Happy Pub Day to Heather Frimmer! Her debut novel, BEDSIDE MANNERS, is available today.
I’m happy to share my chat with Heather in celebration of her big day. I was honored to have read BEDSIDE MANNERS early to blurb it. And now, let’s meet Heather.
Meet Heather Frimmer
Besides being a writer, do you have another job?
I work full time as a radiologist (a doctor who specializes in interpreting images). I spend a large portion of my day in a dark room staring at mammograms, x-rays and CT scans. Somehow, I thought I needed a hobby to keep me busy in what little spare time I have, which led me to take a writing class a few years ago.
What was your timeline from drafting to publication? Tell us about your publishing journey.
In the first introductory class I took at Westport Writers’ Workshop, I enjoyed exercising the creative corners of my brain I never use for my day job. On the last day of class, my wonderful instructor asked me to come up with writing goals. When I said I planned to write a few short stories, she asked me if I could write a novel. I promptly informed her she was out of her mind, but I couldn’t stop thinking about her suggestion. Being a driven, type-A personality (you have to be to get through medical training), I immediately started what would become BEDSIDE MANNERS. I wrote the first sentence in June 2014 and the publication date is October 2018.
Tell us about your writing process. Do you have set times of day/number of words? Do you have a favorite writing place or routine? What do you drink, listen to, avoid, need … to write?
I write whenever and wherever I have time. Sometimes after work or on weekend mornings, but most of my writing happens on Wednesdays, my day off. I created a beautiful writing and reading nook in my family room which I rarely use because it’s too quiet. A bit of activity and background noise actually helps me focus. I wrote most of BEDSIDE MANNERS at the Westport Barnes and Noble cafe powered by a large iced coffee with a splash of milk. Fittingly, that is where my book launch party will be held on Sunday October 21st at 2 PM.
What is the most important lesson you hope your children take away from what you have taught them?
My two sons are my very vocal and devoted fan club. They bring my book to school to share with their teachers and friends, and tell everyone who will listen that their mom wrote a book. It’s the sweetest thing. I hope they’ve learned that anything is possible if you work hard, set your mind to something, focus, and did I mention work hard?
Where would you go on your dream vacation?
My dream vacation would be to send my husband and kids away to Disney World while I stay home alone in peace. I would read, write, take a long walk while listening to one of my favorite bookish podcasts, and then return home to read and write some more.
About BEDSIDE MANNERS
As Joyce Novak’s daughter, Marnie, completes medical school and looks ahead to a surgical internship, her wedding, and a future filled with promise, a breast cancer diagnosis throws Joyce’s own future into doubt. Always the caregiver, Joyce feels uncomfortable in the patient role, especially with her husband and daughter. As she progresses through a daunting treatment regimen including a biopsy, lumpectomy, and radiation, she distracts herself by planning Marnie’s wedding.
When the sudden death of a young heroin addict in Marnie’s care forces Marnie to come face-to-face with mortality and her professional inadequacies, she also realizes she must strike a new balance between her identity as a doctor and her role as a supportive daughter. At the same time, she struggles with the stark differences between her fiancé’s family background and her own and comes to understand the importance of being with someone who shares her values and experiences.
Amid this profound soul-searching, both Joyce and Marnie’s futures change in ways they never would have expected.