Freestyle Fiction Friday: Q and A and win Michael Palmer’s Oath of Office

First, a word from our sponsor (oh, wait, yeah that’s me). Thanks to Damaris over at the Good Choice Reading blog for an amazing review of Royal Street! It sure got my Friday off to a good start :-). You can check it out HERE. Keep an eye on this blog for other authors who’ll be at Authors After Dark 2012 in August.

Okay, commercial over.

This is a new feature I want to throw in occasionally to look at a book outside my usual spec fiction genres. Gasp! Yes, I know it’s hard to believe, but I do read the occasional book that doesn’t have a single vampire, shapeshifter, or witch in it. Not many, mind you, but a few.
I do enjoy an occasional thriller or mystery—I find them fast reads and they make a nice break. Today, I’m looking at Oath of Office, which was released in February by author Michael Palmer, who is also a physician…which should tell you this is a medical thriller. Want to win a copy? Read on…

ABOUT THE BOOK: From the New York Times bestselling author of A Heartbeat Away andThe Last Surgeon comes a new novel at the crossroads of politics and medicine. What if a well respected doctor inexplicably goes on a murderous rampage? When Dr. John Meacham goes on a shooting spree the office, his business partner, staff, and two patients are killed in the bloodbath.  Then Meacham turns the gun on himself. The blame falls on Dr. Lou Welcome. Welcome worked with Meacham years before as a counselor after John’s medical license had been revoked for drug addiction.  Lou knew that John was an excellent doctor and deserved to be practicing medicine and fought hard for his license to be restored.  After hearing the news of the violent outburst, Lou is in shock like everyone else, but mostly he’s incredulous. And when he begins to look into it further, the terrifying evidence he finds takes him down a path to an unspeakable conspiracy that seems to lead directly to the White House and those in the highest positions of power. 

And a quick look behind the book, with Michael Palmer:

How did you get the idea for Oath of Office?

First of all, I am always looking for ideas. This one came at a brunch at my high school reunion in Springfield, Mass. Former classmates of mine—a cooking school owner, food editor, and health nut—were talking about the movie Food Inc. Two days later, I had seen the film twice and was stunned and astounded. I knew I wanted to write something about food danger. So I went to the library and also on Amazon and began reading books like Seeds of Deception by Jeffrey Smith and several by Michael Pollan. Great stuff. I was hooked. Enter next my imagination and OoO as I called it began to take shape.

How did you research the science aspect of the book?

Once I finished reading books, I turned to the Internet and began to hone my embryonic knowledge—especially as regards hybridization and genetic modification. The more I researched, the scarier the possibilities of genetic recombination became. The mystery of how genes and the properties they control could be transferred from organism to organism became less mysterious. It helped that I was an M.D. (boarded in internal medicine and ER) with a heavy grounding in the sciences. Now all I needed was a protagonist and some conflict, and I was ready to go.

Could what happens in the book happen in real life?

Absolutely. After my reading research, I contacted many experts in a number of fields by phone and email. Always my question to them was the same: “Is this possible?” If their response was even as minimal as: “Well, I suppose so,” I was on it like a dog on a bone, even if the affirmation was followed by a “but…”

How does your background as a doctor influence your writing?

I try not to stray too far from medicine because I love being a physician and can write about docs and what they do from my heart. In my recent books, I have added an element of political intrigue as well.

So there you have it! If you’d like to take a crack at reading Oath of Office…tell me if you’ve ever read a medical thriller. I’ve read a couple of Robin Cook novels, but that’s about it for me. One thing that strikes me about this book is that…a little skew here or there, and it’s science fiction, isn’t it? You know the drill: a comment gets you one entry; another entry for following the blog; a third for following on Twitter @Suzanne_Johnson; and a fourth for tweeting or RT’ing the contest. Now, scrub in!

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About Suzanne Johnson

Author of urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and suspense. As Suzanne Johnson, she is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series (Royal Street; River Road: Elysian Fields, Pirate's Alley, Belle Chasse, Frenchmen Street (March 2018). Writing as Susannah Sandlin, she is the author of the Penton Legacy series (Redemption; Absolution; Omega; Storm Force; Allegiance; ILLUMINATION); The Collectors series (Lovely, Dark, and Deep; Deadly, Calm, and Cold); and the Wilds of the Bayou series (Wild Man's Curse; Black Diamond).

7 thoughts on “Freestyle Fiction Friday: Q and A and win Michael Palmer’s Oath of Office

  1. I’ve never read a medical thriller.
    I follow the blog.

  2. I have not read a medical thriller before but would like to try it out.
    +1 comment
    +1 follower (email & GFC)
    pefrw at yahoo dot com