BOOK FUN MAGAZINE - FREE READ

GIVE AWAY - NORA INTERVIEWS HARRY KRAUS

ABOUT HARRY KRAUS MD:- From his website: I am the son of two wonderful parents. I was brought up in the Mennonite faith. I made a commitment to Christ as a child. I am the son of a family doctor, and since college I've been fascinated with medicine and the opportunity it offers to mix science and technology with Christian ministry.

I married Kris Jantzi during my medical school years at the Medical College of Virginia where I earned my M.D. I trained in surgery at the University of Kentucky and was boarded by the American Board of Surgery in 1992.

I started writing my first novel during my last year of surgery training at UK. I was a chief resident, and started writing Stainless Steal Hearts in a call room at the Veteran's Administration Hospital in Lexington. It was a crazy time to write! I had a very demanding schedule, often spending days and nights in the hospital. I had two sons at that time, and I recognized the wisdom in my wife's urging: "Now doesn't seem the right time for this dream."

So, I put the novel aside until after I'd finished my residency and after I'd passed my surgery board exams, a wait of nearly two years. Then, I dusted off my keyboard (an old Macintosh with 2 MB Ram and a 20 MB hard disk with a nine inch black and white screen) and went to work. Matt Stone, M.D., a chief resident in surgery became my hero, pages turned into chapters, and nights were spent writing and rewriting.

My experience as a writer is far from typical. Having received my formal training in biology and chemistry and medicine, my only preparation for a writing career was a love for reading. The longest thing I'd written before my first novel was a term paper in undergraduate school. My first novel was accepted by Crossway Books and published in 1994, and it wasn't until after I had FOUR published novels that I even opened a book of instruction about the craft of writing fiction. This is not what I recommend to others! Yes, I was successful, but I was bending the "rules" without knowing it. I had a natural talent for plotting, but I realize my initial success may have stunted my growth as a writer. I'd have made faster progress if I'd have gone to the fiction teachers sooner.

INTERVIEW WITH HARRY KRAUS BEGINS:

How did you come up with the idea for your book, Six-Liter Club? Since you are a Dr. do you draw from real life for your inspiration? Do tell!

The inspiration for The Six-Liter Club came as I sat in a Sunday morning service. My pastor told a story about a missionary in Congo during the Simba rebellion. He saved his family by slaughtering chickens and spraying the blood around the kitchen, convincing the Simbas who were conducting a house-to-house slaughter that the Simbas had already been there. The Simbas came to the house as the family hid, and “passed over” to another one after seeing the blood. I started thinking, what if……

Many of the medical scenes from my novels are inspired from events in my past. Medical realism is a Kraus signature.






2. Could you share some of your testimony with us?

I was brought up by Christian parents and committed my life to Christ as a child. During college, I debated seminary vs. medical school and decided that I could reach people in a doctor’s office with love who would never set foot in a church.

3. Out of all the interviews you’ve done is there a question you wish someone would have asked you but didn’t? If so, what was that question and what is your answer?

QUESTION: OK, novelist, surgeon, father, missionary…how do you do all of this?

ANSWER:  I have the greatest woman who agreed to marry me. She provides the glue for the family, takes care of business and lets me do surgery and write.



4. Did you have a working title for your book The Six-Liter Club? Or did you always have that title for your book?

The original title was Love Fright, I think, because Camille always felt frightened as she approached intimacy. After that came, Whispers from Africa, referring to the haunting memories that Camille had from her African childhood. Everything’s Gonna Be Alright was suggested by my agent but lasted only until I came up with The Six-Liter Club. We used that title to sell the manuscript and as far as I know, there was never strong debate from the publishing house to change it.

5. Could you tell me how the book cover process works for you? The covers your books are very eye catching, just wondered if you had a say in how they turned out? Did you come up with the book cover for Salty as Blood? Just wondering how involved you are in this process?

Usually the publishing house comes up with some options and gives me some input. In my contracts, my agent specifically negotiates for cover approval and refusal rights. The cover for Salty Like Blood was done in-house by artists at Howard. I like the cover, but the drops of blood may be a turn-off for some of my women readers, especially juxtaposed against the image of the young girl.

