Interview with Dr John Bishop

I have a very talented author on the blog today. Dr John Bishop is a doctor by profession, loves to play the piano and golf, aaand… the author of Doc Brady Mysteries – a brand new medical thriller series.

Dr John Bishop
Photo credit: Greg Moredock


Hello Dr John Bishop and welcome to my blog The Book Decoder. Please tell me and my readers about yourself. 

First of all, thanks much for this opportunity. I grew up in a small town near Waco, Texas, and graduated from Baylor University with a degree in Chemistry. I got the bug to become a doctor my last year of college and was accepted to Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. I spent four years in med school, four years in orthopaedic surgery residency, and another year in a foot and ankle fellowship at the University of Cincinnati. I returned to Houston, and joined a large academic orthopaedic group in the Texas Medical Center, and spent the next fourteen years practising orthopaedic surgery, teaching residents and fellows, and writing articles and making presentations at national meetings. I became restless professionally, due primarily to a lack of free time, withdrew from the academic side of orthopaedic surgery, and concentrated on taking care of patients.

I had always been an avid reader of fiction, and once I had free time again, I started writing. I can’t say there was one particular incident that prompted me to write. I had always enjoyed medical writing, and writing medical fiction was a natural sequitur. The idea of titling novels “Act of …” came from reading Sue Grafton and her alphabet novels. My wife was a retail executive, and had many contacts in New York, and was able to find a qualified agent quickly. However, the world was apparently not yet ready for the amateur detective activities of Dr Jim Bob Brady, Houston orthopaedic surgeon, and the agent was unsuccessful in finding a publisher. Undeterred, however, I continued to write, and produced five novels between 1994 and the early 2000s, entitled Act of Murder, Act of Deception, Act of Revenge, Act of Negligence, and Act of Fate. Nothing was sold for publication, so I stopped writing, and returned to playing the piano and golfing in my free time. The novels sat dormant until last year, preserved on ancient floppy discs when my son and my wife colluded in resurrecting the novels onto Word. They had the first novel bound into book form and reading it rekindled my passion for writing.

Act of Murder was published earlier this year, under the guiding hands of the first-rate publicists, Fauzia Burke and Anna Sacca. I have gone back in time, to the 1990s Houston, and revised Act of Murder, Act of Deception, and Act of Revenge with the superb assistance of editor Erin Willard. Act of Negligence and Act of Fate are waiting in the wings to be revised and published depending on the success of the first three books in the series, Act of Murder, Act of Deception, and Act of Revenge. I began writing again last year, and have now produced two more novels, Act of Atonement and Act of Mercy. I’m working on novel #8, Act of Avarice.



What is the inspiration behind The Doc Brady Mystery Series? 

Inspiration for the novels came from daily experiences in seeing and treating many patients over the years. Also, an influence was my duties as keyboard player for the R & B band, Bert Wills and the Crying Shames in the late 1980 and early 1990s. I performed with the band on weekends, but the travel requirements finally did me in. But what stories about people I’ve been able to draw from those two very different careers, musician and surgeon.


The next book in this series – Act of Deception is releasing in June. Tell us more about it.  

Act of Deception is a novel in which Dr Jim Bob Brady gets sued for medical malpractice. Doc Brady has very high standards and takes care of his patients as compulsively as any other human on the planet, but when he has a lawsuit filed against him, he is devastated.

A farmer undergoes a knee replacement for severe arthritis but eventually loses the leg due to an overwhelming infection. Brady again takes over as amateur sleuth and is exposed to a very seamy side of medicine and the law. Did he commit medical malpractice, or is all a charade due to an Act of Deception?


How many books are you planning to write in the Doc Brady series?    

Seven Doc Brady novels are complete, and I’m working on #8. Hopefully, the good readers out there will find these novels entertaining enough to continue to buy them. Although I’m not sure I could really stop writing at this point. It seems to be in my blood.


What does a day in Dr Bishop’s life look like?  

I’m very lucky. I was able to retire early, about twelve years ago. I try and play music every day, to keep up the piano skills. I play golf four times a week because any less than that and those skills disappear. I write every day. On golf days, I’ll write for two or three hours in the morning before I go out and chase the little white…or yellow…ball around. On non-golf days, I’ll write in the morning, then take a walk with Joan, my wife, have lunch, then write for a few hours in the afternoon. And just like the Bradys, we have our regimented time of 5 PM cocktails, followed by dinner. Before the Coronavirus issue, we almost always went out for dinner. With sequestration and isolation, we’ve learned to cook. Well, actually, Joan has learned to cook. I’ve learned how to load the dishwasher…properly.


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