Title: White Rogue
Genre: Spy Thriller
Author: Dr. David R. Fett, Stephen Langford & Connie Malcolm
Cold War era biological experiments are resurrected and after Boston experiences a seemingly inexplicable bio-terrorist attack, the Center for Disease Control’s Dr. Davie Richards and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Paula Mushari once again join forces to uncover who is behind it. An obscure reference to a Dresden project found amid crash site evidence marks them both for execution. Paula and Dave are forced to leave Boston in the middle of the night and head to Washington, D.C.,where they soon find that anyone they contact also becomes the target of assassins. When the daughter of the CDC’s director is taken hostage, Dave and Paula come face to face with an evil that forces them to question the very nature of duty and service to country. With the help of one man, they learn the true meaning of dark operatives while they desperately try to stop another bio-attack from happening.
Thank you for this interview, Stephen, Dr. Fett and Connie! First I’d like to know how each of you got the writing bug?
Stephen: I started when I was a teenager writing short stories. I had an English teacher that inspired me. My first love was television writing which I luckily started to do right out of college. I stepped away from fiction until the last few years when Dr. Fett and I wrote White Sleeper.
Dr. Fett: Throughout my under graduate, and post graduate studies, I did a lot of writing but longed to write a story drawing on some of the more interesting experiences I have had in my own life. I wanted to write something that would be universally appreciated; a story that was both fun and frightening.
Connie: I can’t remember not wanting to be a writer. My mother was a novelist and published her first book, The Rivers Are Frozen, when she was 24 years old. A daunting role model so I chose a path in journalism. I loved it but longed to tell a story longer than 20 inches of columnar type. I married a New York Times foreign correspondent who also had the same desire to grow beyond newspapers so we combined forces and wrote 10 books of nonfiction.
All three of you wrote this wonderful book, White Rogue. How did you do it? Did you do it online or in person?
Stephen: David began the process with the initial idea and theme. Then Connie and I joined in building the stories and characters with David.
Dr. Fett, another question about writing the book – did you write one chapter and then one of the others write a chapter?
Dr. Fett: No. This was the first time the three of us joined forces. (Stephen and I worked on the first book.) It took some time to find how we best worked together. I like to think of myself as the architect and Stephen as the framer. Connie worked through the structural problems that arise with any project and then did the finish work.
Connie, was there any point during the writing of this book that you three butted heads?
Connie: Sure. It’s not easy to bring three very different people together and not have that happen. In the end, we all wanted to have the project be the best we could possibly make it.
What do you think was the most exciting part about writing this book?
Stephen: I think that the Boston chapters where the plot takes off and hurtles Dr. Richard into a situation he has to dig himself out of. It’s the jumping off point that tells the story of the everyman who becomes the reluctant spy. I think people love the character of James Bond but would be jumping out of their skin if they had to be him. I
think White Rogue plays on that.
Dr. Fett: Definitely, the section involving D.C. It gave us the chance to examine how vulnerable we all are in today’s world and that often we blindly trust government institutions.
Connie: Definitely the chapters involving their flight to Washington, D.C., and their efforts to get help from colleagues and mentors. I loved moving David Richards and Paula Mushari through the iconic streets of the capitol.
What was the most challenging?
Stephen: The first draft is like facing a daunting mountain you’ll never climb. So I’d say It’s getting to the 2/3rds
point where you realize that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.
Dr. Fett: I have two degrees in biological engineering and a Masters in toxicology. There were sections of the book dealing with complex science that I wanted the reader to understand without losing the suspense of the bioterrorism threats faced by White Rogue’s characters.
Connie: For me it was writing the passages that illuminated the characters. In the end writing is a solitary effort even when you have partners. So it required that I take a leap of faith that I had interpreted correctly these characters as two other people had envisioned them.
Of all the book, what part was the most fun to write?
Stephen: All of the hit woman chapters. I think she should have her own book series.
Dr. Fett: The completion of the entire project gave me the most satisfaction.
Connie: The historical set-ups and touchstones to ground this work of fiction in reality.
What’s next for you guys? More books?
Stephen: We’ve completed the outline for the third book in the Dr. David Richards series.
DR. DAVID FETT, a board certified ophthalmologist, received his BS and Masters from MIT before earning his MD from Dartmouth Medical School. He now runs a private practice in Los Angeles and serves as an assistant clinical professor at UCLA School of Medicine. He lives in the Los Angeles area with his wife, Randi, and their four children.
STEPHEN LANGFORD is a veteran writer/producer of over 150 hours of primetime television. He has also ventured into screenwriting and fiction. He lives in the Los Angeles area with his wife, Sandy, and their two daughters.
CONNIE MALCOLM is a recovering journalist who worked on The Globe and Mail in Toronto. She has worked previously on ten books of nonfiction authored by her husband, Andrew. She lives in the Los Angeles area with her husband and the youngest of their three sons.