What is your least favorite quality about yourself? The flipside of being insatiably curious about everything (my favorite quality), is that I have the attention span of a gnat with ADD, and it’s difficult to concentrate on a task without the sense that a huge number of interesting things are happening around me and I don’t know about them. I noticed that social media has made my inability to focus worse, and I’m now consciously trying to limit my Internet time. Not very successfully so far.
How did you come up with the title? “Poison pill” is a legal term. It relates to a contract provision that makes an undesirable action by a party so extremely costly that it virtually guarantees that party won’t do it. A poison pill provision plays an important role in the plot of POISON PILL. In addition the book is about a bad diet drug — so POISON PILL seemed like a perfect double entendre title.
What is your greatest strength as a writer? From a technical standpoint, readers comment almost uniformly that they love the dialogue. They say it has authenticity, it’s witty, and the characters’ voices are distinct and consistent.
Personally, I think my greatest strength is describing complex scientific and legal concepts in a way that is accessible to a non-expert, without being condescending or boring. And I should be pretty good at this by now — this is what I do in my day job as a patent litigator.
Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it? Writing POISON PILL taught me the value of committing to a goal and working toward it without having the perfect plan of action or a detailed map. A friend once jokingly said that if there were books on how to cross the street, I’d read all of them before attempting an actual crossing, and she’s probably right. I often use the need to acquire theoretical knowledge as a means to postpone attempting the actual doing of something.
With this novel, I just plunged in. I started writing. Then I started editing. Then I found a writing group to provide critiques. Then I found a professional editor. Each step was a learning process on the go, and brought with it valuable experience. So now I’m far less reticent about doing things and learning from my mistakes.
Do you intent to make writing a career? I consider writing to be a career already. It cannot be a full-time career right now for financial reasons, but I take it just as seriously as I take my work as a lawyer. It is definitely not a hobby.
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Genre – Legal Thriller
Rating – PG