Why I write fiction novels

Why I write fiction with sci-fi, medical and sometimes paranormal bent. The Next Day.

My first novel takes shape

The first book I wrote was The Next Day. But, this book I published third. I think I needed to learn more about writing. I started it right after 9/11/2001 and finished it after a couple of years.

Many questions I wanted to answer

I wanted to learn about how and why someone becomes a terrorist. Try to figure out why we in the US went overboard about Muslim hatred.

I started writing it by hand in those composition books, then graduated to Word Press.

Put in a little medical sci-fi,

I have always had a penchant for near-future, medically related sci-fi books like Michael Crichton. So, the protagonist, Alex Smith had a common name, but uncommon job, working in a secret, technically illegal microbial lab in Brazil where an old US Navy tropical medicine lab used to be.

Add supersecret bio-research microbial lab, prior Navy base

I had been stationed in Edzell, Scotland which was a Naval Security Group Agency base—i.e. supersecret jobs, so developing Alex felt good.

International setting, villain and hero connected, supernatural powers

And, being a Navy guy, I wanted it set internationally, but ending in Colorado, where I grew up. The sci-fi medical twist came when Alex and his mirror image terrorist, Jabril, were exposed to a virus that caused DNA mutations that exaggerated their underlying personality traits and gave them supernatural powers.

The end is good against evil in Colorado

Alex and Jabril must eventually battle, symbolically good against evil.

Now it was time to get it published. I tried various agents once we moved to Colorado in 2005. Too many rejections. I got frustrated and put The Next Day away and wrote another book.

Why I wrote Dan’s War

Dan's War to End Global Warming

The biggest reason was frustration with Big Oil.

Dan’s War blossomed out of my hating the high price of gas in the 2006-2008 time frame. Big Oil was continuing to make record profits, yet not lowering the price to the consumer of a gallon of gasoline. Will America ever become interested enough in green energy to leave fossil fuels and make a difference in global warming?

Sink or Swim

So, I thought, what if all the oil just disappeared in weeks. Sink or swim philosophy. We must do something. But, the further I got, more dominos started to fall when oil disappeared. World War III or The Oil War started.

My hero had to be in support sector and weird.

Being in the support sector of the Navy, I also wanted to have the hero, Dan, not be a warrior, but a support CIA guy. He became a disguise guy. He also had to be a little weird, so became a high functioning, on-the -spectrum guy lacking social skills.

The hero needed help from a field agent

He needed a special CIA field agent, Sam Houston—the same guy I used in The Next Day, similar to the Mission Impossible hero played by Tom Cruise, Ethan Hunt—a NOC list CIA agent, Not Otherwise Classified. I always loved those movies.

Time for more Sci-fi medical

Once again, I pulled a sci-fi scenario with the nanobacteria. I love the international settings, though it ends in an area I was familiar with–Eastern Louisiana, very close to Pensacola Naval Hospital.

Journey to self publishing this first book

I entered Dan’s War into a contest at Pike’s Peak Writers, and it came in third in the thrillers category. I felt sure that would be the ticket to an agent and publication. Yeah … no. Lots of rejections. I got a couple of teases, “Send me fifty pages. Send me the whole book.” But nobody bit.

I finally got frustrated and found a self-publishing outfit called Telemachus Press. So that was my first published book in 2011. It took four years from the date I finished it until it was published. A long time in my mind.

Next Book after Dan’s War

But, by then, I had been working as a fly-fishing guide, and started another novel about a fly-fishing guide and a serial killing doctor in Rocky Mountain National Park, The Guide. This book got first prize in thrillers at Pike’s Peak Writers. More on it next post.

Cookies Help Veterans on Veterans Day

Veterans Day short story “Roses and Cookies”

This audio short story on Veterans Day, Vietnam War, and PTSD, “Roses and Cookies” is in audio form for good reason. Click on the recording below and you’ll find out why.

