A Bookish Conversation with Medical Thriller Author Deven Greene #interview

Fiction writer Deven Greene lives in the San Francisco Bay area. Ever since childhood, Deven has been interested in science.  After working as a biochemist, she went back to school and became a pathologist.  When writing fiction, the author usually incorporates elements of medicine or science. Deven has penned several short stories. Unnatural is the first novel the author has published.


Website: https://www.devengreene.com

Facebook: https://facebook.com/devengreeneauthor

Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  When did you come up with the idea to write your book?

I was forced to write this book the day I started, around two years ago. No, I wasn’t held at gunpoint, but the idea came in a flash, and I couldn’t suppress it. I was getting ready to start another novel, one I’d been thinking about for some time, when I felt compelled to write this novel, Unnatural, Eric Rosen MD Trilogy Book 1, about human embryonic stem cell gene editing. Being interested in all things science, especially medically-related science, I’d read quite a bit about CRISPR/Cas9 and genetic engineering, a real game-changer in medical research. I loved the idea of introducing the effect of a genetic change by way of a Chinese girl with blue eyes.  To use that in a thriller, I needed to think of a nefarious use for this technology. The novel took off from there.

Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish? 

My publisher is Black Rose Writing. I wrote to several small publishers I found in QueryTracker. I didn’t hear back from some, but I had a few bites. The owner of Black Rose Writing was the first to give me a firm offer. I went for it.

Do you believe a book cover plays an important role in the selling process?

For me, personally, a book cover is unimportant. However, I’ve learned that it is influential to many people, so I’d have to conclude that the book cover is important for sales. I looked at a number of book covers in my genre before deciding on the one I used.

How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

There were many challenges for me. The hardest part was trying to get just the right amount of scientific detail in the book. I’m not sure I arrived at the perfect balance of offering accurate scientific information and detail on the one hand, and keeping the narrative understandable and interesting on the other. I would suggest that authors dealing with this dilemma have laypeople read their material and see how they react. Use that information to decide how much detail to leave in or take out.

What other books are you working on and when will they be published?

I am working on Unwitting, Book 2 of the Erica Rosen MD Trilogy. The main characters introduced in Book 1 are involved, but Erica finds herself in the center of a new problem. This novel is actually the one I was planning to write when I was side-tracked by genetic engineering, the central theme of Book 1. Unwitting will be published in October 2021. I am also working on Book 3 of the series but don’t have a title yet.

What’s one fact about your book that would surprise people?

When I wrote Unnatural, there was an international agreement to prohibit human embryonic genetic engineering. I thought that, while possible, there were no ongoing experiments like those described in my book. I was shocked when shortly after I’d finished the first draft of my novel, a Chinese scientist announced that he had secretly performed human embryonic stem cell gene editing. The first infants with the genetic changes he introduced were born days after his announcement. While the change he introduced wasn’t related to the genetic engineering performed in my novel, I was upset that the general type of secret experimentation serving as the foundation of my book had already been performed. I sulked for a day, then got busy and included information about the recent real-world gene-editing in my book. In the end, I didn’t have to change much.

Finally, what message are you trying to get across with your book?

First, I want the reader to enjoy the ride. Second, I’d like the reader to have a general understanding of what genetic engineering is, how it is done, and what the potential dangers are.

Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

Be curious. 


Dr. Erica Rosen is perplexed when she sees a young Chinese girl with blue eyes in her San Francisco pediatrics clinic. The girl’s mother, Ting, is secretive, and Erica suspects she has entered the country illegally. Later, Erica encounters Ting’s son and discovers he has an unusual mutation. Erica learns that Ting’s children underwent embryonic stem cell gene editing as part of a secret Chinese government-run program.

The Chinese government wants to murder Ting’s son to prevent others from learning about his unusual mutation and the secret gene-editing program. At Ting’s urging, Erica heads to China to expose the program and rescue the infant Ting was forced to leave behind, all while attempting to evade the watchful eye of the Chinese government.


A compelling and richly woven story, perfect for those looking for their new favorite thriller! 

The UC San Francisco pediatric clinic is a lively and bustling facility where every sort of injury and infirmity has been seen, diagnosed and treated. That is, until the day a Chinese migrant named Ting brings her daughter in for an evaluation. The striking girl is truly an anomaly, bearing genetically impossible bright blue eyes. Dr. Erica Rosen presses Ting for information, but Ting is paranoid, evasive and overly protective of her family’s privacy. Things become more puzzling when Ting ends up in the ER with a wounded young son and insists that someone is trying to kill the boy. Shocking test results, a second attempt on the boy’s life and a missing phlebotomist are just the beginning of a riveting tale of government conspiracy, medical mystery and dangerous close-calls.

Unnatural is a flawlessly written medical thriller that focuses on a Chinese mother who will sacrifice everything to save her children. Erica is a bold protagonist who follows her instincts to some amazing discoveries. The narrative is driven by intelligent dialogue and a clever, yet heinous, plot. The cultural aspects between Ting and Erica feel authentic and the technical medical language is just complicated enough to feel genuine without becoming difficult to read. Deven Greene has created a truly gripping international thriller with just the right amount of humanity and compassion.  Unnatural, the first in the Erica Rosen MD Trilogy, is a compelling and richly woven story, perfect for those looking for a new favorite thriller!

–Indies Today 


Amazon → https://amzn.to/3qq7nli

Barnes & Noble → https://bit.ly/3baCBGJ

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