Paging Dr. Quincy — Welcome Guest Heather Blake

I hope some day you all get to meet Heather in person. She is lovely. The way we met was a bit unusual. Dru Ann Love and I were secretly planning for Dru Ann to come surprise Aimee Hix for Aimee’s launch party in February 2018. Dru Ann asked if someone else could come too. That someone was prolific, talented author Heather Blake and she became an instant friend. Heather is giving away a book. Look for details at the end of the blog!

Heather: As a teenager, I wanted to become a medical examiner when I grew up.

This was some thirty years ago, long before the days of Dr. G, CSI, and Forensic Files, when becoming a medical examiner wasn’t a profession many young women aspired to. But it’s what I’d wanted, what I absolutely had my mind set on. And it happened to be a goal wholly inspired by Quincy, the fictional doctor from Quincy, M.E., the 70’s TV show.

Every day after school, I’d race home to watch reruns of the show. All in the span of sixty minutes, less, really, if you consider the commercials, Quincy figured out a victim’s cause of death. A potential plague? He was there to save the world just in the nick of time. A murder? He and his eccentric assortment of cohorts solved the crime with ease. I loved every minute of it.

At UMass Lowell, I was a biology major, but it didn’t take long to figure out that I wasn’t cut out (ha-ha) to become a medical examiner. One mention of dissecting a cat had me rethinking my career plan. Slicing open people? Fine by me. Critters? No way. (By the way, I’m not sure what that says about me other than cozy mysteries and I are a great match.)

As it happened, life interrupted all my plans. Before that year was through, I’d left school, become a wife and then a mom, all of which, at eighteen, was a lot tougher than anything Quincy ever had to do.

Looking back I can clearly see it wasn’t Quincy’s job that had intrigued me. It was the puzzle-solving. The mystery. The characters, the plots, the twists and turns. Once I realized that, it was only a matter of time before I started my mystery-writing career.

These days Quincy, M.E. can still be found in reruns (or you can buy the whole series on DVD like I did—I still love every minute of it). And I dearly hope that the show continues to inspire young women to become medical examiners—or mystery authors.

Readers: What did you want to be when you grew up?

Heather is giving away a signed trade paperback copy of To Catch a Witch, the eighth book in her Wishcraft mystery series, featuring lovable witch Darcy Merriweather. To enter, simply leave a comment, and Heather will randomly choose a winner on February 24th at 9 AM. Good luck!

Bio: Heather Blake, aka Heather Webber, is the author of more than twenty-five novels. She loves to read, drink too much coffee and tea, birdwatch, crochet, and bake. She lives in southwestern Ohio, and is hard at work on her next book.

 

82 Thoughts

  1. Hi Heather,
    Loved your interview! I used to watch Quincy also. I don’t think there was as many commericals back than either. LOL!
    Would love to win a copy of To catch a witch! Hav a great day!

  2. I am a big fan, so great to see Heather here this a.m.! I watched reruns of Quincy too, along with even older Perry Masons when I was home sick. Like many kids, I wanted to be a lot of things growing up–lawyer was one! Instead, I put all that deductive reasoning toward reading. Thanks for the chance to win!

  3. You’re a role model for perseverence! My freshman year in college I infused a dead rat’s liver with India ink, to study the veins. Or was it the arteries? Got me. I dumped biology and became a medieval art historian.

  4. I also went to UMass Lowell, how funny! We’re both a long way from Lowell these days and writing cozies 🙂 Great interview, Heather!

  5. I love this series and always look forward to seeing what everyone is doing when a new one comes out. I am glad you became an author! Margaret Utsey

  6. Welcome, Heather! Thanks for joining us today. In a ninth grade class I saw a film about Alexandra Graham Bell and speech pathlogist and knew that’s what I wanted to be. First semester of my freshman year I took four speech pathology classes and hated it. At least I found out quickly!

  7. I’ve enjoyed all of Heather’s books. Someday I’m going to get to Ohio when she’s doing book signings and meet her in person! It’s near the top of my bucket list!

  8. Love Heather! And I love that shes also from Mass, fellow Bostonian here! From the age of 3 I thought I was going to have a career in acting. My whole young life until 21 was auditions, workshops, modeling and then I gave up! Now I’m in the medical field lol total opposite.

  9. What a great story, Heather! I remember watching Quincy with my mom, who was a mystery fanatic. Jack Klugman was wonderful. When I was young, I wanted to be a disc jockey thanks to Dr. Johnny Fever on WKRP in Cincinnati. Not the best role model, I’ll admit. I’m like you, though. I love mysteries and enjoy writing them because of the puzzles. Cheers!

  10. I also studied biology in undergrad! I had a concentration in forensic biology! When I was a kid I always wanted to be a doctor. I would tell my dad I wanted to be a brain surgeon (lol). He bought me all kinds of fun medical books. Ironically he was murdered (shot in the head) at his business and died when I was 12. At that point school was the last thing on my mind and I would NEVER be able to go to a hospital without crying again (even to this day). I wanted to be a doctor and help people get out of pain. Well, in 2006 I decided I wanted to be a dentist. Did you know it’s very competitive to get into dental school? I supported myself through undergrad and it took me 7 years to get my BS in Forensic Bio because of that. Then I did a post bacc, a year off (to get married), and a masters–all to get into dental school. I finally did it in 2015! I am now in the process of graduating in May this year!!!

    Thank you so much for helping me get through dental school with your books. My husband and I were doing a long distance marriage for the 3 out of 4 years and your books really helped my lonely nights/weekends. He finally moved down last year and he sees my love for reading and was inspired to start reading too! Thank you again for doing what you do. You also help people out of pain, and it’s a beautiful thing!

