Before we dive into the interview with Allen, here is short
introduction about the man and his book
New Medical Thriller Based
On Possible Cure for Alzheimer’s
“Dead End Deal is a medical thriller of the highest order, reviving the genre with a splendid mixture of innovation and cutting edge timeliness. Neurosurgeon Allen Wyler knows of what he speaks, and writes, and the result is a thriller that equals and updates the best of Robin Cook and Michael Crichton.”
--Jon Land, bestselling author of Strong at the Break
“The suspense builds and builds in this riveting page-turner. It’s a skillful merging of the medical thriller and political thriller…Tom Clancy meets Tess Gerritsen!”
--Kevin O’Brien, NY Times Bestselling Author of The Last Victim and Killing Spree
Astor + Blue Editions is proud to present, Dead End Deal [ISBN: 978-938231-14-8 (paperback); Fiction Thriller; US $12.95, CAN $13.95; 334 pages; Pub Date: January, 2013 (paperback)], the first of a series of stand-alone medical thrillers to be published by Allen Wyler. In the tradition of Robin Cook, Wyler weaves a fast paced action suspense plot centered on cutting edge medical techniques. In this case: A true to life, plausible cure for Alzheimer’s Disease.
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.
Dead End Deal is a fast paced, heart-pounding, and sophisticated thriller. Penned by master neurosurgeon, Allen Wyler—who often draws from experience, actual events and hot-button issues when writing—Dead End Deal is unmatched as a technical procedural. And yet, the technical expertise is seamlessly woven into a riveting plot, with enough action and surprises to engross even the most well-read thriller enthusiast. A smart, unique, page-turner, Dead End Deal delivers.
NOTE : Dead End Deal, along with Wyler's other e-books (Dead Ringer, Dead Wrong, Deadly Errors) will be on $0.99 promo through the month of October on Amazon and B&N (http://amzn.to/1pqgvjc) (http://bit.ly/1vTW83S).
Hope you all enjoy reading his books!
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.
He and his wife, Lily, divide their time between Seattle and the San Juan Islands.
Q: What inspired you to write Dead End Deal?
A: Good question. Like all my plots, the kernel came from a real life experience. At the time, I was working as the Chief Medical Officer for a start-up medical device company and was on a business trip to Seoul. As is often the case when traveling across numerous time changes, it was hard to sleep. At 2 am, while sitting at my hotel window looking at the lights of the city, I got to wondering how it might feel to be trapped in a foreign city without my passport, language fluency, or the means to escape. On top of that, what if I were accused of a felonious crime I hadn’t committed? What would I do? How would I manage to escape? The questions became so appealing, that I started hammering out a plot to encompass this situation. Because I love to put up roadblocks for my protagonist, the problem of how to reenter the United States without a passport became an interesting challenge. It was a fun book to write.
Q: How do you get your ideas for stories?
A: My ideas spring from various things that happen to me during a day. I can be doing just about anything and some small facet about it may spark an idea. More often than not, I mentally toss the idea around until it’s got so many holes in it that I reject it and move on. Rarely does an idea hold up to real scrutiny. But when it does, it’s one I believe I can work with. Cutter’s Trial, for example, is a non-thriller which will be released by Astor+Blue next year. It came from a malpractice suit against me years ago. It was, in fact, the basis for the first novel I ever wrote. My writing was so awful that I finally sent the manuscript straight to my computer’s recycle. But the idea stuck in the back of my mind and resurfaced every now and then. So once I’d honed my skills, I took another crack at it and believe it turned out much better. Or at least I hope it did. We’ll see.
Q: How does Alzheimer rank as one of the most pressing diseases in the 21st century? Why and if it goes unchecked how will it impact our society? (Is there any progress on finding a cure?)
A: 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. That’s a staggering number, but yet in the public consciousness, AD isn’t as widely considered (“top of mind”) as the dangerous killer that it is; not like say, cancer or heart failure. (AD is the sixth leading cause of death in the US).
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. It’s predicted that by 2020, thanks to drugs like Lipitor, mortality from heart disease and stroke will be way down, making Alzheimer’s the leading cause of death in our time. The personal consequences to individuals or families is devastating, but the general consequence to society as a whole is great as well. That’s because AD patients often live a long time, their care is very expensive and will become a major health issue (both in cost and quality of life) that our society will have to bear.
There is hope in some novel drugs to treat AD. Because the disease results from the build up 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.
Cures and treatments for diseases like AD are very expensive to develop, (millions upon tens of millions of dollars of R&D) with the resulting payoff even greater (billions of dollars of revenue for the “drug” or the “procedure”) often creating entire new branches of medicine, with thousands upon thousands of new jobs. This 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.
Q: Where do you write?
A: I tend to lead a very disciplined life, which, I guess is a deeply engrained work ethic holdover from medical school, residency, and the practice of neurosurgery. A brain surgeon can’t decide to wander into the operating room an hour late or break from sterile technique, or not make rounds on post-op patients. I carry this regimentation over to my writing life. Being a morning person, I sit down at my computer each morning, seven days a weeks, to write. Some days I’m productive. Some days I’m not. But I always do some writing. It’s the only way I can get the first draft, which for me, is the most difficult. I don’t have a set amount of time to write, and when I’m done for the day, I know it.
Q: Is there something you need in order to write, such as music?
A: I prefer working in silence without distractions. Most often with a cup of coffee next to me. I tend to limit distractions because I know I am easily lured away from the task at hand. Funny, but when in the operating room, I usually had music going. I get asked how that could be. Well, unless I was dealing with an unforeseen complication, surgery was mostly manual dexterity task, so the music cut the drama. In contrast, for me at least, writing requires more concentration to be creative. Especially on the first draft. How should my character react? What would he say? Might sound paradoxical but when starting, say a brain tumor, I where I should end up and how to get there. When writing, such clarity isn’t always the case.
Q: Authors you admire
A: For thriller and mysteries the authors I admire most are: John Sandford, Michael Connelly, Robert Crais, Stephen King, and Dennis Lehane. I also read a ton of non-fiction and for that I admire any author who can make a dry subject interesting. I read constantly.