very intriguing!

Thanks again for affirming our call to be Christian writers this morning. God bless your writing ministry.

Janet Dean said...

DR. MABRY, welcome to Seekerville! Congratulations on the release of Medical Judgment!

C.S. Lewis and Francine Rivers jump out to me as giants in Christian fiction. But it's the large number of writers and readers of Christian fiction who have built the foundation that has given me this opportunity. The beautiful thing about writing for God is our stories impact the kingdom. We may never know who desperately needed the story we wrote. Who but God can measure the impact of one heartache released, one heart changed?


Richard Mabry said...

Thanks for all the comments. To address Glynna's question, some people may not know that I started on this road when I wanted to writing to craft a book about my experiences following the death of my wife. After the publication of The Tender Scar, I struggled through four years/four novels/forty rejections before I gave up the idea of writing fiction. But through circumstances that only God could put in place, I received representation, got my first fiction contract, and got back to work.

Medical Judgment is my tenth traditionally published novel of medical suspense (plus two self-published novellas). Unlike many writers, I don't write a given number of words a day. But I never miss a deadline. Don't know how I do it, although, as Dr. Samuel Johnson supposedly said, "When a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully." I know a lot of my colleagues in medicine who never started work on their lectures until they were under the gun. Guess I have some of that in me, as well.

Myra Johnson said...

Welcome back to Seekerville, Doc! It's always a pleasure to have you, and congratulations on your latest medical suspense!

This is a very thought-provoking post, and encouraging to consider that all of us who write Christian fiction can be "giants" together. More than likely, it isn't a single author or a single novel that will change a reader's life, but the aggregate of all the books they read and the multiplied messages of hope, forgiveness, and encouragement for their walk with God.

Glynna Kaye said...

I'm sorry to hear of the loss of your wife. "The Tender Scar" must have been a difficult book to write in many ways...but healing for you, as well as a comfort to many others who have also lost a spouse.

Yes, those deadlines are highly motivational, aren't they?? :)

Keli Gwyn said...

Welcome, Doc Mabry! It's great to see you here in Seekerville.

I don't consider myself a giant by any means. I think each of us contributes in our own small ways to the whole. Readers want different kinds of stories, and we provide them. Those looking for a sweet historical romance might find one of my Love Inspired Historicals and be moved by the Christian message woven into the story. That's my hope, anyhow. I have had a few readers contact me to tell me how much a story spoke to them. Talk about rewarding!

What's one of the most encouraging messages you've received from a reader?

Mary Connealy said...

What a wonderful post, Richard. Thank you so much.
When Trixi said Francine Rivers that was my thought, too.
Although her Mark of the Lion Trilogy is what came to my mind. After reading that I felt like I really knew how powerful words could be in the hands of a master.

Even as I sit here typing I'm praying that I can do better, write more powerfully for Christ.

My books tend to lean more toward what I think of as 'good clean fun'. But I am missing opportunities which my work to do more, to reach higher.

This is really inspirational. Thank you!

Tina Radcliffe said...

We actually have been discussing release dates around here. At the library where I worked boxes would arrive from Baker and Taylor and Ingram with strict red print on the outside. Do not release until xx.

Lately it's a coin toss when your book will release. This is good, though a tad anticlimactic. LOL.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Well I've been thinking about giants and I'd have to say a game changer for me was In His Steps by Charles Monroe Sheldon. To this day that book impacts my life.

Mary Connealy said...

Wasn't 'standing on the shoulders of giants' a theme in Jurassic Park when Jeff Goldblum kept saying they didn't know what they were doing with the science they had inherited?

Vince said...

Hi Doc:

When you stand on the shoulders of giants you don't necessarily get a better view of the moon or stars, however, as it is for the lead dog on a dog sled team, the view is far more pleasant and less distracting.

I had to laugh at your comment:

"...as we say in Texas, 'That’s why they make Fords and Chevrolets'.”

More than half a century ago my father was fond of saying, "That's why they make DeSotos and Duesenbergs."

And I'd say, "Dad, they don't make those cars anymore."

And he'd say: "That's the point."

Which makes me think of this:

What do we mean by giants? Are we talking about a writer's collective work? Or are we talking about a single book which may have changed the world? Or even, in rare cases, are we talking about both!

"Uncle Tom's Cabin" and "To Kill a Mockingbird" are important works but does that make the authors giants? Is Hemmingway a giant because his body of work changed how novels were written? Is P.D. James a giant because she forever changed how mysteries were written? Is C. S. Lewis a giant for reviving the market for children's books or is he a giant for his message carried in all his books?

I guess there are giants and there are Giants. Jesus and Socrates never wrote anything for publication and yet their words are some of the most important ever recorded. Do you have to do the writing yourself?

