When asked how he got into writing, James Priest, M.D., responded as follows: “I decided to do some writing not related to medicine. I have always had a good imagination. When I was small, I told stories to the other children on the school bus, and later to my children when they were young. I have enjoyed reading science fiction and fantasy, especially Tolkien. So, I decided to write a fantasy. But to challenge myself, I set the tale in today’s world rather than in Middle-Earth, or on the moon, or in the year 2025.
“As a child I collected miniatures, and I have always liked little things. Therefore, I made the characters and their world small. I created a race of magical beings one foot tall. They are kirins. In the distant past they lived in peace and harmony with humans. But a major divergence occurred between the two races, and kirins had to separate themselves from us. They invoked a spell that makes them invisible, and have long since been forgotten.
“It took a few weeks to set ground rules for a kirin civilization, to make things fit properly and work. Then I sat down and began to write, and the story flowed. I had no occasions of writer’s block.
“I was practicing medicine full-time when I wrote the trilogy, and it took four years to complete. I wrote early in the morning, at night, on week-ends, and on holidays. It became work only if I spent too long in front of the computer. Otherwise it was the most pleasurable thing I have ever done. Someone asked my wife how many hours a week I wrote. Her answer surprised even me. Forty, she said. I never kept track of the time, except to know when I had to quit. I was enthusiastic about the undertaking from beginning to end, and was fortunate to find what has become a second career.”
James D. Priest, M.D., majored in English at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. He studied English in the masters program and received a Doctor of Medicine degree at the University of Minnesota. He spent three years in Japan as a physician in the Army of the United States caring for casualties from Viet Nam, and four years in orthopedic residency at Stanford University. He practiced orthopedics in Minneapolis for twenty-one years. He has authored or co-authored approximately thirty medical articles, and received the Minnesota Medicine Outstanding Writing Award.
His book for the layperson, Beating Prostate Cancer without Surgery, was published in 2005 by Fairview Press.
Feel free to contact James at jamesdpriestATgmail.com (replacing, of course, the “AT” with “@”).