Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Showcase: A Medical Affair by Anne McCarthy Strauss

While under the care of her pulmonologist after a life-threatening asthma attack, Heather Morrison enters into an affair with her doctor. This affair violates the state’s code of conduct and his medical treatment violates the Hippocratic oath. Heather’s life is shattered as a result. After the doctor terminates the relationship, Heather begins research for her own healing, and armed with this information, she initiates a civil lawsuit. Although it is a work of fiction, A Medical Affair was extensively researched. A Medical Affair is a critical book for women who want to make educated decisions regarding their relationships with their doctors.

Anne McCarthy StraussAnne McCarthy Strauss is a versatile writer, researcher and public relations professional. She is also an avid supporter of victims’ rights. She has spent the last decade educating women and men on the seldom revealed but all too frequent occurrence of affairs between doctors and their patients. Her novel, A Medical Affair, is the story of a doctor who violates a sacred trust by having an affair with one of his patients. 

A lifelong New Yorker, Anne lives on Long Island with her husband and their two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. The mother of one son, she has written for both consumer and trade magazines including Old House Journal, Waterfront Home & Design, Design Trade Magazine, Design New England, Distinction, Log Home Design Ideas and Florida Design Review. She has been a regular contributor to Martha’s Vineyard Magazine and Vineyard Style. She is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA).

Visit her at www.annestrauss.com.

Q.  What inspires your writing?

A. Life inspires my writing.  Reading an article in the media, visiting websites and simple people watching all inspire me to write the stories that live behind the facades of exterior appearances.  Talking with people enriches these opportunities.  Almost everyone has a book-worthy story that will come out if you get to know them well enough.

Q.  What is your favorite thing about being a writer?

A. Writing affords the opportunity to create and control that few other careers can offer.  In other words, I get to tell the story the way I see it and twist it in any way I choose.

Q.  What is the toughest part of being a writer?

A. For me, solitude is the biggest challenge of being a writer.  Too much solitude brings on depression for me.  And many writers are inclined toward depression.  To avoid it, I make a point of writing in libraries, coffee shops and the few bookstores that remain on Long Island where I live.

Q.  If you could not be writer, what would you do/be?

A.  I would love to have had the opportunity to pursue a career as a dancer.  However, I never had a dance lesson until I was in my forties – way too late to embark on that career.  Most of my published articles have been in interior design magazines.  I am intrigued by architecture and design and the people who create and decorate beautiful structures.  Interior design would have been a good career choice, but writing about it allows me to combine two interests.

Q.  What would the story of your life be entitled?

A.   Perseverance is my strongest attribute.  When I set my mind on a goal, I never give up no matter how many times I’m shot down.  So the story of my life would be called something along the lines of “The Woman Who Never Quit” or “She Never Gave Up.”

Q.  What is your favorite book of all time?

A. Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind.  It has everything – love, loss, jealousy, war, a massive fall from wealth to poverty, and the determination of Scarlett O’Hara, a strong character who never gives up.

Q.  Which character from ANY book are you most like?

A. The answer really depends on the aspect of my life I’m looking at.  From a romantic perspective, I see myself as Allie Nelson in Nicholas Sparks’ The Notebook.  Allie was torn between two men who loved her.  She chose Noah Calhoun who adored her and lived for her until the end.  I won’t go further into my own parallels, but it’s pretty easy to read between the lines.

Q.  What character from all of your books are you most like?

A.  Well, I’ve written three novels, but A Medical Affair is the first to be published.  Each of my protagonists is based, however loosely, on myself since I’m the person I know best.  Heather Morrison has many of the characteristics I had when I was in my late 30s in as much as I was a single woman with a fulltime job.  I was a single mom.  And, yes, I had even dated one of my doctors but, like most women, I had no idea at the time that his simply asking me to lunch was an unethical gesture on his part.

Q.  Which book would you love to take a weekend vacation inside of?

I find myself choosing another Nicholas Sparks book – Nights in Rodanthe.  I spent many challenging years as a single mother.  I’d have given anything for a weekend away and on my own in a beautiful place.  Protagonist Adrienne Willis got that chance in the coastal village of Rodanthe, North Carolina.  The passionate weekend that ensued with her meeting Paul Flanner would make for an amazing weekend.  I could do without the storm, and Paul’s anger was a bit overwhelming.  But the passion of that weekend wouldn’t have risen to the levels it did without the raw anger of both the storm and of Paul.

Q.  What is your favorite season?

A.  Fall.  No contest.

Q.  What inspired your book cover(s)?  Or what is your favorite book cover and why?

A.  The cover of A Medical Affair took a few takes.  Ultimately, though, it represents the themes of the book:  the flowers are for love, the get well card portrays the doctor, and the locket is the one Heather always wore with the picture of the child she plans to adopt inside.

Q.  Are you working on something new?

A.   Yes, currently I’m working on a book about four childhood friends who rekindle their friendship at their high school reunion.

Q.  Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?

A.  First of all, thank you for stopping by.  I’d also like to ask women readers if they have had or know someone who has had an affair with her medical doctor.  Virtually all women I’ve asked this question at least know someone who has been involved in such a relationship.  These women should read A Medical Affair to learn the truth about these affairs and to know they are not alone.  And others should read it to avoid the pain and anxiety that virtually always results.

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