Exclusive Interview with
Charles W. Page MD
When did you start writing?
I started writing over fifteen years ago. My first book grew out of my quest for a good night's sleep. I wrote a book which explored sleep and rest from a Christian worldview, called Surrendered Sleep.
As a physician all kinds of things rob my ability to sleep well. Trying to piece them all together I began to study the Bible to find some answers. I was surprised to find lots of answers to help be get some shut eye.
Being my first attempt at writing and publishing, I learned lots of things--the hard way. Now, years later--I'm able to laugh a little about my first book. I tell folks, "Read my book. One way or another--you'll get a better nights sleep."
What makes writing your passion?
Over the years I've realized writing is a way for me to process the chaotic events I encounter--as a surgeon, father, and husband. I've realized the greatest benefit is probably the one I receive--learning how to cope with life's crazy circumstances.
How long have you been writing?
What was the feeling when you published your first book?
Disappointment. I expected the waters to part, my life to be changed, and readers to be excited about my book. Instead, I heard the lonely sound of crickets.
Then I began to think about my career as a surgeon. They don't allow you to take organs out of people the moment you enter medical school. It's a process--and a long one at that.
I began to dig deeper and hone the craft of writing, working on my skills and voice.
What’s the story behind your choice of characters?
The characters in my nonfiction works are real people. Their names have been changed for confidentiality purposes.
Like most writers I get ideas--in the day to day activities of life. The people and circumstances I face. I guess that's one benefit of not quitting my day day job. Every day I encounter a situation where I think, "Wow, that would make a great story or teach an inspiring lesson."
What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?
Lack of time.
Like most writers, I carry a lot of hats:
Father of Five Kids
Husband to Joanna for 27 years
Owner of a small business
Leader of two Bible Studies
Attending and teacher for medical students
Number two on the "annoyance" list is focus. There's always something to distract a writer from writing.
How do you get over the “writer’s block”?
Not much. I've learned to make my stories short and sweet. Once again, the old enemies of time and focus make longer stories almost impossible.
We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?
If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
I would tell my younger self:
Why did you worry?
Why did you major on the minors?
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?
Well, I've had some doozies. I remember reading a scathing review on Goodreads about my Spoonful of Courage for the Sick and Suffering book. The review started out with the word "horrible".... and got worse from there.
As a surgeon, I live with criticism almost on a daily basis. My process for dealing with criticism begins by looking upward. Experiencing God's unconditional approval--apart from my performance is one of the best places to start.
Then I look inward. Within each criticism there may be something which I can learn from--a bit of truth which I need to work on.
Then I look outward. I try to pray for the naysayer and empathize with them. Often negative words come from a past life event which influenced their life.
What is the feeling when you get a good review?
Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
All the time. If I quit my day job, I would have no fodder for my stories.
Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?
In my newest kids' picture book, Fluffy's Christmas Gift. I can identify with the Fluffy the tree ornament. Like me, he desires to rise to the tree top, facing ridicule and disappointment. And in the process, his body breaks down.
In the end, Fluffy gets to the top, but finds new meaning. I'm realizing all the challenges, disappointments, and setbacks have been part of God's bigger plan. And, like Fluffy, things haven't turned out exactly the way I dreamed they would. But my life events have served a greater purpose.
What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?
Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?
I love connecting with them. Some readers share their stories with me. We post their interviews on Spoonful of Courage TV. I believe everyone has a life lesson or an experience worth sharing. Unfortunately, I don't have time to do hear everyone's stories.
For those who have a story of faith, hope, and courage, contact us here:
How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?
Great. But I've learned not to take it to heart. People can be fickle.
Who is your favorite author? Why?
Max Lucado--for inspiring people's faith
Jack Canfield--for writing volumes of impactful short stories
Francis Schaefer--for encouraging people to think
What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?
I don't think that way anymore.
Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?
Yep. Of course.
Did you know the American classic, Red Badge of Courage, underwent eleven revisions in the first couple of years. That gives me hope. Even the classics could have been tweeked.
My newest nonfiction book, Spoonful of Courage: Equations to Find Grace in Life's Challenges, had to undergo a full set of revisions from cover to cover. And I'm still not happy with the title.