Michael Palmer Interview

Novel Reaction is very excited to have our first mystery author posting and our first interview by Jocee, one of our regular reviewers. Michael Palmer has just released A Heartbeat Away and has answered questions for us.


Michael Palmer, M.D., is the author of the forthcoming The Last Surgeon (2010), The Second Opinion, The First PatientThe Fifth Vial, The Society, Fatal, The Patient, Miracle Cure, Critical Judgment, Silent Treatment, Natural Causes, Extreme Measures, Flashback, Side Effects,and The Sisterhood. His books have been translated into thirty-five languages. He trained in internal medicine at Boston City and Massachusetts General Hospitals, spent twenty years as a full-time practitioner of internal and emergency medicine, and is now an associate director of the Massachusetts Medical Society’s physician health program.


NR: Where do you get your names for your characters? We were wondering if they are people you know or if you just make them up?

MP: Never anyone I know unless (as I do for every novel, and many other authors do as well) they have won a charity auction to have their name be a character in the book. I get my names from the sports pages, name Websites, books on my shelves, and people who have crossed my path at one time or another (never their full name). Sometimes, when desperate, I simply make them up.

NR: Where did you get the idea for the WRX3883?

MP: I knew I needed a virus to fulfill my “What if?” question for this book. What if a deadly, highly contagious virus is released into the House during the State of the Union Address, forcing the president to quarantine the Capitol. The properties of the virus evolved as I was writing, bit by bit.

NR: How did you learn to write by keeping the reader in suspense for each chapter? I really had a hard time putting the book down because I had to keep reading to find out what was happen.

MP: From the very beginning, well before I knew HOW to write, people were talking about my “natural” sense of what’s dramatic. According to the editors and agent who read my initial stuff, people can be taught how to write, but no one can be taught that sense of what is dramatic. I try hard to make sure no one can easily close my books at the end of a chapter.

NR: Do you believe that we have viruses like the WRX3883?

MP: Viruses can do just about anything. Controlling them and shutting them off is the problem. As to whether WRX viruses exist now, I would say that I certainly hope not.

NR: Do you believe we should use viruses like that if they are available?

MP: If the virus were controllable—utterly controllable—and lives could be saved by using them on terrorists, I would support their enployment. But that’s a lot of “ifs.”

NR: I have to say, I read the ending before I finished the book, which I do for every book, and still had to read the book to see what happened. That doesn’t happen a lot for me! I was very intrigued with the story. Who are the authors that you read?

MP: I read lots of first time authors to support their books with “blurbs.” Recently I enjoyed Law of Attraction by Allison Leotta; Consumed by Hilary Reddy LiDestri and Alisa Griffin, and of course Delirious by my son Daniel. Otherwise, I read what’s hot, and anything by Lisa Gardner, Tess Gerritsen, Lee Child, and Harlan Coben. My favorite writers ever are Charles Dickins and Robertson Davies.

NR: Which is your favorite book that you have written?

MP: Always the most recent one. I also particularly like The Second Opinion and Fatal.

NR: This is the first book of yours that my husband and I have both read. We would love to read another, which would you suggest?

MP: For medical/political thrills, try The First Patient.

NR: On Novel Reaction each month we do a books-to-movie challenge. What is your favorite book to movie?

MP: I have two—Six Days of the Condor by James Grady and Marathon Man by William Goldman. Terrific books, perfect movies.


Thank you Michael for stopping by and answering our questions. The reviewers of A Heartbeat Away gave the book five stars, high praise so check it out. Will Barton Jersey

Blog Tour Interview with Elizabeth Hoyt and Giveaway

Novel Reaction is excited to welcome Elizabeth Hoyt as part of her Notorious Pleasures Blog Tour, the second in the Maidenhead Lane Series.


Elizabeth Hoyt is a USA Today bestselling author of historical romance. She also writes deliciously fun contemporary romance under the name Julia Harper. Elizabeth lives in central Illinois with three untrained dogs, two angelic but bickering children, and one long-suffering husband. Please visit her websites for chapter excerpts, book extras, and author appearances: www.elizabethhoyt.com andwww.juliaharper.com.


NR: You addressed the little discussed rampant problem of gin drinking by the lower classes in Notorious Pleasures, what led you address this topic and why?

EH: Chaos is an interesting setting for any story. Because of the gin problem in Georgian London there was enormous social and political upheaval. In very poor areas like St. Giles whole families became addicted to gin which led to prostitution, high crime rates, etc. The crime rate became such a problem, in fact, that the nobility noticed and started trying to legislate gin, though it took decades before anything meaningful was passed in Parliament.

NR: Do you think we will see Lady Hero’s brother, the Duke, brought down by love?

EH: Why, yes, yes, we will. 😉

NR: Will you give us a hint of what to expect in Silence’s story, Scandalous Desires?

EH: Hmmm, well I don’t want to give away too much, but I will say that “Charming” Mickey O’Connor is the hero. Here’s a preliminary blurb:

Can a pirate learn that the only true treasure lies in a woman’s heart? Widowed Silence Hollingbrook is impoverished, lovely, and kind – and a year ago she made a horrible mistake. She went to a river pirate for help in saving her husband and in the process made a bargain that cost her her marriage. That night wounded her so terribly that she hides in the foundling home she helps run with her brother. Except now that same river pirate is back …and he’s asking for her help.

