Monday, August 30, 2010

Interview With Author Robin Caroll

I’m delighted to be able to interview multi-talented Robin Caroll today. I suppose I could start by telling you a lot of things about Robin, but I’d rather let her do it in her own words.

Trying to be careful, Doc? LOL Well, let’s see… I love boxing. I love Hallmark movies. I love fishing. I love scrapbooking. Nope, I've never fit into the boxes people have wanted to put me in.
I grew up in Louisiana in the 70s as the baby in my family—adored, but never spoiled. (My two older brothers and two older sisters made sure of that.) The writing bug bit early. At 7 years old, I started writing skits and performing them for my family. I've never stopped.
I got married in 1989, have three daughters—nineteen, ten, and eight—and live in Little Rock, Arkansas. I was blessed recently to witness the birth of my grandson, which was amazing.
I'm passionate about writing, but also about giving back to the industry that has given me my dreams. I'm the past president of ACFW (2007 and 2008) and am currently the director of the annual ACFW writer's conference.
I'd describe myself as Spiritual, not religious, with a diverse Christian background. Bottom line? I love Jesus and will follow Him wherever He leads me.

RM: Robin, since we’re near-neighbors (north Texas and southern Arkansas), it’s a special pleasure to welcome you to Random Jottings. Let’s start with your writing. How long did you write before you got your first contract?

RC: Thanks, Doc….pleasure being here. Wow…how long? Let’s see…I’ve been writing in one form or another since 3rd grade. But I got serious about writing toward publication, then joined ACFW. I’d been a member for a couple of years before I got my first contract.

RM: Tell us a bit about your books.

RC: My most recent trilogy, Deliver Us From Evil (Feb 2010), Fear No Evil  (August 2010) and In The Shadow of Evil (March 2011), I try to portray a very serious issue in a new and fresh way…in Deliver, it was child trafficking…in Fear, it’s gangs and social services, and in Shadow, it’s the scams in the building industry.

RM: You were one of four authors of mystery fiction that Broadman & Holman sent on a tour recently. I suspect that experience provided you with lots of stories, some of which will probably never be uttered in public. Which ones can you share with my readers?

RC: LOL…depends on how much my cohorts, er-fellow authors, are willing to pay. LOL Seriously, it was one of the most fun times I’ve had. Hanging out with 3 people I truly love and respect, and then adding Karen Ball and Julie Gwinn, the Wynns…well, let’s just say I had a wonderful time. Some quotes, and let your readers guess who said what… “everything is not a competition”… “you are dead to me” … “what was that?” … “what state are we in?” … “3 minutes to custard” …  “Tosca, tell your sisters a story” …some things we learned: Friends don’t let friends eat Chinese at a mall food court….Tosca can NOT drive….Jim can NOT navigate, even with the GPS…Robin & Brandilyn should NOT be in a car in a tunnel together…the Wynns are keepers of “the box”…And oh, so many more great memories.

RM:  You’re a past president of the American Christian Fiction Writers, and for the past two years have served as conference director. Every time I see you at the meeting I wonder how you can ever get anything out of the meeting because your position keeps you occupied. Can you tell us a bit about your experiences?

RC: LOL…honestly, I really don’t get to attend much at the conference…most times, I’m sticking my head in to make sure all is set right or whatever, or someone has had a problem I’m checking out. Most people don’t realize the enormity of what ACFW goes through in putting on such a conference, and that we’re working year-round on conference. The planning is vast, detailed, and VERY tedious at times. Working with hotels is challenging in its own right, but the logistics for our group are particularly unique. Then we have all the rooming issues, the meeting space setup, ordering of totes/padfolios/etc, the signs design & order, the regs packets, the handouts, the booklets, where to put the bookstore-where to hold the appointments-where can we fit in the agenda this or that…EVERYTHING  has to be worked out on paper and orchestrated to the nth so that it comes off smoothly. But at the end of the weekend, when all is said and done, and I hear that just ONE person was blessed by something they got at conference….it makes it all worth it!   I love doing it. Love giving back. Love hearing people who had amazing experiences…it’s a wonderful feeling.

RM:  What’s next on your agenda?

RC: I’m currently finishing the first book in a new trilogy published by B&H….the working title of this one is Injustice for All, and of course, it’s a romantic suspense. The writing style on this one is a bit different than what I normally do, which has taught me to grow and stretch myself as a writer.

