Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Different View of Cuba

President Obama’s “new approach” on Cuba has intensified the debate on U.S.—Cuban relations. Would you like to learn a bit modern Cuba, besides all the politics?

Read the new thriller Malignancy. The plot in this fast-moving thriller is fiction but the background is based on documented scientific developments in Cuba and my observations during a visit to Cuba in November 2013.

Cuba is changing.
Among the propaganda spouted by Cuban tour guide in 2013 was the statement: Cuban scientists had patented a drug for cancer. When I got home, I found researchers in Havana had patented a therapeutic cancer vaccine to treat a rather rare type of lung cancer (non-small cell). In essence, the drug is supposed to rev up patients’ own immune systems to produce cells to slay the cancer cells without injuring the normal cells.

This patent demonstrates two facets of modern Cuba. Cuban scientists are doing competitive science. The Cuban government recognizes the importance of commercialization of their research. My guide’s comments suggest although Cubans are proud of their past, many think science and economic changes are important for their future.

The U.S. response to Cuba is surprising.
First off, I was amazed by the tons of consumer goods being flown by American Airlines from Miami into Cuba daily despite the embargo. I bet you’d be amazed, too, if you saw the baggage check in for flights to Havana.

I was also surprised to learn hundreds of Cuban scientists and artists had participated in non-U.S. government-sponsored exchanges already. In June 2014, the president of AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) even requested U.S. government to sponsor scientific exchanges with Cuba. (Check out the editorial “Science diplomacy with Cuba” in the journal Science on June 6, 2014.)

My trip to Cuba turns into the thriller Malignancy.
Scientific exchanges were one of the early steps in the normalization of U.S. relationships with China in the 1970s. Similarly, the U.S. is apt to initiate more scientific exchanges with Cuba in the near future. I thought Sara Almquist, the epidemiologist and heroine of my previous medical thrillers Coming Flu and Ignore the Pain, would be the perfect protagonist to do a little “scientific diplomacy” in Cuba.

I wanted readers of Malignancy see more of Cuba than its scientific aspirations. So I have Sara to slip into La Floridita Bar, made famous by Hemingway, in Old Havana to meet a mysterious Cuban. Is he just a potential colleague, a spymaster, or both?

I suspect most Americans, including myself, know less about Cuban history than they realize. Accordingly, Sara discovers interesting quirks of Cuban history, as well as clues about those who are trying to kill her in Albuquerque, while she explores historic Colon Cemetery and Plaza de la Revolución in Havana.

So visit Cuba with Sara in Malignancy. Then you can decide if the personality of Havana matches your expectations.

Blurb for Malignancy: Men disguised as police officers shoot at Sara Almquist twice in one day. Albuquerque police suspect Jim Mazzone, a drug czar who has tangled with Sara before, will order more hits on Sara. Thus when colleagues in the State Department invite Sara to arrange scientific exchanges between the U.S. and Cuba, she jumps at the chance to get out of town and to see the mysterious Xave Zack, who rescued her in Bolivia. Maybe, she should question their motives.

The book is available from Amazon in paperback and Kindle versions.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Turning a Trip to Cuba into a Novel

I visited Cuba in 2013. My tour guide was determined for our group to see Cuba as more than a former haunt of mobsters from the U.S. and a place to see vintage U.S. cars. She bragged about how Cuba was modernizing its economy. I figured many of her comments were carefully rehearsed propaganda.

However, one of her claims caught my attention. She said Cuban researchers had patented a drug for cancer. When I got home, I checked. Researchers at the Center of Molecular Immunology in Havana and scientists in Argentina had developed a therapeutic cancer vaccine, called Racotumomab, to treat one type of lung cancer (non-small cell lung cancer). A multicenter clinical trail is now evaluating the drug’s effectiveness.

This drug is an example of a hot area of research – the development of cancer immunotherapy drugs, sometimes called cancer vaccines. These drugs rev up a patient’s own immune system to produce cells, which recognize substances found on the surface of tumor cells but not on the surface of normal cells. These cells then slay the cancer cells, but not the normal cells.

Okay that’s a heavy dose of science. Do these drugs work? The editors of Science named cancer immunotherapy the “scientific breakthrough of the year” in 2013. Hundred of labs worldwide are developing and patenting potential drugs of this sort. So far, none, including the Cuban one, have been a huge success. Several have helped patients to survive longer in clinical trials.

