Sunday, January 23, 2011

Beach Reading Leads to Research Request

My husband Terry and I just got back for a few days in Florida where, of course, I did some reading. I'm always curious about what others are reading in airports, poolside and on the beach. I saw a lot of thrillers and mysteries (Clancy, Patterson, Child et al), romances, plenty of The Girl Who... and me. What was I reading?

The The Virus Hunter by C.J. Peters. Yes, it's heavy shit, but it's valuable research for my next Mad Max book. It was a fabulous read about Dr. Peters's 30-year career chasing hot viruses (think Ebola) around the world.

I've been doing a lot of reading lately about viruses (viri?) lately. In Max 3, Max and her grandson Alex will be put in jeopardy when an unknown disease spreads through a small town and a hospital nearby.

Max is not scientist. She's a grandmother. She will be as stumped as the reader is about what's happening.

So, I need to be sure the limited science I'll be using is possible.

I've read several books about viruses, including Gina Kolata's Flu, Richard Preston's The Demon in the Freezer and The Hot Zone, Pamela Nagami's The Woman With a Worm in Her Head, and several others. I have just enough information to be dangerous. I don't want to sound stupid, so I need help.

Does anyone know a virologist who would be willing to answer some basic questions?

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