Friday, March 25, 2016

A Conversation with Physician and Novelist Carrie Rubin

Omnimystery News: Author Interview with Carrie Rubin

We are delighted to welcome author Carrie Rubin to Omnimystery News today.

Carrie's new thriller is Eating Bull (ScienceThrillers Media; November 2015 trade paperback and ebook formats) and we recently had the chance to catch up with her to talk more about it.

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Omnimystery News: Eating Bull is described as a medical thriller that explores fat-shaming, food addiction, and the food industry's role in obesity. How would you tweet a summary of the book?

Carrie Rubin
Photo provided courtesy of
Carrie Rubin

Carrie Rubin: After suing the food industry, a nurse and an overweight teenager land in the crosshairs of a serial killer who is targeting the obese.

OMN: How much of your own personal or professional experience have you included in the book?

CR: A fair amount of my past experiences are in Eating Bull. In fact, my initial idea for the story came from three different places:

• My frustration with managing obesity in a clinical setting. Many people want to lose weight, but there are so many obstacles in their way — the food industry among them.

• Reading investigative reporter Michael Moss's revealing book Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us. It was an eye-opening exposé on the role of the food industry in our country's weight problem. I've read similar nonfiction work in the area, so I thought it would be interesting to weave the issue into a fictional setting. Fiction often evokes emotion in a way nonfiction doesn't. Readers identify with the characters, which makes the characters' struggles seem more real.

• Several years ago a tearful, severely overweight teenage patient said to me, "Not a day goes by I don't know I'm fat, because no one will let me forget it." Those heartbreaking words have stayed with me ever since, and they're what led me to make my latest protagonist a teenager, even though the novel itself is not Young Adult fiction.

OMN: Describe your writing process for us.

CR: I am a big proponent of outlining. I start by identifying the story's main plot points and then build bullet points from there until I have a full scene-by-scene outline. For me, that's the easiest way to avoid plot holes and writer's block. Some writers find outlines restrictive and would rather work things out as they go. Whatever gets you writing is probably the best approach.

For me, however, outlines are not restrictive. I can — and frequently do — change things up. But it's easier to make those changes as I'm going through the first draft rather than several drafts down the road.

Early on, while I'm working on my main plot points, I create full biographies for my characters, including their backgrounds, goals, family trees, etc. I even find images of what they might look like. Once I have those details down, I'll start the outline.

OMN: Tell us a little more about the book's striking cover.

CR: Due to an alternate publishing route I had previously considered, my book cover was designed before I signed with my current publisher. Normally the publisher would be responsible for the cover art, but since Eating Bull already had a great one, they used it.

To get the cover I went through an online company called 99 Designs. The author creates a "contest" by submitting a brief describing the book's premise along with any ideas for a cover he or she might have. Designers from around the world then enter the contest and compete to win the fee. As they submit their artwork, the author eliminates the designs he or she isn't interested in and eventually narrows down a winner.

Lance Buckley of Envelup Designs created Eating Bull's cover, and he nailed it on his first submission. There were other great designs too, and it was difficult to let them go. But this one was spot-on.

OMN: What kind of feedback have you received from readers?

CR: I've received several comments from readers telling me Eating Bull's story and characters stayed with them long after they finished the novel. Some even mentioned they'd reassessed their own eating habits. Talk about rewarding!

Plus, I've enjoyed emails and tweets from people who call up my bad guy in their inner monologues. For example, some have joked to me they were about to eat something unhealthy, but they knew Darwin (my obsessive-compulsive, fitness-crazed serial killer) wouldn't approve, so they skipped it. It's a treat for a writer to see his or her characters come alive for readers.

OMN: Suppose Eating Bull were to be adapted for television or film. Who do you see playing the key roles?

CR: Don't all authors love to play this game?

From the start I envisioned Barbara Eve Harris as Sue, my social-justice-seeking, headstrong public health nurse. My husband recently suggested Ryan Reynolds for Darwin, the fitness-obsessed antagonist, and I think that's a great choice. But as for who would play Jeremy, my 310-pound protagonist, I don't know. Guess we'll have to find out …

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Carrie Rubin is a physician with a master's degree in public health. She is a member of the International Thriller Writers association. Her novels include Eating Bull and The Seneca Scourge. In addition to writing medical thrillers, she maintains a humor blog on her website. She lives in Ohio with her husband and two sons.

For more information about the author, please visit her website at CarrieRubin.com and her author page on Goodreads, or find her on Facebook and Twitter.

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Eating Bull by Carrie Rubin

Eating Bull by Carrie Rubin

A Thriller

Publisher: ScienceThrillers Media

Amazon.com Print/Kindle Format(s)BN.com Print/Nook Format(s)iTunes iBook FormatKobo eBook Format

A fight against the food industry turns deadly …

Jeremy, a lonely and obese teenager, shoots into the limelight when a headstrong public health nurse persuades him to sue the food industry. Tossed into a storm of media buzz and bullying, the teen draws the attention of a serial killer who's targeting the obese.

Soon the boy, the nurse, and their loved ones take center stage in a delusional man's drama.

Eating Bull by Carrie Rubin. Click here to take a Look Inside the book.

3 comments:

  1. Thank you again for the interview! I enjoyed our exchange and appreciate you spreading the word about 'Eating Bull.'

    ReplyDelete
  2. Carrie,
    you are such a ROCK STAR.
    Congrats on all of your success!!

    ReplyDelete

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