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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Different Look at the HIV-AIDS Epidemic

     The HBO film presentation of Larry Kramer's THE NORMAL HEART has many thinking again about the worldwide implications of the HIV epidemic. An accident of timing has allowed my novel, WILDFIRE to be completed this same week. WILDFIRE tells the fictional story of a medical student who is infected with HIV by an accidental needle stick injury in a New Orleans hospital in the late 1980s. Public fear of the poorly understood AIDS epidemic, perceived in those years as spreading like a wildfire all across the nation, becomes political fear that results in a law intended to limit transmission of HIV by imposing a new kind of segregation.
     This neo-segregation is based upon one's HIV status, and it is enforced for every bar, hotel and motel, every health club, hospital, clinic and medical office. Entry is regulated for all public places where politicians believe transmission of the virus might occur. In this dystopian world young Jeremy Becker, the infected medical student, pursues his dream of becoming a surgeon. But first he must deal with life-threatening mystery, unexplained deaths of hospital patients, and leading edge HIV research sabotaged by greedy politicians who divert federal funds to their personal use.
     WILDFIRE will be presented at the Writers' League of Texas Agents/Authors Conference in Austin in late June. If the novel doesn't capture the interest of a major publisher at that conference, I plan to publish it for release later this year on World AIDS Day.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

HUSH, BOY On Sale This Weekend

The Kindle edition of HUSH, BOY will be on sale this weekend via amazon.com, beginning at $1.99 on Friday, May 9 and increasing each day until Tuesday, May 13, when it returns to the full price of $9.99. Here's a big chance to get an exciting novel about the sorrows and the joys of growing up in the Deep South in the 1930s and 40s at rock-bottom prices. Reminder: If you don't have a Kindle device, consider the free Kindle reader available from amazon.com which can be installed on any computer or portable device to allow downloading and reading Kindle books.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Back From the Etruscan Empire

     I've been back at home working on  WILDFIRE for a while, but I'm unable to link any photos of the Etruscan trip to this blog for some reason. Sorry about that--I really wanted to share some of the great sights. Learned more than I ever thought known about the Etruscans. Visited many (maybe most) Etruscan sites between Rome and Florence, including the best of the best museums of Etruscan antiquities.
     An astonishing, non-Etruscan site visit was a fine tour of the Antonori winery, producer of the best Chianti Classico in all of Italy. Their new winery has been open only a few months, though the house is many generations old. It's a model of eco-friendly construction: built entirely underground beneath a vineyard and not visible from the passing roadway. Modern in every way, including a fine restaurant on the roof which is the only above-ground structure of the complex.
     In Florence, and after returning to Rome, we abandoned the Etruscans and gave attention to some relics of the Roman Empire and the Medicis. An interesting distraction was the Rome Marathon, which happened to take place in the city streets on the same day we'd planned to visit the Coliseum. Thousands of runners and spectators made it difficult to cross the streets in that neighborhood.
     I'll have to give up on trying to add photos to these posts. This Blogger is not helpful. WILDFIRE is moving right along. I'm now in the final editing stages and hoping for release on December 1, which is World AIDS Day. Remember the chapter I shared a while back...about a medical student who was infected with HIV in the late 1980s as a result of a needle stick accident in a New Orleans hospital. It's an exciting novel. I'll share more of it as we move closer to the publication date.