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Scott McPherson, M.D.

Author; Physician who loves fiction

Back on the Grid – Writing Again


Writing Again!

I’ve been off the “grid” for a while because I have recently changed jobs.  I am currently a teacher of family medicine.  Just a few short months ago I was in a busy practice seeing about 100 patients a week.  Now I work with family practice residents and medical students to help them learn what they need to know when they go into the “world” to practice medicine.

I am loving every minute of my new position but it takes some getting used to.  I miss my former patients but am getting to know some new ones.  I still see patients some days but most of the time I am teaching.

This transition has affected my time for writing.  I have had to develop different habits and different practices.  My commute to work is longer so I have a little less time to write each day.  I have begun to get used to it but this has slowed my writing.  I have just finished the first draft of a new novel  “ICE CRISIS” and hope to publish it by mid –winter or early spring.

On the other hand, my new position has allowed me to serve on the disaster preparedness committee at my new hospital.  Some of the things I have been involved with there have helped me develop the idea for a new Jack Sharp Novel.  The working title is “Ransom.”

As much as I have enjoyed writing “Ice Crisis” with new characters and an amazing plot, I am happy to be back to writing about Dr. Jack Sharp.  I hope you will stand with me in this new endeavor and stand with me to produce this addition to the series.  Watch for my new novels on Amazon and on my Twitter page @scottmcphersonmd.

While you wait for my new offerings, if you haven’t read all of the Jack Sharp Novels, go online and purchase Congo Mission, A Step Ahead of Death, and Witness in the Window,  The Jack Sharp Series.

Subscribe to receive email updates and an opportunity to read and review “Ice Crisis.”

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Retired from the Nebraska Air National Guard after 25 years of service

Retired with flag reduced

United States Air Force Retired, what does that feel like today? I woke up with the realization that something that has been a big part of my life for many years is now over.  My military career began almost 4 decades ago as I looked for a way to pay for medical school.  Though I have a few token weeks officially remaining, my career as an Air Force Officer is now over.

I still have a job, I’m a doctor and I teach family practice residents. It is full-time and is not a slack position.  For the last 15 years, though, I have had another job.  Its minimum requirements were 60 days of duty per year.  Some years this exceeded 100 with a significant portion of them away from home and overseas.

Though I began in the 1970s I have actually only served 25 ½ years, some on active duty and some in the Air National Guard or Reserves. The last 15 years I have been a flight surgeon in the Nebraska Air National Guard.

So what does retired mean? I guess I don’t have to get a haircut in a few weeks.  It was never supposed to be the “high and tight” variety but we were supposed to keep it short.  It will take some getting used to.

I won’t have to wake up on Monday after a drill weekend (once a month) and try to juggle all the things that I need to accomplish for the Guard with my day-job. My focus can narrow a bit.

I won’t be in charge of the medical services provided by the medical professionals in our wing. We have nearly a thousand people to care for.  We are an important cog in a very big wheel.  Our wing provides fuel to planes all around the world.  In addition we have many other missions to be a part of.  I won’t be a part of that any more.

I won’t be gone from home 60 days, 12 weekends a year. I won’t have to come home and work on plans, charts, waivers.  I won’t run out to the base to sign some document or have to call the National Guard Bureau to try to advocate for someone’s health related issues.

Not being a part of the mission means not going with the planes when they travel to a far off place. I have had some wonderful opportunities to do this.  Iceland, Turkey, Crete, Spain, Guam, New Zealand and Antarctica were among the locations I had to go.  I wasn’t a tourist, I had work to do.  But I got to see those places and experience the culture and was paid to do it.

Of course it was the grim reality of war was the ultimate reason our planes were and are needed.   That fuel goes to aircraft that have supported our troops, flown protective patrols over our nation, and helped put offensive aircraft where they needed to be to carry out that war.  I would rather that we weren’t needed, that 9/11 had never happened and that the past 15 years could have been just a boring desk job.

As many who retire from the guard have said, “I’ll get my life back” but I will always carry in my heart a desire to be a part of that great organization, the United States Air Force. I has been great to be needed and I will keep those who take my place in my prayers as they go forward.  We don’t know how the world will change in the next 15 years but I know that the Air Force will be there and the great people of the Air National Guard and the medical service will be right there in the midst of it all.

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A Step Ahead of Death  is Free! Starting April 23

Step Ahead jpgDownload your Kindle Version for $0.00 for 3 DAYS ONLY


Meet Jack Sharp, M.D. and get wrapped up in the mystery of A Step Ahead of Death

Jack Sharp’s quiet life as a family physician in the heartland of America is shattered  when he stumbles upon the body of a murdered young woman.  Now seen as a              potential suspect by local detectives, he must use all his training and intuition to find the real killer

Murder    Intrigue    Mystery    International Crime    Romance


GET YOUR FREE COPY HERE  You won’t be disappointed


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A Step Ahead of DeathStep Ahead jpg

A Step Ahead of Death, by Scott McPherson 2nd edition is now LIVE ON AMAZON!

