What’s in a name? The Tide: Deadrise

Let’s be honest. Deadrise is the perfect name for a zombie-esque apocalyptic novel. Now in The Tide the dead aren’t being reanimated like your typical Zed fest. Still it’s a damn cool name, and I love it, but there’s something more to the name than a simple reference to reanimated corpses.


As some of you know, I spent the better part of five years living and working in Maryland a short drive away from the Chesapeake Bay. The Bay is a wonderful ecological and historical part of the United States. I’ve visited Fort McHenry which played a famous role in the Battle of Baltimore. Francis Scott Key wrote “The Star Spangled Banner” about the flag whipping in the wind over the Chesapeak Bay fort.The bay itself connects over a hundred rivers and streams, and it contains a host of wildlife that rely on the habitats within it and surrounding it. I love driving over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge going from Annapolis toward the Eastern Shore of Maryland and passing over Kent Island. You’ve no doubt gotten a taste of these places in The Tide. So what does this have to do with Deadrise?


A significant portion of the story takes place in and around the bay, of course. And Deadrise is a sort of homage to the Chesapeake Bay deadrise, which is a fishing boat historically used in the Bay. Fishermen used (and still use) the crafts for everything from fishing to crabbing and oystering (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chesapeake_Bay_deadrise). You can read more about the boats on the Wikipedia page, along with a brief explanation of the nautical denotation of “deadrise.”


So there you have it. A name layered like an onion, fitting for The Tide. Multiple significant meanings related to The Tide. Most importantly, though, is the question: Will the Hunters rise from the dead and take what is rightfully theirs?

The Tide: Apocalypse and Biology

The Tide

The Tide

The Tide rolled in this week, and I couldn’t be happier with its reception. As of writing this, it has topped out at #1 in the Horror category on Amazon and #2 in Medical Thrillers. It was a blast to write, and I can’t wait to get the next book in the series out there. Currently, The Tide: Breakwater is set to release by December 28, 2015. If all goes well, it may even be out earlier…Tide 3 is already in the works, too! It’s going to be a Skull-filled, apocalyptic season for my writing over the next couple of months.

You can pick it up here on Amazon.


If you haven’t read the book yet, this gives away some of the components of the nefarious Oni Agent featured in the book.

My initial idea for the bioweapon came from my interest in nanotechnology. Through my research in biomedical engineering, I’ve worked with nanoparticles before and the idea that something so tiny can have a huge impact on a living organism as large as a human really sparked something for me. And while nanoparticles are cool, I thought there must be something even cooler on the nano-scale. Somehow, through a bit of Google-Fu, I came across the concept of nanobacteria. I thought this sounded funky enough. Plus, there’s quite a bit of debate over whether or not these things even exist since they’re much smaller than the normally accepted size for a living organism. Interestingly, these little guys have been suspected of causing things like kidney stones by secreting calcium apatite (a major component of bone). So I thought, “Hey, maybe someone engineered a particularly nasty brand of nanobacteria that does more than just make kidney stones…” (I mean,heck, kidney stones are pretty bad as it is, so this must have been a truly evil person, right?)

You might’ve noticed in the book that Dr. Lauren Winters mentioned an NIH study on chelation treatment. That study, too, is real. Now the NIH study doesn’t mention nanobacterium per say, but I thought such a treatment might be useful for Skulls given the chelation treatment the NIH study examined was implied to have reduce the deleterious effects of calcified tissues in the cardiovascular system. Boom,we have our treatment for knocking out those nasty nanobacterium.

Anyway, that’s just a small behind the scenes look at one of the scientific aspects of the book. I love doing this type of research and mixing in a bit of fact with fiction to give us a more believable zombie-esque monster. Hope you enjoyed it, too!

Thanks for reading!

When Dogs Remind You About Being Human: Writing and The Healer with Christoph Fischer

Author Picture CFF Finland flag

Christoph Fischer

Covering topics ranging from civil war in Finland to Alzheimer’s, if there is a common thread in Chrisoph Fischer’s contemporary and historical books, it’s the personal journeys and battles his characters face. They might be confronted by an epic world-changing event (like World War 2) or an event that disrupts their personal world (like a pancreatic cancer diagnosis). So while these seemingly insurmountable odds might at first seem rather grim, Fischer does a fine job of painting people’s discovery of love, life, happiness, and, dare I say it, a little magic in their worlds. Since I’m biomedical guy, I focused on one of Christoph’s latest books, The Healer. It follows an advertising exec faced with her mortality when she’s diagnosed with pancreatic cancers. She’s ready to try everything and ventures out into the world of medicine, both Western and alternative, in search of a new chance at life. Powerful story, great characters, and wonderful  writing, I highly recommend it. On a side note, one of Christoph’s other books, The Luck of the Weissensteiners will be available in a multi-author book bundle called At Odds with Destiny. Definitely worth the admission price of $0.99. If you’re interested in checking out any of his other titles or want to know more about Christoph, check out his personal websitehttp://www.christophfischerbooks.com/


The God Organ is here!