RM: I know you’re heavily into scrapbooking. How did you get started in that activity, and how do you find time to do it?

RC: I honestly can’t remember how I got addicted-er, started, in scrapbooking. I think I went to a party or something. But I was hooked. I actually have a “scrapbook station” in my guest room, and love that I can leave my things set up so when I have those few minutes, I can run in and get a page or two done.  Time? Well, it’s harder to find time since we’ve been doing home renovations for the past several months, but I’m hoping to get back into the routine more often soon.

RM: And finally, like the warden when the governor hasn’t called and midnight’s approaching, do you have any last words?

RC:  Thanks for having me, Doc. Always a pleasure to hang out with you.

Thanks, Robin.

Readers,  please allow me to share some good news. I just learned that Romantic Times Book Reviews gave Medical Error 4 1/2 stars, their highest possible rating. "In Mabry’s second Prescription for Trouble book, the fast-paced action will keep readers on the edge of their seats. Mabry’s medical expertise adds to the climactic ending."

Saturday, August 28, 2010

More On The Thriller Tour

In her recent interview, Brandilyn Collins told a tale or two on her fellow travelers from their recent "thriller tour." The group is pictured at left in a relatively sane moment. (One of the rare ones, I'm led to understand). Left to right are Tosca Lee, Robin Caroll, Brandilyn Collins, and James Rubart.

In the interest of "fair and balanced reporting," I've contacted the group members and been told that Brandilyn was far from her self-described "perfect." Matter of fact, Jim Rubart felt that description was simply another example of  Brandilyn's tendency to write fiction. Jim showed great restraint when asked to give the low-down on some of Brandilyn's activities, though. Truly a gentleman.

According to Tosca, Brandilyn does a great "frog face." It's evident in this photo. Tosca says it's probably because Brandilyn was always eating green things, like salads. The other members of the group look perfectly normal, of course.

I haven't been able to get details about the infamous "cab ride" except that Robin had to sit in the front seat with the driver (not a great experience), while Brandilyn and Tosca laughed from the back seat. Maybe someone will whisper more to me at ACFW.

And for those of you who think the life of an author on tour is glamorous, I present this example of the group after a hard day of travel and signing.

Thanks, Brandilyn, for the interview and for being a good sport. And thanks to the other members of the tour for their input. You're all great writers and a credit to the profession--even when you're making faces at the camera.

Late-breaking news!!! I've just completed an interview with author Robin Caroll (one of the members of the thriller tour) and will post it on Monday. In addition to more serious topics (her writing, ACFW, her other interests) she gives us a few more thoughts and a picture or two that should be fun. Come back then.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Why Am I Going To The Police Station?

On Sunday, August 29, I'll be speaking to the Greater Fort Worth Writers Association. The meeting is held in the Community Room of the Keller, Texas, Police Department, starting at 2:00 PM. No reservations are necessary, and if you're in the area and don't have any wants or warrants out against you (a little writer humor there), please drop by. I'll be speaking about my road to writing. Since I'm published in both non-fiction and fiction, I hope I can provide a few bits of information that will be interesting and helpful to the writers gathered there.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Author As Movie Director

Lest you labor under the false impression that all a writer has to do is write, let me introduce you to one aspect of marketing a book that may have escaped your notice. Marketing a book? Isn't that the responsibility of the publisher? Maybe in some bygone year, but nowadays the marketing department of a publishing house is usually pedaling as fast as possible to get the word out about anywhere from 12 to 24 or more books per year. It's up to the author to do his/her share of marketing.

My first two novels, Code Blue and Medical Error, are already on the shelves of bookstores (or can be ordered if they're not there). My next book, Diagnosis Death, isn't due for publication until April of 2011. Plenty of time for marketing, you may say. Not so fast, I say. In addition to lining up possible endorsers and influencers and submitting that list to my publisher, I've been asked to put together a video about the book that can be used to promote it. What does a writer know about putting together a video? Not much, I reply, but I can learn, and I have.

Here's the first draft of that video. Let me know what you think, and don't spare my feelings. My own preference is for a brief video, a single subject line, and a simple format. Some of you may prefer a longer video, a cast of thousands, and spectacular special effects. If that's the case, I can see if Steven Spielberg is available, I suppose.

