Monday, December 02, 2013

Guest Post: CJ Lyons

The only thing fifteen-year-old Scarlet Killian has ever wanted is a chance at a normal life. Diagnosed with a rare and untreatable heart condition, she has never taken the school bus. Or giggled with friends during lunch. Or spied on a crush out of the corner of her eye. So when her parents offer her three days to prove she can survive high school, Scarlet knows her time is now ... or never. Scarlet can feel her heart beating out of control with every slammed locker and every sideways glance in the hallway. But this high school is far from normal. And finding out the truth might just kill Scarlet before her heart does.

Today, I'd like to welcome CJ Lyons, the author of Broken to my blog. CJ is here to talk about why she decided to become a writer after working as a pediatric ER doctor and if she ever misses working in medicine. 

I’ve been a storyteller all my life and have always used stories to makes sense of the world around me - it’s my coping mechanism for dealing with chaos. But I never really thought of writing as a career until after I sold my second novel - that’s second novel sold. I’d written my first novel in high school followed by two SF/F novels in medical school. 

Then, halfway through my internship year at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh one of my fellow interns was killed in a very horrendous way. The police apprehended the killer, thanks to good forensic work and cooperation of several agencies. But we interns were still traumatized. Left to mourn and make sense of this terrible thing while simultaneously caring for infants and children entrusted to our care and trying to help families cope. 

For me, writing helped me to heal. I wrote my first crime fiction novel, a romantic thriller called BORROWED TIME (which hit the USA TODAY Bestseller list). Before I'd always written SF/F, but after Jeff died I needed to explore good/evil, justice/truth more than I needed the escapism my previous novels provided me. 

After I had two books under contract and was working hard to finish a third I realized that between medicine and writing I had no time for anything else. Medicine was a lifelong dream come-true, but I thought there was no reason I couldn't have two dream-come-true careers and become a full time writer. So I left. My colleagues thought I was nuts - until after I was gone and things went down hill with HMO's, etc, then they were calling me telling me how smart I was, lol! I missed my patients (still do) but no guilt, writing has given me the chance to touch 100,000's of lives. 

This truth really hits home every time I receive fan mail from people sharing with me how my books have empowered or inspired them to change their lives. I realized that being able to write stories that have that kind of impact is just as powerful as practicing medicine. And that’s when I knew I really “made it” as a writer. 

Thanks for dropping by, CJ!

A bit about CJ (as found on Goodreads): New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty-one novels, former pediatric ER doctor CJ Lyons has lived the life she writes about in her cutting edge Thrillers with Heart. Winner of the International Thriller Writers coveted Thriller Award, CJ has been called a "master within the genre" (Pittsburgh Magazine) and her work has been praised as "breathtakingly fast-paced" and "riveting" (Publishers Weekly) with "characters with beating hearts and three dimensions" (Newsday).


  1. I have Broken on my tbr and heard such great things about the story. I also really liked this guest post and it shows how writing can really transform ones life. I never thought a person could be both especially from different career fields. Thanks for sharing ladies!

  2. Honestly, baking is my coping mechanism, but we are so lucky to have people who cope with things by coming up with stories and entertaining the rest of us. I have this on my tbr and I'm very excited about it.


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