walnutL received a 4+ star review, making it an approved IndieReader title.
He then found an interview with writer John Albedo.
What is the name of the book and when was it published?
walnutL, published in May 2021
What is the first line of the book?
Dr. Callaway squeezed life out of the wheel of the Packard, preparing for the danger at hand.
What is the book about? Give us the “plot”.
The unreasonable friendship between a chronically mentally ill person – who has no business in the shelter – and a surgical tenant in training – who has no business in being a surgeon.
What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? Event?
As for the mental patient who is mistakenly labeled a schizophrenic due to her distorted speech pattern, I drew from a patient I came across as a psychiatric assistant over 50 years ago when I thought I would become a psychiatrist. As for the surgeon in training, I drew from the diaries I kept throughout my medical training (and beyond) with the intention of “writing about it” sometime.
What is the main reason someone really needs to read this book?
In addition to the unique relationship between Ivy, (the mentally ill who also has a variety of birth defects), and a surgical tenant, there is a compelling look inside the darkest closets when it comes to surgical training and the ‘Brotherhood of Silence’. .
What is the most special thing about the main character? Who – real or fictional – would you say the character reminds you of?
We have two main characters nut shell. The most significant thing about Ivy Pethibon is how she maintained sanity while living most of her life among schizophrenics and chronic with organic brain syndromes. She takes advantage of one of her congenital malformations, allowing her to appear as a leading dog in the institution. As for Chase Calway, a medical student then a resident of Surgery, the most striking thing is his high rank in the class in the face of his inability to exceed his father’s level of surgical training, and opens the door to self-destruction.
As for reminding me of other characters, I tried my best to introduce new and unique people, which I think I did with Ivy Pettibon. Maybe a little Owen Mani in Ivy, but her inability to speak coherently offers a new twist. As for Chase Callaway, I’ll have to say Martin Aerosmith in “Sinclair Lewis.” Arrows And Tertius Lidgate, the idealistic physician b Medium March.
If they turned your book into a movie, who would you like to see the main character?
Holly Hunter as Ivy Pettibon and Ryan Reynolds as Chase Callaway.
When did you first decide to become a writer?
5th grade when I wrote a short book called “Little League Days”. But then, I got very serious about becoming a writer when I wrote a medical thriller (before the genre existed), with no official training, and the guide to writing novels at the University of Oklahoma told me he had never read a first novel. Half better. (He read the manuscript only as a favor to my mother). The way I thought it, if it was that easy, maybe I should leave medical training and go full time as a writer. I had my choice of literary agents, and I signed with a prominent agent in Hollywood, with the intention of putting out a book and a movie at the same time. Subsequently, COMA was published by Robin Cook. Same story as I wrote … just one of those things. My book – Prognosis: Save Never published. So I took writing seriously and started learning the craft at countless writing conferences offered up and down the West Coast in the 80s.
Is this the first book you wrote?
No (see above). When I finally gave up Prognosis: Save, I decided to write a story of growing up with no medical plot at all, just to prove that I should not rely on my medical background. In fact, I wanted to drop the emphasis on the plot and develop memorable characters in the place, so that no one else could invent the exact same plot (as happened with COMA).
the book FLATBELLIES Published in 2001 as a “golf novel” by a small sports publishing house. So I enjoyed every writer’s dream – the book took off for Amazon # 1 in sports, then became popular as mainstream fiction, collected and republished by WW Norton & Co., New York, reviewed in United States today, Multiple honors and acquaintances, etc. The book has been an ongoing option for a film of 3 major groups in Los Angeles for 15 years, though it never made it into a film, which is the only hole in the perfect dream. (However, I still occasionally get an email from 3 Arts Entertainment in Los Angeles to see if the property is still available, as happened a few weeks ago) Norton wanted a sequel in 12 months, and it became University Boulevard.
Then I started working on some medical texts, and finally, a real crime book – Kill Albert Birch, The murder story of my 30-year-old grandfather in 1923 in the Oklahoma countryside, was killed by a mob because he hired an African-American in an all-white sunset town (www.killingalbertberch.com)
What do you do for work when you are not writing?
I am a retired physician, breast cancer surgeon, who still advises biotechnology companies and also works part-time at home as a “Clinical Director of Survey Programs” for Aurora Healthcare US Corp, the only manufacturer of MRI-specific MRI devices.
How much time do you usually spend writing?
4-6 hours a day now that I’m retired. While it was still working, it was only on weekends.
What’s the best and hardest part about being an indie?
On the one hand, there is more freedom to write what you want, and on the other hand, it is more of a challenge to get your book “out”.
What is great advice you can share with other indie authors?
There are so many great ways today to get famous, so learn the craft and find a home for your book.
Would you go traditional if a publisher were to call? If so, why?
My publisher is more of a hybrid than an indie straight, and I enjoy the freedom to write what I want. NUTSHELL is the first book in the trilogy I am writing under the pseudonym John Albedo. I’ve been working on this trilogy, intermittently, for 18 years, since my two yearsNed The novel, University Boulevard, was published in 2003. In fact, I wrote the drafts of all 3 books at once. I’m brushing books 2 and 3 now, so I was hoping to keep this trilogy under one umbrella in Black Rose using my fictitious name. A second book is going to be semi-autobiographical, and it’s confusing if a traditional publisher asks me to cut 50 pages, or change this or that, maybe it annoys readers who know me. So, my trilogy is specially tailored for writing a black rose.
Is there anything special that motivates you (fame? Capital?)
Too old to pursue glory or wealth. My motivation is based on this mysterious need to tell strangers things about myself that I do not even share with my family.
Which writer, living or dead, are you the most adoring?
Michael Crichton. In college, around 1969, someone gave me a copy of Andromeda Stein (before the movie). When I found out Cricket was attending Harvard Medical School, I became addicted. I wanted to do the same thing … not a medical school at Harvard, mind you, but to write books that were so realistic, science-based, that the reader would think “it can really happen.” (Later, after the failure of my first book, Prognosis: Save, I’ve abandoned the science fiction genre, though I think readers’s will see Cricketton sneak in a bit by the end of the second book of my trilogy (work title: Cannibal Club) And in the third book (Heavenly Blues). Not full on cricket, but only “touch”.
What book would you like you to be able to write?