Seriously, here it is. Let me know what you think. Meanwhile, I need to get back to writing my next book.

Video for Diagnosis Death

Monday, August 23, 2010

Interview With Brandilyn Collins

One of today’s most successful and respected writers of Christian fiction is my guest today. Her “Seatbelt Suspense” has kept readers turning pages for years now, and as she shares with us here, there’s more to come.  Brandilyn Collins has been my friend and supporter since I began my “road to writing,” and it’s an honor and privilege to have her here today.

RM:    Brandilyn, by my count you’ve had twenty-one books published—19 novels, a true crime, and the classic writing book, Getting Into Character. Do you ever get questions about a previous book that send you to your own copy to find the answer? And if not, how in the world do you keep it all straight?

BC: Once in awhile a reader who’s read some novel I wrote five or so years ago may ask me about a very specific and little plot point regarding some minor character. “Why did So-and-So do this or that?” Or “Whatever happened to this or that?” Well first, I can’t even remember who So-and-So is, so I certainly can’t remember why or what or who or how. I do have to go digging. The mazes in my novels are complex—lots of false leads, dead-ends, etc. I just can’t possibly remember all the passageways years later.

RM:    You’ve recently been on a multi-city Thriller Tour with fellow authors Tosca Lee, Jim Rubart, and Robin Caroll, accompanied by editor Karen Ball. I can’t imagine putting that group together for long without some unforgettable experiences. Are there any you can relate without letting yourself in for a libel suit?

BC: Well, let’s see. We performed the Thriller dance outside a P.F. Chang’s one day. (Never know what a full stomach will lead to.) I learned Tosca is an … interesting driver. (“Was that a bump?” “No, just the curb.”) Jim will never again eat cheap Chinese at a mall’s food court. (“How long until we get to a bathroom? HOW LONG???) Robin will never again sit in the front seat with a New York cab driver. (In a text message to those in the back seat: “He smells funny.”) And Karen knows little about baseball. (At the St. Louis game: “What’s that white thing?” “The ball.”)

I, of course, was perfect.

RM:    Your latest novel, Deceit, is garnering great reviews. Would you mind sharing a bit about it with my readers?

BC: From the back cover: Joanne Weeks knows Baxter Jackson killed Linda—his second wife and Joanne’s best friend—six years ago. But Baxter, a church elder and beloved member of
the town, walks the streets a free man. The police tell Joanne to leave well enough alone, but she is determined to bring him down. Using her skills as a professional skip tracer, she sets out to locate the only person who may be able to put Baxter behind bars. Melissa Harkoff was a traumatized sixteen-year-old foster child in the Jackson household when Linda disappeared. At the time Melissa claimed to know nothing of Linda's whereabouts—but was she lying?

In relentless style, Deceit careens between Joanne's pursuit of the truth—which puts her own life in danger—and the events of six years' past, when Melissa came to live with the Jacksons. What really happened in that household? Beneath the veneer of perfection lies a story of shakeable faith, choices, and the lure of deceit.

Deceit seems to be resonating with people both because of the psychologically complex story and its intrinsic questions about possible deceit in the life of the reader. I’ve read a couple of positive reviews that call the story “dark.” I didn’t think in terms of being “dark” when I was writing Deceit. I mean, one could argue all my suspense stories are dark in one way or another. But now that I see that word applied to this novel I can’t say I totally disagree. There are lingering issues from Deceit that stay with the reader. The novel certainly depicts human nature in all its frailty and unpredictability.

RM:    I’m fascinated that you’re taking your own experience with Lyme disease and turning it into a novel, Over The Edge, which will be published next May. Would you tell my readers a little about the book and some of your experiences in writing it?

BC: Lyme hit me hard in 2002, taking me from a five-mile-a-day runner to barely crippling around with a cane. I was plunged into the world of the “Lyme Wars,” a world that pits long-term Lyme sufferers against doctors who’ve been told chronic Lyme doesn’t even exist and therefore won’t treat the disease. It’s a very complex fight in medicine, one that most people aren’t even aware of. Until they or someone they know gets Lyme.

