Monday, October 12, 2015

The Truth Is So Much Stranger Than Fiction

With: Julie Rowe

Congratulations to "Erin", the winner in Julie's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

As a medical lab technologist writing a bioterrorism series I often get asked if I use real events or personal experiences in my books. 

Nope. Not because I don’t have any novel-worthy stories to tell, but rather because few people would believe them, and fiction has to be believable. Readers are smart. The author has to build a world that makes sense, filled with characters who do things for logical reasons. They won’t tolerate characters who do something so stupid it could hurt them, cause permanent injury or even kill them.

In real life, people do stupid things all the time.

Here’s an example from earlier this year: Live anthrax samples sent out to nine states and a base in South Korea by US military laboratory — Oops!

The Huffington Post has an ongoing section just for stupid criminals: 

Then there’s the Darwin Awards, an award you only get if you do something incredibly stupid and die as a result. 

Have you ever witnessed an act of incredible stupidity?
One commenter will win an ebook of their choice from Julie’s backlist!

Lethal Game
Book two of Biological Response Team

As the nation’s youngest virologist and hematologist, Captain Sophia Perry has always been one step ahead of her peers. But there’s one thing she can’t beat—cancer. She wants to make a difference in the time she has left, so when she’s sent to investigate a breakout at a Syrian refugee camp, she goes, saying nothing of her diagnosis. But saving the masses isn’t easy when the man tasked to protect her is so irresistible.

Communications Sergeant Connor Button is back on active duty after a deadly explosion, but he doesn’t feel whole again until he meets Sophia. Assigned to keep her safe, he’s prepared to die for her, but for the first time in months he truly wants to live—if only she wasn’t so determined to put them both in danger.

With a secret to keep and nothing to lose, Sophia is determined to find the source of the breakout at any cost. Violent attacks on the camp convince her that someone wants her to pay dearly. But as Sophia’s health deteriorates, Connor must find a way to help her defeat her enemies before her body defeats her.

Carina Press | Amazon USA | Kobo | iTunes | Barnes and Noble  

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Oct. 12th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.


  1. I agree, people do do stupid things all the time. You just have to drive around to see this. Speed kills, but so does stupidity.


    1. So true Mary! Distracted driving is also a big problem today. How can you drive if you're staring at the screen on your phone that's sitting on your lap? My mind is boggled.

  2. I love reading about stupid criminals! Ummm.. .I'm Korean American and for some reason, some people just can't rap their minds around the fact that you can be a American *and* Asian without having lived in an Asian country first :) Thanks for sharing!

  3. Erin, it's funny how ingrained people's impressions of nationality really are. I'm Canadian (3 generations) and I dye my hair red. I often get asked if I'm Irish. As if all red haired people should all be automatically Irish.

  4. Yes I have seen people do stupid things... even some that are close to me, but nothing that has hurt anyone.

  5. yes

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  6. Yes, I think that everyone has done something stupid at some point in their life. Perhaps it's a mental lapse!

    Janet _Kerr(at)


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