Brentwood doctors first book combines history and imagination
By Carole Robinson, Staff Writer
By day, Brentwood resident, Dr. Paul Parsons’ is a well-known Nashville orthopedic surgeon, but when he’s not repairing bones, joints, muscles and nerves he’s writing books and with the publishing of his first book, “Baden-Powell’s Beads,” he is now an author and an innovative self-promoter.
An avid reader and lover of history, Parsons combined both history and imagination along with a little personal experience to create “Baden-Powell’s Beads,” a historical fiction. To promote the book, he used a novel approach – the big screen and a book trailer of a different kind.
“I’ve seen trailers of books with authors telling about the book, but I’ve not seen anyone take the book and create scenes,” Parsons said. With the help of Franklin-based Sketch Creative, Parsons found a way to both debut his book and get his name out to thousands of people.
Dramatic music, harsh narration and a whispered request from a dying man, the trailer hooks movie-goers in all 20 Thoroughbred theaters on the story before they realize it’s a book and not a new movie release. Thoroughbred was Parsons first test of his idea. If it is a success, the trailer may be seen in theaters across the country.
Using sage advise from authors in the know, Parsons, a former Boy Scout, used what was familiar. He began his series in Memphis where he spent three years in medical school and three years in orthopedic training.
The son of a military man, he traveled the world. Other books in the series will take readers to London, Ethiopia and Israel unraveling a mystery which began when Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of the Boy Scouts, found Zulu beads on a battlefield during the second Boer War in 1888 and later incorporated them into Boy Scout tradition as the Wood Badge.
Borrowing from James Michener’s penchant to combine fact and fiction, Parsons uses history to tell his story and make it fun. He also added a fact or fiction page at the end for readers to discern the real from the pretend.
“My goal with historical fiction is to have fun,” Parsons said. “The mystery evolves through a four-book series. It was meant to be one book, but didn’t end up that way – there was too much to tell.”
When Dr. David Freeman, an orthopedic resident and former Boy Scout in The River City, tries to help a dying man he finds in an alley the man gives the young surgeon a wooden bead.
The bead appears to have mystical powers and Freeman is soon pursued by a band of Zulus intent on his murder and suspected of three murders in England.
A tip from an Israeli agent about suspected South African terrorists in Memphis sends Freeman’s college roommate, now a Homeland Security agent, Patrick Dartson and his partner Adnan Fazeph to Memphis to question Freeman about the man in the alley who died in his arms.
“I wanted to do a duo – like the characters in “Man from Uncle” and the “Wild, Wild West,” with a strong supporting cast,” Parsons said.
The supporting cast includes Freeman and his girlfriend Pam, a strong-willed, no-nonsense nurse.
A kidnapping, thuggish behavior, several murder attempts and a love story added to the mix makes will take the reader on a journey of fact and fiction.
“I wrote from the readers’ perspective,” Parsons said. “I watched writers evolve – from [James] Michener to [Stephen] King and I learned from my own reading what’s not good. Then I got lucky when I started writing. I was introduced to two guys who knew how to write. They taught me what was good and what was bad and make sure at the end of each chapter the reader has to turn the page.”
Baden-Powell’s Beads may be found at Barnes & Nobles Book Stores and Amazon.com. Online it can also be ordered as an e-book for Kindle or Nook.
Book two in the series will be out in mid-March.
Posted on: 1/7/2013