Last week I was contacted by the publishers of Dead End Deal by Allen Wyler for a review. Now as I’ve mentioned previously my eyes do not like reading large amounts of text on a screen, which is such a shame as I was given a Kindle for my birthday! So unable to review the book, but intrigued by its premise I asked for details on the book and asked if they would be interested in having an author spotlight (my first) on booksandbrooches. Very excitingly they said yes! So Allen Wyler take it away!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Allen Wyler is a renowned neurosurgeon who earned an international reputation for pioneering surgical techniques to record brain activity. He has served on the faculties of both the University of Washington and the University of Tennessee, and in 1992 was recruited by the prestigious Swedish Medical Center to develop a neuroscience institute.
In 2002, he left active practice to become Medical Director for a startup med-tech company (that went public in 2006) and he now chairs the Institutional Review Board of a major medical center in the Pacific Northwest.
Leveraging a love for thrillers since the early 70’s, Wyler devoted himself to fiction writing in earnest, eventually serving as Vice President of the International Thriller Writers organization for several years. After publishing his first two medical thrillers Deadly Errors (2005) and Dead Head (2007), he officially retired from medicine to devote himself to writing full time.
What is Dead End Deal about?
World renowned neurosurgeon Jon Ritter is on the verge of a medical breakthrough that will change the world. His groundbreaking surgical treatment, using transplanted non-human stem cells, is set to eradicate the scourge of Alzheimer’s disease and give hope to millions. But a radical anti-abortion group resorts to violence to stop it. Faced with a dangerous reality but determined to succeed, Ritter turns to his long-time colleague, corporate biotech CEO Richard Stillman, for help. Together, they conspire to conduct a clandestine clinical trial in Seoul, Korea. But the danger is more determined, and more lethal, than Ritter could have imagined.
After successful surgical trials, Ritter and his allies are thrown into a horrifying nightmare scenario: The trial patients have been murdered and Ritter is the number one suspect. Aided by his beautiful lab assistant, Yeonhee, Ritter flees the country, now the target of an international manhunt involving Interpol, the FBI, zealous fanatics and a coldly efficient assassin named Feist.
WHAT MADE YOU TAKE THE PATH FROM NEUROSURGEON TO AUTHOR AND WHAT WERE YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGES?
Writing always interested me. Even in grade school I read like a fiend. So it seemed like a good idea to major in English instead of the traditional chemistry or zoology when I was taking my pre-med courses. This caused me considerable grief because it was difficult to get in all my required credits. But I figured once I got into medical school I’d never have another shot at the literature courses. And that’s exactly what happened —medical school and post graduate training consumed all my time.
Then one Saturday, after starting practice, I came home from making rounds at the hospital and decided to start writing. Just like that. I began a novel that ended up being really awful. Then I wrote another one, which was better but still not ready for prime time. At that point I started trolling for an agent and finally secured one, but could not sell my work.
Years later, I got the call I’d been waiting for. It was quite a thrill. I guess, in the end, my biggest challenge was finding enough time to devote to writing. For me the writing process is difficult and requires a ton of work. I now enjoy the luxury of having sufficient time to work on my craft. It’s a dream come true.
HOW DOES ALZHEIMERS RANK AS ONE OF THE MOST PRESSING DISEASES IN THE 21ST CENTURY?
Chances are you know someone among who either has Alzheimer’s Disease or is directly connected—by relation or care—to someone who has it. As of this year an estimated 5.4 million Americans are living with AD. That translates to roughly one in eight older Americans.
The fact is, neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease are becoming more prevalent as the average life span of individuals increase and the more common health care problems ARE better treated.
There is hope in some novel drugs to treat AD. Because the disease results from the buildup of Amyloid in nerve cells, a promising approach is to block the production of this protein. In addition, there is intriguing research into the concept of surgically implanting stem cells into especially damaged brain areas. This possible cure is a central element that I used in the plot for my new novel, Dead End Deal.
The high risk / high reward fact of life for medical researchers and practitioners like me is a natural stage for heroes, villains and high-stakes drama. I try to capture that in my Thrillers, but the true high-stakes drama on the medical treatment/development stage is much more exciting than any fiction; the heroes are by far much more worthy of praise (though they often go unnoticed). I like to see my books as homage to them, at least in some small way.
WHAT WAS THE RESEARCH BEHIND DEAD END DEAL?
This is a blitz-pace thriller about a Seattle neurosurgeon who, while in Korea, is framed for a murder. Now hunted by police he must evade a professional hit man while trying to find a way back to the United States.
I got the idea for the story when I was a guest lecturer at a medical school in Seoul, South Korea. I was staying at the Walker Hill Sheraton hotel across the Han River from the hospital. So all the scenes were from notes and snapshots I took while there. The brief description of the surgical procedure comes from my own experience.
My neurosurgeon protagonist, Jon Ritter, escapes via a route I personally took when figuring out how he might return to the United States without a passport. So, the short answer to the question is that all the research for the story came from personal experience. By the way, I find digital photography a great help when writing. I view a relevant snapshot on the screen as I write. This help me accurately describe what I’m seeing.
WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES OF WRITING A MEDICAL THRILLER?
People who read medical thrillers are usually interested in medical details, just as readers of legal thrillers find law interesting. What is difficult is adding sufficient medical detail to satisfy a reader without making descriptions or facts boring. This is one reason I try to move my stories along at a fast clip. Thrillers are intended to thrill, not lecture. Fast pace, good plot, interesting characters are the elements that should be in a medical thriller.
If you fancy a copy click here: http://bit.ly/1vTW83S
This was the first of my author interviews and hopefully the beginning of many different blogging experiences. What did you think? Any improvements for next time?
Thank you for reading