Why the fuss about this one Cuban patent? This patent demonstrates Cuban scientists are doing competitive science and understand the importance of commercialization of their research. I also discovered Cuban were already visiting American universities, and a number of U.S. scientists were trying to augment these scientific exchanges despite the U.S. embargo on Cuba.

I thought this could be the basis of a novel. Realistically the State Department might send (in the near future) scientists to Cuba to explore the possibility of creating government-sponsored exchanges between the two countries. Certainly scientific exchanges between the US and China were early steps in the normalization of our relationship with China during the Nixon administration.

The birth of MALIGNANCY: A Novel. I thought Sara Almquist, the epidemiologist and heroine of my previous medical thrillers Coming Flu and Ignore the Pain would be the perfect protagonist to do a little “scientific diplomacy” in Cuba. Besides, I could throw in a little intrigue about drugs slipping from Bolivia through Cuba and into the U.S.

Here’s a blurb on MALIGNANCY. Men disguised as police officers shoot at Sara Almquist twice in one day. The real police suspect Jim Mazzone, a drug czar who Sara has tangled with several times, will order more hits on Sara. Thus when colleagues in the State Department invite Sara to arrange scientific exchanges between the U.S. and Cuba, she jumps at the chance to get out of town. Maybe, she should question their motives.

I think you’ll find this novel has plenty of action and deserves thriller status. And it has something no other thriller has – a middle-aged woman heroine.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Interview with John Wills, former FBI agent & now author

Tell me about one of your pet peeves? People who complain about their lives. In my new novel  HEALER, Billy Anderson's situation justifies complaining about. Yet this young man is stoic through it all.

Tell me more about your new novel? HEALER is the heartwarming story of 16-year-old Billy Anderson. Billy has experienced more than his share of tragedy in his young life. Made fun of in school because of a birth defect, he first endures the loss of his mother, and then his father dies in the war.
One day, as Billy attends Mass, his life takes a dramatic turn. An elderly woman dies in his arms. But before she takes her last breath she tells him, “Receive the gift of healing.” Those words instantly change his life. However, Billy has no idea whether his supernatural ability will be a blessing or a curse.
Billy’s story will both surprise and comfort readers. He’s a remarkable young man whose parents imbued in him old fashioned values, morals, and ethics. His honesty and compassion will refresh and inspire. HEALER is a story the entire family will enjoy—from young adults to senior citizens. It’s a journey of faith and courage that will both leave you in tears and soothe your soul.

As an ex-FBI agent, what made you write this novel? I was inspired to write this story after reading stories in the Bible about the Apostles and other saints who had the ability to heal those who were sick or lame. I wondered how such a gift might be looked upon in the present day. But as with much of my writing, I didn’t shy away from the reality of human nature. I include hardships like crime, addiction, homelessness, etc. Real life is gritty. To ignore that fact would certainly detract from my stories. certainly one that

Do you want to mention many of your other novels? My previous novel, The Year Without Christmas, is an award-winner that chronicles how homeless people survive on the street. It’s a gut-wrenching story about a small town family whose peace is shattered by a tragic accident. The husband disappears as his grandson faces a life-threatening disease. It’s a tale about loss, faith, and the power of love.
 HEALER, is now available on Amazon, or at my publisher’s website: Oak Tree Press.

John Wills's Bio: I served 2 years in the Army, and then 12 years as a Chicago cop. I left the police department to join the FBI and retired after 21 years. I’ve written 10 books and published more than 150 articles on police training. I also write short stories and poetry. I live in Fredericksburg, Virginia with my wife Christine. We’ve been married 44 years and have 3 children and 4 grandchildren.
Note from JL: My new medical thriller Malignancy will be available by the end of October. So look for it on Amazon and more about it on my website

In Malignancy, men disguised as police officers shoot at Sara Almquist twice in one day. The real police suspect Jim Mazzone, a drug czar currently awaiting trial in Albuquerque, will order more hits on Sara. After all, Sara was the key to Mazzone’s capture in Bolivia while she was consulting on public health problems there. Thus when colleagues in the State Department invite Sara to arrange scientific exchanges between the U.S. and Cuba, she jumps at the chance to get out of town. Maybe, she should question their motives.