Available for Kindle.

Reviewers have said:             “A great read!”

“I couldn’t put it down!”

“An excellent mystery.”

Order A Step Ahead of Death NOW- HERE and get the mystery that will keep you guessing.

Jack Sharp, M.D. stumbles on the body of a dead girl just minutes from his office, while walking on the bike path.  First he has to extricate himself from being a suspect, then he tries to prevent another murder.  Suspense, conspiracy, and a little romance highlight A Step Ahead of Death.    Order your copy today – HERE

Get the first three Jack Sharp Novels Congo Mission, A Step Ahead of Death, and Witness in the Window all by Scott McPherson M.D. published by Esengo Publishing.

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A Murderous Affair by Jonathan Digby-REVIEW

The Novel :

In the novel, A Murderous Affair, John Lovat, illegitimate son an English nobleman, finds himself called upon to investigate the death of an unfortunate friend of his half-brother, Lord Rokesby.  Used to scraping out a living in sixteenth century London, Lovat humors his half-brother in order to stay on his good side.  Hopefully, he will also set aside suspicions of Lord Rokesby’s involvement.  Despite his lowly upbringing, Lovat is no fool.  He doggedly tracks down leads, even at the risk of his own life.  Lovat dodges distractions and ultimately comes to a brilliant conclusion.

Review:A Murderous Affair - Cover

A Murderous Affair is an embodiment of what makes up a great mystery novel. The setting of sixteenth century England is fascinating. The author does a marvelous job of carrying the reader directly into the scenes. Not a historian, I appreciated being immersed in the life of the city. The plot is obvious, but not the solution. The amateur sleuth, John Lovat, is not quite a member of the gentry. He is well acquainted with street life, yet he is a half-brother to a gentleman. His position provides unique access and knowledge, and his cunning gets him out of dangerous scrapes. Digby uses just enough archaic language to stay realistic. The characters are bold, varied and well developed. Subplots and side-trips keep the reader off balance, and the answer to the mystery remains hidden until the end. I love this kind of novel that keeps me guessing. I hope we’ll see more of John Lovat, Elizabethan private detective.

A Murderous Affair is available on Amazon

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Book Sale/Signing and Craft Sale

Join my wife and me at Indian Creek Mall in Beatrice, NE for the Handmade and Vintage Wares sale.  The sale is Saturday (10-5) and Sunday (12-5), Oct 3-4.  I will have my three novels available to sell and she will make her debut with a wonderful selection of handmade jewelry.  Handmade bookmarks (free with purchase of a novel) and seasonal craft items will highlight the sale along with  Vintage glassware and gift items.   See some of the selection at Kim’s Nostalgic Whims.


Congo cover for articles

Husker necklace_n



Small Witness Cover JPEGNecklace_o

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CONGO MISSION now $.99 on Amazon

Purchase Congo Mission: A Jack Sharp Novel as an e-book from Amazon Kindle Publishing.  Now priced at a new low $.99
Congo Mission cover single sm

Congo Mission begins in Dr. Jack Sharp’s younger days as a missionary in Congo in the 1980’s.  As a Christian missionary Jack has stepped out beyond his comfort zone into an unfamiliar world desiring to do what he believes God wants of him.  He is challenged by daily activities as he tries to learn the local language and culture surrounding him.  Facing challenges in every aspect of life, from daily meals to life saving surgery, Jack’s skills, knowledge and faith are tested as he learns what existence as a missionary has to offer.  There might even be romance ahead for him.

Outside of his awareness, forces are gathering which will impact his life forever.  His will and character get a work out as well when danger and intrigue engulf his new life.  Nevertheless, his future is brightened by a beautiful young woman while the peaceful jungle erupts as the seeds of rebellion begin to grow.

The corrupt John Levy sets in motion a plan to enrich himself.  As his own plan dissolves his life becomes intertwined with Jack Sharp, and they find themselves thrust against each other in a deadly competition.

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Writing a Novel?

How do you begin writing a novel?

Fountain Pen


My first novel was a training ground for me.  I had always been taught to plan out anything you intend to write for others.  This meant a dreaded outline.  I hate outlines.  I don’t really know why, but when I try to write an outline, I begin filling in details to the point that it is no longer a shortcut for anything.  Another suggestion was to use a “story board” approach.

A story board is a graphic outline.  Picking scenes or segments of the story and trying to find an orderly approach to present them, makes sense.  I like the idea, but, for me it still means knowing the end from the beginning.  That is my real problem.

When I start writing a novel, I don’t know where it will go as I write, much less how it will end.  Some have termed this “seat of the pants” writing.  Whatever the technique, it is how I write.  Don’t ever let anyone tell you that how you write is WRONG!  (an exception might be in a formal classroom)  When it comes to your writing style, your method, your characters, they belong to you.  Outlines can help and story boards can aid in organization, I just haven’t employed them.

