​Dear ​Fiction ​Writer,

​Has ​anybody ever told you to "write ​what you know?"

"​​When You Understand What John Grisham Understands, You Could Grow An Audience As Powerful As His..."

​Writing ​what you know... simple and good advice.

But not always an option.

At one point or another, you've probably wanted to write about a hero who was an astronaut, or a psychopathic killer who worked as a nurse. Or what about the heroine who ​has a job as a cleaning lady until she finally me​ets her Prince Charming?

Writing fiction is about coming up with characters and stories that are believable. Even if your stories take place in another galaxy or another century, they still have to be believable.

​How to Make Your Stories Believable

​Readers are willing to ​suspend their ​disbelief and accept what you tell them to be true, as long as you mix fantasy with reality.

Fantasy: Your hero is a cat that works as a ship cook.

Reality: You must have your facts about the cooking profession right.

​So obviously, if you've worked as a cook, this should be easy. You simply write about what you know. Just like John ​Grisham wrote about lawyers, because he'd worked as a lawyer himself.

​​Dare To Be Exceptional

​"Writing ​what you know" - that's too limiting. Even if you've tried several different professions, you'll still be tied to those, and it's not enough. (Unless your name is Grisham and you worked as a lawyer.)

​Do you really ​want to be left behind when more daring authors write about astronauts, doctors, firemen or psychotherapists?

Will you stand down and give up your dream of writing best-selling stories about interesting people in interesting jobs? Just because you haven't tried them first hand?

​Of Course You Won't Give Up - and Here's Where Research Comes Into the ​Picture

​We writers have to do research all the time.

What kind of clothes should my hero wear?

​What ​kind of hairstyle ​should the villain ​have?

What are my characters reading, watching or listening to?

You can find answers to all those questions online, but here are some areas I struggled with:

​Smell, Vision, Hearing, Touching

​You can read all about the tools a carpenter uses, but how does it smell in his working place? How does it feel to touch the wood before he's worked on it? What does he see and hear while working?

​Those are the kinds of questions I kept thinking about and researching every time I wrote about a new profession. But most of the time I found nothing.

​And This Popular Profession Is Perhaps the Most Difficult to Know About First Hand or to Find Info About

​I'm talking about the surgeon...

Doctors are extremely popular in literature.

They fit in well into romances. Even billionaire romances.

They are great as serial killers, because that's so unexpected. I mean... a surgeon must save lives, right?

Or perhaps ​a doctor could be a minor character who helps your detective or saves the life of your best friend.

Surgeons make awesome characters in fiction (probably because they must be awesome people in real life).

Britt Malka

​Hi, I'm Britt Malka and I love to write characters with interesting professions.

Under pen names, I've written a series about a medical student who fell in love with a doctor.

I've written books about nurses, photographers, belly dancers, carpenters and architects, to name a few.

And although I was able to research and find a lot of facts, I had to make up the things that really mattered to a fiction writer:

How does it FEEL to BE somebody who performs that profession.​

​Then One Day Something
Incredible Happened

​My friend, Dr. Mani Sivasubramanian, ​​is a pediatric heart surgeon and author - a rare combination. One day he asked me for my opinion in a business matter and in the same email, he told me he ​had written a book.

"Business?" I asked.

"No," he replied, "it's kind of auto-biographical (of a portion of my professional life). Targeted at young doctors who might be considering being a surgeon. But also of interest to non-doctors, who are curious to know ​what a surgical training program might be like. Not at all technical, but dealing with life as a doctor/trainee."

Now THAT made my ears ​prick up so I told him that this kind of information would be very valuable to writers.

Dr. Mani sent me an excerpt of his book. Here's a small part of it:

Dr. Mani Sivasubramanian

​Dr. Mani

​Short Excerpt of Dr. Mani's Latest Book, Heart, Guts & Steel:
The Making of an
Indian Surgeon

My patient was going to die.

And if he did, it would be my mistake.

The thought was like a drumbeat, pounding inside my skull. Although still a trainee, I was the surgeon in charge of this operation. And I was in deep trouble!

"Give me a vascular clamp, quick!"