Vietnam War Memorial Wall on Veterans Day
middle of the Vietnam Wall
Roses and Cookies recording by Milt Mays

Once you are done come back and give me comments on the blog.

Thanks, Milt

References: included are some statistics of veterans in Vietnam, and some discussions about PTSD. Also, a link to a prior post on Vietnam.

1) Casualties in the Vietnam War

2) Diseases caused by Agent Orange

3) Getting help for PTSD

4) What is war? A discussion of Vietnam.

Crime Thriller and sex trafficking, ‘One Eighty’

Don’t miss my new book, One Eighty, a crime sex trafficking thriller involving veterans set in Colorado. Here are some tidbits on why I wrote it.

New crime thriller, One Eighty

A veteran who more than survives after war and injury:

It seems to me veterans who don’t make it after war make the news most frequently. Attending the Naval Academy during the Vietnam War, I had many experiences then with hatred of veterans. I wanted One Eighty to focus on veterans who made it in society after recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They have their problems but overcome. The main protagonist, Var, lost a leg and an arm and had concussive brain injury from an IED. But that did not stop him from rock climbing or road biking. He even kept up his sense of humor. He continued his profession as a doctor and became a private investigator.

Other unusual veteran characters

His Marine and war friend, OJ Cromwell, though burned out from war and a murderous tour as homicide detective in New Orleans, becomes a detective in the Front Range to help stabilize Var and his other friend, Buddy. Buddy, a deadly soldier, became an emotional wreck after the Battle of Fallujah. He can only see people through mirrors and glass, but then sees their true self and intentions. He helps OJ with several cases. All three of them have been brothers in arms in Iraq or Afghanistan. Their bond undergoes severe trials from Var’s infatuation with his “one true love,” Angela.

Book Themes: war, love, sex, human trafficking, crime, power.

The themes of the book include survival after war, it’s not easy to give up on a long-lost soulmate love (Angela) and move on, how best laid intentions of Angela to make a life-saving asthma drug go astray when money to fund it must come from human sex trafficking, and how the desire for more power and sex can kill, and can end the NFL.

Veterans, Colorado, crime, and thrillers–that’s me.

You might say I’m a thriller/mystery writer because that’s the genre I love to read, but also am obsessed with murder, evil, and how they interact with good, even in the same character. So, a crime sex trafficking thriller fits! I like to push the plot to limits to give readers a page turner.

Real life experiences and characters:

I infused One Eighty with many real-life experiences of veterans because I have known or cared for thousands in my 30 years of medical practice in the Navy and the VA. A lot of my personal experiences and local color are included so readers who live in Northern Colorado, should enjoy seeing familiar haunts, like Estes Park, Loveland, and Fort Collins. In the book, the town of Thompson is fictional, but if you know the area, you will enjoy similarities.

How I fact checked this crime sex trafficking thriller

I fact check my books through interviews with local police, detectives, one of my writing group who is in forensics, physical therapists for the VA, reading the books in the acknowledgements, my son who is a rock climber, myself who is a road biker and physician and was stationed with the Marines, and many other personal experiences as a physician in the Navy and VA, as a fly fishing guide in the Front Range and Rocky Mountain National Park, and of course everyone’s fact checker, Google. Another great source everyone should read is The Forever War by Dexter Filkins.

If you review the book, it will help other veterans.

I hope you enjoy reading One Eighty. If so, please write a review. It will help me and other veterans out a lot. Also, word of mouth is the best advertising, so if you feel it worthy, please tell your friends and others about this book. As a result, maybe several veterans will read it and it will spur them to move forward.

My next book:

My next book for this year should be a semi-autobiographical mix of non-fiction, fiction, and poetry about the literal and metaphorical journey to the Cheyenne VA hospital, for me and veterans I cared for. While that one is cooking, I have a sequel to The Guide, with Stony taking on a CIA assassin. Var and OJ from One Eighty are in it, too!