**Nora: I agree with you on the Salty Like Blood cover and my book club ladies reaction to it. They didn't want to hold the book with the drops of blood there staring at them along with the little girl. You are right!!**


6. How did you come up with the idea for The Chairman?

I was intrigued by the idea of comparing someone with everything that the world associates with a full life (job, success, money, etc….i.e. the neurosurgical chairman) but no fulfillment with someone who can’t do anything, not even brush his own teeth (the quadriplegic protagonist) to show the reader that worth doesn’t come from performance, but from being made in the image of God.


7. How did you come up with the idea for PERFECT? Were you happy with the book cover if this book?

I was intrigued with the idea of a person who could appear perfect on the outside, but be hiding a very dark heart. By the way, I wanted to call Perfect by another title: Skin. It was submitted to Zondervan using that name, but a few weeks later Ted Dekker’s novel by the same name came out. I wanted to call it Skin because my protagonist had a Christian skin but little else.

Honestly, I don’t like the cover of Perfect very much. I didn’t have a lot of input on that one.

**Nora: I agree with you on the cover. It doesn't invite you into the book and make me want to pick it up But I have to say in this case PLEASE DO NOT JUDGE A book by it's cover. This is one gripping, powerful book you can't put down. It definately spoke to me. I don't know where they were going with the cover but the book is a must read!! **

8. Can you give us a sneak peak into what book you are working on right now? When does it release?









I have written a novel about a cardiac surgeon who starts a program in Africa. After having their hearts stopped for surgery (essentially being held in a state between life and death) the patients start coming back with messages from the other side. It is a story with a peek into black magic in Kenya.

9. Did you always know you wanted to be a writer, Harry? If not, how did you catch the writing bug?









I wanted to be a doctor since college. I decided to write only after falling in love with fiction. I was a chief resident (fifth year post med school) when I started my first novel.

10. Can you tell me of two “Wow” moments you’ve had since you’ve been published? What made it a “Wow” for you?

First wow moment was being called and offered my first contract. I jumped up and hit the ceiling, scraping my knuckles. The second one was getting called by my agent when she had an offer for The Six-Liter Club. Because of the edgy nature of the topics, it took two years to sell.





11. Is being an author everything you thought it would be? What surprised you?

I think I expected it to be easier. I think people getting into writing have to be ready for an apprenticeship of years and years.

12. What was your favorite scene to write in Six Liter Club? What was your hardest?

My favorite scene is in the end of the book when Camille finds out exactly what has prompted her haunting memories. I also love the opening when Camille is hiding in the men’s restroom.

**Nora: Can't wait to read this!! Sounds very interesting!!**

13. What was your favorite scene to write in The Chairman? What was you hardest?

For me, it was the point when I brought the neurosurgery chairman to the point of envying the quadriplegic. He thinks, I want to be like Nathan. Again, I don’t remember thinking that any particular scene was difficult to write.

**Nora: Definately next on my list to read. Sounds like a powerful plot with interesting characters for sure!!**



14. What was your favorite scene to write in PERFECT? What was your hardest?

My favorite scene is the opening. My protagonist is seen to be a bit quirky, but fun. She has a radical plan to change her life, wants to run off with her piano teacher, even bought the tickets. There was just one problem: she hadn’t told the guy!

**Nora -I have to say that scene had me a little worried until she said the only part of her plan hadn't been settled and that was asking the guy to go away with her. She didn't know what he would say. I almost burst out laughing!! The scene was so serious and then when you revealed that--just made me realize how crazy earthlings can be!!**

15. Why write Christian Fiction when you could write any other market? What’s the draw?

I’m not sure I could write for any other market. My stuff is way too faith oriented. We tried to sell The Six-Liter Club to an ABA house and they said it contained to much Christian content. Times are changin’ though, so maybe in the future, I’ll get published by a secular publisher, but I’m not willing to compromise message for fame.


16. I know that Dr’s are very busy people, when do you find time to write fiction?


I write in evenings, after work, when my son is doing homework.





QUESTIONS I KNOW YOU WANTED TO ASK HARRY BUT WERE AFRAID TO SO I DID!!

