Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Interview with Doug Richards

 Douglas E. Richards was born on May 7th, 1962.  He grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio with his parents and his sister, Pam.  He went to Finneytown High School, and then graduated with a degree in microbiology from Ohio State University, a master's degree in molecular biology from the University of Wisconsin, and a master's degree in business administration from the University of Chicago. 
Douglas now lives in San Diego, California with his wife, Kelly, and his two children, Ryan and Regan.

Kira Miller is a brilliant genetic engineer who discovers how to temporarily achieve savant-like capabilities in all areas of thought and creativity. But what if this transcendent level of intelligence brings with it a ruthless megalomania?

David Desh left the special forces after his team was brutally butchered in Iran. Now he has been reactivated for one last mission: find Kira Miller, the enigmatic genius behind a bioterror plot that threatens millions. But when Desh learns that the bioterror plot is just the tip of the iceberg, he is thrust into a byzantine maze of deception and intrigue, and he becomes a key player in a deadly game he can't begin to understand. A game that is certain to have a dramatic impact on the future course of human history.

The sequel to the NY Times & USA Today bestseller, WIRED, which was also the #1 bestselling Kindle book of 2011 in two major categories, "technothrillers" and "science fiction" (19th overall).
Kira Miller is a brilliant scientist who discovers how to temporarily boost human IQ to dizzying levels. But this transcendent intelligence brings with it a ruthless megalomania. Determined to use her discovery to propel human civilization to a higher plane, despite this side effect, Kira and ex-special forces operative David Desh recruit a small group of accomplished scientists, all of whom are safely off the grid. Or so they think .

Soon Kira and her team are fighting for their lives against unknown but powerful adversaries. Worse still, while on the run and being relentlessly attacked from all quarters, Kira comes across evidence of savage acts that the enhanced version of Desh kept hidden, even from himself. Now both she and Desh must question everything they think they know. Can they trust each other? Can they even trust themselves?
And all the while, the greatest threat of all may be coming from an entirely unexpected direction. A threat that could lead to devastation on a global scale. And time is quickly running out .

How did you come up with the titles?

I was going for something punchy and interesting. The books are about a brilliant woman who finds a way, for about an hour at a time, to boost human intelligence to immeasurable levels, but this boost comes with a price. She does this by using genetic engineering to re-wire the brain (so "WIRED" seemed to make sense for a title). Since I have a master's degree in genetic engineering, I did a lot of research to make this as plausible as possible.

How did you come up with the idea for your series?

I've always been fascinated with the potential of the human brain, especially given that autistic savants, by being able to memorize entire phonebooks and calculate square roots in their heads instantly, give us a glimpse into the brain's vast potential. 

Is there a message in your novels that you want readers to grasp?

I've tried to include a lot of food for thought in the books. There really isn't anything specific I'm hoping readers will grasp, I just want to entertain them, yet also present concepts that I hope they will continue to think about long after they've finished the books.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

For me, the writing is the easy part. It's figuring out the plots that can drive me crazy, or even what will happen in a given scene. It's one thing to write in an outline "hero cleverly escapes from an inescapable prison," but it's another to actually figure out how this happens :)

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

My boyhood favorite was Isaac Asimov. I loved his plots, and the clever twists he always had at the end.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Just that I hope they will enjoy the books.

Who is your favorite or least favorite character to write?

Kira Miller is far and away my favorite character to write. I find her fascinating on a number of levels, and she is not only brilliant, but street smart, fascinating, and incredibly resourceful and formidable. 

Fun time!

In the point of view of any character you choose, answer these:

From Kira Miller's point of view:

What is your dirty little secret?

I have lots of secrets, but they're all plot spoilers :)   (I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you)

You're walking along and a dragon appears in front of you. What do you do?

Calmly assess the situation, and then impress it and outsmart it on so many levels, it decides to be my loyal servant.

What is your heart's desire?
To destroy the world or save it. I can't be more specific without fear of a plot spoiler.

 Bonus round!

Where can we all follow you?

My website is at www.douglaserichards.com, but I'm horrible at keeping it up to date, and to be honest, it isn't very good (although it does have some articles I've written for the BBC, Earth & Sky, Today's Parent, etc. and some samples of my work for National Geographic KIDS magazine. I find my Author Facebook page is far easier for me to update, so "Friending" me on Facebook at Douglas E. Richards Author might be the best way to go.

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