Fiery Seas Publishing
August 14, 2018
Financially independent, biochemistry genius Stacy Romani grows up off the grid, while her Roma family takes advantage of her knowledge for their own gain.
Watching his family farm struggle, and traumatized by mass slaughter, Aatos Pires wants to heal animals but gets seduced by industry and goes to work for a big pharmaceutical company.
When Aatos’ co-worker Trinity creates a deadly doomsday virus, it puts the world population in jeopardy as it spreads exponentially. . .with no cure in sight.
Stacy and Aatos work alone to find a cure, as the CDC and FBI close in. Will they find a way to stop the plague or will it be the end of the world?
- Hi! Welcome to The Royal Polar Bear Reads Blog! One factor that I agreed on this tour is because your book, Scourge, is a medical thriller. What made you write a medical thriller book aside from the fact that you started with chemistry and biology?
Charley: Thanks for inviting me! I had the idea for the bioengineering technology in this book back in college, but it was premature. Now that computers are so much better, I realized the potential use of this concept worried me more than a little so I couldn’t resist finally writing it. Maybe it will scare others enough to regulate it properly when it becomes a reality. The tale also includes a recurring theme for me — pragmatism vs. morality (aren’t there at least some situations where ends justify means? Maybe?), plus the idea of someone who decides, dang it, they’re going to do what seems right no matter what it costs them.
- How does Scourge differ from the other Medical Thrillers out there? What do you think is the edge of your book?
Charley: The moral quandary—is the cure the protagonists decide to go for really the right thing to be doing? Add in the unique technology, resulting in a virus unlike anything in nature (or fiction), and the tale is different from others in the genre.
- How much do you think your career affects your book? And in what way?
Charley: My background had a major impact on developing the plot. The storyline involves not only biochemistry research and bioengineering of solutions, it also factors in radiological issues I learned while spending a career as a nuclear engineer for the Navy.
- I read that you play computer games! Give us some computer games recommendation! I am specifically attached to Warframe as of the moment.
Charley: Ah, fun! Well, I’ve been playing several versions of Civilization; some friends prefer Civ4 or Colonization, others Civ5, and several Civ6. They’re really different games, though concepts are similar. Then I’ve spent a bunch of time on Diablo and Path of Exile for fantasy fun, and Paradox has a series of four games for various combinations of economic development and wargaming (Crusader Kings, Europa Universalis, Victoria, and Hearts of Iron, for 1066 through WWII). Never got into XCOM though friends love it, and recently got Divinity: Original Sin to try out.
- If you are going back in time and you are going to meet the younger version of yourself, what advice would you give to the younger version?
Charley: Hmm, depends on how young. Mostly things like “exercise!” and “start flossing!”, both of which I started rather late in life. And perhaps “get off your duff and ask the girl out, already!” (Hey, you’ve known introverted geeks, haven’t you?)
- If there is one thing you want to teach the world through your book, what lesson would it be?
Charley: There are things that should never be left unregulated. Knowledge is powerful, and it’s getting more powerful with each new technological development. As much as we like to respect freedom and individuality, protections for inventors and proprietary secrets, these issues need to be secondary to ensuring the safety of the public.
- I’m a Pharmacist in the Philippines and I want the same career path that you’ve taken, what advice to the young students or even professionals that you could give if they wanted to pursue the things that you’ve achieved?
Charley: In the technical fields, get as much education as you can. Sooner or later, I seem to have found a use for most everything I’ve ever learned, even if not right away. And if there’s something you don’t understand, stick your hand up and ask for clarification. Don’t worry about what others may think; get the information you need.
As far as writing goes, it’s immensely rewarding and immensely harder than I thought it would be before I started. Like any subject, there are a million details that you learn by doing. Read books on writing (e.g., Stephen King has a great one). Listen to contradictory advice from other writers, and use what works for you. There’s no one right way to create. And get multiple critique partners at your skill level so you can help each other; three to five different opinions on your work can really get you thinking. For additional suggestions, check out the “writer aids” page on my website.
- Tell us something about Scourge that we should definitely look forward to!
Charley: When you realize just how the killer virus works, I think you’ll be surprised. If I’m lucky, you’ll think it’s both cool and scary.
- What life lesson that you would like to share that you’ve incorporated in your book?
Charley: No matter what your past, there may come a time when you have to face a choice and decide what’s really important. And the result may mean some kind of sacrifice. If we think about that in advance, maybe we’ll be more ready if it happens.
- What is your favorite quote from Scourge and why did you choose this certain quote?
Charley: SPOILER—skip this answer if you want to read the book first. Reason? Because when you see a remembered quote, it’ll rip you out of the story as you recall it. And fiction is best enjoyed when the reader has a “willing suspension of disbelief.” So stop here if you want to. Anyway, my favorite quote would be, “I said you’d save the world. I never said you’d be a hero.” It seems to sum up the sacrifice the heroine has embraced.
Thanks again for having me on your blog!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Charley Pearson started in chemistry and biology, then moved on to bioengineering, so the Navy threw in some extra training and made him a nuclear engineer. This actually made sense when his major task turned out to be overseeing chemical and radiological environmental remediation at Navy facilities after the end of the Cold War, releasing them for unrestricted future use. Now he writes fiction.