Her first novel, LIFELINES (Berkley, March 2008), received praise as a "breathtakingly fast-paced medical thriller" from Publishers Weekly, was reviewed favorably by the Baltimore Sun and Newsday, named a Top Pick by Romantic Times Book Review Magazine, and became a National Bestseller.
Her award-winning, critically acclaimed Angels of Mercy series (LIFELINES, WARNING SIGNS, URGENT CARE and CRITICAL CONDITION) is available now. Her newest project is as co-author of a new suspense series with Erin Brockovich. You can learn more at CJ's blog and for free reads, "Like" her at http://www.facebook.com/CJLyonsBestsellingThrillerAuthor -- AP
PARTNERING WITH A STAR
Would you say no to Erin Brockovich?
I couldn't -- in fact, I could barely suppress a squee of fan-girl delight when I learned that Erin not only enjoyed my medical thrillers but that she'd chosen me as co-author of her new suspense series.
When we spoke -- well, she talked, I could barely string words together, I was so excited! -- she said that she enjoyed my strong female protagonists and how they let nothing stand in their way of doing what was right. Turns out we both feel the same way about our fiction -- heavy on the characters and their relationships, light on the plot devices, and as fast-paced as possible.
During that first conversation we began to talk about our personal life-views and philosophies and I mentioned how the entire reason I write what I call "Thrillers with Heart" is because of my belief that we are each our own hero. And Erin finished my sentence for me--because she shares the same viewpoint!
Of course we gave our main character, AJ Palladino, that life philosophy as well. Only for AJ it gets her into a lot of trouble along the way!
It was easy to develop AJ Palladino (her name kinda says it all, doesn't it?) as a real "people's champion" like both Erin and myself (as a pediatric ER physician, I specialized in child advocacy). But what should our first novel be about?
A few weeks earlier I'd traveled to teach a writing workshop and my flight had taken me over the Appalachian Mountains. Being from central Pennsylvania, I'm no stranger to strip mining, but this was my first time seeing the ravages of mountain top removal mining up close.
I wept. Yes, tough, ER doc me, not bothered by blood, guts, or gore--and I actually was crying!
Staring out the plane's window, my stomach lurched, my very soul fought for balance as I looked down on the man-made travesty that had once been beautiful, life-sustaining mountains. It was so very wrong on so many levels that it made me physically ill.
I shared this with Erin. She had also seen the destruction first-hand and thought mountain top removal mining was a fight worthy of our protagonist. And so, ROCK BOTTOM was born.
But I think what became important about ROCK BOTTOM, even though it was inspired by the passion Erin and I felt about mountain top removal mining and the damage it does to the people of Appalachia, was that at its heart, it's really the story of an adult child returning home and learning the true meaning of family.
And haven't we all shared that experience? Coming home and realizing that it's not the "home" we've fantasized about while we were out in the "real" world?
Of course, AJ's homecoming also involved murder and mayhem!
What kind of homecoming surprises have you had?
Share your story in the comments and you'll be entered to win a copy of the finale of my Angels of Mercy series, CRITICAL CONDITION.
Thanks for reading,
Okay, readers, let’s hear from you. I can tell you from personal experience that CRITICAL CONDITION is a fabulous read, and I can’t wait to crack open my copy of ROCK BOTTOM. -- AP