As I slumped in the waiting room of my doctor in 2003, I was so sick I would not be able to remain sitting in the chair. (They soon had to move me to the doctor’s personal padded armchair with footrest in a private office.) At that point I’d been treated for Lyme with high doses of antibiotics for about 3 months. I was only getting worse, which meant we’d have to get even more aggressive with the medication. Hanging on the waiting room wall was a framed newspaper article summarizing the 2001 findings about Lyme Disease from the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA). These findings had been originally written in The New England Journal of Medicine. The newspaper article explained how researchers had once again “proved” that Lyme was never chronic and was in fact very easy to treat with a short-term round of antibiotics. People claiming months or years of crippling symptoms from the disease were just wrong—or it was just all in their heads.

I was so very sick, with my quality of life completely taken from me—and researchers in their shiny laboratories were telling me I was just fine. Either that or I was a psych patient. I remember the intense anger I felt. And it wasn’t just because I was being summarily dismissed by these doctor researchers. The result of these IDSA findings are dire—insurance companies pick them up and then deny coverage for treatment. Medical boards go after doctors who do treat for long-term Lyme, many times yanking their licenses to practice. It’s amazing but true—these few doctors on the IDSA committee ultimately have the power to control how Lyme patients are tested and treated in this country.

What those know-it-alls need, I thought with an admittedly unChristian attitude, is a real good case of Lyme.

And so the idea for Over the Edge was born. What if an embittered man who’d lost a loved one to Lyme purposely infected the wife of the doctor who served as the chairman of the IDSA committee—the doctor who was so outspoken in saying chronic Lyme didn’t exist? What if that embittered man gave the sickened wife an ultimatum? “Convince your husband to publicly change his opinion about Lyme so patients can be properly treated—or others will suffer the same fate I’ve given you.” And what if the good and ever-so-right doctor refused to believe his wife had Lyme at all?
Over the Edge is a suspense novel that will entertain, using the plotting and twists my readers are used to. At the same time the book will impart information about Lyme and the Lyme Wars.

RM:    You’ve been heavily involved for years with the American Christian Fiction Writers, and many of us remain grateful for your support on our own writing journey. What is your most treasured memory from an ACFW conference?

BC: My responsibilities at the conference go from the most overt and public to the most private. I serve as emcee every year, which means I’m in front of the whole group on a regular basis. But the rest of the time I’m often in the prayer room praying with people (usually by appointment). My best memories of all the conferences are from praying with people and seeing God heal in amazing ways—emotionally, spiritually, and physically. He certainly doesn’t need me around to work His miracles, so I’m grateful He allows me to hang out and watch what He does. Every year I just marvel. And every year those prayer room experiences are what I most look forward to.

RM:    Thanks for taking the time to share with my readers. Any last words?

BC:  I have a new video, put together by my publisher B&H, that talks about what I write and why. It’s part of the new branding B&H is doing around my Seatbelt Suspense®. View it here. As for learning more about my books, remember that the first chapters of all my novels can be read on my web site.

Thanks, Doc, for your hospitality!

And thank you, Brandilyn, for being with us. We look forward to many more books that make some of us sleep with the lights on!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

What's Your Favorite Blog?

Many of you have voiced your opinions on the question raised in my previous post: How (and if) should a blog host respond to comments?

Offering interesting dialogue between host and commenter (or between several commenters) is one way to draw followers to a blog. Agent Nathan Bransford does this routinely. I've often been tempted to leave my own comment, only to be turned off by the fact that over 100 people have already left theirs.

Providing useful information is another means of gaining blog followers. The postings of my agent, Rachelle Gardner, are a goldmine of information, and I check her blog every day.

My question to you is this: What is one of your favorite blogs? And why? Don't list this one. I don't pretend to be in the big leagues, although the fact that you're reading this post right now pleases me immensely. I know you have dozens of favorites, but just list one. If someone else has listed your first choice, choose another. And tell us why you like it.

I suggest you list them as "Nathan Bransford's blog" or "Rachelle Gardner's blog" rather than giving the URL, because spam crawlers abound on the Internet. A quick search via Google (or Bing or Ask...choose a favorite) should get people to the right spot. Now chime in.

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: Hurry back to this blog on Monday, August 23 (my next regular date to post) for an exciting interview with Brandilyn Collins, who will tell us about her latest novel, her next book, and share her experiences with several other best-selling authors on their recent "magical mystery tour."

Monday, August 16, 2010

Two-Way Communication On Blogs

There's been a good bit of discussion recently about how to make people keep coming back to a blog. I was considering giving away large sums of money to people who left comments (just kidding, folks; just kidding), but what interested me most was the suggestion that responding to comments fostered a more intimate sense of dialogue with one's blog readers.

