What would you like to tell readers about yourself?
* David Gelber, a New York native, is the seventh of nine sons and one of three to pursue medicine. He graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 1980 and went on to graduate medical school in 1984 from the University of Rochester.
* He completed a residency in General Surgery at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, and Nassau County Medical Center on Long Island, NY, in 1989. Dr. Gelber now is in private practice in Houston, TX.
* Gelber has been performing surgery for more than 25 years, but over the last few years he began to pursue his passion for writing, initially with his debut novel, "Future Hope", followed by its sequel “Joshua and Aaron.”
* These were followed by two books about surgery “Behind the Mask” and “Under the Drapes.” The apocalyptic “Last Light” and historical fantasy “Minotaur Revisited” round out his published works, while numerous articles have appeared on his blog “Heard in the OR.”
* Now he presents “Little Bit’s Story” and his collection of magical medical short stories, “Night Clinic.”
* He has been married to Laura for 28 years and has three college aged children. He and Laura share their home with five dogs and numerous birds.
So, David Gelber, what/who inspired you to become a writer?
* No individual inspired me to become a writer. In my younger days I used to do a little writing, but college professors my freshman year worked overtime to discourage me from pursuing a writing career. I decided to take the easy way out and became a surgeon instead. Years passed and I kept having this idea for a character in a story. In 2006 I started my first book, “Future Hope: ITP Book One” which introduced the character, Joshua Smith, in an important supporting role. He took center stage in the sequel, “Joshua and Aaron: ITP Book Two,” and will continue to a central character in the concluding book to the ITP series, that is, if I can evere get my act together and finish writing it.
When did you attempt your first story? What length was it? What's become of it?
* The first story I ever wrote was “The Rise and Fall of Poor Luck High School.” This was a satire on high school days which I wrote in my senior year. My teacher liked it and kept it. I don’t know where it ended up. This story was about twenty pages long, written long hand in 1976.
How many stories did you complete before you sold your first?
* Being the lazy person that I am, I have never really “sold” a story. My books are published by my own company, Ruffian Press, named after the greatest thoroughbred filly ever to live. I have had some of my surgical articles published on the web sites “KevinMD” and “Onsurg.”
What are the best and worst pieces of writing advice you ever received?
* My wife told me to write about something I know about, which prompted me to write two books about surgery which sell fairly well online. I think her advice is both the best and worst I’ve had. This is mostly due to the fact that her words are the only advice anyone has ever given me on writing.
The book you’re promoting, is it a stand-alone story or part of a series?
* “Night Clinic” is a series of short stories which build upon each other. It is best to read them in order, but each story does stand alone. There are plot lines that appear in various stories which is why it is best to read them in order.
What sparked the idea for the story/series?
* I had written an article, “Monsters and Heros,” for my blog “Heard in the OR,” which speculated on the medical problems a doctor might confront if his patient population included superheros, such as Spiderman or the Fantastic four, and Monsters, such as Frankenstein’s monster or the Blob. This article can be read at: http://heardintheor.blogspot.com/2011/03/monsters-and-heroes.html
* I did wrote a second article along these lines: http://heardintheor.blogspot.com/2012/08/monsters-and-heroes-part-2.html
* After these two articles I had the idea for the “Night Clinic” stories which are set in a clinic in an unnamed city where regular patients are seen along with a steady stream of “different, unusual” patients.
*** Now for some fun info… ***
Would you/have you own(ed) a snake or some other exotic pet?
* I have never owned a snake. The most exotic pet I’ve ever had is an Eclectus parrot, who still lives with me, Isaac. He talks a bit, sounds just like me.
Which do you prefer: rain or sun & warm weather or cold weather?
* Sunny warm weather, although I can’t stay out in the sun for very long because I burn very easily. In my younger days I was on vacation in Florida. Some of the other vacationers could not understand why I was wearing a long sleeve shirt on the beach. I had no choice because I burn so badly. But, I hate the cold.
If you could live anywhere in the universe, where would it be and why?
* Garden of Eden. No worries, only one rule, everything given to me without any expectation for anything in return except love.
If you were stranded on a desert island and were only allowed to have five modern conveniences with you, what would they be?
* Flush toilet and toilet paper; Generous supply of toothpaste and toothbrushes; Matches; A handbook of Practical Shipbuilding; Saw
*** About David Gelber’s book… ***
* "Night Clinic" is a unique melding of medicine and magic.
* “Not again,” I moaned. “You would think that after four, no five years, he would learn.”
* I picked up the chart and gave it a careless glance. Before I saw the words I knew the problem. I walked into the exam room and saw Derek, a regular visitor, lying on his side on the exam table. Seated on a sterile tray were a rigid sigmoidoscope and a tenaculum.
* “Derek, we’ve got to stop meeting like this,” I scolded. “And think of the poor Tribbles. They’re supposed to be comforting, I know, but you’re just supposed to hold them.”
* “I do hold them, Dr. Barnes; for a little while. But, the way they coo and vibrate and shake, the possibilities are endless.”
* “I hope it’s as simple as last year,” I remarked.
* I put on a glove and lubed up my index finger and checked up in Derek’s rectum. Sure enough there was a furry object vibrating just inside. Past experience told me not to try to grab it with my hand; it would just slip away. I greased up the scope and passed it into his rectum. Immediately I visualized a furry yellow ball which was shaking and making low Tribble noises. I reached in with the tenaculum and grabbed the object in its mid portion like a pro and pulled scope and tenaculum out with a single, gentle pull. The Tribble, which was a toy available at the convention, popped out
* “Just one this year?” I asked, although I already knew there would be more.
* “No, three,” he replied.
* I repeated the routine, pulling out one purple and one red Trib¬ble, both larger that the first and still vibrating.
* “I’ll dispose of these for you, Derek. And, please, stay away from Tribbles. You know they’re nothing but trouble.”
* He gave a short grunt as I walked out of the exam room.
* “What’s next, Nurse?”
***Buy David Gelber's book here***
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Thank you for joining us here today, David Gelber! It was a pleasure getting to know you and your work.
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