Questions answered by James J. Murray, Fiction Writer
What is the working title of your next book?
Where did the idea for your book come from?
Several years ago, I sold my pharmacy business. Soon, I realized that I missed the work, the people and the patients. My wife suggested that I write about it. I liked the idea, but that presented a whole new set of challenges: do I write a “how-to” book, a memoir or something else? I chose the something else. I always dreamed of writing fiction, but never had the time. Now I had the time and a rich history in clinical pharmacy to draw upon. I decided to write a suspense novel about a clinical pharmacy practice turning sinister.
What genre does your book fall under?
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Hugh Jackman would play Jon Masters, Nicole Kidman would play Gwen Masters, and Javier Bardem would play Jorge Nuevo.
What is a one-sentence synopsis of your book?
The life of a successful clinical pharmacist implodes when he discovers that the investigational drug study he’s managing is a sham, causing him to be indicted for drug trafficking and leading him on a quest to prove his innocence as he uncovers a global network of illegal drugs destined to become the nation’s latest and most addictive recreational substance.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
About two years.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Little has been written about a pharmacist protagonist who battles an international crime organization, so my book is unique in that respect. I would say that this novel is a mixture of those by Joseph Finder and Robin Cook. Joseph Finder puts everyday people into impossible situations that test their talents to the limit, and Robin Cook always focuses on some sinister aspect of medicine and the medical profession.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Being an avid murder mystery and thriller reader for many years, I would often turn to my wife and say, “What would happen if…?” One day a few years ago, while waiting for a flight to travel on vacation, I turned to my wife and asked her that very question. We began discussing a plot and then added some characters to the equation. By the time we had boarded the flight, I’d given the characters names and my wife suggested that I write a story outline. That outline turned into this first novel and I’ve been writing ever since.
What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
This book focuses on infusion pharmacy, a little known aspect of the practice of pharmacy. It also offers an interesting perspective on modern life in China.
Thanks for allowing me to share thoughts about my debut novel. I plan to publish this work by late spring and hope that you’ll enjoy it as much as I did writing it.