For a long time, I responded to almost every comment made on this blog by sending an individual email to the person leaving the message. This wasn't too difficult, because most of them listed an email contact on their Blogger profile. I got the idea from the late Kristi Dykes, who often sent me emails after I'd posted on her blog site. I still remember them. They all began, "Greetings from sunny Florida."

More recently I've seen the suggestion that the blog host reply to comments directly in the comment section. I've been trying to do that for a while, but I'm curious about the feelings of the blog readers. Do you want a dialogue stemming from your comment, would you like an email expression of appreciation for stopping by, or would you rather just read the blog post (or delete it if it's just not something you want to take time to read) and move on? Please let me know. And, depending on what you'd prefer, I'll email you, respond with a comment, or let it go.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Multiple Author Book Signing In Frisco, TX

On Sunday, August 15, at 1:00 PM, over a dozen authors will assemble in the atrium of the Frisco Public Library (that's Frisco, Texas, not the one in California) for a book signing.

This will be the library's second annual Texas Authors Tea. Authors will sign their books (which will be available for purchase if you don't have a copy). The library will furnish refreshments, including cookies and iced tea. If you're in the area, I hope you'll drop by between 1:00 and 4:00 and let me meet you.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Dog Days of Summer

It's hot in Texas right now! That shouldn't surprise anyone. We've been experiencing triple digit heat for some now now--I purposely don't keep track of how long--and it may stick around a bit longer. These are the "dog days of summer."

For those of you with a burning desire for trivia, the term dog days refers to the star, Sirius. Clear? No? Well, Sirius is known as the "dog star" because it's the largest star in the constellation, Canis Major or "big dog." And the ancients thought that the proximity of Sirius to the sun at this time of year was the cause of the excessive heat.

Of course, other things happen about this time of year in Texas. Stores have been running specials on back-to-school items for several weeks, so that when it comes time to actually buy those items the stores are sold out. Besides, they have to make room for Halloween items. (No kidding, I saw an aisle devoted to Halloween stuff yesterday).

Also at this time of year, the Texas Rangers have generally undergone their traditional June Swoon and fallen out of contention. Not this year, though. Don't know whether Nolan Ryan has been doctoring the Gatorade or Manager Ron Washington has added extra air conditioning in the dugout, but the Rangers are atop their division in the American League. How long can it last?

I encourage you to leave a comment, telling me what comes to your mind when someone says "Dog days of summer." Meanwhile, stay cool. (Except for you folks in Colorado, where "hot" is 78 degrees and no air conditioning. Sissies!)

Monday, August 09, 2010

Rules, rules, rules...

One of the first thing we learn when we decide to get serious about writing is that there are rules we should follow. The list is tantamount to a catechism for novelists, and I suspect that every serious writer out there could recite them in their sleep. In this issue of Writer's Digest--in my opinion, the best periodical for writing currently available--ten well-known authors give the pros and cons of these rules. Follow 'em or break 'em? It's a great article, and I highly recommend it.

I won't give the arguments advanced by these experts. But I wonder how many of these "rules" are familiar to my readers, both those who write and those who follow this blog because they have nothing better to do. Here's the list, with my editorial asides.

1. Write what you know. (And if you don't know anything exciting, then what?)
2. Hook your readers on page one. (How does "It was a dark and stormy night" fit in?)
3. Show, don't tell (The subject of great angst and arguments at writer's conferences)
4. Write $#!**% first drafts (Oft-quoted dictum from Anne Lamott, who didn't censor her words)
5. Write every day (Unless you have what is laughingly called a "life")
6. Kill your darlings (Translation: nothing is immune from being cut from the manuscript)
7. Develop a thick skin (Rejections from agents and editors, bad need to say more)
8. Silence your inner critic (Writing comes first, editing later. See #4 above)
9. Read what you like to write (No argument from me, but lots from other authors on this)
10. If you want to get rich, do something else (Then again, JK Rowling's doing okay)

There they are. Writers, how many of these do you follow religiously or break routinely? Readers, what's your opinion on the "rules?" I'll be interested to hear what you have to say.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Register To Win Two Of 98 Books

Author Therese Walsh, co-founder of the most excellent site for writers, Writer Unboxed, is celebrating the publication of a trade paperback version of her novel, the Last Will Of Moira Leahy, by enlisting the help of 49 well-known authors to offer free copies of their books. The idea behind the contest, since LWML deals with sisters, is for the winner to receive two copies of the book--one to read and one to share with a sister (or brother or friend get the idea).