Friday, September 19, 2014

What’s your biggest pet peeve as an author?

My guest today – Michael Mattson – lists common author’s woes: the inability to find a good proofreader and to get help advertising his book. Maybe I’d better let him put it in his own words.

What’s your biggest pet peeve as a writer? I wouldn’t call this a pet peeve but it is one thing that I think frustrates a lot of writers. With the many changes in the publishing industry, and the establishment of small publishing houses operating on limited resources, the help publishers used to traditionally offer authors has been limited by economic considerations. Many do not employ editors or proofreaders and many are ill-equipped to provide marketing assistance.  Unfortunately, this often leads to published works that could have been made better with the help of a good editor and could reach an expanded and more profitable audience.

JG’s comment: That’s why authors at Oak Tree Press do blog hops and work together to promote their work.

And now for info on Michael Mattson and his book The Dancing Boy.

Synopsis: The Dancing Boy is a mystery set in the Pacific Northwest. Treat Mikkelson lives on Drake Island in a small cabin by the water with his cat Ackerman. He's retired from a lifetime of studying and writing about crime, and keeps himself busy crabbing, fishing, and harvesting enough clams for dinner. This all changes when an elderly woman in a small, nearby tourist town is found at the foot of her stairs with a broken neck. Although the authorities are inclined to consider it an accident, a friend suspects foul play and asks Treat to investigate the matter.

How autobiographical is this work? Treat is an iconic, self-contained ex-Ranger with a penchant for garish Hawaiian shirts and a love for blues and Hawaiian music. After you read Michael’s bio, guess.

Bio: Michael Matson was born in Helena, Montana, and was immediately issued a 10-gallon Stetson and a pair of snakeskin boots. After formative years spent in New Jersey, North Carolina, New York, California, Hawaii and Japan, Michael earned a journalism degree from the University of Washington in Seattle. Following a brief military stint in Oklahoma, where he first encountered red, sticky mud, heavy rain and tarantulas, he returned to Seattle and worked as an advertising agency copywriter, creative director and video producer.
In 2007 he (regretfully) left Seattle for Mexico to have time to write and has since published The Diamond Tree, a fairytale for all ages;  Bareback Rider, an inspirational adventure for children; and Takeshi’s Choice, a mystery novel.  His second mystery novel:  The Dancing Boy, was released by Oak Tree Press in April 2014 and is available at

Friday, September 5, 2014

What do you do when have a writer’s block?

Don't nap with the dog when you get writer's block.
Watch TV. Take a nap. Eat. No, I mean, what do you do constructively to get you past the writer’s block?

First off assess the problem. For simplicity I’ve lumped reasons for writer’s block into four categories. I wouldn’t argue with you if you added categories or lumped two of my categories together.
1)   No idea. You have a class assignment or a blog due in three hours and can’t think of anything interesting.
2)    Skeleton ideas. The idea seemed good when you lay in bed procrastinating before you got up. You trotted to the computer and typed out a great paragraph. There’s nothing more.
3)   Dead ends. You’ve written two hundred pages and know how you want the novel to end but you can’t seem to create the next couple of scenes so that you can get logically to the conclusion.
4)   Search for the right words. You’ve completed a draft of the short story, and you’re now working on a boring but essential section.

Check your idea file. What’s that? Every writer should keep files on interesting events and discoveries they spot in newspapers, science journals, or on the web. I also have a character file. When I overhear or participate in a bizarre conversation or meet someone unusual, I record the occurrence and include my feelings (usually in incomplete sentences). It’s amazing how thumbing through such files helps me get an idea for an imminent deadline or gives me material to fill out that skeleton staring at me from my computer screen.

Read someone else’s work. While it’s often tough to discern mistakes in our own writing, most of us have less difficulty spotting gaffes in others’ writing. After dissecting someone else’s work, my own writing faults are clearer to me. At other times, I learn by example and use a ploy used by another author to get myself out of an awkward literary situation.

Work on another project. I always keep several projects going at once – blogs, a novel, several short stories. Often when I’m ‘blocked’ on one, I can write on another.

Admit you created a dead end and start revising earlier sections. But save the sections you’re pitching. They might be useful later.