. What are your THREE Favorite books of all time?
This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti,
The Stand, unabridged, by Stephen King,
The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life, by Hannah Whitall Smith

What THREE things would you rather not live without?



Lap top. My GPS. My coffee-maker.

3. What THREE movies could you watch over and over again?

 It’s a Wonderful Life, Remember the Titans, Rudy

4. If you had the opportunity to hang out with any two people in the history of the world—alive or dead; who would you pick and what would you do? (someone other than Jesus).

Definitely Paul the Apostle. I’d pick his brain over theology.

Other than that, probably Peter and I’d want to know all about what it was like to walk with the human Jesus for three years.





5. A friend of yours has a time machine that they are letting you use. But you can only witness two events in this history of the world. What to events would you experience? Why?










This is tough. I want to witness the crucifixion and then I want to be there when Jesus appeared to his disciples and challenged Thomas to believe. Why? Because for the Christian, the cross is the center of history. And I want to witness the resurrection, because that proves Jesus was who he said he was. If you let me have three or four, I’d visit the garden of Eden and take a ride on the ark!

6. What THREE T.V. shows were you most passionate as a kid? (You know the ones you couldn’t miss each week).












Gilligan’s Island, The Wild Wild West, and maybe The Wonderful World of Disney. Now, I’m gaga over LOST, and 24.





7. What movie impacted you as a child? Why?












Hmmm. As a child, I really loved The Swiss Family Robinson. It just appealed to me as a boy, you know wild adventure on a deserted, tropical island. That and I thought the coconut bombs were outrageous.

Later, (and its’ still one of my favorites) it was It’s a Wonderful Life. I love the premise that you don’t know how many lives you’ve touched. You really have no idea how events that seem insignificant can make such a huge impact on others.

ANY FINAL COMMENTS?

I am currently back in the USA on furlough from our mission hospital in East Africa. I'm working as a general surgeon in a small town in Virginia. I love the variety, and especially enjoy advanced laparoscopic surgery. Will I ever quit and concentrate just to write? Probably not anytime soon, unless you convince a million friends to buy my books so I can afford to quit. Seriously, surgery is way too much fun to give up. Besides, some of my greatest novel ideas hit me when I've got a scalpel in my hand....

I'm excited about my new release The Six-Liter Club.

Thanks for having me here.

Harry

Thanks so much for stopping by and letting us get to know you and your books better. I'm excited to read your new book Six - Liter Club. I'm also looking forward to you talking to my group and discussing your book PERFECT!! What a POWERFUL, THOUGHT PROVOKING, SUSPENSEFUL READ!! I enjoyed reading that very much and loved that you had surprises for the reader right up until the last page. See you in Atlanta soon!!

Blessings to you and your new book.

Nora :D

GIVE AWAY OPPORTUNITY--LEAVE A COMMENT ABOUT THE INTERVIEW (And a way to contact you if you win) FOR YOU CHANCE TO WIN HARRY KRAUSS MD'S NEW BOOK, The Six-Liter Club.

DRAWING APRIL 8th CONGRATS TO RHONDA STRUTHERS on winning a copy of SIX-LITER CLUB. Thanks to Rebeca Seitz and Harry for this interview and give away.

****DISCLAIMER: Entering the give away is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws. Void where prohibited; open U.S. residents and Canadian residents only, odds of winning depend on number of entrants *****

40 comments:

  1. I loved Harry's comment about Paul and how he like to "pick his brain over theology" - this coming from a surgeon was a cute play on words!

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  2. Thanks for the wonderful interview, Nora and Harry. I found it to be excellent. I haven't read any of Harry's books yet but now I want to. Please enter me in the giveaway.

