Deadly Odds - Author Interview
Publication Date: September, 2014 by Astor + Blue
Astor + Blue Editions is proud to present Deadly Odds (ISBN: 978-1-941286-02-9; Fiction, Thriller, Suspense & Crime, Technological Fiction; Espionage; September, 2014), a new breakout suspense thriller with a “techno edge” by bestselling author Allen Wyler. What happens when a shy and awkward young computer hacker has a run-in with terrorists?
Twenty-three year old Arnold Gold is a local computer genius in his native Seattle, described as a “part-time hacker and full-time virgin” by his friends. When the awkward young shut-in decides to take matters in his own hands, and venture to Vegas “to get lucky,” little does he know that his hacking skill will make him a bull’s-eye target for terrorists and the FBI.
A major terrorist group wants Arnold’s “Dark Net Hacking” system to help hatch their latest plot, and they’ll stop at nothing to claim it—even killing Arnold’s friends. Now, with murderous terrorists, the FBI, and the local cops on his tail, Arnold finds himself trapped in a high-stakes game with the odds of survival slim to none. It will take every last bit of his genius intellect and legendary hacking skill to stay one step ahead of the deadly game, and foil the plot that will turn Sin City into the scene of the deadliest terror attacks since 9/11.
Written in Allen Wyler’s break neck style and attention to expert detail, Deadly Odds is as terrifyingly plausible as it is darkly humorous and enjoyable. The riveting story of a young man who lives life through his computer and discovers its dark side is sure to win him legions of new fans. Filled with suspenseful twists and enough technological detail to keep both techno-thriller and classic suspense fans on the edge of their seats, Deadly Odds is the ultimate thrill ride for the emerging tech-savvy generation.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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.
Guest Blog by Allen Wyler
Q: How did you come up with the idea of the story?
A: The first novel I ever wrote was based on this story’s kernel: a geek who develops a strategy to successfully gamble draws unwanted attention to himself. But that novel turned out to be disaster and was rejected by every agent I queried. However, the idea of being able to beat the odds remained intriguing yet elusive. Then one day I read about Nate Silver and his uncannily ability to accurately predict various phenomenon based on statistics. After all, this was what the 2011 Brad Pitt movie Moneyball was based on. Once I read about Silver, I knew the plot was much more believable.
Q: What influenced you to create a computer hacker protagonist than the usual medical professional?
A: There are several reasons. First, I don’t like being pigeonholed into the subgenre of “medical thriller.” In addition, it’s unbelievable to believe that a healthcare professional would have the computer expertise—or time—to pull off something like Arnold Gold does. More importantly, in doing my research for this story, I became fascinated with the Darknet and Internet security. I really wanted a way to weave this interesting information into a compelling story. So... a likeable computer hacker seemed to be a much more interesting character to develop than another neurosurgeons. I love Arnold Gold’s character and am really glad I settled on him.
Q: Why Vegas? Have you always wanted to write a book with Sin City as the setting?
A: When first developing the story I didn’t have any city in mind other than I knew Arnold lived in Seattle. (I love the city as a backdrop to stories.) I also knew Arnold wanted to get laid but was so uneasy about seeing an “escort” for this purpose, that it made sense for him to go someplace far from home where he’d be unlikely to run into anyone he knew. Given the reputation of Sin City, it just felt right to send him there.
Q: Do you plan on writing more thriller books outside of the medical thriller genre?
A: You bet. I like exploring topics dealing with computers and the Internet. I’m especially intrigued with hacking and the Darknet. My next book, Cutter’s Trial, however, is not a thriller and lands me right back in the medical arena because it explores the issue of physician assisted suicide. Having been involved in a couple start-up companies, I’m also toying with using that subject as a basis for a book, but I have nothing in development along these lines at the present time. We’ll see what happens.
Q: Would you ever consider a sequel to this book?
A: Glad you asked the question. Both Arnold Gold and Palmer Davidson are such wonderfully rich characters that Robert Astle (my agent) and I agree they are well-suited for a sequel. At the moment I’m busy writing Deadly Odds 2.0.
Q: Do you think this book could be a movie? Who could you picture playing Arnold?
A: Of all my prior thrillers, I think this one has the most cinematic potential. I’m lousy at casting, so if it were ever made into a movie (my wildest dream), I’d leave that choice to the producers.