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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Writers' League of Texas Agent/Editor Conference

A great weekend in Austin at the 21st annual Writers' League of Texas Conference included many helpful breakout sessions, an inspiring keynote address, and good interactions with many other writers. Best news of all is that a New York based literary agent expressed interest in WILDFIRE, and asked to see part of the manuscript. I've sent a synopsis and fifty pages for his consideration--hopefully he'll ask for more after he reads those pages.
The synopsis I sent to New York is included below for your preview:
SYNOPSIS
     WILDFIRE is a novel about fear. Fear that was prevalent in the late 1980s—fear of the poorly understood AIDS epidemic that was spreading across the nation like a wildfire. The novel tells the story of Jeremy Becker, a medical student infected by the AIDS virus, HIV, as the result of a needle stick accident in a New Orleans hospital in 1987. Widespread fear of the spreading AIDS epidemic triggers political overreaction that creates a dystopian world in which segregation is reborn—segregation based upon mandatory HIV blood tests. This bizarre segregation law provides automated machines that require insertion of one’s HIV card to enter many public buildings, including hospitals, clinics, and medical offices.
     In that strange world that never was, but might have been, Jeremy advances through a surgery residency at New Orleans Charity Hospital. The new law does have one good element. It provides unprecedented funding for Nobel-quality AIDS research that fuels Jeremy’s hope for a life without the ever-present specter of AIDS.
    But that hope is frustrated by men in positions of power who are driven by greed to sabotage the AIDS research for their own personal gain. Their scheme causes the deaths of hospital patients, even threatens the lives of Jeremy and his roommate until, finally, they recruit the FBI to help them expose the nefarious plot.
    Years later, Jeremy is invited to present the keynote address at a World AIDS Conference. He tells of his life during a time of extreme political manipulation of health care. He recounts a dark time in the annals of medicine and challenges researchers to craft a renaissance of hope for the worldwide millions affected by the scourge of HIV-AIDS.