Who wouldn’t want an artificial organ that keeps cancer at bay, helps prevent illnesses like the flu, cures genetic diseases, and best of all, prevents wrinkles? I can’t imagine many of us would turn our nose up at that offer–I’d have a hard time declining.

A similar question was first posed to me by a professor back when I was attending the University of Iowa. This professor hosted an outstanding class examining the implications of the Technological Singularity. The idea of a technological singularity spawned from the persistent acceleration of technology. Experts like Vernor Vinge and Ray Kurzweil propose that artificial intelligence will at some point, due to our scientific innovation, become self-aware. At that time, this superintelligence will take on a life of its own that cannot be restrained by the mere intelligence of human beings.

In the biotech world, such a monumental event would take place when we unlock the keys to anti-aging, self-preservation, and, essentially, biological immortality. But who would have access to such technologies? Who could afford it? Even it was just a device or set of treatments that kept your heart thumping for another couple hundred years, how would that alter the economy if people choose not to–or cannot–retire? What about family life? Great-great-great grandma and grandpa might keep having babies if they look and feel like they’re still in their thirties.

The God Organ isn’t an attempt to answer these questions but it was inspired by thinking about these predicaments. I wanted to explore the lives of a few characters living on the brink of this biotechnological revolution and how they’re interacting with a world that’s on the edge of drastic change. This book has been in the making for a two and a half years. I’m proud to announce it’s finally out in the world.

You can pick a copy of The God Organ up here on Amazon. Thanks!



Environmental Disaster, Aliens, and War: It’s the End of the World with Nicholas Sansbury Smith

Human beings have worked for centuries to build societies rich with culture, technology, and infrastructure. And as much as we strive for these ideals, we’re fascinated by the idea of watching it all blow up in our faces. I admit I’m a sucker for a good apocalypse novel and came across Orbs: A Science Fiction Thriller by Nicholas Sansbury Smith. In the book, Smith explores a cataclysmic solar storm coupled with a violent alien invasion. To make matters worse, the aliens are harvesting Earth’s water, leaving little for the meager number of surviving humans to subsist on. This best-selling story of Dr. Sophie Winston and her team’s struggles to save humanity continues in Orbs II: Stranded. Even more exciting than the apocalypse, Smith hails from my alma mater, the University of Iowa, where he took part in the hot-bed of literary culture that has spawned the career of many fantastic authors. I couldn’t wait to pick his brain on Iowa, aliens, and the apocalypse. Check out the interview below!


Combining Genetics, Photography, and the Power of Smell: E.E. Giorgi Answers Her Muse

I’m not a huge traditional detective mystery reader. I’ve never read many hard-boiled or police procedural novels. But then this book, Chimeras, caught my eye. E.E. Giorgi, a scientist, writer, and photographer, managed to combine elements of science fiction and detective stories into a captivating novel that will titillate the senses. Seriously. I’ve never read a novel that evoked so many different olfactory responses. But it all makes perfect sense when you dive into epigenetically-altered Track Persius and his predatory instincts as a detective. It’s also one of the reasons E.E. Giorgi’s Chimeras just became a Reader’s Favorite Book  Award  Finalist. You’ve got to at least check out the blurb and give the book a spin for yourself. E.E. combines genetics, biotechnology, and mystery into a single package that reads like a sensory roller coaster. And, if that’s not enough, you can get a taste of here fantastic photography here: http://elenaedi.smugmug.com/  For more talk on books, science, and everything-in-between, take a peek at her blog: http://chimerasthebooks.blogspot.com/ If you don’t get too distracted by those awesome sites, E.E. answered a couple of questions regarding her scientific and artistic endeavors. Check it out!


From Automotive Engineering to World Building: Mark E. Cooper

This past week, I had the opportunity to interview Mark E. Cooper, an author living in the south of England. A lifelong engineer, he recently made the jump into the world of words and turned his writing into a full-time endeavor. He’s the author of several series, perhaps most well-known for his Merkiaari Wars science fiction novels. You can get a taste of his science fiction work by downloading Hard Duty: Merkiaari Wars 1 or The God Decrees: Devan Chronicles 1 for fantasy. Both are free! You can find all of his works and more at his blog.

