Stephen King’s Novel Tweet


(DGIwire) –When he finally put down his copy of Doing Harm by Kelly Parsons, legendary author Stephen King was moved to tweet: “Best damn medical thriller I’ve read in 25 years. Terrifying OR scenes, characters with real texture.”  High praise from the “king” of multiple genres, from fantasy and science fantasy to horror— all of which also keep his legions of fans on the edge of their seats and often up all night!

In this debut novel, Dr. Parsons is being widely heralded as worthy of joining the ranks of other author–M.D.s such as Robin Cook (Coma), Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park) and Abraham Verghese (Cutting for Stone). The prestigious American Library Assn. Booklist reported: “[Doing Harm] certainly provides a dramatic view of hospital procedures in and out of the surgical suite. And once Steve (main character) finds out the identity of the ruthless killer, the pace picks up nicely, providing readers who like Robin Cook and Michael Palmer with incentive to add Parsons to their must-read lists.

Meanwhile, Publisher’s Weekly compared Parsons to attorney-author John Grisham:  “With a deft initial setup reminiscent of Grisham’s The Firm, urologist Parsons’s strong first novel paints a picture of the competitive, ego-driven realm of a world-class teaching hospital and the kind of personalities that thrive there…  The attention to detail keeps the action chillingly plausible…”

The Orlando Sun Sentinel opined that Doing Harm is a “highly entertaining debut [that] delves deep into the ethics and competitiveness of the medical profession…[starting] strong and never losing its momentum throughout the energetic plot infused with an intriguing look at modern medicine.”  Library Journal gave the book a starred review for “building tension to a breathtaking climax.”

Kelly Parsons, M.D., is a 44-year-old urologist who is also on the faculty at UC San Diego.  After graduating from Stanford, Dr. Parsons decided to follow his father into medicine and completed his medical studies at the University of Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins. His wife Genevieve is a pediatrician, and they have two school age children.

So how was this busy doctor able to write his book, as many doctors say they want to do but can never find the time?  Admitting he had to sacrifice some sleep and free time to keep to a rigorous writing schedule, Dr. Parsons also believes writing comes naturally to doctors.  “Doctors are trained to be storytellers, even if we don’t always realize it,” Parsons notes. “Doctors have to listen to a patient’s story, shape it in to a structured narrative, and then communicate it to other doctors. We do that every day.”

He sent a draft to many agents and got many rejections before a friend of a friend steered the book to the desk of Al Zuckerman at Writers House, whose clients include Ken Follett and Michael Lewis.  “I do think, as with other things in life, there’s luck involved in getting a book published,” Parsons says with typical modesty.

Hey fella, that was THE Stephen King who loved your book! Take it in!  And get us that second medical thriller you promised St. Martin’s—and your new fan Stephen King—ASAP!

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