One of my dream projects would be to write a truly Christian novel set in 400 BC Athens. The hero and heroine would lead morally Christian lives. Their life example and experiences in dealing with life's problems, in a pagan world, would foreshadow Christ's teachings. The goal would be to make readers ready to understand and accept the Christian message before they first encounter it with a mix of Christian dogmas.

In the early Church there was an effort to make Plato a saint. I believe Limbo was created so that Plato, who could not enter Heaven, would not have to go to hell.

So these are my thoughts: more questions than answers. We have guests here at Seekerville for the answers. : )

Please enter me in the drawing for "Medical Judgment".


P.S. A question I like to ask every medical person: Do you watch Doc Martin?

P.P.S. Did you attend a WIN chapter meeting in Tulsa?

Tina Radcliffe said...

BTW, I'm loving the fact that you didn't give up..you kept at your craft until the door opened. Brava!

So apparently you can teach us old dogs new tricks.

Debby Giusti said...

Dr. Mabry, thanks for being with us today. I've attended a few of your workshops and always enjoyed them. Great info. Nice presentation. Kudos!

Giants? Frank Peritti comes to mind. The success of "This Present Darkness," published in 1986, made Christian publishers sit up and take note. He's a giant in my book!

Francine Rivers, of course, tops the list!

Marianne Barkman said...

Good morning, Dr. As long as I worked among books, retail, wholesale or library I always kept up with your amazing novels. Now that I'm a distance from an outlet, and I haven't got into this online buying stuff (and sorry, suspense novels on Ereaders doesn't work for me) I haven't read one of yours for awhile.i always love to, though.
Giants? I think all of you here are! SEEKERVILLE ROCKS!!!!

Mary Connealy said...

What I also think of as giants are people who open new doors in small ways.
Who prove it can be done.

Sometimes they don't get the most attention but suddenly it's okay to write slightly edgier Christian fiction, or to go with a new genre.

I didn't start Christian westerns but there weren't many around when I got published. Lori Copeland wrote the first one I found and I used her success to jumpstart my own.

"People who read Lori Copelands 'Men of the Saddle' series might like my books.'"

Richard Mabry said...

Great to see so many comments, including many folks whom I recognize.

Kelli, I get lots of nice comments from readers, but honestly, I think the ones that mean the most to me are from people who've read The Tender Scar and tell me how it's helped get them through their own "Valley of the Shadow of Death"--which I maintain is not a box canyon, but one with an ending, however far away it may seem.

Vince, I don't watch Doc Martin. Not even sure who or what he is. And, yes, I spoke to the Writers of Inspirational Novels in Tulsa several years ago. If we met and I've forgotten you, I apologize. Glad to see you're active in this arena.

Kathryn Barker said...

Great post, Dr. Mabry! Thanks for inciting a provocative discussion!! I think we, as writers in the body of Christ, each have a function that is essential but fortunately not the same! I just love 1Corinthians 12--especially 12-26, which fits with your statement, "Yet, together with others, we accomplish God’s purpose."

It's difficult for me to choose a few Giants. Because, depending on the crisis, crossroad or circumstances different "giants" have impacted my life in meaningful ways at a particular time.

Celebrating your release day with tea and scones!! Would love to be entered to win Medical Judgment!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Huge scones fan, Kathryn. White chocolate and cranberry??

Tina Radcliffe said...

I'm curious, Doc. Have you had any medical people email you to challenge your medical facts in the book?

Richard Mabry said...

Tina, I try to check every bit of medical action in every book, but sometimes I slip up. In one book I suggested a management of a certain heart problem. A physician-writer-friend emailed me and told me that had changed. I was happy to hear that, although it was too late to do anything about this book, which was already in print.

I've also had one non-medical reviewer trash one of my books because she was convinced I had the dosage of an experimental (fictional) drug wrong. Even after another commenter pointed out her error, she left the review up. Well, you can't please everyone. : )

DebH said...

Hi Dr. Mabry
I like the idea of many Christian authors adding up to "giant" status. I happen to especially like C.S. Lewis. Frank Peritti certainly did got my attention as well. I sort of think that the group of Seeker ladies, with their combined books and ministry here at Seekerville qualify as giants (or maybe the Seeker Giant... Giant Seeker?) Either way, I know they have certainly made a difference in the arena of Inspirational fiction.

This post has wonderful food for thought. I am so glad you got to visit today. Congrats on your book release and may many books fly off the shelves, both physical and digital. thanks, as well for your offering of a book for some blessed commenter (I hope it's me... ;) )

DebH said...

p.s. Mary - even with your good, clean fun, I think you show that being a Christian doesn't mean you cannot have a sense of humor. I think all your books show that very well. Personally, I LOVE your sense of humor.