    Blessings,
    Jo
    ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

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  3. My husband and I have both enjoyed all of Harry's books that we've read. My husband's birthday is coming up in the next couple months, and I'm sure he'd love this book!
    I thought Harry's comment at the end that his best ideas hit with a scalpel in hand was hilarious! Though I'm not sure I'd want to be the one in surgery at the time! lol
    Thank you for the interview, and this giveaway. Please enter me!
    momofjimmy [at] yahoo [dot] com

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  4. Surprise. I finally decided to comment. Several things from the interview caught my attention. #1 From his wife, "Now doesn't seem the riht time for this dream". sometimes we have to wait, but that doesn't mean that the dream is wrong or invalid or can't happen. #2 His only preparation was the love of reading. I read in a book recently the quote, # Everything belongs". Nothing happens to us or around us that God doesn't use. I'm not sure about the medical aspect of the books but I'd like to try one. Which do you recommend. I was interested in the range of his own interest in books and movies. Sally

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  5. I cannot wait to read his books and meet him at book club this month! Sound like a very interesting doctor, person and writer!

    Gail Mundy

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  6. I enjoyed the whole interview, as Dr. Harry Kraus is one of my favorites. I did enjoy how he came up with ideas for his books. Please enter me. Thanks.
    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

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  7. Harry Kraus' profession as a doctor gives him such unique ideas for the the books he writes. Very interesting for the reader.
    I am currently reading "Perfect" and loving it. Look forward to hearing him speak at Book Club in April.

    -Marlene Rauch-

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  8. Looks like a great book. I enjoy watching It's a Wonderful Life too. If a bit over dramatic, it's a good story. :)

    Email in profile.

    Nora, I have an award for you. If you want it, you can pick it up here: http://enjoyingthewritingcraft.blogspot.com/2010/04/what-i-read-this-week-and-blog-award.html

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  9. I found the interview to be inspiring and a true look into his soul and beliefs. You could feel his passion for his faith and how it has influenced every decision he's made throughout his life. This leads me to want to read his books. Please enter me in the giveaway.

    Thanks so much

    bstilwell12 at comcast dot net

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  10. Harry here...Thanks to Nora for the great opportunity. Now, Bethany, if you were "under the knife" I'm sure I'd be paying attention to appropriate details. And if I got a great idea, I promise I wouldn't stop your surgery to write it down. I wouldn't even hurry through just so I could work on a plot twist....;)
    Grace!
    Harry

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  11. I really enjoyed the interview. I own "Remember the Titans" and watch it over and over again. One of my favorite movies!

    Please enter me.

    walkinfaith4him(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  12. Medical/Christian faith novels...what a combination I turly like..and I also like Frank Perrti's books.
    Tks for entering my namein the drawing.
    Penny
    hull(dot)margaret(at)ocls(dot)info

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  13. Medical/Christian faith novels...what a combination I turly like..and I also like Frank Perrti's books.
    Tks for entering my namein the drawing.
    Penny
    hull(dot)margaret(at)ocls(dot)info

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  14. Medical/Christian faith novels...what a combination I turly like..and I also like Frank Perrti's books.
    Tks for entering my namein the drawing.
    Penny
    hull(dot)margaret(at)ocls(dot)info

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  15. Having worked as a Surgical Scrub Nurse in the OR I love medical fiction. I thoroughly enjoyed the interview. I would love to be entered into your drawing and thank you for the opportunity.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  16. Anyone who likes Lost and The Stand, has to be a good authur. I would love reading this book.
    debp
    twoofakind12@yahoo.com

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  17. I enjoy his books. I didn't know he was a missionary doctor. COOL
    wsmarple/at/gmail/dot/com

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  18. Greetings,
    This does sound like a super book. I love books that Dr. write. So interesting.
    I love the answer to the time machine question. Wouldn't it be wonderful to witness those events, but also heartbreaking.
    Anyway thanks for this interview and giveaway.
    Blessings,
    Trinity Rose

    wandaelaine at gmail dot com

    http://thelifeandtimesofwanda.blogspot.com/

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  19. Wow, all of his books sound good. I know who I'm looking up next time I go to the library. My husband really enjoyed The Stand and Frank Peretti so I would love to encourage him to read Harry. Please enter me.

    julesreffner(at)gmail(dot)com

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  20. Wonderful interview! Was interested in how Harry started writing and why he continues, goodness knows he is a busy man!

    sharensa1@earthlink.net

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  21. I enjoyed the Claire McCall series very much and am eager to read more of Harry's books. While I can appreciate the appeal or lack of in a cover, the content is the most important factor to me.

