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The Next Big Thing: Not Exactly According to Plan by Cindy L. Corpier

January 28, 2013

Note from Terry:  I am honored to host another talented writer’s responses to The Next Big Thing. I met Cindy Corpier in Paris last summer during the Spalding MFA in Writing summer study abroad program. She is funny, fascinating, intelligent, and talented and I am proud to call her a friend and colleague. I’m no doctor nor do I play one on television but I’m willing to bet that “Not Exactly According to Plan” will be the perfect prescription to those searching for a good read. And now, here’s Cindy!

What is the working title of your book?

Not Exactly According to Plan

 Where did the idea come from for the book? 

From my experience training as a physician in the 1980’s at the Texas Medical Center in Houston and from my life in medicine since.  Also from reading a book known to almost all doctors called The House of God.  This novel was published in 1978 and is still in print.  As funny and heartbreaking and true as the novel is, it was written from a male physician’s perspective.  I wanted to write about the experience from a women’s point of view—from the trauma of watching patients die, to the salvation of friendship, to the numbing exhaustion that gives rise to bad romantic decisions and ultimately, to inner strength and the grace of forgiveness.

 What genre does your book fall under?

Mainstream fiction or Women’s fiction

 What actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

The main character, Courtney Doucet is confident on the outside and constantly second-guessing on the inside.  I like to think Ellen Page or Emma Stone could pull her off beautifully.  Wyatt, her main romantic interest, is handsome and privileged, maybe Ryan Gosling.  Carter Murdock, the dangerous older man, could be Clive Owen or (why not?) George Clooney.

 What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

A young doctor is seeing her professional and romantic dreams come true when she makes a series of choices that sabotage both and she must face losing everything.

 Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I will seek representation this year.

 How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

About nine months for the first draft.

 What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Both Emily Giffin and Anna Quindlen have written books with complex female heroines navigating the demands of career and love.

 Who or what inspired you to write this book? 

I graduated from medical school at the age of twenty-three with the boundless confidence of the truly naïve and took on the awesome responsibility of caring for sick people long before I was fully mature.  This story is part-insider view of the world of medicine, part-tribute to the patients I’ve known, and part-love letter to my younger self.

 What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Not Exactly According to Plan will be attractive to book lovers who want an insider view of medicine and are forced to watch House or reruns of Scrubs and E.R. to get their fix.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 29, 2013 10:01 am

    Loved reading this interview about my dear writing friend, Dr. Cindy Corpier. I’ve read the draft of “Not Exactly According to Plan,” and I’m cheering Cindy on. Keeping my fingers crossed that her novel will be a big hit.

  2. kathleenmrodgers permalink
    January 29, 2013 10:03 am

    Great interview. I’m a fan of Cindy’s novel (I’ve read it in draft), and I’m cheering her on.


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