Milt Mays photo
Milt Mays

Please visit my Amazon site https://www.amazon.com/Milt-Mays/e/B00HCSDC76%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share for a look at my other books and stories.

Milt Mays, MD, Captain Medical Corps, US Navy, retired.

Anodyne Eyes Deep Character Dive

Anodyne Eyes–Deep Character Dive

Many unusual characters work in Anodyne Eyes, my thriller, sci-fi novel. To better understand them, read below where I review Alex, Jabril, Rachel, Dan, and Jeff below. These characters are in the prequels, Dan’s War, and The Next Day.

First, meet Alex, the father of Alexis, a fun-loving, adventurous guy. He works as a genetic engineer. Most importantly, Alex becomes a major character in the prequel, The Next Day

After 9/11, Alex creates illegal U.S. bio-weapon in a top-secret lab on the Amazon River in Brazil. The Amazon River in Brazil? Yep.

At 8:46 a.m. on September 11, 2001, Alex faints while working on a new virus. At that moment his girlfriend incinerates 3,000 miles away in D.C. where a terrorist crashed a Boeing 767 into North Tower. The day after 9/11 (Yeah, the next day), he starts changing into an unusual creature, one he initially despised. Conclusion: Did the virus change him?  When terrorists attack his lab because they want bio-weapons, his new powers come into good use. Soon he will need them even more against Jabril El Fahd.

Next, meet Jabril, brought up a happy farm boy in Iraq with his mother, a nurse, and his kind father.

The U.S. embargo starves and kills over 500,000 children. His mother gets sick and dies due to the lack of antibiotics. Holding his dying mother, Jabril swears to avenge her death. His father turns jihadist and promises Jabril to bin Laden. Jabril rises through the ranks, smart, brutal, and unstoppable.

He plans to spread a bio-weapon developed in a secret Jakarta lab, hidden from American inspectors. The week after 9/11, he infects himself with a virus to kill millions of infidels. But, an ex-Army special forces contractor guard, Rock, recognizes him in the Jakarta airport, and subsequently tracks him. Jabril slaughters the scientists in the Jakarta lab and barely escapes Rock. He explodes the lab, and travels to the U.S. On the plane he begins changing into a brutal monster, thrilling at his newfound power.

More importantly, Rachel Ann Lane blossoms in Anodyne Eyes. She’s introduced in The Next Day as Alex’s old flame he still loves.

Rachel works for the same company Alex does, only she works in the D.C. lab. Despite breaking up with him, she still loves him. Because her passion is wilderness photography, she travels to vacation in Rocky Mountain National Park. On the way, she stays in Denver, at her grandmother’s, a survivor of the Depression era, who left her house to Rachel. On 9/11, she camps, snaps photos, and fly fishes in the back country of Rocky Mountain National Park. She dreams of Alex while her current boyfriend is killed by a plane crashing into the Pentagon.

The day she hikes out of the Park (Yeah, The Next Day) a serious Sergeant tells her of her boyfriend’s death and whisks to her lab in D.C. There, she hears of the attack on the Amazon Lab. As a result, she decides to go help Alex. But, a sleazy U.S. senator gets word her company makes illegal bio-weapons, and subsequently he uses his connections to shut down their operation. She narrowly escapes and in a harrowing boat ride across Chesapeake Bay meets with Sam Houston, a CIA agent par excellence. Then he flies her in his private plane to Chile, and additionally to end up at the Amazon lab to help Alex. Sam is the one character who ties Dan’s War, to The Next Day. He’s rich because of a million-dollar surf board business, which allows him unusual friends, deep cover and money to spare.

Dan Trotter we meet in the other prequel to Anodyne Eyes, Dan’s War. In spite of his Asperger’s syndrome, Dan functions well as CIA computer geek and make-up artist. He wants to live up to his father, a pilot and hero in Vietnam.

