Interview: David Gelber
Posted by Literary Titan
Dr. David Gelber has come over to talk about his book, Night Clinic. We talk about the unsettling things he’s seen as a doctor and how inspiration found him while watching Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote.
Night Clinic is a collection of short stories that collectively tell the story of Dr. Barnes and the night clinic. Why did you choose this format over the traditional novel format?
The “Night Clinic” series started with one story, which is the first chapter of the book. I had written two articles previously which speculated on the medical care of superheroes and monsters. These articles can be found on my blog:
It was only a short step from these articles to Night Clinic. I would come up with different ideas for characters or stories which led to new chapters. Each story (except “ Night Clinic Raven”) is more or less contained within a single twelve hour shift. After all, Dr. Barnes has to do most of his work at the hospital as a Medical Resident.
What was your inspiration for the setting of the novel, a medical clinic at night? Did you use any of your personal experiences?
I had this idea which sprang from watching the end of a Roadrunner/Wile E coyote cartoon. It showed the Roadrunner and Wile E Coyote clocking out at the end of their “shift” with their fresh counterparts clocking in. I wondered where the beaten, battered Roadrunner went for medical care. Then I wondered where the supernatural or magical beings went for medical care and the collection of stories was born. Many of the medical scenarios are from my experience, although all the “black” penises I’ve encountered have gotten better.
My favorite story is Beam Me Up Night Clinic, where Star Wars characters are facing off with Star Trek characters. What is your favorite story in the book?
I like the Beam Me Up Night Clinic chapter. I think it captures these characters and themes perfectly. My favorite chapter is Night Clinic Garden. This chapter presents a true tragedy in such a way that the reader isn’t sure if it is a happy or sad story or both. And, it begins to provide some insight into the character of Dr. Barnes as he longs to stay in the Garden.
Are there any stories that you left out of the book, sort of like missing chapters?
No, every idea I came up with was incorporated into a chapter. Captain Surgery, Roachman, Medusa, Caleb and many others all managed to find their way into one of the stories. As you might have surmised, I often start with an idea for a character and then build a story around him or her.
When did you first start writing and how has writing evolved for you over time?
I began writing in 2006, a futuristic novel, Future Hope: ITP Book One. This story speculates on the earth in the year 2156, a world which is overpopulated and rapidly depleting its resources. This book had very religious themes. My writing has improved over time. I tend to do more short stories and articles now as they tend to work better with my more limited writing time. My surgical business has grown which leaves me less time to write.
What is your next book that fans should be looking out for?
With any luck, I’ll finish ITP Book three. I’m also thinking about writing a book called “Medusa through the Ages,” which would take the Medusa character from Night Clinic and follow her through her immortal life. I did this with “Minotaur Revisited,” a book you might like.
Follow David Gelber on GoodReads.