Haunted by the girl he couldn’t save in his youth, and the murder he committed to avenge her, Detective Track Presius has a unique gift: the vision and sense of smell of a predator. When a series of apparently unrelated murders reel him into the depths of genetic research, Track feels more than a call to duty. Children are dying — children who, like himself, could have been healthy, and yet something, at some point, went terribly wrong. For Track, saving the innocent becomes a quest for redemption. The only way he can come to terms with his dark past is to understand his true nature.
What genre is this?
It will appeal to readers who love hard-boiled mysteries in the tradition of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, but also fans of Michael Crichton’s work and readers who are fascinated by science.
Tell us about Detective Track Presius.
Track Presius is cursed with a genetic defect that strikes one in a billion. I took a poetic license in “inventing” this genetic defect, but the idea is plausible: as we evolved from hunters and predators, we “kept” all the genes of our ancestors (they can still be found in our DNA), though these genes were “inactivated” and replaced by new genes. So the idea is: what if those “inactivated” genes that made our ancestors rely on the sense of smell and vision to hunt and survive — what if they were suddenly reactivated?
That’s a really interesting idea. Tell us how this ‘defect’ affects Track.
Track heavily relies on his sense of smell to solve crimes. He is fully aware, though, that his “condition” is both a gift and a curse. This gives him a somewhat snarky/sarcastic, yet melancholy view of the world.
Hey, you can’t blame his genes for his sarcasm! That comes from you, right?
Maybe some of the sarcasm and witty sense of humor. But my main character is a man and I think to some level I always wanted to be a man — to be driven by testosterone and not have all those second thoughts, self-doubts and sense of guilt that us women are cursed with.
Yeah, but with testosterone comes beer bellies, burping and butt-scratching! But before we gross ourselves out, let’s get back to Chimeras. It’s part of a series?
I have already written the sequel to CHIMERAS, which will be release in a few months. And I’ve also completed the first book in a new series, a science-fiction mystery set in a near future, titled GENE CARDS. The latter is currently in the hands of my agent.
You seem to enjoy writing science-related stories, with this and with Chimeras.
It has dawned on me that publishers have no idea how to sell my book. The science puts it in a very particular niche, one that maybe publishers don’t know how to reach—but I do. I discuss science on my blog. I participate to science discussions on G+. Today you can have an online presence if you dedicate some time to it. You can find like-minded people who appreciate what you do.
So what’s the problem?
Apparently science is not high on publishers’ salability scale—the only exception being science fiction. But my book wasn’t science fiction. All my science was real!
And why the interest in science?
I am a scientist, a writer, and a photographer. I spend my days analyzing genetic data, my evenings chasing sunsets, and my nights pretending I’m somebody else. My photographs have shown in numerous collectives in New Mexico, California and Texas and also in a solo exhibit in Santa Fe, New Mexico. My favorite book of all times is One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
Great book, great author. He’ll be sorely missed. What other authors do you enjoy reading?
My favorite mystery writer is Raymond Chandler.
Do you have a website?
What about social media?
The third book in the Track Presius series and a sequel to GENE CARDS, my new science fiction mystery set in the future.