My voice shook and my fingers trembled slightly as I clutched the instrument, my movements hesitant, fearful. With my index finger as a guide, I slipped in one limb of the clamp, eased it into position, and clicked it shut.

Instantly, the bleeding stopped.

Thank God! I breathed a sigh of relief.

"Blood pressure's holding," said Ramesh, the anesthesiologist, from the head of the table. "You gave us quite a shock there!" 

I smiled weakly. My knees wobbled. Cold beads of sweat trickled down my back. It had been a close call.

You See What I Mean?

​Can you imagine what that kind of close insider knowledge could do for your books?​​

  • ​You need to know what you write about to write with confidence and speed.
  • ​Readers can be cruel. One minor error about a profession is enough to get bad reviews and angry readers. With detailed knowledge coming directly from the source, you ​could write about a surgeon with so much expertise that your readers will believe it's your main job.
  • ​Luckily, you don't have to experience performing surgery first-hand ​if you get the right kind of information.
  • As writers, we add all five senses to make our stories seem real: We report what the hero sees, hears, smells, touches, and tastes. Therefore you need this kind of information for your books. Getting it would mean much better books, more sales and higher reviews.

I asked Dr. Mani if he was willing to answer my questions about his profession and luckily he said "​Yes."​


Eibhlin MacIntosh

This heart surgery report is brilliant! It includes SO much information that never crossed my mind, but is incredibly useful. After all, every story should "ring true" and be as authentic as possible.

With this report, writers will have no worries about inconsistencies distracting readers from the plot!

So many genres can include medical professionals as key characters - protagonists, friends, villains - and, with your insights, the resulting stories will be richer.

Writers can focus on the plot, because - with this information - their characters will be easy to construct. I love this!

~ Eibhlin MacIntosh

​Here are some of the questions Dr. Mani replied to:

  • How do you become a member of your profession? (Handy to know when you're considering your surgeon's backstory.)
  • ​Are there big differences between what other people imagine you do and what actually happens?
  • ​Do you have colleagues?
  • Have you ever had a question of conscience in connection with your work? (You'll find inspiration for several stories inside Dr. Mani's reply to this question.)
  • Are there any specific difficulties or stressful periods?
  • Are there any exceptional compliance issues or expectations of you?
  • Do you have free access to what you need to do your job (i.e. can you just grab your tools), or is there a specific procedure you have to follow to make that request? (Good to know as a writer, because it's easy to make a mistake here and let your character grab a tool he has no access to in real life.)
  • When you show up at work what sounds do you hear?
  • What scents do you smell?
  • What emotion grabs you?
  • What do you see?
  • Do you use instruments to perform your profession? What are they?
  • How do they look, smell, and feel?
  • Can you describe a typical work day?
  • Do you wear a uniform? How does it look, feel, smell? Does it make specific sounds when you move?
  • Can you describe the process of scrubbing up for an operation? (You'll LOVE the detailed answer to this question and be able to give hints in your books so real that your readers will think you're a surgeon yourself.)
  • Can you have long hair, long nails, wear makeup or jewelry?
  • And many, many more questions.

​In Total, You Get 49 Pages ​Chock Full of Insider Knowledge

​This is knowledge that will not only save you time, but also give you the expertise you need to avoid bad reviews.

Read the ebook from start to finish for inspiration for new stories or scenes you struggled with.

Use it to ​add a touch to your books that few other authors manage.

​If You're Writing Any Kind of Stories Involving Doctors, You're Going to Love "Heart Surgery for Rookies"

​Take your stories to a whole new level today. Click on the Add to Cart button below and a few minutes from now, you can be on your way.


​PS ​You won't find this kind of information anywhere else. Dr. Mani wrote close to 10,000 words as replies to my questions. There is going to be so much in there that you're going to love.

Richard Lowe Jr

​​Heart Surgery for Rookies is an incredible resource for writers who need to understand about this subject for their stories. I'm fortunate in that I've never experienced heart surgery (or any surgery for that matter) so how would I know what to write? I'd get this book and it would tell me everything I need! highly recommended. ~ Richard Lowe Jr


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