Monday, March 15, 2010
Interview with author D. W. Hardin and GIVEAWAY!
Welcome Doug & thanks for agreeing to do this interview.
First off, tell us a bit about yourself and your book “Hidden and Imminent Dangers”.
Later in life, I decided to follow two life long dreams – medicine and law enforcement. At first blush, they appear to be at opposite ends of the spectrum, but they have the same common goals of saving life and minimizing human suffering although the approach is somewhat different at times. In nursing, I gravitated to the trauma area because of the fast pace and action. Seconds can count in saving a life or curtailing the lasting effects of an injury. I worked in a university teaching hospital in the ER. Teaching hospitals stay on the cutting edge of technology. The hospital would take any patient without regard to the monetary aspect which fit with my philosophy.
“Hidden and Imminent Dangers” is meant to entertain readers plus give them “something” to take with them besides a good story. They will learn something about the stresses that first responders have on a daily tour of duty. Also, they will learn how the health care system functions. I want the reader to pause and think about the healthcare system as a whole. What would happen if a virulent pandemic developed? Finally, there is a very subtle subplot with apocalyptic characters. Perhaps the reader will ponder the spirituality of humanity.
How did you become interested in writing a book and why did you choose to write about a global pandemic?
I have always wanted to write, but I never followed through. Finally, I matured enough to regiment myself and write a novel. Louisville has a large population of immigrants from many countries. The hospital saw new forms of TB which were difficult to treat. Plus, the immigrants seem to often move without leaving a forwarding address which made it nearly impossible to complete the full regiment of treatment so that the disease was not cured nor in remission. I have an interest in epidemiology and read extensively about the 1918 pandemic. H1N1 was getting a lot of publicity which tweaked my curiosity. Also, there has been so much concern about our health care system in the news. Putting these factors together, I came to the conclusion that the medical community and other agencies would have a most difficult time stopping a pandemic. To stop a pandemic, all parts of the system have to be proactive and not reactive. I don’t see this happening in today’s setting. Thus, “Hidden and Imminent Dangers” was written.
How did your work experiences help you write “Hidden and Imminent Dangers”?
The technical information comes from my training. There are a lot of misconceptions about the medical field. Do we actually “save” lives? Medical people do the best they can with what technology they have to work with. I have seen people die who should have lived, and people lived who I thought would have died. On a personal note, I had nightmares when I first started working in the ER. I kept thinking, “Was there something else I could have done?” You would be surprised how common this is among medical personnel. Nobody ever wants to lose a patient! The doctors and nurses work as a team experiencing a wide range of emotions. It is very hard keeping these emotions in perspective when a human life is involved. With the long shifts, you are often with your coworkers more than your family. I went to Louisiana with the sheriff’s Rapid Response Team after Katrina. People were devastated, and it took a toll on the first responders. I wanted people to feel the great swings of emotion that first a responder experiences. There is always some of the author in every novel whether real or fictional.
How long did the writing process take? Least favorite? Any writing schedule?
With research (Author note: There was extensive research before I actually started writing.), it took 18 months. In agreement with my wife, Carmen, I left the hospital to write this novel. I would work from 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 or 3:00 p.m. five or six days a week. Some days produced more than other days. I usually was fried by the time I quite writing.
My least favorite part is the first two chapters of the novel. There was so much technical information to lay the foundation for the rest of the story. I was concerned about information overload and losing the reader. You would not believe how much technical stuff was edited from the manuscript. (Author note: Nurses are healthcare teachers. I had a difficult time getting it out of my system.)
My favorite part is the “bad” guys getting their just rewards. I need not say more…
Do you have any tips for aspiring writers out there?
Accept constructive criticism. It doesn’t mean you have to follow it, but you should give it some consideration. It may improve you work. Failure is not being rejected. Failure is giving up on yourself as a writer. In other words, “keep on trucking.”
While reading the book, I kept thinking: “Wow this would be such a great movie.” So, if your book were to be made into a movie, who would you see playing Mac and Dr. Marcus?
Mac: Matt Damon
Dr. Marcus: Keira Knightley
Dr. Zinsky: Sam Watterson
President Torres: James Earl Jones
Now the giveaway details:
Doug has offered to give one signed copy of his book each week for five weeks. Yes, you heard right: they will be FIVE winners. The first winner will randomly be selected on March 22nd, the second one on March 29th, the third one on April 5th, the fourth one on April 12th and the last winner on April 19th. The contest is international.
Here’s what you need to do:
Leave a comment on this post with a way for me to contact you if you win.
+3 Blog follower
+3 Tweet about the giveaway and/or blog about it
+2 Follow me on Twitter
+2 Follow Doug on Twitter @glimmerghost
+1 Leave a comment on the review
+1 Add up your entries
Good luck everyone!