Edit your writing for obvious weaknesses. Revise passive sentences. Replace linking verbs with actions verbs. Check for synonyms for overworked words. Often, these activities get me in the mood to write the next section.

Do these ideas always work? No. So what do you when you have a writer’s block?

When I didn't have a writer's block, I wrote medical thrillers and mysteries - Coming Flu, Ignore the Pain, Murder: A New Way to Lose Weight, and Malignancy (due out in November).

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Does Every Book Needs a Little Mystery?

My guest blogger Carolyn Niethammer poses an interesting question. What do you think?

Every novel, and even some nonfiction books, are better for having some mysteries involved. This is the way that the writer keeps the reader turning the pages – even if the mystery is simply whether the girl will finally get wise and end up with the right guy.
 In true mysteries, like those my host here writes, the focus is on solving something unexplained: a murder, a disappearance, a theft. The mysteries that we love the best and want to follow as series also include enough about the main character to make them real and memorable for us. Once they have solved the problem of the day, we wonder what else might lie ahead for them and look for the next book.
 Frequently, mystery novels involve solving a murder, but not always. Janet Greger’s Ignore the Pain involved cocaine smuggling and the sabotage of an expensive research experiment. Another example is Alexander McCall Smith’s popular series set in Edinburg, Scotland, featuring  Isabel Dalhousie who edits a philosophy journal and lives a pretty quiet life. But somehow important works of art seem to disappear regularly and she manages to get involved and to sort it all out between putting out issues of her journal. 

In a biography I wrote about Navajo politician and activist Annie Dodge Wauneka called I’ll Go and Do More, I had to stick to the truth of her life. But I tried to end each chapter at a point where she had to make a difficult choice or something important either would or would not happen to affect her goals. Little mysteries.
My new novel, The Piano Player, is my tenth book but my first go at fiction. It was great fun making life difficult for my chararacters.
The Piano Player is set in the Old West just before and after the turn of the last century. It isn’t a mystery but there are plenty of questions to keep the reader wondering. Mary Rose, a well-brought up young woman, leaves her plush San Francisco home to seek her fortune in booming Tombstone, Arizona, after her father is murdered on the front porch.                                                                                                                                               
While the main question is whether Mary Rose can successfully transition to Frisco Rosie and make it as a saloon piano player, we also follow her quest to find out who killed her father and why. And also why her fiancé Bradley was seen running from the murder scene and never joined her in Tombstone. It takes Rosie seventeen years and a risky trip down the frozen Yukon River during the 1898 gold rush to find all the answers. In the intervening years she takes a lover who turns out to be an outlaw, plans a risky rescue trip for a friend jailed in Guaymas, Mexico, and beats a notorious gambler at his own card game. 

I agree with Carolyn all books need a little mystery.

Bio: Carolyn Niethammer grew up in the mountain town of Prescott, Arizona, and now resides in a 95-year-old house in Tucson. She has been writing books about the people and food of the Southwest for forty years. You can see her books at her website

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

How do you find a title that resonates with readers?

Titles are important sales tools. Most editors agree on the following statements. 1) Titles should give a hint about the protagonist, the setting, the theme or the plot of the book. 2) Short titles are best. 3) Titles should catch the reader’s attention. 4) These rules are meant to be broken.

The net result is most writers waste hours ruminating over the title of their next novel. I’m no different. I always name a novel when I start working on a project. Then I rename it at least twice as I write and edit the novel. How about you? Maybe you’ll find my process of titling my last novel useful or amusing.

One of my medical suspense novel started out with the title Why Does It Hurt So Much? I chose the tile because I wanted the novel to address how individuals differ in their responses to physical and emotional pain. But that title was too long. I’d learned from my experience publicizing my second novel Murder: A New Way to Lose Weight that long titles even if they’re cute or funny are problematic. For example, it’s hard to fit the title on the spine of the book or in twitters.

The original title also gave no hint to the inner strength of my heroine – epidemiologist and world traveler Sara Almquist. Sara is a tough cookie. She knows being a public health consultant in Bolivia, where over 6% of the children before five years of age, won’t be a picnic when she accepts the assignment.

The original title also didn’t fit an adventure story with lots of action. Sara is chased through the Witches’ Market of La Paz and fights to avoid a trap in the silver mines of Potosí as she helps capture the drug czar Mazzone, who used to be her neighbor in New Mexico..