Two copies of my latest novel, Medical Error, are among the books being given away. Nothing to buy. No coupons to clip. Just click here to go to Therese's Facebook Fan page, scroll down to the contest info (which includes a list of the available books), then leave a comment that includes the name of at least five of the listed books you'd like to win. Simple, no? But do it now. The contest ends at midnight on Tuesday, August 10.

Today I'm in Tulsa, speaking to the members of Writers of Inspirational Novels (WIN, the local chapter of the American Christian Fiction Writers). I'll be back on Monday with one of my regular posts. In the meantime, have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Have We Outgrown Goofus and Gallant?

When I was a child, one of the first teaching tools my mother used was a magazine called Highlights For Children. A feature I still recall featured stick figures labeled Goofus and Gallant. Whereas Goofus would begin eating as soon as he sat down, Gallant would wait until everyone was seated and ready to eat. Goofus might lose his books, but Gallant always kept up with his. You get the picture. Sure, it's simplistic, but the lessons stuck--at least with me.

When my own children were growing up, I subscribed to Highlights, and Cynthia used them as teaching tools. I also had a copy in my office waiting room, and wasn't surprised when a new issue "walked off" after a week or so. No problem. I figured I was doing a little missionary work by putting it into homes where it might be used to advantage.

On a whim, I recently checked the website for Highlights and was happy to discover that Goofus and Gallant still live, although in different forms than the ones with which I grew up. We've been doing a lot of baby-sitting recently for our grandchildren. They range in age from 16 months to twelve years. Their parents are all doing a great job, but I've discovered that grandparents, looking through the telescope of past experience, can always see instances where lessons can be taught. True, today's world is a far cry from the simpler one in which we reared our own children, but sometimes I miss Goofus and Gallant and the examples they gave in the simplest of terms. Somehow I'd rather my twelve year-old grandson follow the example of Gallant instead of Tiger Woods.

When I was out for a walk last week, I encountered a middle-aged lady walking toward me. In a gesture that was totally automatic, I touched my hand to the bill of my baseball cap, a modern version I suppose of tipping my hat to a lady. Many decades later, the lessons learned from Gallant live. And I'm not sorry.

Monday, August 02, 2010

"I Had To Look That Up!"

"What do you mean by this?"

Kay pointed to the phrase in my manuscript: "He shot his cuffs and straightened his tie before turning away from the mirror."

"It means he sort of pushed his arms out of the sleeves of his coat, so his cuff links would show. It's not an uncommon phrase."

"Well, I never heard of it. Should you include something in your manuscript that a reader will have to look up?"

Good question. Although I was familiar with the phrase, I realized that many readers wouldn't be. I finally gave in and rewrote the bit, but it made me think. How much material should a writer insert in his/her manuscript that might send the average reader to Google or Bing for an explanation?

I recently read Dead Reckoning, the excellent debut novel of intrigue by friend and fellow-author Ronie Kendig. In it, I encountered a scene where a character "did a press check" on a handgun before proceeding. I had absolutely no idea what this represented. My first inclination was to forget it. I got the sense of what was happening. They were making sure the gun was ready to fire. But eventually my curiosity got the best of me, and I looked it up. I was right, and I learned a new phrase--but I had to stop reading to do this.

In writing medical suspense fiction, I have to walk a fine line between too much information and too little. I've tried to do this by incorporating an explanation of a term or procedure into the scene. All writers face this problem in one fashion or another. Here's an example from Code Blue:

Her eyes were drawn to the cardiac monitor as the pattern became more erratic, then the complexes settled into a rapid rate of almost two hundred beats per minute. Ventricular tachycardia. At that rate, there wasn’t time enough for the heart to fill and empty efficiently. The coronary arteries would be starved for blood. If she didn’t reverse it quickly, Nix would die.

I introduced the term "ventricular tachycardia," but let the reader know not only what it is but the consequences of such a rhythm disturbance.

When you read, what's your reaction to something you have to look up? I'll be interested in your responses.