Thursday, October 23, 2014

Allen Wyler Guest Post!

New Medical Thriller Based
On Possible Cure for Alzheimer’s

Dead End Deal is a medical thriller of the highest order, reviving the genre with a splendid mixture of innovation and cutting edge timeliness.  Neurosurgeon Allen Wyler knows of what he speaks, and writes, and the result is a thriller that equals and updates the best of Robin Cook and Michael Crichton.”
--Jon Land, bestselling author of Strong at the Break

“The suspense builds and builds in this riveting page-turner.  It’s a skillful merging of the medical thriller and political thriller…Tom Clancy meets Tess Gerritsen!”
--Kevin O’Brien, NY Times Bestselling Author of The Last Victim and Killing Spree

Astor + Blue Editions is proud to present, Dead End Deal [ISBN: 978-938231-14-8 (paperback); Fiction Thriller; US $12.95, CAN $13.95; 334 pages; Pub Date: January, 2013 (paperback)], the first of a series of stand-alone medical thrillers to be published by Allen Wyler.  In the tradition of Robin Cook, Wyler weaves a fast paced action suspense plot centered on cutting edge medical techniques.  In this case: A true to life, plausible cure for Alzheimer’s Disease.

World renowned neurosurgeon Jon Ritter is on the verge of a medical breakthrough that will change the world.  His groundbreaking surgical treatment, using transplanted non-human stem cells, is set to eradicate the scourge of Alzheimer’s disease and give hope to millions.  But a radical anti-abortion group resorts to violence to stop it.  Faced with a dangerous reality but determined to succeed, Ritter turns to his long-time colleague, corporate biotech CEO Richard Stillman, for help.  Together, they conspire to conduct a clandestine clinical trial in Seoul, Korea.  But the danger is more determined, and more lethal, than Ritter could have imagined.

After successful surgical trials, Ritter and his allies are thrown into a horrifying nightmare scenario:  The trial patients have been murdered and Ritter is the number one suspect. Aided by his beautiful lab assistant, Yeonhee, Ritter flees the country, now the target of an international manhunt involving Interpol, the FBI, zealous fanatics and a coldly efficient assassin named Feist.

Dead End Deal is a fast paced, heart-pounding, and sophisticated thriller. Penned by master neurosurgeon, Allen Wyler—who often draws from experience, actual events and hot-button issues when writing—Dead End Deal is unmatched as a technical procedural. And yet, the technical expertise is seamlessly woven into a riveting plot, with enough action and surprises to engross even the most well-read thriller enthusiast.  A smart, unique, page-turner,Dead End Deal delivers.

Allen Wyler is a renowned neurosurgeon who earned an international reputation for pioneering surgical techniques to record brain activity.  He has served on the faculties of both the University of Washington and the University of Tennessee, and in 1992 was recruited by the prestigious Swedish Medical Center to develop a neuroscience institute.
In 2002, he left active practice to become Medical Director for a startup med-tech company (that went public in 2006) and he now chairs the Institutional Review Board of a major medical center in the Pacific Northwest.
Leveraging a love for thrillers since the early 70’s, Wyler devoted himself to fiction writing in earnest, eventually serving as Vice President of the International Thriller Writers organization for several years. After publishing his first two medical thrillers Deadly Errors (2005) and Dead Head (2007), he officially retired from medicine to devote himself to writing full time.
He and his wife, Lily, divide their time between Seattle and the San Juan Islands.


Astor + Blue Blog
Dead End Deal

Thanks for asking me to talk about Dead End Deal, a thriller that takes place in both Seattle and Seoul, South Korea.


For me writing is a difficult process that takes discipline. First thing I do every morning is pour a cup of coffee and sit down in front of my computer, the door to the room shut, the blinds drawn. No distractions. Then I get to work. One to four hours every day, no exceptions. Each day I set a goal and don’t quit until I reach that goal. If it takes the whole four hours, fine. If it takes only two hours, even better. But the point is I work at it daily. So what does this have to do with being a surgeon? Well, surviving neurosurgical training took a great deal of motivation and self-discipline. It taught me that I could succeed at a task if I gave it 100% effort. As far as how my career might flavor my writing, I think being a neurosurgeon given me a wealth of experience on which to base some pretty interesting stories.


This is a blitz-pace thriller about a Seattle neurosurgeon who, while in Korea, is framed for a murder. Now hunted by police he must evade a professional hit man while trying to find a way back to the United States. I figure it’s Three Days of The Condor meets Michael Crichton.

I got the idea for the story when I was a guest lecturer at a medical school in Seoul, South Korea. I was staying at the Walker Hill Sheraton hotel across the Han River from the hospital. So all the scenes (hotel, downtown Seoul, and the Korean hospital) were from notes and snapshots I took while there. (I always travel with a small point and shoot camera in my pocket). The brief description of the surgical procedure comes from my own experience.

My neurosurgeon protagonist, Jon Ritter, escapes via a route I personally took when figuring out how he might return to the United States without a passport. Again, the scenes were written with the help of snapshots. So, the short answer to the question is that all the research for the story came from personal experience. By the way, I find digital photography a great help when writing. I view a relevant snapshot on the screen as I write. This help me accurately describe what I’m seeing.


People who read medical thrillers are usually interested in medical details, just as readers of legal thrillers find law interesting. What is difficult is adding sufficient medical detail to satisfy a reader without making descriptions or facts boring. This is one reason I try to move my stories along at a fast clip. Thrillers are intended to thrill, not lecture. Fast pace, good plot, interesting characters are the elements that should be in a medical thriller.


Writing always interested me. Even in grade school I read like a fiend. So it seemed like a good idea to major in English instead of the traditional chemistry or zoology when I was taking my pre-med courses. This caused me considerable grief because it was difficult to get in all my required credits. But I figured once I got into medical school I’d never have another shot at the literature courses. And that’s exactly what happened —medical school and post graduate training consumed all my time. Then one Saturday, after starting practice, I came home from making rounds at the hospital and decided to start writing. Just like that. I began a novel that ended up to be really awful. Then I wrote another one, which was better but still not ready for prime time. At that point I started trolling for an agent and finally secured one, but could not sell my work. Years later, I got the call I’d been waiting for. It was quite a thrill. I guess, in the end, my biggest challenge was finding enough time to devote to writing. For me the writing process is difficult and requires a ton of work. I now enjoy the luxury of having sufficient time to work on my craft. It’s a dream come true.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love to hear what you have to say and I'll try to reply to every comment!