The next title I chose was Dull the Pain. It was short, established pain as recurring theme in the novel, and hinted the heroine was tough. Amazon listed no other book with that title.

I include tidbits of science in all of my novels and really strive to get the facts correct. Thus I had Sara learn that laborers in the silver mines of Potosí carry little food or water into the mines. In order to endure the pain caused by thirst, hunger, and heavy exertion at a high altitude (13,000 feet), they chew coca leaves. The active ingredients in coca leaves and its derivative cocaine are not analgesics; they do not dull pain. They are stimulants and help users ignore pain.

I changed the title from Dull the Pain to Ignore the Pain.

After all my explanations on the title, do you want to read Ignore the Pain? Or would you give it another name?  

For more, see:

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


Doubt me? Let’s look at six pieces of advice for writers and dieters.

1. Set realistic priorities. You are more apt to attain small achievable goals (such as losing a pound a week or writing ten pages per week) than larger goals with artificial deadlines (for example losing fifty pounds before your class reunion or writing a three hundred page novel by Christmas).

2. Don’t procrastinate. Start working on your goals today, by skipping dessert at supper and writing at least one page for your next novel tonight.

3. Control problems and distractions. For writers, the distractions on the Internet are comparable to high fat, sugary foods to dieters. Perhaps this advice to Linda Almquist in the first chapter of Murder: A New Way to Lose Weight will help you sort through your clutter.

“There are three types of problems. A few problems are like wine; those situations improve if you delay decisions and let them age. Most problems are like waste paper. You can ignore them because they don’t matter. Unfortunately like waste paper, they tend to be messy when they pile up. And some problems are like manure. You must identify them quickly before they stink.”

4. Work at it every day. Most successful dieters have changed their lifestyle and eaten less and exercised more for months. If you want to write a novel a year, set aside time to “work on your book” every day.

5. Sweat the small stuff. Little bedtime snacks can undo our good behavior at meals or in the gym. Similarly grammar and spelling errors can ruin a novel with a great plot and characters.

6. Laugh at all those who give advice like this because you know it’s easier to give advice than follow it.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

“My Writing Process” Blog Hop

1. Why do I write what I do?
I like realistic medical mysteries and thrillers that push the edge of modern science but don’t cross over into science fantasy. Books with action but with themes that make you think. For example:
  • Why do some individuals bounce back from physical and emotional pain, while others are warped into monsters?
  • When is the common good more important than the rights of an individual?
So I write books, like Robin Cook (author of Coma, Acceptable Risk, and many others) would if he were still alive. Maybe I’m complimenting myself by comparing my novels to those of Robin Cook. Why don’t you read my Ignore the Pain, Coming Flu, and Murder: A New Way to Lose Weight and see?

2. What am I working on?
I’m sending Sara Almquist, my epidemiologist heroine, to Cuba. When I visited Cuba last November, the tour guide bragged that Cuban researchers had recently patented a vaccine against lung cancer. I checked. She was right, so I built my next novel Malignancy around Sara’s assignment from the State Department to set up scientific exchanges between Cuba and the US. Two weeks ago, I read an article in Science announcing the US and Cuban governments were initiating scientific exchanges.

In Malignancy, Sara is also escaping past foes in New Mexico and looking for Xave, the “spook” who saved her in Bolivia in Ignore the Pain. I’m pleased to add I finished the first draft yesterday. Actually that’s not quite true, I revise previous chapters as I write new ones. So in some ways, yesterday I finished about the third edit of the book. I’m hoping Malignancy will be published in late fall 2014.

3. How does my writing process work?
I file interesting ideas from scientific journals, newspapers, and on-line search services as I find them. When I start thinking about a new novel, I sort through my files and pull articles that fit a common theme. Then I create a three to five-page outline of the novel. After that I let the characters take over. As I indicated above, I revise chapters as I write new ones.  Euphemistically, my outline is fluid.

4. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I include a scientific epilogue (about two pages) at the end of my novels. Interested readers can then check the facts themselves.