‘Charming’ Mickey O’Connor is the most ruthless river pirate in London. Devastatingly handsome and fearsomely intelligent, he clawed his way up through London’s criminal underworld. Mickey has no use for tender emotions like compassion and love, and he sees people as pawns to be manipulated. And yet he’s never been able to forget the naive captain’s wife who came to him for help.

NR: At Novel Reaction  each month we do a books to movie challenge where we read the book then watch the movie, which is your favorite Book to Movie, and which is your least favorite?

EH: Oh, easy! Favorite: the Colin Firth Pride and Prejudice, least favorite Sherlock Holmes with Robert Downey, Jr. I actually loved the movie—because RDJ!—but as an adaptation of Sherlock Holmes? Um, not so much.


Thank you Elizabeth for stopping by and giving us some hints of what we can look forward to for the characters from The Maidenhead Lane Series.

Thanks to Hatchette Publishing I am able to give away three copies of Notorious Pleasures. The Contest ends Feb. 12th.

The Rules:

-Only residents of the U.S. or Canada are eligible to win
-No P.O. Boxes, please.
-Winners are subject to the one copy per household rule, which means that if they win the same title in two or more contests, they will receive only one copy of the title (or one set in the case of grouped giveaways) in the mail.

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Interview with Author Christine Marciniak

NovelReaction.com is very excited to welcome author Christine Marciniak. Recently one of our reviewers, Jillian, interviewed Christine for The Panther Press, the school newspaper Jillian is an editor for. Let’s find out a little bit more about Christine.


I am the author of WHEN MIKE KISSED EMMA and a stay-at-home mother of two, just trying to enjoy life as it comes at me. I’ve been happily married for 16 years and I have a son and a daughter. “Pippi” is thirteen and “Harry” is ten.


Hi,  my name is Jillian Schmutz. I’m a senior in high school this year, and I write for my high school newspaper, The Panther Press. I really enjoyed your books, and when Jessica asked me if I wanted to interview you, I was very thrilled with the opportuntiy!

Jill: Can you share a little bit about your background like where you live?

Christine: First I want to thank you for taking the time to interview me. I’m very honored. I’m a Jersey girl. I’ve lived here almost my entire life, I even went to college here, although I did spend a semester in London, which was a fantastic experience. Currently I live in central New Jersey with my husband and two kids. No picket fence, and no dog – that would be far too stereotypical.

Jill: What events led you to want to become a writer?

Christine: I’ve always loved writing. I have stories that I wrote from as far back as fourth grade. Those aren’t particularly good, but they were what got me started. I continued to write for myself and for fun through high school and college and even once I was working as an editor for a travel publication. Then, once I had two kids and was staying home with them, I decided to ramp it up a bit and put some effort into getting published.

Jill: What made you want to write young adult novels?

Christine: I started writing more seriously when I was a young adult and at the time I wrote about kids my own age. I continued writing with characters that age because I like the fact that teens are still exploring their world and who they are in it. It gives a lot of opportunities for stories. Plus, most of the ideas I have seem to be about teens.

Jill: What are some specific things you have to remember when writing for young adults?

Christine: The biggest thing I have to remember is that times have changed since I was a teen. The feelings that teens go through haven’t changed – but the world around them has. When I was in high school VCRs were new things, so you watched TV when it was on – not at some future time. Personal computers were also new and a computer class in high school would have been on how to program a computer, not on utilizing programs that are already there. If you needed to call home, you had to have change for a pay phone, no one had cell phones. TV shows that I might think make a funny reference, will mean nothing to teens now. Luckily my daughter is now a teenager, so it helps a bit to be immersed in the world of teens again.

Jill: How did you get the idea for the story When Mike kissed Emma?

Christine: When Mike Kissed Emma actually grew out of a subplot in another book I was writing. That book was not published. A friend who was reading the other book for me told me she thought I had a whole book in just that one section. And she was right. The behind the scenes things for a school play came from my experience working on the stage crew in high school. I never did make it into a high school play, but you can learn a lot when you hang around back stage.

Jill: How old were you when you wrote your first book?

Christine: When I first finished what would be considered a book length piece of fiction I was probably about 15. But that wasn’t ready for publication. I continued writing and learning though, and when I was in my 30s I started submitting books to publishers.When Mike Kissed Emma was my first published book.

Jill: What is your favorite book you’ve read and who is the author?

Christine: This is such an impossible question. There have been so many books I’ve loved and still love. Even if I made a list of my top ten, I’d probably forget one and then feel bad that I hadn’t thought to include it.

Jill: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

Christine: The Great Barrier Reef in Australia. And I’d want to stay on one of those islands, where the only thing there is one luxury resort. And I’d just soak in the gloriousness of the luxury and the scenery. Of course, if I ever were to travel as far as Australia, I’d want to see everything and would not have time to just sit at a luxury resort – but it’s kind of a dream vacation.


Thanks Christine for taking the time to stop by and answer Jillian’s questions. You can read Jillian’s review of When Mike Kissed Emma here and the novel is available for purchase at The Wild Rose PressRob Kelley Jersey