Interview with J. Thomas Shaw, author of The Rx Factor


jthomasshaw photo 1 (2)J. Thomas Shaw was born in Quincy, Illinois, and attended the University of Oklahoma and Illinois State University. Following graduation, he moved to Chicago and had a highly successful professional career. He now resides in Southern California with his wife and their two children. Prior to his relocation to California, Mr. Shaw lived for six years in Durham, North Carolina and two years on a ranch outside of Cotopaxi, Colorado. He has traveled extensively throughout the Bahamas’, Caribbean and Mexico. The scenes throughout The RX Factor takes place in the various locations that the author has lived or experienced in his travels. Throughout the process of writing The RX Factor, the author consulted with his good friend, Johnny Powers Ph.D.
Dr. Powers holds a bachelor degree in Chemistry from Wake Forest University, a masters in Chemical Engineering from Clemson University, a PhD in Biochemical Engineering from North Carolina State University and an MBA from the Duke University Fuqua School of Business. Dr. Powers has over 20 years experience in the biomedical field, with extensive experience in developing and marketing new diagnostic tests for the early detection and management of cancer. Dr. Powers most recently served as the President of TriPath Oncology; a North Carolina-based biotechnology company focused on developing innovative medical tests for ovarian, cervical and breast cancer. TriPath imaging was sold to a major multi-national medical diagnostics company in 2006. In his career, Dr. Powers has dealt extensively with the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and various government agencies, and has published numerous scientific research papers and holds medical patents in both the US and Canada. He now resides in the New England area with his wife and two children.
You can visit his website at
Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, J. Thomas Shaw.  Can you tell us how long you’ve been writing professionally and how your journey led to writing your latest book, The RX Factor?

A: I contribute much of my twenty- three years of success in my business career to my writing ability, but taking on a novel was a whole different animal. I have always wanted to write a novel and was at the stage in my life where I was able to make the time to accomplish that dream.

A few years ago I was diagnosed with a rare heart disease. I went to see the cardiologist who literally wrote the book on this disease. The doctor informed me that with a reduced activity lifestyle and daily medications, I could expect to live a normal lifespan. He went on to tell me that, in all likelihood, there would not be a cure for this disease in my lifetime. Being that I was only 42 when diagnosed, I was surprised to be told by a man who had devoted his life to studying the disease, that a chance for a cure was unrealistic over the next forty years.

I was then shocked when he told the reason was because there was no money in finding a cure. This led me to investigating further. I discovered that this is the general philosophy in the medical profession. Healthy people do not buy prescription drugs or need medical care, so why would anyone want to put themselves out of business by curing people.

It was at that moment that I knew I had a great story to share with the world.

Q: I love your title…can you tell us why you chose it?

A: The RX Factor is the perfect title for this book. “RX” is the universal symbol for prescription medications. These drugs make Big Pharma billions of dollars each year and is the primary “factor” why there has not been a cure produced for any major human disease since 1955 (polio).

Q: Why did you believe your book should be published?

A: My novel is a ripped from the headlines, fact based, commercial thriller that will appeal to anyone who enjoys this genre. It has already received outstanding reviews and I am confident that everyone who reads the book will truly enjoy it (and learn something along the way).

Q: Can you tell us the story behind your book cover? Did you choose it or did your publisher, Langdon Street Press have full control?  Were you happy with the decision or did you have something else in mind?

A: I was able to help design the cover and am extremely pleased with the final product.

Q: How have you approached marketing your book?  Do you have someone doing it for you or have you had to do most of the marketing yourself?

A: I have two PR firms – one focusing on radio and print and the other focusing on social media. In addition, my publisher is marketing to all of the book stores and I have a full time staff working on my national book tour.  In addition to all of that, I personally spend 20 hours per week on marketing.

Thus far I am very pleased with the progress. My book trailer has been viewed over 50,000 times on You Tube and I have over 12,000 followers on Twitter and Facebook.

Q: What book on the market can it compare to?  How is it different?  What makes your book special?

A: I have been so busy working on this project that I have not had a chance to read a new book in a couple of years. There is no book like The RX Factor that I am aware of. However, if John Grisham were to write a fast paced medical/political thriller researched by Dan Brown and with Robin Cook providing technical assistance, the story may be similar to what I have written.

Q: Open to a random page in your book.  Can you tell us what is happening?

A: On page 69, our hero, Ryan Matthews has booked airline tickets for him and Jordan Carver (heroine) to travel from the Bahamian island of Exuma to Chicago. Ryan is going back to the states for the first time in five years to coordinate a meeting between his old buddy from the FBI and Jordan in an effort to launch an investigation into the murder of her aunt and uncle as well as the attempts on her life.

Q: Do you plan subsequent books?

A: My next book takes a look at a world in the future where the human race has evolved into an enlightened race with the highest ethical and moral values. This is a world where currency is not required and organized religion is ancient history. I think readers will be interested to discover what happens to this utopian society when the problems of today emerge into this future world.
Q: Thank you for your interview, John.  Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

A: Please check out my web site: for reviews, excerpts, a book trailer, vacation sweepstakes, review contests and of course links to buy my book. You can also follow me on Twitter @thejshawfactor.


The RX Factor book cover_0001 (3)Five years after the death of his wife and children, Ryan Matthews is living alone with memories of his failed career in cancer research when fellow scientist Jordan Carver catches his eye. Preparing for a move to Mexico, Jordan plans to open a clinic where terminal patients will have affordable access to experimental medication. Despite Ryan’s skepticism on her willingness to bypass the FDA drug approval process, he is intrigued by Jordan’s passion and determination to provide alternative care to terminal patients. But when a violent explosion leaves the small Bahamian island of Exuma on edge, Ryan knows his life has once again been forever altered.
Drawn together by circumstance, attraction, and shared ambition, Ryan and Jordan become united in their international quest for the truth. The two embark on an explosive thrill ride ending in Washington, D.C., where the couple unravels the country’s best-kept secret: the government will stop at nothing to maintain the American way of life, with heartbreak and sickness for all.
To find out more about J. Thomas Shaw, please visit

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