Kathryn Barker said...

Tina...white chocolate and cranberry scones...yum...yum... We made all kinds of scones at our tearoom...couldn't choose a favorite! Jamaican Banana and our Blueberry Sour Cream still make me drool...just thinking about them!! LOL

Have a Tea-riffic day!!

Myra Johnson said...

Yes, VINCE, I was at the ACFW-Tulsa meeting when Doc Mabry spoke. It was a great talk on how to research medical details for your novel.

Doc, are you going to ACFW this year?

Julie Lessman said...

WELCOME TO SEEKERVILLE, Dr. Mabry, and SUPER CONGRATS on your latest release!!

I thoroughly enjoyed your post today as it immediately hooked my attention and kept it throughout. As a daughter of a doctor, I have to smile because until this post today, for me, the idea of reading a physician's work was akin to reading a medical journal. :) Given your keen sense of humor and insight, I was obviously wrong in my assumptions!!

I'm so very sorry to hear of the loss of your wife, but I suspect "The Tender Scar" must be a very powerful and inspirational book, both from the emotional aspect and the spiritual.

As far as "giants," I echo those who named Francine Rivers and Frank Peretti, although I personally would add Catherine Marshall and Liz Curtis Higgs to that list as well.

YOU SAID: "As we say in Texas, it doesn't matter what you call me, so long as you call me for supper."

LOL, sooooo true, Doc!!

YOU SAID: "When I finally found my writing voice, it presented a subtler Christian message than some of the others, but it seemed to work. I’ve been told by people who are Jewish, agnostic, or atheist that they enjoy reading my work. How much of the message comes through to them? There’s no way to tell…but the seed has been planted. I especially prize the endorsement from a fellow writer, a practicing Jew, whose novels were best sellers in the general market: “The Christian message is intriguing.” That and the nice words of my non-Christian friends who enjoy my books are the kinds of thing that encourage me."

I'm definitely one of those "overt" Christian authors, where God is almost another character rather than a thread, but I don't think "overt" is the trend in today's Christian fiction. Ironically, I recently gave a Jewish neighbor one of my books before I knew she was Jewish, and she said she was mad at me because it kept her up till 4:00 AM. She then went on to say she thinks I am missing my market by including so much specific spirituality because the "mission field" is so much greater in the secular market if I would just keep the spiritual thread minimal. Something to think (and pray) about, I guess. :)

Thanks for such a great topic today, Doc -- I really enjoyed it!


Julie Lessman said...

TINA SAID: "Like a pastor in a pulpit. It's not our job to hand count the souls redeemed, its our job to show up."


TINA ALSO SAID: "What makes a giant? Sales numbers or ministry? Both? And how do we count heart reached and tally that up. Hmmm. Must think on this.

If Jesus were answering that question, I suspect he would say "ministry," and as far as tallying ... I suspect He would say that's His job, not ours. :)

KATHRYN!! I'm with you and Tina -- LOVE scones, especially those mini ones from Panera, half triple berry, half orange glaze. YUM!!


Carol Garvin said...

So great to find you here, Richard, and I like your 'shoulders of giants' concept, building on the foundation of those who have gone before. I always consider Francine Rivers one of those greats.

Congrats on the release of Medical Judgment. I enjoy all your books and am looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of it. :)

Tina Radcliffe said...

Okay, well, enough said. I have had the same thing happen. I am a nurse. Nurses scare me.

Richard Mabry said...

Thanks to all of you for carrying the discussion along. And, yes, Myra--I'll be at ACFW this year (although just Thursday and Friday).

Christina said...

I absolutely loved your post, Richard. You've inspired me. And congratulations on the release of your latest book. Though I shy away from medical stories,(medical stories make me anxious; doctor fears I guess) it does look intriguing. Here's to many sales!

Jan Drexler said...

Hi Doc Mabry!

Your post has given us a lot of food for thought. I have several "giants" in mind, including Bunyan, Tolkien, Lewis and others mentioned. But I am so thankful that there are giants on whose shoulders we can clamber up, and that give Christian fiction a welcoming audience.

And I love what you said here: as Dr. Samuel Johnson supposedly said, "When a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully."

As a writer who is a fortnight away from her deadline, this was delightful!

I hope to run across you in Nashville. :)

Mary Connealy said...

Thanks, DebH.
I appreciate that.

Missy Tippens said...

Welcome, Doc! What a great post. I'm so thankful we have those who've gone before us with their wonderful books.

Missy Tippens said...

Now, I just read the comment about the reviewer who complained about a fictional drug dosage! LOL!!! Oh, my.

Richard Mabry said...