Of course there is the issue of who will read what you have written.  If your story is disorganized, the characters are unrealistic, and the plots go nowhere, you my love your writing, but few will want to read your premier novel.  Structure and content are important, but that isn’t really what I am addressing.

When I began writing I started by just describing the world around me in prose.  I tried to describe the variations of the color of the sky, the noses along a dusty path.  I wanted to be able to convey our beautiful world to a reader through words.  Transporting the reader from paper into my world was my goal.  Then I began to branch out into “what ifs.”  What if I just kept walking until I ran out of road?  What if a storm blew up?  What if . . . a character, whom I invented, stumbled upon a dead body?

The “what ifs” turned my prose into a story and ultimately a mystery with a touch of romance.  I wrote a few pages almost daily.  I added sub-plots where they seemed appropriate.  I added likeable and evil characters, all the while trying to keep my world “real.”  I didn’t know much about formatting and my grammar wasn’t (isn’t) great, but I plugged away.  I actually liked what I was writing and still enjoy reading it.  I could never say this about papers I wrote for school.  A Step Ahead of Death was born as my debut novel.


Please comment on this and tell my how you write –

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Do you write the way you read?

I was recently asked this question and it made me think a little.  I love to read mysteries and thrillers and combinations of these genres.  Two of my novels are, in fact, mysteries (A Step Ahead of Death, and Witness in the Window).  Congo Mission, my second novel, on the other hand is basically a thriller.  Did you know that there is romance in all of my novels?  It isn’t the hot and steamy kind, but there is a love interest that moves through the lines along with the suspense and mystery.  When I read, I love to see a personal story fulfilled.  If there is a romantic side to the novel, all the better, but I don’t care for descriptive sex scenes or objectionable language.

The genre chosen for a book determines its placement in brick and mortar book stores.  Likewise, if you search for books by genre, you may miss out on a good mystery novel if it is labeled a “romance.”  I like to try out new authors from time to time.  I also make it a point to read self-published authors regularly.  It helps them and promotes independent publishing.    While I tend to stay within a relatively narrow band of genres, it does not prevent me from straying out into unknown territory from time to time in my reading.  I really like Tom Clancy, but I have enjoyed most of Nicholas Sparks’ novels as well.  I love Agatha Christie, but Jan Karon’s Mitford series is heartwarming and satisfying to read.

The answer to the original question, therefore, is “not completely.”  Perhaps once I have written many more novels I will have branched out to other genres.

Please add a comment: What genre do you prefer to read?  Who are your favorite authors?

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Save The Date: Book Signing Event

Where: From Nebraska Gift Shop

(in the Haymarket)

When: July 18, 2015 – 9AM to 11AM

Do you love to read mysteries?

Do you love sports?

How about the Royals?  What a phenomenal year 2014 was for them.  Can they repeat this year?

On Saturday July 18 James Arthur Vineyard and From Nebraska Gift Shop, in Lincoln’s historic Haymarket, will be hosting two local authors in a dual book-signing event.

Scott McPherson – author of Witness in the Window: A Jack Sharp M.D. Novel

Kent Krause – author of Ninety Feet Away: The Story of the 2014 Kansas City Royals and

During the Haymarket – Farmer’s Market from 9:00 AM to 11:00 these local authors will be at the From Nebraska Gift Shop where you will be able to purchase these new books or have your copies signed by the authors.

Small Witness Cover JPEGWitness in the Window – This sequel to McPherson’s first novel A Step Ahead of Death tells the story of a Korean War veteran who is the witness to a mysterious and dangerous bike path attacker.  Jack Sharp, M.D. and his new family must also face danger as they are threatened by an old enemy.  The enemy wants nothing so much as revenge.

Ninety Feet Away – takes the reader for a ride on the rollercoaster season of the 2014 KansasCity Royals Baseball team.  Battling to the final pitch in the ninth inning of Game 7
of the World Series, the 2014 Kansas City Royals completed one of the most memorable campaigns in baseball history. Relive this epic season and learn about the players whose championship quest ended just Ninety Feet Away.

Scott McPherson writes because he loves to do so. His characters are real and live in a world much like his own. While he writes about a fictional doctor he continues to practice family medicine, where the real-life stories are often more intense than fiction. Can you solve the mystery? What is life in Africa like? What would you do if someone wanted to take out their revenge upon you? Explore these thoughts in the Jack Sharp Novels.  Scott lives with his wife, Kim in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Kent Krause writes content for social studies textbooks and online high school history courses. He grew up in Des Moines, Iowa, and studied history at Iowa State University (B.A. and M.A.) and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Ph.D.). In addition to his four books, Kent has published articles in Great Plains Quarterly and The International Journal of the History of Sport. In 2009, USA Book News selected The All-American King as a category finalist for the National Best Books Awards. Kent lives in Nebraska with his wife Jill.

Scott McPherson’s Website


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