Medical Thriller

Desperate researchers resort to unethical means

to fight a uniquely virulent plague.

Available from your local bookstore via Ingram Spark.

ISBN 978-0997299328

Stacy Romani becomes titular head of a Gypsy clan when her parents take ill and die. She moves in with her uncle at the clan factory in upstate New York, where they make both legitimate chemicals and street drugs. Historically persecuted, the clan makes money to ensure their security. Stacy grows up fast, loving the chemistry and hating what her relatives do with it. But family loyalty trumps principle, so she betrays the outside world through silence. She leaves home and buries herself in biochemistry, furious that people know so little about medicine after studying it for thousands of years.

Aatos Pires grows up wanting to cure animals, but gets seduced by gold. He joins a rich bioengineering firm and invents equipment that is not so much cutting-edge as tip-of-the-spear. Trinity, the owner’s disaffected daughter, falls in with an eco-extremist doomsday cult out to “cleanse the world, let God start over.” She uses Aatos’ equipment to genetically engineer a virus more complex and subtle than anything seen before.

Trinity’s plague takes off, deadlier than AIDS and faster than flu. The death toll goes exponential. Survival rate: zero. Aatos panics. Trinity used his gear, so police think he’s responsible. But he’s the only one who understands the technology to craft a remedy. He recruits Stacy, now a world-class immunologist, and she takes the lead in a desperate plan—use Aatos’ computational chemistry to craft their own virus to infect the world, modify the human immune system, and destroy the plague.

It looks fine on paper.

A comedic concatenation of 25 skits, short stories, and ballads (solid meter, strict rhyme, and no redeeming social value; do not confuse this with “poetry” [heh, heh]). A little fantasy, a dash of SciFi, and most all of it quite off-the-wall. And the title piece? A full-length screenplay, because, well, it’s about time someone told the truth about Robin Hood.

Killer Nashville Writers Conference “Silver Falchion” winner for Best Anthology (2017)!

Samples, anyone? OK, I recorded the ballads during the August 21, 2017 eclipse. Only got to 0.997 here, so not totally dark, but pretty dim. And “dim” may be semi-accurate for these ballads. Youtube links below. (Last is my favorite. Got photobombed by a cardinal near the end.) Enjoy!

O’Connor’s Last Quest

The Wicked Witch of the Yeast

The Pirate Ballerina

Dead Man Malone

O’Connor’s Third Quest, Not Counting the Two He Didn’t Finish

Now out — Available for order at local bookstores or from Amazon.

Other stuff? Finished RIPPLE IN THE SEA, a young adult historical. Horrified over her mother’s treason, desperate to redeem her family’s honor, a Japanese-American girl infiltrates a WWII Japanese prisoner-of-war camp to free victims of medical experiments. (That’s the plan, anyway.) Shopping it around for a while yet.

Other Publications:

New: mini-memoir of my time working backstage with the Fairfax Ballet in northern Virginia. Hilarious, so I’m told. Volume 2.1 of the Ocotillo Review, and editor’s choice in the “truth” (non-fiction) category of the anthology, on page 45: “Cultural Descent” http://www.kallistogaiapress.org/shop/

“Interview With a Biochemist” in The Leading Edge (science fiction and fantasy magazine, Issue 22, Fall 1990)
“O’Connor’s Last Quest” in Figment (science fiction and fantasy magazine, #11, Fall 1992)
“Shame” in “Towers of Darkover” anthology (edited by Marion Zimmer Bradley)
“The Stratmoor Bear” in “Sword and Sorceress XI” anthology (edited by Marion Zimmer Bradley)

The latter two have been translated and reprinted in Germany, Italy, and France, so I’ve written stuff I can no longer read. Ha!

Notable mentions:

Several screenplays have done well in various contests, from honorable mention to quarterfinalist status (and grand prize in one tiny contest). In fact, both SCOURGE and Part I of RIPPLE IN THE SEA were first drafted as screenplays. If you’re a writer, this is great training for “show, don’t tell.”

And then, like all writers, there are other things in the drawer. Or on a memory stick. Let’s get with the times, people.  😉