Christina, have no fear. I write what I call "sleep with the lights off" medical thrillers.
Jan, I trust you'll make your deadline. Keep an eye out for me in Nashville.
Mary, an honor to share the same site with you.
Missy, thank you for your kind words.

And to all the folks at Seekerville, I appreciate your hospitality.

Sandy Smith said...

What an interesting post. I think I would agree with others who have said that Francine Rivers is a giant in Christian fiction. Another name that comes to mind is Janette Oke. I believe she is the first Christian fiction author I had ever read. Not sure I was aware of that genre before then.

Please enter me for the book!

Bettie said...

What about Catherine Marshall, author of Christy? C.S.Lewis is a good one, too.

How about some cheers for all the publishers who have chosen to promote and produce Christian Fiction!

Thank you Dr. Mabry for your post. Please throw my name in the drawing.

Natalie Monk said...

Hi, Dr. Richard! What a gracious and thought provoking post! How important it is that we remember those who have paved the way before us. Thanks for sharing with us today.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Ah, Bettie, C.S. Now that I will agree with. Besides, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, which I enjoyed, I found soul comfort in A Grief Observed...not fiction however.

Jackie Smith said...

Glad Richard visited! Love his books....never miss reading them and THANKS for the giveaway today! Keep up the great writing!

Crystal said...

Amen to that! I totally agree, Tina.

Crystal said...

I love your Texas sayings! They are great. Congratulations on the book release, whether the book came out early or not. :-)

Barbara Scott said...

Hope I see you at ACFW, Richard, and look forward to catching up. When I think of giants, I think of those whose words have inspired us...sometimes written...sometimes spoken. Giants of the faith who obeyed and followed no matter how difficult the journey, but who also found joy and strength by drawing close to the Lord. Like Olympian and missionary Eric Liddell who said, "I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel his pleasure." Words to remember when we write...I feel his pleasure.

Richard Mabry said...

Thanks to all of you for your gracious comments. And Barbara, I'll keep my eyes open for you at ACFW. You started it all, you and Rachelle. And I'll never forget that.

Toni Shiloh said...

Love this!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hello Dr. Mabry, and welcome to Seekerville. What an interesting post. I know that you enjoy those giants. I have to agree with Trixi. Francine Rivers and her testimony of switching from aba market to Christian fiction inspired me to do likewise. I love her writing also and consider her a giant.

I think we have some giants here in Seekerville also. Julie Lessman, Mary Connealy, Ruth Logan Herne, are getting to the giant status. Considering how we all started on unpubbed island, I think that is quite an accomplishment.

Thanks for joining us today. Hope you had fun with us.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Personally I think that when it comes to being a giant for the Lord, it can't really be qualified. If you reach one soul. You are a giant. And we all touch souls and sometimes don't even know it. smile

Sandra Leesmith said...

Thanks for the scones, Kathryn. yum. They hit the spot.

Barbara Scott said...

You did all the heavy lifting. :-)

Walt Mussell said...

The first thing that comes to mind when I think of Newton is that, when I was young, I thought he discovered gravity. It was only when I was older that he didn't discover gravity, but instead applied the force throughout the universe. I'm still blown away by how profound that is.

When I think of giants in Christian fiction, I immediately think of C.S. Lewis.

And or a giant in Japanese Christian fiction, since I focus on Japan in my writing, I have to vote for Shusaku Endo.

Terri said...

I'm so thankful I made it to Seekerville in time to read your post. I love reading all the comments and folks suggestions on Giants. I agree with so many if not all of them! I love reading C.S. Lewis and Catherine Marshall. I have a friend who says Francine Rivers writing caused her to seek a closer relationship with Christ.

A personal favorite of mine is Ted Dekker. I find his writing truly makes me think about my focus in live. Am I living in this plane or tuned into the spiritual happening all around me?

Love the sound of Medical Judgment! I'm a suspense fan so please toss my name in the hat for the drawing.

Richard Mabry said...

Folks, thanks again for all the nice comments. And now, I'm headed for bed--but I'll check in tomorrow morning just in case you folks in Hawaii are still up and have something to say.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Richard, thanks so much for spending the day with us. I knew it would be a busy one with one of our favorite authors here!!

Elaine Stock said...

This is a very inspiring post. Thanks for sharing.

Edwina said...

Dr. Mabry, excellent post!

There are so many giants...Max Lucado is one of my favorites.


Betti said...

Very interesting post. There are probably as many giants as there are genres that Christian books are written in. I don't look for obvious messages in the books I enjoy, but rather that the characters acknowledge the Lord's leading and grace in their lives.

AnnaLee Conti said...

I love Richard's books. Thanks for sharing this post. Please enter me in the drawing for Medical Judgment. Thanks you.