Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
It was a pleasure meeting you at the San Francisco Writers Conference. Per your request, I am writing you about my novel, DOUBLE-BLIND, a thriller about an FDA inspector who travels to Mexico City to investigate a fraudulent drug trial. The highlighted disease is lupus, an autoimmune disorder that affects over one million people in the United States alone. Ninety percent of lupus patients are women, which presents a unique marketing opportunity for this book. As Ian McEwan said in this week’s New Yorker, “when women stop reading, the novel will be dead.”
I've worked in the biotech industry for over a decade, and a year ago I quit my day job to write full time. One look at a major newspaper will tell you that biotech, clinical trials, and the FDA are increasingly in the spotlight. Yet, these subjects are underrepresented in fiction. DOUBLE-BLIND introduces readers to this world, but in palatable doses: the novel is, at its heart, a page-turner, a love story, and a portrait of a man ascending from a pit of grief.
Ethan Cole left medical practice for a job with the FDA after his wife, Sarah, died of lupus. A stoic, 35-year-old physician, Ethan isn't well-equipped to deal with the loss of his wife. On the first anniversary of Sarah's death, the FDA sends Ethan to Mexico City to investigate a doctor who's testing an experimental lupus drug.
Walter Grenon is a 58-year-old biotech CEO whose obsessive-compulsive disorder has recently flared out of control. When he discovers that his company’s new lupus drug doesn't work, he hatches a plan to manipulate the drug's clinical trial to guarantee positive results. He employs Felix Torres, a charismatic rheumatologist in Mexico City, to carry out the plan.
While investigating Dr. Torres, Ethan has to review graphic descriptions of lupus patients, and persistent memories of his wife threaten to derail his investigation. Then he meets a beautiful nursing student named Carmen, who turns out to be the whistleblower who tipped off the FDA. He doesn't know if he can trust her, but as they work together, he feels a growing connection to her—a connection he's not ready to acknowledge.
As Ethan unravels the medical fraud, he discovers that Dr. Torres is substituting a malicious drug for placebo—and patients are dying. He soon realizes that the biomedical fraud extends beyond Mexico's borders, and his own wife's hasty death may have been due to more than just lupus.
Your list of clients is very impressive. It would be an honor to work with you on this project. My novel is 65,000 words and fully complete. May I send you a copy of the manuscript?
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
I officially changed by blog description to "On quitting my day job to write for a year, and then going back to my day job while still trying to write." I can't deny it any longer: I'm back to working full time, and I can only find a few hours to write each week. When I do find some time, I need about half of it just to decompress to the point where I can focus enough to write anything worthwhile. That's what I miss most, I think -- the quiet time just before the good writing comes. When I used to have the time to leisurely walk Chester to the park, instead of the way it is now, where I follow nervously behind him, focusing on his butt and willing something to come out of it, so I can go back inside and quickly get ready for work.
- People who wear bike jerseys into breakfast cafes. It's bad enough that I'm hungover and you're not, but do you have to rub it in by wearing a bright yellow jersey?
- People who move their cars only once per week -- during street cleaning. Then they are somehow able to move their cars back into exactly the same spot. This is usually confounded by the person having a really conspicuous, annoying car so you KNOW it's the same one.
- People who cross in the middle of the street and then look annoyed because YOU didn't slow down. In some countries, buddy, drivers speed up when they see someone in the street.
- People who run through Golden Gate Park with water bottles in their hands. Come on, it's 53 degrees outside and you're only running for 20 minutes. You can make it.
- People who have those built in poop-bag dispensers on their dogs' leashes. I mean, who's that put together?
- People who give you an evil stare because you stopped your car in the middle of a crosswalk. Hey, I know where my tires are -- at least I stopped. When this happens to me I usually pretend like I'm talking on my phone -- but now I get a double-stare for talking on my phone while stopped in a crosswalk.
- Cab drivers who turn on their "for hire" light when they're clearly not for hire. Did all the drivers get together one day and decide this would be funny?
- When a bus doesn't come for 45 minutes and then three pull up in a row.
- When you miss a turn and can't turn left again until you hit the ocean.
- Emeryville. I know, it's not technically in the city of SF, but seriously -- are ALL those people going to Ikea?
What annoys you about SF?