Thanks to Amy Reade for inviting me to participate in this blog hop. Her Secrets of Hallstead House, which sounds like a modern version of Jane Eyre, will be published in July 2014. I can’t wait to read it. For more on Amy, see

How many of you follow blog hops? Are they a good idea?
I’m not supposed to post this until June 8, but when I finally get a blog written I’m a kid with a new toy. My apologies to those organizing the blog hop for my childish behavior.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Is there a CSI effect? Can you use it to sell novels?

Forensic scientists think there is a “CSI effect.” They observe jurors and reporters are disappointed when real forensic scientists aren’t as good or as fast as Catherine Willows (CSI), Tempe Brennan (Bones), and Abby Sciuto (NCIS). For example, jurors became skeptical about an expert witness’s competence because he didn’t retrieve fingerprints from a rock at the murder scene. And at least one biology professor reports several of her students indicated TV shows influenced their choice of biology as a major.

Does that mean readers are becoming more interested in realistic science in their fiction? First off, I should define realistic. Most active research and clinical labs are much more crowded, and waiting times for analyses are much longer than those shown on TV. And surprise, the most of the men and women don’t have perfect hair.

In 2013, at least fifteen successful TV shows featured science, medicine or technology. That's unprecedented and suggests a large segment of Americans are receptive to realistic science adding “color” to their fiction.

Does this interest in “scientific color” on TV show relate to scientific literacy?
Scientific literacy is not just the memorization of facts, but also the conceptual understanding of how answers can be found by an organized approach to gathering data, formulating hypotheses, and testing them.

Surveys indicate American students don’t understand science as well as students in Finland, China, Australia, and Canada. We’re ranked around 30th in several surveys, but many question the validity of the surveys.

I don’t think anyone has proven that the popularity of TV shows with “scientific color” reflects increased scientific literacy among Americans, but I don’t have access to demographic data on TV audiences.

Does scientific literacy matter?
Federal agencies, such as the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF), and various organizations (National Academy of Sciences and AAAS) think scientific literacy matters. Why? They believe that if the American electorate understands the basics of science, discussions on vaccines, climate change, and genetically modified crops will be elevated from an emotional level to a thoughtful level. Wiser decisions will be made. They also know that advanced knowledge of science and technology is a key to many high-paying jobs in medicine, drug development, computer technology, engineering, etc.

Could adding realistic science in your next novel attract readers?
I don’t know, but a growing number of writers are now calling their novels “science in fiction” rather than science fiction. I’m one of them. My three medical thriller/mysteries are Coming Flu, Murder: A New Way to Lose Weight, and Ignore the Pain. My fourth novel Malignancy should be out this fall.

P.S. Why do I think this blog will be less popular than my last guest blog on adding romance to your novels?

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Make your Sell Sheets Sell

Templates for sell sheets on the Web make it appear that there are defined rules for sell sheets. I think there is only one rule: Sell sheets should appeal to buyers and make them want to buy your book.

Most book buyers don’t read anything that looks dense or difficult.
  • ·      Use size 12 or 14 print.
  • ·      Leave plenty of white space.
  • ·      Keep paragraphs short.
  • ·      Try using a two-column format.
  • ·      Limit the sell sheet to one-page.
Use color. The choice of color depends on the genre of the book and the cover, which is the main artwork on most sell sheets. For example, pastels and purple are often used to sell romances.

Design features are important but shouldn’t overpower. For example, a narrow (one-half inch) border of black and white zebra stripes around the edge of a sell sheet for a children’s book might be effective, but a wider border would detract from the cover and the blurb. Generally I like design features (such as a colored box) that draw attention to the book’s blurb.

Consider making two versions of your sell sheet. Book retailers and distributors often cringe when they see the word Amazon. Information on how to obtain the books from Amazon is essential when you’re talking to most readers at book fairs and talks

  • ·      Title of the book, boldly at top of page
  • ·      Author’s info: name, website, blog, and other ways to contact. Some think a photo of the author and a short (one or two    sentences) bio are appealing.
  • ·      Blurb, only three to four sentences.
  • ·      Cover of the book, large enough that you can read the print
  • ·      Reviewers’ comments or awards
  • ·      Publisher’s info: name, date of publication, ways to contact
  • ·      Book info: genre, ISBN number, format, number of pages

What do you think makes a sell sheet effective? Let me know.


 JL Greger, author of medical thrillers and mysteries - Ignore the Pain, Coming Flu, Murder: A New Way to Lose Weight