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Tackling the Big Themes EXAMPLE

I’ve been dubbed a medical thriller or medical suspense writer. It’s true. Medicine plays a pivotal role in my work. And I apply my twenty-plus years of experience in working on the frontlines at a downtown ER to imbue my stories with authenticity. But I also use my fiction to deconstruct medical issues that are controversial, topical, and especially impactful. My goal is always to inform while, hopefully, providing nail-biting entertainment. I’ve tackled big themes, including the devastation of the opioid epidemic, the rise of superbugs, and of course, the threat of the next pandemic, which no longer seems a topic necessary for fictional treatment. My latest novel, Lost Immunity, addresses the deadly serious issue of vaccine hesitancy and its potential impact on a global outbreak. And I am fiercely committed to spreading that message any way I can.

I grew up inspired by realistic storytellers such as James Michener, Ken Follett, and Michael Crichton. I wholly believe that good stories can also educate. And maybe that is why is I am drawn to fiction writers who highlight vital social and scientific themes through their novels. And fortunately, there is an abundance of Canadian authors who do that exceptionally well. And here is my list of a handful of examples of that artful skill.

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Gutter Child, by Jael Richardson

I doubt this dystopian novel could be much more topical, especially considering the vast disparities in …

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Tackling the Big Themes

I’ve been dubbed a medical thriller or medical suspense writer. It’s true. Medicine plays a pivotal role in my work. And I apply my twenty-plus years of experience in working on the frontlines at a downtown ER to imbue my stories with authenticity. But I also use my fiction to deconstruct medical issues that are controversial, topical, and especially impactful. My goal is always to inform while, hopefully, providing nail-biting entertainment. I’ve tackled big themes, including the devastation of the opioid epidemic, the rise of superbugs, and of course, the threat of the next pandemic, which no longer seems a topic necessary for fictional treatment. My latest novel, Lost Immunity, addresses the deadly serious issue of vaccine hesitancy and its potential impact on a global outbreak. And I am fiercely committed to spreading that message any way I can.

I grew up inspired by realistic storytellers such as James Michener, Ken Follett, and Michael Crichton. I wholly believe that good stories can also educate. And maybe that is why is I am drawn to fiction writers who highlight vital social and scientific themes through their novels. And fortunately, there is an abundance of Canadian authors who do that exceptionally well. And here is my list of a handful of exampl …

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Lucie Wilk on Love, Art and Science: the Perfect Triad?

Book Cover The Strength of Bone

Lucie Wilk's first novel is The Strength of Bone. She writes: "Once you start looking, there are quite a few of us out there, doctors who seek the quiet contemplations of creative writing—Vincent Lam, Liam Duncan, Daniel Kalla, Siddhartha Mukherjee, and Abraham Verghese come to mind. It sounds like too extreme a dichotomy, or at the very least, that there simply would not be enough time in the day, especially when you throw motherhood into the mix. But if I take a moment to think about it, I become aware that these three facets of my life have informed and improved one another, and despite the fatigue and the coffee habit, I wouldn’t have had it any other way."

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Medical care has become very regimented over the last couple of decades. The relatively recent practice of evidence-based medicine has forced a system of guidelines and protocols. There is less and less room for creativity in the provision of health care. 

It might be the writer in me, but I feel a void in this system. An individual patient is just that—an individual. Each patient comes with a unique story. But it is my job to smooth over the uniqueness of patients and find the similarities in their stories, to determine how they match each other in symptoms or signs. It is pattern recognition. T …

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