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Stark Reflections on Writing and Publishing

May 5, 2022

Mark interviews Carina Alyce, a best-selling author and full-time triple board-certified physician who started writing dramatic medical romances after twenty years in the trenches of health care.

Prior to the main content, Mark shares a personal update as well as a word about this episode's sponsor.

You can learn more about how you can get your work distributed to retailers and library systems around the world at

During their chat, Mark and Carina talk about:

  • Carina's love of Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Grey's Anatomy, and how this evolved, along with her passion for storytelling, to start writing her current series
  • Her medical and clinical background that helped inspire some of her stories
  • A typical work and family day, and where and how Carina gets her writing in
  • The "dead drop" method of communicating with herself using Gmail drafts while working on a manuscript
  • Scheduling TikTok content in advance during one-hour of work to use for the remainder of the week
  • How a TikTok "page flip" video works
  • Managing projects via a visible wall whiteboard/calendar
  • Writing Firefighter/Doctor/Police romances
  • The HEROES WITH HEAT AND HEART 9/11 charity anthology Carina edits and heads up
  • Using a combination of personal experience and interacting with firefighters and law enforcement to help make the content in her novels legitimate
  • How sometimes "crossover" can be an understatement in Carina's MetroGen novels that include the hospital, the firestation, and the police station
  • The number of books Carina already has out and the batch of forthcoming releases coming out in the next several months
  • Setting up the stories in a way that the readers can help determine what happens in the ongoing stories, with plot twists such as who the father of a pregnant woman's child will be
  • How a single event can include numerous people who all have their own unique story that can covered within this series
  • The dramatic storytelling principal of "Chekov's gun" ("If in Act I you have a pistol hanging on the wall, then it must fire in the last act".)
  • And more...

After the interview, Mark reflects on a couple of things from the conversation.


Links of Interest:


Carina Alyce is the pen name of the Amazon best-selling author and full-time triple board-certified physician who started writing dramatic medical romances after twenty years in the trenches of health care. She promises she never had sex in a call room - the mattresses are not comfortable - or had a fistfight with a patient - though she did work as a fight doc at the Octagon. Her stories are sexy, snarky, and real with all the romance and drama of the lives of our first responders.

She writes the MetroGeneral Downtown series that tackles the personal and professional challenges facing our front-line providers. You’ll find her stories have the drama of Grey's Anatomy, the comedy of Scrubs, the sexiness of Outlander, and the medical details of Forensic Files. They feature fast, witty dialogue, strong women with goals, and quirky ensemble casts.

When not working or writing, she is a brown belt in judo, an avid reader, and an attending surgeon in stuffed animal veterinary medicine for her six kids. (No one trusts her husband's medical skills because he's just a lawyer.) You can follow her at or see her dance and make Grey's Anatomy jokes on TikTok at


The introductory, end, and bumper music for this podcast (“Laser Groove”) was composed and produced by Kevin MacLeod of and is Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0