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Writers find inspiration in the darnedest places. In MANIPULATIONS, pregnancy plays a key role in the plot. The pregnancy embodies the characters’ relationships and their hopes and fears.
I very much admired my obstetrician while I was pregnant with my daughter, and he and I used to talk about my travels and my journalism career. At the beginning of the pandemic, he received a well-deserved promotion and is now overseeing obstetrics at the hospital, after all my daughter is seventeen so he’s been in practice for a while now.
I named the American obstetrician after him, and I told him that when I was still working on the novel. At that time, I didn’t realize that character, Dr. Gilbert Christophe, would morph into an epic side character. He became a med school peer of Dr. Jacqueline Saint-Ebene, sister of Basilie d’Amille. And there ate references and appearances of Dr. Christophe throughout the series.
I had an appointment at the former office of the real life Dr. Christophe today (I almost typed his real name) and I almost brought a copy of the book to ask the staff there to send over to the hospital for him. But I chickened out, thinking it would be too weird.
And my new doctor (I’m on a whirlwind tour of trying them all at this point) mentioned him, and I sighed telling her my original plan. Bad marketing on my part. So I gave her index cards and asked her to mention it to him.
And then I told her the story of how I drove through a snow squall from one office to the other to retrieve my IUD because the courier hadn’t gotten there yet. I think the real Dr. Christophe thought I was crazy, but he told me he would insert it if I went to go get it. They gave it to me in a large manila envelope.
I hope the real Dr. Christophe reads this and I can get him a copy of the book. I’d be honored if he took the time to read it.