What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write Perilous Obsession?
My novels are based on my prior professional life as an academic scientist, which spanned some 40 years doing cancer researcher and teaching at Harvard Medical School and Boston University, as well as serving in administrative positions as department chair and dean. As a result, I’ve dealt with a lot of the inner workings of academic politics and universities, and that’s provided a host of material to write about.
Contrary to what many people think, the lives of scientists are not calm and rational, but are often filled with conflict and drama. Rather than fitting the common expectation of being dispassionate observers and seekers of the truth, the reality is that academic scientists are under highly competitive pressures, are sometimes extremely ambitious, and are always just as human as people in any other professions–with all the flaws that implies.
I’ve seen lots more cases of misconduct over the years than anyone would want to deal with, and those have become the starting points for my novels. Which then depart from real life to become murder mysteries. Or at least I think the lethal turns in my books are departures from real life!
What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?
Thrillers, especially medical thrillers, are my favorites. And yes, that’s the same genre that I write.
What books are on your TBR pile right now?
The first is Robert Parker’s Fallout by Mike Lucia. Second is Lisa Gardner’s The Next Accident. And then, Freida McFadden’s Never Lie. All among my favorite authors!
What scene in your book was your favorite to write?
That’s a tough one. But I think my favorite is a scene in chapter 37, where Brad finally figures out what’s going on.
Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)
Not really. As long as my dog’s in the room with me, I’m happy.
Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?
I try to remember my grandmother’s favorite slogan. “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.”
If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?
That scientists and physicians are just as human and flawed as people in any other profession.
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