  11. Two RWA-NY’s ago I got to meet Heather and join Dru with her at dinner. She is an amazing and funny person. I’d love to be your lucky winner so that I will own the complete set of this series to share with my children and grandkids.

    I see that Sheila commented here. I ran into her at the last RWA-NY (literally ran into her) and she looked down at me and says “don’t I get a hug?”. The authors I’ve met thru my friendship with Dru are the most amazing people in the universe.

  12. Quincy was and still is one of my favorite medical shows. Jack Klugman fit the roll to a tee. My fingers are crossed I am your lucky winner.

  13. Thanks for visiting The Wickeds, Heather! I have to confess, I always wanted to be a writer more than anything else. I think of myself as one of the luckiest people I know to get to do the job of my dreams!

  14. When I was very young, I thought i wanted to become a teacher. Found out quick I didn’t have the patience for that calling. God bless teachers! Later I thought about following my Dad’s footsteps and joining the military. As an army brat I had first hand at seeing what recruits went through. I could work hard, but never been athletic and no way I’d get to the top of that rope. 🙂 So I became a secretary, PBX telephone operator and then computer typist (back in the ay when the machine was as big as a horse and you had to on in the machine on the back side to change big strips of film to change the type style (yes showing my age). My main job of choice was homemaker and caregiver (first for our daughter and then for my parents). Always said it wasn’t the best monetary paying job but the benefits and rewards far outweighed any dollar amount. Along the way, I’ve held a few outside jobs even becoming the first woman licensed by the state to test and design septic systems. All to add to the family funds, but always kept my first “job” as priority.

    Thank you for the chance to win a copy of “To Catch a Witch”. I’d love the opportunity to read it.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  15. I know many people who knew from a very early age what they wanted to be when they grew up. I wasn’t one of them. I’m now 68 and still don’t know! I’ve done a lot of very interesting and fascinating things in my life and I’m content with what I’ve accomplished, but I have no idea what my profession was!

    I’m just learning about you and your books and that is exciting. I hope I win your giveaway so I can be properly introduced.

  16. I too watched Quincy growing up and my love for mysteries and crime solving has continued with my love for Bones and Law and Order SVU and of course Heather’s cozy mysteries! I always enjoy the plot twists and character interactions!

  17. There were so many things I wanted to be when I grew up, I’m not sure what the biggest one is any more. Of course, that might be because I am still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.

  18. I loved my kindergarten teacher, so I wanted to be a teacher…and then a librarian, preferably a school librarian. My father said he wouldn’t pay for my schooling unless I went for business librarian…and I wasn’t smart enough to figure out that I could have gotten the degree and then done what I wished. But I never finished even my freshman year, so the point is moot anyway.

    1. So hard when others hold such influence over us. Your love of books is shines through in almost every post you write on FB, so in a way you became your own kind of librarian by sharing those books with others. Hugs.

    2. Don’t you just love that parents think they can dictate what their children should do with their lives. My parents wouldn’t pay for me to be a physical therapist because they didn’t want me to go away to school. There was a “perfectly good nursing school in town”. I didn’t want to be a nurse so I didn’t go to college until I was 27 and did what I wanted to do.

  19. Paging Ms. Darcy

    You have an eye for detail and flare for adventure. The love for your people and animals transcend through to even the most tart of sorts (…cough Glenda.)

    Your creator has imagined a world in the mystery realm I had never experienced before. She has introduced me to the genre being my first and by far favorite cozy series. My downtime at work is filled with your fun creativity.

    Having never wanting to be a medical examiner myself, I can definitely understand marrying interests and passions together that may not make sense at first (my love of people and travel…flight attendant!)

    The Enchanted Village is brewing with trouble and I can’t wait to read what comes next!

  20. Since I liked Spanish, I thought I would be a Spanish teacher but student teaching literally made me sick. Also, for someone who hated homework, what was I thinking? My mother said be a secretary, and I was a file clerk at a bank and a clerical worker at the State. My brother had one year at the University of Miami to be a marine biologist but found out that only the top people went out on the boats. He ended up studying business administration as Mom had said. She was right but didn’t push us.

    I loved Quincy and pretty much every mystery or detective show on TV. I always knew that I preferred my mysteries in books, movies, or TV.

  21. Since I loved Spanish, I thought I’d be a Spanish teacher but student teaching literally made me sick. Also, for someone who hated homework, what was I thinking? My mother said be a secretary, and I was a file clerk at a bank and a clerical worker at the State. My brother had a year at the University of Miami to be a marine biologist but found out that only the top people went out on the boats. He changed to business administration, which is what Mom said in the beginning.

    I loved Quincy and almost all the mystery shows but I knew that I preferred my mysteries in books, movies or TV.

  22. I too loved Quincy, M.E! I also love your books, especially the Wishcraft series. Such a unique setting and fun characters!

  23. It was nice getting to know you, Heather. I originally wanted to be a nurse, but instead I ended up in the transportation industry. Looking back, I know now I wasn’t cut out to be a nurse and was more comfortable working for a trucking company.

  24. Heather,
    It’s amazing how people’s lives end up so different than what they thought they would. I don’t know that I really had specific career goals but I knew I wanted to be married and have a family. Thankfully, my current occupation and very supportive spouse allow me to focus on being a mom which is my favorite role in life.
    I grew up watching Quincy reruns with my mom. I do think shows like that Murder She Wrote and Perry Mason sparked my love for mystery.
    Thank you for the opportunity to win a signed copy of To Catch A Witch! It would be so lovely to have a signed copy of a book from one of my favorite series!

  25. Is it wrong that I’m nearly 50 and still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up? I think I wanted to be a teacher, but I’m not sure I ever really knew.

  26. I used to want to be a marine biologist (specifically to study sea turtles & manatees). An odd choice since I really don’t like spending time in the water.

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