Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Interview with medical thriller author Anthony J. Melchiorri

Today's special guest is Anthony J. Melchiorri. He's the author of the new medical conspiracy/thriller novel,The God Organ.

During his virtual book tour with Goddess Fish Promotions, Anthony will be awarding a $20 Amazon gift card to one (1) randomly drawn winner, and an autographed copy of The God Organ will be awarded to four (4) randomly drawn winners (US ONLY). To be entered for a chance to win one of these prizes, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit his other tour stops and enter there, too.

Anthony J Melchiorri is a writer and biomedical engineer living in Maryland. He spends most of his time developing cardiovascular devices for tissue engineering to treat children with congenital heart defects when he isn't writing or reading.

Read more at http://anthonyjmelchiorri.com and sign up for his mailing list at http://bit.ly/ajmlist to hear about his latest releases and news.

Welcome, Anthony. Please tell us about your current release.
In The God Organ, a company has developed an artificial organ that gives its users near-immortality. But suddenly those same patients are dying. Inventor of the technology Preston Carter must discover what—or who—is responsible for causing the failure of these artificial organs. With the organ implanted in his own body, he must race to save the lives of hundreds of thousands before he’s killed by his own invention.

What inspired you to write this book?
Since Vernor Vinge popularized the concept of The Technological Singularity, there’s been quite a few discussions regarding the acceleration of technological progress and its potential repercussions on our society. Many technologists have questioned what happens when biotechnology becomes so advanced that people start living drastically longer lives and The God Organ is my stab at exploring those questions on a very personal level through a few different character’s whose lives have been drastically altered by biotechnology.

Excerpt from The God Organ:
Monica Wolfe sat in the Corner Street Bakery, sipping on a chai tea latte. The scent of freshly baked muffins and bread floated around the bakery, mingling with the aroma of fresh-brewed coffee. While the clatter of dishes and dripping coffee sounded from behind the counter, the morning patrons came and went quietly. Most everyone entered bundled in coats, a smattering of neutral grays, browns, and blacks, dripping with the snow that melted off their clothes. Low-hanging mist clung to the windows and fogged up the air outside as passing cars whipped up blusters of snow in their drafts.

The warmth of the latte crept into her fingers as she held the cup, combating the icy feelings that had followed her in from the streets. When a chilling blast of air followed another patron into the store, she scrutinized the new face.

Again, it wasn’t him.

She was sure he would show up, as he did most every day. And, today, she would risk everything. She would steal everything from him; she would steal the secrets of the LyfeGen Sustain, the god organ.

What exciting story are you working on next?
My next book is a sequel to another Sci-Fi Thriller I’ve published called Enhancement. In the sequel, a genetically manufactured cancer is spreading through Baltimore. As doctors and researchers struggle to identify a cure, it’s up to Christopher Morgan to use the skills he’s honed in crafting illegal genetic enhancements to develop a working treatment for the disease.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve written stories for a long time but it wasn’t until after I took my first creative writing workshops at the University of Iowa that I considered myself a writer. Once I started making writing a daily habit just like my working out and running, I finally felt confident in calling myself a writer. That being said, I think I’ll always have more to learn and work on as I improve my craft—but that’s something any writer should continually be striving to do.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like?  If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
By day, I’m finishing up my PhD in Bioengineering, which means I’m putting in full-time laboratory research. Every night, I make sure that I fit in writing at least one thousand words sometime between dinner, running, and going back to sleep before I take on another day of experiments and laboratory work. I find time by making time for writing; in other words, I prioritize it above any other hobbies, social events, or past-times. It can be grueling at times, but it’s something that I want to do and I think it’s worth making time for.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
As far as my writing process, I love to write while listening to Irish pub music. Not sure why, but those songs keep me fingers clacking against the keyboard. This may or may not be accompanied by a cold pint glass filled with my beverage of choice to better simulate a pub environment. Maybe it’s because I’m an extrovert by nature, so when I write, I like to be surrounded by other people or feel like there are others around. And of course, when I’m at home listening to my pub music, I eliminate the distractions of actually having to write around other people!

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Besides dreams of becoming an author, I always thought I’d be a veterinarian. As a child, I had every pet imaginable—ducks, snakes, turtles, geckos, salamanders, toads, frogs, fish, rats, hamsters, hermit crabs, dogs, and I’m probably forgetting some. I loved taking care of those animals and the bonds that I was able to create with them (okay, maybe not all of them. Hermit crabs aren’t super social.). In addition, my mother went back to school to become a registered nurse, and I perused her text books. Medical science fascinated me. So, I thought becoming a veterinarian would be a fitting combination of animals and medicine.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Thanks for having me on the blog! I’m a big fan of talking about both science and books. A good story can enable us to question the implications of our scientific progress and how our society might evolve as the pace of advancing technology increases. It’s a fascinating subject and if people want to join the conversation, they can join in at my facebook page (facebook.com/anthonyjmelchiorri) or follow me on twitter (twitter.com/tony_melchiorri).

Thanks, Anthony!

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Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Anthony Melchiorri said...

Thanks so much for having me on the blog, Lisa. Always fun to do an interview!

Serena S. said...

Interesting interview.

Unknown said...

Wow it sounds like you have an incredibly rewarding career outside of writing

Rita Wray said...

Sounds like a great read.

Mary Preston said...

I enjoyed the interview.