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Dangerous Doctors Series

The SurrogateThe Surrogate is a medical thriller about a nurse that undergoes in vitro fertilization and then realizes that some of her eggs have been stolen. This sets off a dramatic chain of events. What was your inspiration for creating a medical thriller involving IVF?

IVF is an area that has a lot of mystique and attraction, especially to women. Some become either more concentrated or fixed on having a baby or obsessed with having a baby in some cases. It is also big business, which is not something that a lot of people are aware of. The potential for the problems described in The Surrogate definitely exists. And I didn’t even address issues with sex-selective abortion and selecting for certain characteristics such as intelligence, strength, attractiveness.

Through the story Marina is fighting against corporate greed. Do you think that corporate greed is prevalent in real world medicine?

Corporate greed is definitely present in real medicine, great examples are elective surgical procedures, IVF, cosmetic surgery, medication prices, and executive salaries at nonprofit hospitals.

In the book synopsis you state that IVF is in a ‘very corporate world’. Do you think there is anything in The Surrogate that can only happen in a story? Is there anything in your book that you think happens in real life?

While I cannot comment on what actually happens in real life, I can definitely say that the potential for much of the Surrogate exists in real life.

The Surrogate has many well developed characters. What was your favorite character to write for?

My favorite character is Marina because she is a prototype for many people that do work in healthcare field. She was the easiest to develope her complex characteristics and personality.

Book synopsis:

Marina Bonnaserra, a young administrative nurse realizes that her life as a SINK lacks any deeper meaning. Prodded on by a series of piercing comments, she considers having a child. Knowing that the only man in her life is non-committal, and against fatherhood, she explores in vitro fertilization. In the very corporate world of IVF, Marina is stimulated to produce eggs, rapidly assigned an anonymous sperm donor, and awaits implantation. She soon discovers that not all of her fertilized eggs can be accounted for, leading her to a desperate quest against corporate greed to locate her own missing “products of conception.” Can her one passion protect her from her one obsession?

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The Capabilities Of The Mind

Bloodbird is a futuristic novel that explores the possibilities of technological and medical advances. What is your experiences in these fields? Have you always been interested in science and medicine?

I have always been interested in science and medicine. As a practicing physician, I see medicine as it exists and can envision much of where it will be going. Transplant medicine is a very interesting field, with lots of hope for the future. Who knows what is not transplantable today will be done in the future. Certainly, none of the characters in BloodBird could envision the apparent ancillary, unintended and unanticipated transplant which seems to have occurred to Karolena, nor the rather weird transplant that Blutfink ended up getting in the ending. Did Blutfink get his wish granted? Only he will know.

BloodBird is an interesting look into where medical and technological research can expand. What is one medical advancement we have today that you only thought would be science fiction?

Computer chips that are implanted in the brain that are triggering movement of artificial limbs, and maybe facilitating sight.

There is a lot of time and care spent with descriptions and building the setting and tone of the story in Bloodbird. Was this out of necessity to develop the depth of the story or was it something that happened naturally as you were writing?

Both. I felt that the changes in transplant surgery, in medicine, and even in the basic fabric of society needed fleshing out for the reader to appreciate what the near future could bring, and what it would be like to actually live among Karolena and the other characters. Some things changed a lot, but others not at all.

Karolena develops an interesting ability to see events from the past and into the future. Why do you think this ability was important to tell the story? Was there any other abilities you might of used?

Karolena was loosing her sight, and the VAA area of the brain is actually involved in certain aspects of vision, so there is an element of medical plausibility here. Seeing out of the past or into the future is not currently associated medically with the physiologic function of the VAA or of any known function of a body structure, but there is much that we do now know about the capabilities of the mind. BTW, BloodBird was initially titled Second Sight.

Here is a question for YOU the readers. The author would like to ask whether any readers have speculated on the origin on the book’s title? Please post your responses in the comments section below.

Author Links: Amazon Author Page

Karolena Kreisler, a young German ex-pat surgeon in North Carolina, develops a worsening of her chronic liver disease, complicated by an unusual loss of vision. She elects to undergo an experimental transplant when a donor “miraculously” becomes available, which seems life and vision saving. Karolena soon develops an unusual ability to “see” events, past and future, and this haunting ability drives her to the truth behind certain high income business ventures at her hospital. The action takes place in the not too distant future, giving the reader a glimpse of what life, research and medicine could soon be like. This is futuristic medical fiction at its best, and will appeal to anyone who has contact with healthcare professionals. Nurses, office staff, paramedics, administrators, doctors and most of all patients will recognize all these characters, their bizarre actions and perhaps relate to their sometimes irrational, emotional behavior. You will be left wondering which parts are fiction, what actually occurred, and what the author left out.

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