Mary Kieler is a writer of mystery and poetry, an expert in medical chart review and a nurse. A member of Pennwriters Area 3 and Sisters in Crime, she resides in the Pittsburgh, PA area.
1. Thanks for agree to an interview this week. For starters, are you currently working on any writing projects?
I have written some poems lately and submitted several to two different poetry contests. I’m currently writing my manuscript – a fiction work/medical suspense.I just started a blog about nursing careers.
2. Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?
It’s what I do every working day in my job, medical chart review. I’ve been involved in this type work for 14 years and it has become my expertise.
3. How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing for more than a decade in one form or another.
4. What are some of the references that you used while researching your writing projects?
My colleagues at work, who are experts at their nursing specialty; I am always learning something from them. As far as the Internet: Google is a great place to start, and then go from there. Some authoritative medical references are MedScape, Web MD, and I have some trusted hard-copy references as well.
5. What do you think most characterizes your writing?
For my blog: Combining my professional experiences and knowledge to write for nursing students as they make career decisions. For my fiction: Using my experiences to write about a nurse caught up in unexpected twists and turns. I like Michael Palmer’s idea: asking “What if…” Asking myself “what if” helps to me to focus on the issue.
6. In your opinion, what is the hardest part of writing?
Staying motivated, clearing my calendar and writer’s block are challenges I deal with every day.
7. What is the most important thing that people DON'T know about your subject/genre, that they need to know?
Those who write medical fiction often use their experiences as spring boards. Some feel compelled to write about a certain medical issue for personal reasons, and some take “ripped from the headlines” issues and twist them to write fiction.
8. Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work? What impact have they had on your writing?
Not necessarily in this order: Stephen King, Robin Cook, Jodi Piccoult, Michael Palmer, CJ Lyons, John Grisham, Jonathon Kellerman and Tess Gerritsen. These authors lead extremely busy lifestyles; if they could find the time to sit down and write, then so can I. I truly enjoy the writing of each person I listed and try to analyze how they craft their words to improve my own style. They inspire me.
9. Are you a full-time or part-time writer? How does that affect your writing?
I have a full-time job, so I guess my writing is considered part-time. I’m happy as long as I get to write something, even if it’s for only 10 minutes a day. I try to make it one of my priorities.
10. How do you find or make time to write?
I’m always on the lookout for ideas and things heard/ overheard, and carry a notebook in my purse, in case I’m on the trolley or at the grocery store. There have been a few times when I have leaped out of bed to write something that I was afraid I’d forget. I write in the evenings after work and on weekends. Long weekends and vacations are always excellent opportunities to slip in that extra day or two of writing.
11. Is any of your work online? Where can we find it?
I have started a blog geared towards nursing students and novice nurses. Here’s a link: http://fexploringnursing.blogspot.com
12. Do you have a web site or any other site where readers can contact you?
I don’t have a web site (yet). See the previous question regarding my blog. I’m on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.