Q: Tell us about your new book.
Well, the cover reads: Twenty-three year old Arnold Gold is a Seattle-based odds-maker and local computer genius. Described as a 'part-time hacker and full-time virgin' by his friends, the awkward young shut-in flies to Vegas to try and get lucky-in more ways than one. But his high stakes activity on the Net inadvertently thrusts him into a vortex of international terrorism. Dark Net Hacking has resulted in murder, and now it will take every last bit of Arnold's genius intellect and legendary hacking skill to stay one step ahead of the murderous terrorists, the FBI, the local cops and his lawyer. Gold's only chance to save himself is to find the location of a bomb hidden somewhere in Vegas, and somehow prevent the explosion that will turn Sin City into the scene of the deadliest terror attacks since 9/11 Wyler's wild new thriller is as horrifyingly plausible as it is darkly funny and enjoyable. Deadly Odds is not only a page-turner, it's a terrific character-driven story about a young man who lives life through a computer and discovers its dark side. Edgy, twitchy and filled with enough tech savvy detail to keep both the techno-thriller and classic suspense fan enthralled, Deadly Odds is a new generation's thrill ride.
Q: Where did the plot come from?
Ever since Nate Silver began making uncanny predictions—99% of the district outcomes during the past few national elections—based on statistical data, I started toying with that as the kernel of a plot. Then upped the ante. What if a kid devised an even better system? My protagonist, a 23 year-old hacker, does just that and becomes wildly successful. But having such a system can become a liability, because people would want to steal it. Think: The Firm meets Powerball.
Q: As a successful neurosurgeon, what made you want to take the plunge and write thrillers? Are there any similarities to the creativity that writing novels demands and the skills it takes to do brain surgery?
The practice of medicine, in particular neurosurgery, doesn’t leave a lot of room for creativity. I think many physicians have a creative drive and choose to express it in one of the arts. Mine happens to be writing. I love the process of coming up with an idea and then hammering it into a viable story. The only similarity I can see between neurosurgery and writing is both take discipline and patience.
Q: What is your writing process like? Do you plot extensively or let the plot evolve organically?
For me a good thriller is heavily plot driven because of usually requiring numerous “twists and turns.” (No question, good characters are essential also.) My method for plotting a story is to first define the beginning and the end. Once that’s done, I connect those two points with an outline so I can see the story’s logic. Only after a bullet-proof outline is finished do I begin to write. As I go along, questions always pop up I never would have predicted and I go back and incorporate them into the story. This method happens to work best for me.
Q: What was the best advice you received in this business? The worst?
The best advice as to believe in yourself and don’t let rejection get you down. The first is the easier of the two. I can’t recall the worst advice, there’s been so much of it.
Q. Tell us about your upcoming projects.
Cutter’s Way is not a thriller and is based loosely on my own practice as a neurosurgeon. It’s slated to be released in the Spring of next year. Deadly Odds 2.0—the sequel to the present story—is slated to be released Fall of next year.
Allen Wyler’s books are currently available at online retailers and bookstores everywhere. Check out www.allenwyler.com