Carrie Rubin writes medical thrillers. Not surprising given that she’s a physician with a master’s degree in public health. Nor is it surprising that she delves into sensitive and controversial issues in her novels. In her latest thriller, Eating Bull, Carrie tackles bullying, fat shaming, food addiction and the food industry’s role in obesity.
How I Got Published
I wrote my first novel, The Seneca Scourge, over a fifteen-month period in 2003-2004. But as so often happens, life got in the way, and it wasn’t until 2011 I decided to get serious and move the process forward. I tightened my manuscript, read books on technique, and restarted the query process. Though I didn’t land an agent, I found a small press publisher, and in 2012 my first novel was published.
Since then, I’ve made writing a priority. I study the craft, attend conferences, and try to learn everything I can about the process.
As writers we often hear, “Don’t give up.” If we want to publish books, that’s good advice. That means overcoming plot-hole disasters, painful critiques, and endless rejections, all of which will hopefully inspire us to work harder and improve our technique.
We also have to take chances.
With Eating Bull, I queried agents and a few publishers but was rejected. While several seemed pleased with the book’s writing, they were reluctant to represent such a sensitive topic, particularly in fiction.
After more than a year of querying, I was antsy to get the novel out there, so I tried a different approach. I got a cover designed and sought a Kirkus review. Then I submitted the novel for a Kindle Scout campaign, an Amazon-run, reader-powered publishing platform. During the campaign, the novel generated a lot of interest, but it didn’t get selected.
Needless to say, I was discouraged. Had I chosen too controversial a premise? Was it wise to take on the food industry, not to mention create a serial killer who targets the obese? I’m an unknown author, after all, not John Grisham or Robin Cook.
But before I had to answer my own question, a boutique publisher who specializes in science and medical thrillers (and who I’d been in contact with on social media before) reached out to me after seeing my Kindle Scout campaign. A short time later, I signed a contract.
And I couldn’t be happier. My fit with this publisher is a good one, and I’m constantly kept in the loop. As with all small presses (and even traditional publishers), authors shoulder much of the marketing. But I’m fine with that. It’s all part of being a writer.
The world of publishing is constantly evolving, and writers have more options today than ever before. With hard work, perseverance, and a good story, many writers can achieve their dream.
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Jeremy, a lonely and obese teenager, shoots into the limelight when a headstrong public health nurse persuades him to sue the food industry. Tossed into a storm of media buzz and bullying, the teen draws the attention of a serial killer who’s targeting the obese. Soon the boy, the nurse, and their loved ones take center stage in a delusional man’s drama.
Through fiction, Eating Bull explores the real-life issues of bullying, fat-shaming, food addiction, and the food industry’s role in obesity.
Praise for Eating Bull:
“4 out of 4 stars…all the right elements for an enjoyable read: great writing, great plot, and great characters.” —OnlineBookClub.org
“A solid thriller that manages to infuse one boy’s coming-of-age with a whole lot of murder.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Rubin is a masterful storyteller who weaves her medical knowledge into a gripping thriller, diving head-first into a meaty subject that has been ignored for far too long.”—Dianne Gray, award-winning Australian author of Soul’s Child and The Everything Theory
“Carrie Rubin tackles obesity, fat-shaming, and bullying in this unique and original psychological thriller certain to keep you thinking long after you’ve finished reading.” —Maddie Cochere, author of the Susan Hunter and Two Sisters and a Journalist series
“A fast-paced thriller with a climax that nails it.”—Frederick Anderson, author of I Am Cara, The Butterfly Man, and Hallbury Summer