Friday, April 12, 2013

Beach Chat with JL Greger

It’s always a good marketing tool to open a blog post with a picture of a cute dog.  So today’s beach chat guest supplied a picture of her too-cute-for-words canine companion,  Bug.  As many of us dog-loving writers do, we feature our beloved pets in our stories.  Today’s mystery writer does, too.  So read more about Bug and his human…

Today we’re chatting with: JL Greger

Most cherished beach memory:  Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands, where the US tested the hydrogen bomb, is one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen. The sand has a pinkish glow, not because of radiation, and the beach has an amazing collection of shells probably because few people go there.  How did I get there? In 1992, I was part of a team of scientists sent by the National Academy of Sciences to assess radiological safety of resettling certain parts of the Marshall Islands. The research was exciting; it didn’t hurt that the committee consisted of eleven male scientists and me.

Recommend a beach read: I like to take long books with me to read on vacation because I’ll have time to savor the whole book in a relatively short time period, i.e. 3 or 4 days. I’d recommend getting immersed in Ken Follett’s The Pillars the Earth on your next flight and beach visit. If you want something funny, try MASH by Richard Hooker.

One author with whom you’d like to sip Mai Tais with on Waikiki Beach: John Grisham. I admire how he shows his legal expertise in his novels and with it a sense of what’s right and what’s wrong with the legal system. Similarly, I try in my novels to share the excitement of scientific discovery but admit the limits of modern science. I think we’re both hopeful cynics.

Worst non-writing job you had: My worst job was as a kitchen aide in a university dormitory cafeteria.

Favorite quote or saying: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.” (Reinhold Niebuhr, probably 1943)

Song that you dance to (when no one is watching): Surprise!. “Can’t Help Falling in Love” as sung by Elvis Presley. (Okay readers, grab your snuggle-bunny and dance along…and a bonus, a film clip from the classic Presley film, Blue Hawaii.)

Three of your favorite things: My favorites aren’t really things. My dog Bug is my all time favorite. My second and third favorites are travel and the memories it creates because I love new experiences and then remembering what I saw, heard, smelled, and tasted.

Two secret vices: The first is gross - eating peanut butter from a spoon scraped around a jar of peanut butter. The second is offensive to most authors. After I read the first ten or twenty pages of a novel, I read the last ten pages. Then I know what to look for if I read the rest.

One pet peeve: I named my blog “JL Greger’s Bugs” because it gave me a chance to talk about pet peeves. When I thought about it, I realized that I never had written about my biggest pet peeve. I don’t like to be around people who are afraid to try everything and anything. They want the world to stay just as it is and complain about it. Some days, when I’m arguing with my computer, I might say it’s the “auto format” feature on Word.

More about JL Gregor:

Those questions were revealing. Not sure there’s much left to say. I’ve been a scientist, professor, university administrator, and consultant on science- or university-related projects in the Marshall Islands, Beirut, United Arab Emirates, etc. Now I'm a writer, who tries to put bits of real science into her mystery/suspense novels as she tells of the adventures of two sisters – Sara Almquist, an outgoing epidemiologist, and her sister Linda, a proper and caring physician. Think of them as a modern version of Oscar and Felix in the Odd Couple.
I'm a pretty logical person, except in regard to Bug, my Japanese Chin dog. He's the only non-fictional character in all my novels.

Books by JL Greger:
Coming Flu
Click Here
for Amazon sales link
A new, mysterious flu strain kills more than two hundred in less than a week in the small walled community near the Rio Grande. The rest face a bleak future under quarantine. One of the residents Sara Almquist, as a medical epidemiologist, pries into every aspect of her neighbors’ lives looking for ways to stop the spread of the flu. She finds promising clues – maybe one too many? Not all her neighbors are what they appear to be.  

Murder: A New Way to Lose Weight (Just released this week!)
Click Here
for Amazon sales link
Someone in this southwestern medical school doesn't like women. Two have been murdered already. At first, Linda Almquist suspects the deaths are related to her investigation of Dr. Richard Varegos, a “diet doctor.” He is alleged to be recklessly endangering the lives of his obese research subjects. Maybe she’s wrong. The murders might be related to something in the past – something involving her boss the Dean. While Linda fears for her job, the police fear for her life. 

What’s next?
In the third novel in this series, Sara Almquist will be a science consultant to Bolivia. Yup, that’s where coca is grown.

Connect with Janet through the following links
JL Greger’s Bugs (blog):


JL Greger said...

Thanks for hosting me. those questions are so revealing, I'm afraid no one will have any questions or comments. My new novel MURDER: A NEW WAY TO LOSE WEIGHT was published this week check it out at
JL Greger

Billie Johnson said...

Janet, what a fun interview! Great questions and fascinating answers.

Can't wait to see you in Vegas!!

Billie Johnson
Oak Tree Press

JL Greger said...

Thanks Billie. Fascinating might be an overstatement??

If anyone is trying to follow up on this blog, my last name is misspelled. It's Greger.

marja said...

Janet, Great fun getting to know you better. (I'm a secret peanut butter nut, too.) It sounds like you've had some excellent adventures.
Marja McGraw

JL Greger said...

I have traveled a bit and that's why I decided to have my heroine do some traveling to places off the beaten track in future novels. the first stop will be Bolivia.
JL Greger

Jayne... said...

JL, I'm looking forward to a virtual vacation to Bolivia because I've never been there, even in a book!

Thanks for stopping by for a chat. wishing you all the best with your book sales!

David said...

What a nice surprise to learn of your new career! You look so relaxed in your photo that I nearly missed that you are the driven administrator I met when you and I were at the same university.
I too left college life and have released my first novel. See Jayne's beach chat. I look forward to reading your newest book. David

JL Greger said...

Life is strange. You're one of the people from my past life I'd enjoy seeing again. Hope to see you at a book conference.

David said...

Likewise. I usually attend the New England Crime Bake in November, and have always wanted to attend Malice Domestic, but somehow always ended up somewhere else. The Pacific Northwest Writers Association puts on a conference I'd like to attend too. Which do you like? David