Wednesday, July 24, 2013

How My Newest Thriller Came About by Jon McGoran (Author of Drift) and Giveaway!

Like many authors, I have a day job, and while I've been writing mysteries and crime thrillers at night, I've been writing about food and sustainability by day, first as editor of a newspaper for Philadelphia's largest food co-op, Weavers Way, and now as editor of Grid, a magazine about sustainability. Over the years, I've been struck by the increasingly bizarre news about where food comes from in the U.S.—things like factory farms, irradiation, superbugs caused by antibiotics in livestock feed. They are all cause for concern.

But then along came genetically modified foods, an issue that struck me as different in several ways.

It was definitely more disturbing, in no small part because genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, are alive, and once they get out, they are out. You can't undo it. As a human who eats food, it concerned me enough that I started working with groups like Just Label It and Food & Water Watch, promoting efforts to label GMOs.

But as a writer, it struck me as a great backdrop for a book, and a great way to bring my two writing lives together.

The story of how GMOs have been introduced reads like a thriller on its own—big corporations spreading bio-engineered new lifeforms across the globe and onto unsuspecting people’s dinner plates, using their political and economic power to prevent serious long-term study—that's a good (or terrible) story right there. The more I thought about it, the more potential story lines I saw. And at the same time, I realized a lot of people didn’t know how pervasive and under-researched GMOs are. On the one hand, I saw this really intriguing premise for a book, and on the other hand, I saw an important issue that needed a more thorough discussion. For me it was like a perfect storm: a compelling backstory, a rich premise with lots of potential, and an important issue that begged to explored.

I've written about GMOs journalistically and satirically, but I think fiction lets you explore issues differently, in ways more deeply, more personally, and from a variety of points of view. As a novelist, my primary objective has to be telling a compelling story about characters you care about, but I think including these other ideas is a very important plus.
Page Count: 384
Release Date: 9 July 2013
Publisher: Forge Books (Tor; Macmillan)

Genre: Commercial thriller, GMOs

When Philadelphia narcotics detective Doyle Carrick loses his mother and step-father within weeks of each other, he gains a twenty-day suspension for unprofessional behavior and instructions to lay low at the unfamiliar house he's inherited in rural Pennsylvania.

Feeling restless and out of place, Doyle is surprised to find himself falling for his new neighbor, Nola Watkins, who's under pressure to sell her organic farm to a large and mysterious development company. He's more surprised to see high-powered drug dealers driving the small-town roads—dealers his bosses don't want to hear about.

But when the drug bust Doyle's been pushing for goes bad and the threats against Nola turn violent, Doyle begins to discover that what’s growing in the farmland around Philadelphia is much deadlier than anything he could have imagined...

Quick, clever, and terrifying, Jon McGoran's Drift is a commercial thriller in the tradition of Nelson DeMille's Plum Island.

About the Author

"I have been following and writing about trends in food and agriculture for many years," says McGoran. "As a fan of thrillers with massive crazy evil plots, and a writer with one of those minds that is always hatching them, I couldn't help notice how the news about food in recent years has read like a thriller, or even science fiction: genetic modification, transgenics, cloning, irradiation, and the release of genetically engineered foods into the environment. When I had the ideas at the center of Drift, I knew it was a book I had to write." 

Writing as D. H. Dublin, he is the author of the forensic crime thrillers Freezer Burn, Blood Poison, and Body Trace, all from Penguin Books. His short fiction, nonfiction, and satire have appeared in a variety of publications and anthologies. He is a member of the Mystery Writers' Association, the International Association of Crime Writers, and the International Thriller Writers, and a founding member of the Liars Club.

Jon is currently working on the sequel to Drift, titled Deadout, out in Summer 2014. He is represented by Stacia Decker of the Donald Maass Literary Agency.

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Thank you so much for sharing your newest release's development process, Jon! It sure is compelling to see a book about GMOs, which are so heavily handled in media, but hardly ever in literature. It was great having you over today.


We've got one print copy of Drift up for grabs to one lucky Books à la Mode reader! To enter, all you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form below :)

For FOUR extra entries, leave a comment below in response to my question:
What do you think about genetically modified organisms? Do you consume them, or would you not touch them with a ten-foot pole? Let me know your stance on the issue!
Please make your comment meaningful and encouraging to the discussion. Comments consisting solely of stock responses like "No I don't eat them" or irrelevant answers like "Thanks for the giveaway" will not be awarded the additional entries. I really want to hear you guys' thoughts! :)
Don't forget the entry eligibility terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the publicist and publisher—a huge thank you to TLC Book Tours and Forge Books!
Giveaway ends August 8th at 11.59 (your time).
Open to US/CAN residents only. Sorry, international readers! Check out my sidebar for all the current giveaways that are open worldwide.
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their prize will be forfeited and a new winner will be chosen.
Although I do select winners (via on the Rafflecopter form), I am in no way responsible for the prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ❤ Plus, you get extra entries ;)
Good luck!