    I think Harry's books would have great appeal in the general market, but I am so glad that he isn't willing to compromise the faith element for greater success. This was a great interview and I hope Harry gains many more readers because of it.

    cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

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  22. Thanks for the interview. I have read all of the books talked about, and enjoyed them. I often to paperwork while my children do homework too. It is a good way to show kids that we do work also.

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  23. i have read a number of dr kraus's books...and have enjoyed them all...thanks for the opportunity to read his latest...a fabulous interview/posting

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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  24. I have really enjoyed all of Harry Kraus's books I have read....i would love to win this one!! martha(at)lclink(dot)com

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  25. What an interesting sounding guy with an interesting sounding life! Thank you for this interview.
    - Sheila
    www.sheiladavidson.com

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  26. Wow - I loved this interview! I love medical fiction (I actually was accepted into medical school at one point but chose to get married instead...) - and Christian is even better. Plus, we recently worked in Mozambique for a couple of years, so I love the African background, too...

    janemaritz at yahoo dot com

    We posted about this giveaway at Winning Readings: http://winningreadings.blogspot.com/2010/04/six-liter-club.html

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  27. I loved the long interview. I especially like how you filled it with pictures. Awesome!
    Please enter me in your draw. Thanks.
    wandanamgreb(at)gmail(dot)com

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  28. I think it is cool that Dr. Krause liked the Wide World of Disney and Gilligan's Island. I grew up watching these shows!

    This books looks great! I would love to win. Thanks for the chance.

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

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  29. Great interview and I love the storyline for this book.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

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  30. I am impressed- a surgeon and a writer!

    I'd love to read this book.

    bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  31. Fun interview! We are big Lost fans at our house too.

    Wendy
    ebeandebe at gmail dot com

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  32. Great interview - I have the same likes and dislikes but find his work life facsinating - I just bought PERFECT today and plan to read it and be at book club.
    Thanks for all you do, Nora - you are the BEST!!!!

    Marcia Massie

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  33. Interesting that the medical scenes are inspired by your past. I would very much like to read six- liter club. This sounds like an empowering read.

    rhondastruthers at yahoo dot ca

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  34. We enjoyed and were challenged by your messages at ACFW conference in Denver, Harry, and thank you for this great interview.

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  35. I enjoyed the interview, Nora. I am looking forward to reading Perfect and meeting Harry at book club.

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  36. Hi Nora,
    I just wanted to thank you for the interview with Cindy Woodsmall! She is a very talented writer and I really enjoy her books. I would be honored to be entered into the drawing. You can reach me by email. I'm at cdsblueeyes@yahoo.com
    Thank You for sharing!
    Cindy D. (one of your amishliving.com friends!)

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  37. Coming from a medical family (cousin was a doctor, and so are Dad and brother, and hubby's a pharmacist) I'm intrigued. Sign me up!

    kphillipso at aol dot com

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  38. FACEBOOK COMMENT

    Tricia Angehr to me
    8:26 AM

    Loved the book and the story line couldn't read it fast enough. What a turn of events, I didn't know what was going to happen next. It took me on an unforgetable adventure.

    Thanks for entering me in the drawing.

    Tricia

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  39. WOW!!! I am enjoying 'Perfect' to the point that I am looking forward to the next time I can sit down to read more! I have read over half of it in a week (that's fast for me...) and can't wait to finish it. I sure would like to win his new book, Nora.

    I also like that Harry likes Stephen King -- I thought I was a heathen for liking his books...LOL!!!

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  40. CONGRATS TO RHONDA STRUTHERS on winning a copy of SIX-LITER CLUB.

    Thanks to Rebeca Seitz and Harry for this interview and give away.

    Harry the ladies in my book club and I are anxiously waiting to have you speak to us soon. We are so thankful to have you as our guest. I LOVED reading your book PERFECT. It's a very powerful message, suspenseful, exciting, with deep characters and plot. LOVE IT!!

    I know my ladies will have questions and comment for you. It's good if you all haven't read it. I can't wait to check out Six-Liter Club.

    THANKS also to everyone that stopped by to leave a comment and encourage Harry Kraus, MD.

    Blessings

    Nora :D

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