by Crystal O’Gorman
CHARLOTTE – Kimmery Martin has been an emergency room doctor for 10 years. She loves helping people, but she’s also long held a deep desire for writing.
During the last five years, when she wasn’t saving lives, parenting her three children or reading and reviewing books on her website, www.kimmerymartin.com, she was working on her first novel.
“The Queen of Hearts,” a contemporary women’s fiction that explores the lives of two women who are best friends that practice medicine while raising families, comes out on Feb. 13. The novel is set in Charlotte and Louisville, Kentucky and focuses on friendship, family, med school life, upper-class suburban culture, long-held secrets and the challenges faced by women working in medicine.
The novel has been compared to “Grey’s Anatomy” based on the way medical traumas and emergencies both affect the women’s professional and personal lives. It’s also been compared to novel-turned-HBO-hit-drama “Big Little Lies,” because of the level of suspense and humor it carries throughout the book.
Martin said she felt compelled to write this book, because it felt familiar to her.
“You write what you know … truism debt,” she said jokingly.
She uses her medical knowledge and experiences in the ER and medical school for inspiration; however, she warns that real life isn’t as juicy as the novel. Hence, it’s fiction.
However, the city is a big part of the story. Charlotte fills the pages of this novel. Martin pays homage to her Eastover neighborhood as well as Myers Park in the book. Readers will also find landmarks like the Mint Museum and the Epicentre in this story.
Martin continues to make Charlotte front and center by kicking off her book tour with a book signing and wine and cheese party at the Morrison Regional Library at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 13. On Feb. 22, she will be back in Davidson at Main Street Books for a book signing event at noon. Tickets must be purchased for the latter event on their website.
The book immerses the reader into the calamities of raising children with wit and humor interspersed with the dangerous realities of life and death faced by doctors every day. Martin admits her life was just as intense at times, but there was an adrenaline rush that comes along with it.
Something different yet similar is what she gets from writing.
“Both are empowering experiences, but writing can be isolating at times,” she said. “I miss seeing people in person, but I’m grateful to have an amazing community of online writers and readers.”
While the ER still holds a special place in her heart, she decided to step out of the hospital and into her writing career. She said it’s scary but also exhilarating.
“Both are incredibly rewarding and draining in different ways,” she said, “Reinvention is important, especially being a mother and having older kids now and having the ability to change and grow into a new part of myself. I feel fortunate that I have the ability to reinvent myself.”
Martin is working on her next novel, a spin-off from “The Queen of Hearts” about a minor character named Georgia. She may also have a bio-tech thriller on the backburner.