Partly due to his Asperger’s, Dan sees his loved ones in a green hues and bad people in red. He dislikes touching people, but loves his son, Jeff, and his wife Marci with a bottled-up passion. When Marci starts having an affair, and his son gets a drunk-driving ticket, Dan loses it. He’s spent his after-hours earning extra money for Jeff’s college fund, writing computer programs to interface with nanobots. And now, because of Dan’s program, an OPEC insider starts destroying world oil using nanobots interfaced with oil-eating bacteria. As a result, world war starts. Finally, Jeff may not go to college because he joins the Army.

After a heated argument with Jeff and Marci, Dan and his friend and field agent, Fred, must rush to Venezuela in order to investigate oil wells drying up. There, all hell breaks loose with the Venezuelan mafioso and a Louisiana gay character named Remmy. Fred is killed. Dan runs for his life through the jungle, dodging bullets, finally saved by a beautiful Louisiana Marine in a helicopter. As a result, Dan falls for her, in his odd way.

Sam Houston, the surfboard magnate, CIA field agent we first met in The Next Day now helps Dan. As the only character who runs through all three books, Sam ties them all together.

He parachutes onto Pensacola Beach and joins Dan, the Marine beauty, and his friends. Their mission: to stop whoever is causing oil wells all over the world to dry up. Subsequently, Dan finds out that one of his programs is being used by an OPEC insider to couple oil-eating bacteria with nanobots, destroying oil in all the OPEC wells, causing a world Oil War. And then he finds out Jeff joins the Army, so he redoubles his efforts to save the world, and his son along the way.

Finally, we meet Jeff, Dan’s son,

a happy teenager, great at basketball, enjoys sex with his girlfriend in the back of a ski bus. Because he gets caught driving drunk, argues with his dad, finds out his girlfriend is pregnant, he decides to join the Army when the Oil War starts. It wouldn’t be so bad, except he’s sent directly to the front in eastern Texas, where he gets trapped, under fire in a Humvee with a crazy sergeant.

Hope you enjoyed this deep dive into characters of Anodyne Eyes. For a better understanding, please click on the two prequel books listed below.

Have a great week. Fall is coming–soon I hope. I am tired of 90 degree heat! But at least I don’t have to worry about hurricanes here in Colorado. I can wade into a 55 degree river and catch beautiful rainbow trout on a dry fly. Can’t hate it. That’s why I wrote the other book The Guide.


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Designer Babies Genetic Modification

Designer Babies-Genetic Modification

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If I told you that in five years you could pick the sex, the eye color, the height, and the athleticism and intelligence of your child, would you believe me? What if I told you it was already being done? Genetic modification is here. Designer babies

Yes, they shut down that clinic. But that’s the USA. What about China?

(Credit: Getty Images)

China-the future of genetic modification-BBC. Crispr DNA modification has been used for years. And it can be used on the human DNA.

What if you could alter your daughter’s genes to end human violence and war…forever?

Well, you say, it would take several generations to get any DNA trait into the whole human population. Would it? Really? We can now wipe out mosquitoes that carry yellow fever or malaria or ZIKA in only ONE GENERATION with GENE DRIVE technology. You have to read about it here.

Scientists alter malaria mosquitoes with Gene Drive

One step further and we can do it to humans.

So now, in Gene Drive and Crispr DNA technology, we have tools to alter evolution, not in centuries, but in 30 years, in ONE generation.

Just think, a modern-day Hitler in say North Korea or China

could spread the gene for strength, intelligence, and lack of emotion to form an entire army, an entire nation, and have them ready to take over the world in 18 years—outsmart, out battle and kill without remorse. Brave New World was so benign compared to the real possibilities.

Maybe we need a gene alteration that would do the opposite, stop all human violence and wars.

What if I told you a piece of one teenage girl’s DNA could end all wars. Forever! What if that girl was your daughter and she was the target of the most brutal terrorist ever?

That’s Anodyne Eyes. Enter the future of Genetic Modification.

Buy it here: Anodyne Eyes

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