Please help me write my second novel

I have always been a reader and I’ve tried my hand at penning several books over the years. Back in fourth grade in Michigan, I wrote Choppers in Alaska, a Hardy Boys spin-off complete with a kidnapping and helicopters. Decades later, in 2017, I spent many months writing my first novel, The Beltline. My idea was to tell the story of Dr Leo Emerson, an infectious diseases physician who discovers that a deadly superbug, a multi-drug resistant bacteria, is being spread on doctors white coats. A worldwide pandemic ensues and Leo has to flee to Mozambique. Think Michael Crichton, Robin Cook, and the movie Contagion. I finished what I thought was a decent story. Sadly, although I sent The Beltline to a few agents, I couldn’t get it published.

Well, in the middle of a real pandemic, I’m writing another novel, Health and Healing. Think Catch-22 combined with House of God, because this is the story of Dr. Levy, a burned out, beaten down, bubble-gum chewing primary care physician at a federally qualified community health canter. But this is hopefully going to be a comic-tragic story.

I could use your help, as I develop the plot and characters of Health and Healing, write the book, and eventually search for an agent. What kind of novels do you like to read? What tips do you have on writing a page-turner?

That’s all I have for today. If you have any comments, please feel free to leave them below. And remember, my blog is entirely free. Thanks, Phil

4 thoughts on “Please help me write my second novel

  1. Thanks

    On Wed, Jan 12, 2022 at 4:33 AM Health and Healing wrote:

    > Philip Lederer MD posted: ” I have always been a reader and I’ve tried my > hand at penning several books over the years. Back in fourth grade in > Michigan, I wrote Choppers in Alaska, a Hardy Boys spin-off complete with a > kidnapping and helicopters. Decades later, in 2017, I spent m” >

  2. I sometimes like to read about how various novelists came into their business and their processes. Perhaps it is because you are located in Boston – or perhaps because I happen to like these two authors…. I wanted to suggest novels by Russell Banks — like Continental Drift….. and also novels by Haruki Murakami — such as The Wild Sheep Chase, or Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World. I once read an article about Murakami – who was a professor at Harvard for some time…and his initial decision to write novels. He is a distance runner and managed a jazz bar at one point in Tokyo. He attended a baseball game in Tokyo and was sitting in the bleacher seats deep in center field. A batter hit a baseball and it was that instance where one sees the ball in the air –before they hear the crack of the bat. Murakami mentioned that as he heard the crack of that bat — a switch went off in his mind — and he was determined to go home to write his first novel. He wrote for days on end until he finished it. It was not well received. He wrote two more before his third novel was a global phenomena and he found a new life. Russell Banks –also from Newton, MA – and grew up in relative poverty – but started writing when he lived in Miami, FL. Both have very down to earth origin stories — about how they became a novelist and both spin amazing tales. Murakami compares writing a novel to running marathons –and he also involves physical fitness and conditioning to complete his works. I am amazed that two everyday guys could become such incredible novelists.

    1. Dear Jim, Thanks a lot! I’m definitely going to get these novels. You have so many great ideas. I do think there’s a connection between distance running/swimming and creativity and being able to finish books. Think about Oliver Sacks and his long swims around City Island, Bronx. Phil

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