Jordyn Redwood is a tremendous author of medical thrillers and she one of my favorite blogs – Redwood’s Medical Edge. (She was also kind enough to let me run a scene or two from Razed by her.) The third book in her Bloodlines trilogy, Peril, released recently, and I am pleased to give you a chance to get to know Jordyn and WIN a copy of Poison, Bloodlines, Book 2 AND an Amazon gift card.
You are both a pediatric ER nurse and suspense author. How do your two occupations work together? Does one help the other?
JR: They absolutely are intertwined. The situations I deal with at work give me great story ideas. Of course, I keep patient information confidential but the murder weapon in Poison did stem directly from a patient I cared for. Writing is a release for the conflict I manage at work. They go hand in hand.
On your blog, Redwood’s Medical Edge, you advise other authors on how to write medically-accurate fiction. What sort of questions do you answer?
JR: All sorts! Dispelling popular medical myths is one of my favorite things to do. I also help authors find the right diseases/injuries for their character. I help them with the correct medical treatment as well as educate them on how the disease or injury they picked will affect their character in the long run. You can’t have someone who was shot in the leg and then suffered a fractured femur be up and running the next day.
So, what sorts of medical inaccuracies do you notice in the fiction you read?
JR: I get that writing medical stuff is hard but some of the mistakes I read from published works of fiction are not that difficult to research simply by hopping over to Google University. I’ve seen the shoulder blade called a collar bone. The spleen and the liver reversed anatomically. One very popular author used scopolamine as a truth serum drug. The only instance I’d heard of scopolamine being used was as a patch for motion sickness so I decided to Google it myself. The first website that pops up is the CIA’s own website that talks about how scopolamine is not a good choice and fell out of favor over 50 years ago.
Let’s talk about your book. Peril is the third book in The Bloodline Trilogy (which also includes Proof and Poison). For folks who may be unfamiliar with your novels, what will they find with this series?
JR: Each book of the Bloodline Trilogy has a medical mystery at its core. In Proof—what does the victim do when DNA testing sets a guilty man free? In Poison—can hypnosis cause someone to do something against their will? And Peril—can there be transfer of memories between people and if so—does that change our opinion about life?
The name of the series—The Bloodline Trilogy—suggests a familial tie. What is the bloodline connection in your latest book?
JR: Dr. Lilly Reeves, the main character in Proof, the first book, discovers she has a sister she never knew about. The question is—does this help heal or further distance her from her estranged father.
Some of the medicine you write about could be considered controversial. In Peril, your character Dr. Thomas Reeves is researching superior autobiographical memory produced from genetically altered brain cells.
First of all, WHERE do you find such an intriguing topic?
JR: I read a lot of non-fiction for research. One book that was highly influential to the story line was Mind Wars: Brain Science and the Military in the 21st Century by Jonathan D. Moreno. Honestly, that book could fuel story lines for several novels. To get more of the personal aspects of people who deal with the disease or situation I’ll read autobiographies. Three that helped with Peril’s story line were Gianna—Aborted and Lived to Tell About It by Jessica Shaver, The Woman Who Can’t Forget by Jill Price and Unplanned by Abby Johnson. All great books.
Do you think there is some sort of controversy in all medical fiction?
JR: Not necessarily but the ones that do are the ones I’m most attracted to. I think this is what made Robin Cook a great medical thriller novelist. He took a medical issue, shortage of organs for organ donation, created a plot line around it—creating clones for body parts—and then examined the ethical implications of that decision. Were these clones human? That novel was Chromosome 6. Harry Kraus’s early novels for Christian fiction delved a lot into medical controversy, too. His novel Stainless Steal Hearts was about using live aborted fetuses for medical experiments.
When it comes to the ethical line—has Dr. Thomas Reeves crossed it? Is that line different in Christian fiction than in mainline fiction?
JR: Such a great question. In Peril, whether or not Thomas Reeves has crossed an ethical line does depend on your belief about when life begins. It’s more common that mainstream fiction holds more liberal viewpoints so some of those readers may not think that his actions are that egregious. Readers of Christian fiction tend to be more conservative and hold to a pro-life stance so they’ll be more likely to view his actions and horrific and definitely over the line.
What’s next for you?
JR: Right now my agent is shopping around a new trilogy that deals with Near Death Experiences. Are they medical, are they spiritual or a combination of both? It’s pretty interesting to ask religious and non-religious people because their answers are all over the board.
Visit Jordyn’s website www.jordynredwood.com and subscribe to her blog. Seriously. Sign up. So I promised to give away a copy of Poison and an Amazon gift card. Here’s what you need to do to enter. Check out the trailer for Peril and leave Jordyn a comment HERE on this post no later than Wednesday, February 19, 2014.