Friday, September 23, 2016

Interview With Author Dr. Howard Atkins

The Dash of Dr. Todd

1.      What inspired you to write the book?
I was inspired to write The Dash of Dr. Todd as a tribute to my Great Grandfather who was a frontier doctor and practiced in Oregon Territory and later in Idaho Territory as different gold-mining communities sprang up. Unfortunately, we know very little about the gentleman so the book can’t be a biography, but rather an historical novel involving a doctor leading such a life and doing a few of the things we know my relative did.

2.      What is it about?
The book is about the life of a frontier doctor in the 1850/1860 time period, confronted with the medical/emotional/spiritual challenges, the isolation and hazards of such a life and also the constraints placed on him by what little the medical community knew and was able to do in that time so long ago.

3.      What do you hope will be the everlasting thoughts for readers who finish your book?
I believe readers of the book will always remember and sympathize over how lonely, frustrating and discouraging life would be for such an important member of those remote pioneer communities under their conditions and how it might affect and challenge one’s spiritual beliefs.

4.      What advice do you have for writers?
Far be it for me to advise other writers about how to tell their stories; I try to fit myself into the body and attitude of the character of the story and shape his or her reactions to events accordingly, describing what I see, do or think as a result and expressing it in as few words as possible.  I think that approach gives the reader the feeling of being in the story personally.

5.      Where do you think the book publishing industry is heading?
I’m afraid the publishing industry will become more of just a marketing vehicle than it has been in the past-----just packaging more stories into digests, condensations, e-books, audio books etc. with the Public’s desire for speed and portability.  I think too many people have lost appreciation of the beauty of words themselves and that beauty will be totally in the realm of poetry.

6.      What challenges did you have in writing your book?
The greatest challenge in writing The Dash of Dr. Todd was researching what it was like to practice medicine in the mid-nineteenth century – what little was known then and the techniques that were performed.

7.      If people can buy one book this month, why should it be yours?
If The Dash of Dr. Todd were the buyer’s book choice for this month, I think that they would read it with pleasure, be entertained by the highly varied adventures it describes for them and then anxiously await NEXT month’s selection, but I’m fairly sure they would find themselves returning to reread Todd at several future dates.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2016 ©.

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