This week, just in time for Halloween, are a couple of novels to scare the socks off you. I’m pleased to host medical mystery author, J. L. Greger.
J. L. Greger, as a biologist and professor emerita of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, enjoys putting tidbits of science into mystery/suspense novels. You can learn more about JL Greger and her dog Bug at her website: www.jlgreger.com and blog: http://jlgregerblog.blogspot.com.
Authors are frequently asked where they get ideas for their novels. My answer is I look at a real situation or location and ask, what if?
Scary because it could happen. A flu virus killed 3% of the world’s population between 1918 and 1920. I often read in scientific journals about the new flu viruses In my novel Coming Flu, I asked what if a new lethal flu virus struck before scientists had developed vaccines against it and public health workers in an effort to isolate one community, the epicenter of the flu epidemic, declared a quarantine. What would happen in the community?
In Coming Flu, you’ll see Sara Almquist, the epidemiologist, turns up not only clues for controlling the spread of the flu, but also ugly secrets about her neighbors that lead to violence and murder. Hint: Breaking Bad isn’t the only story set in the Albuquerque area with middle class drug lords.
Some locations breed excitement. A few years ago, I climbed across the roof of Iglesia de San Francisco in La Paz, Bolivia and looked down on the Witches’ Market. I thought of so many “what if” questions as I compared the chaotic, colorful scene below with the cemetery-like roof. Then too, the ghastly mine conditions in Potosi, the prevalence of coca everywhere, and the lurid stories from San Pedro Prison presented me with more scary questions about Bolivia.
In Ignore the Pain, Sara Almquist couldn’t say no when she was invited to be the epidemiologist on a public health mission to Bolivia. Soon she finds dangers lurk around every corner of the Witches’ Market and churches of La Paz as someone from her past pursues her. Unfortunately, she can’t decide which of her new colleagues to trust as she learns more about coca production, the god Tio of the silver mines of Potosí, and Bolivian politicians than she ever wanted to know.
What if you take time to read Coming Flu and Ignore the Pain? You might learn a bit of science as well as enjoy Sara’s adventures. Don’t worry if you’re not science oriented, the science is sugar coated, maybe it should be coca coated.