Check out my interview with Mark below!


Enhancement: Black Market DNA

Publishing my first novel and a short story as a bonus!

After several rounds of writing, rewriting, editing, and proofreading, Enhancement: Black Market DNA is on the market. I enjoyed blending my science background with some Enhancement: Black Market DNAspeculative fiction in this technothriller and I hope that it does its job and entertains its readers. Besides incorporating some bioengineering concepts like genetic therapies and manufactured biomaterials, I also injected a heavy dose of Baltimore into the novel. Baltimore, at times a bit frightening and sometimes charming, is undoubtedly a unique city full of character. It set the stage for what I hope is an action-packed, thrill ride of a novel.


But thaImprisoned_Ebookt’s not all I’ve published in the past couple days. I wrote a short story called Imprisoned. It’s a sci-fi adventure inspired by my recent visit to Tallin, Estonia set in a future where biotechnology has influenced human life both in incremental and drastic way. Nick, our protagonist, faces the gritty reality of biotechnology when it is abused and manipulated. This story makes up the first in a series that will eventually comprise an entire novel by this September. I’m writing each part to be enjoyed like an episode of a TV show. Each can be enjoyed as they are published every two weeks, or they can be binge-read once the whole compilation comes out as if you’ve got a weekend getaway with Netflix.


One “Very, Very Wet Book” by Jason Gurley: Thirteen Years in the Making

Recently, I had the opportunity to ask Jason Gurley a few questions about his upcoming release Eleanor. Jason is the author of the bestselling novel Greatfall and designer of covers for other bestsellers like Hugh Howey, Russell Blake, Michael Bunker, Ernie Lindsey, and Matthew Mather, among others. Personally, I’m stoked for the release of Jason’s latest novel. If you haven’t had a chance to read any of his works, I highly recommend one of his short stories, The Dark Age. In that short story alone (entirely worth the meager $0.99), you’ll get an excellent sense of what Jason can do to you with his words and you’ll see why I’m looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of Eleanor. Jason’s storytelling has the power to immerse you into fantastic, vast worlds, and make it deeply personal. His characters are vivid, realistic, and you cannot help but empathize with them, whether they are post-apocalyptic marauders or the lone caretaker of an orbiting space station.

Eleanor is a work that’s been marinating in Jason’s mind for thirteen years and is finally just about done with its time in the oven. Before Jason finished Eleanor, he wrote a collection of novels and short stories, telling captivating stories and honing his craft. It’s all led to this point. You can tell that this is one of those novels that has every inkling of being one to permeate through your thoughts long after you’ve read it. Just check out Jason’s interview to see why:


Shipwrecked in Siberia

I’m proud to announce that my first short story was published today:

Shukshin may be an ordinary truck driver, but his delivery route demands all the poise and determination of a ship’s captain in the vice-grip of a storm. He travels a highway buried in the depths of the Siberian taiga to bring vital supplies to towns before winter swallows the roads and makes them impassable. His task is one of dire necessity and certain peril, confronting the thorny side of both men and nature. 

Fortunately, Shukshin is not alone. In his copilot’s seat, Dusha, his faithful dog, joins Shukshin in his adventures through the taiga. But, when a blizzard rages through Siberia, Shukshin finds himself in a desperate scramble for survival. Even Dusha may not be able to save him from the grim dangers that lie in wait behind ice and darkness. 

Shipwrecked in Siberia is a 7,100 word, 29-page story of survival, following a man and his dog as they struggle, side by side, for a chance at life in the unforgiving ocean of the Siberian taiga. 

Currently, it’s available on AmazonNookKobo, iTunes, and Google Play

I have to thank all the early readers of this story who helped push me to make it better and to my editor, Emily Nemchick. I’m in love with the cover that James over at GoOnWrite.com designed for me. I feel that it portrays the ominous path that Shukshin follows and sets the scene for the story that takes place beyond that cover. It’s been quite the learning curve just to push this first short story out and I can’t wait to get out my next novel tentatively titled Enhancement, the first book in a (well, hopefully) series called Black Market DNA. 

Man, it feels great to get this story out there for anyone to read, but I’ve got to get back to the writing and editing of the next couple of books so all you readers will really have something to sink your teeth into.

If you get a chance to read Shipwrecked, please let me know your thoughts! I’d love to hear from you.