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Robin Cook: My medical training afforded me the subject of my writing. I became a writer because I had something to say, instead of being a writer and then looking for some subject matter.
Robin Cook: I traveled to Africa a year ago this month. For VITAL SIGNS I went to the outback of Australia and mainland China.
Robin Cook: Write a letter to the trade department of the publisher you are interested in and mention why they should publish your novel.
Robin Cook: I'd have to be pleased, because I was an integral part of it. I wrote the story, and I would also rewrite the dialogue as it went on.
Robin Cook: All I can say is that it will involve a subject you ought to know about. I am going back to my first mechanism, as in COMA -- I wrote it as a screenplay first.
Robin Cook: Yes.
Robin Cook: It was not a sudden decision. I sold my medical practice after I had three bestsellers. The critical point is that I still see myself as more of a doctor than a writer.
Robin Cook: I think that is what separates my books from others. I believe that everyone learns something from reading my books. The critical factor is that we are all destined to be patients at one time or another.
Robin Cook: I trained in general surgery first, then in ophthalmology. I attended Columbia and Harvard.
Robin Cook: Thank you!
Robin Cook: Actually, I am a little worried. With COMA I was five or six years ahead. With CHROMOSOME 6 I am simultaneous with the news. Seriously, that timing comes from my research.
Robin Cook: They asked my opinion on the actors. I actually was supposed to play a small role in "Invasion." Unfortunately, I was not able to do that. I actually have played a small cameo part in most of my movies. In "Invasion" I was actually supposed to have a speaking part. I am sure I would have been one of the bad guys.
Robin Cook: Well, I actually already did that with "Coma." It will possibly happen again.
Robin Cook: I see that managed care is going to evolve in creating a closer relationship with the patient and the physician. In the current situation they are the two disenfranchised groups.
Robin Cook: I definitely believe there is life in the universe beyond Earth. Statistically it just makes sense. How advanced this life is is open to one's creativity.
Robin Cook: I am very eclectic in my reading. Starting to write bestsellers, I am starting to read them, too. Scott Turow, Robert Ludlum, especially. Very sorrowful when Barbara Tuchman died.
Robin Cook: I have written a number of books in Florida. It is a good writing environment because there is not much else to do. I handwrite my outlines, then use a computer to write the book itself. I have tried using the Internet to research, but I still feel going directly to the source is the best way. I have the opportunity to call or see whoever is in the field I am interested in.
Robin Cook: The research is the longest period. Anywhere from three to six months. Then a month for the outline and about a month and a half to write the book.
Robin Cook: Not in the traditional sense. I am still associated with a teaching hospital. I eventually see myself in a teaching capacity.
Robin Cook: I'd like to think so -- I like them myself. And to tell you the truth, I think they need each other.
Robin Cook: THE YEAR OF THE INTERN.
Robin Cook: A lot of research. Also, the daily newspaper. There are topics that the public should see in an emotional setting.
Robin Cook: I believe it is quite easy, if you see your story in a very visual way. I conceive of my story lines almost as if I am watching a movie in the back of my mind.
Robin Cook: NBC asked me if I could write a sci-fi thriller. I agreed with the idea that I could write something very different from what had previously been on television or in the theaters.
Robin Cook: The best part is to send the manuscript off, Federal Express, when it is done. The worst part is being on page 150 and it seems like you are facing a mountain. Luckily I have never had "doctor's block," so I have never had writer's block.
Robin Cook: Athletics is my major hobby. I do something everyday, usually basketball. I have gotten better. I wish I could go back to college. :)
Robin Cook: Probably more. What has happened in CHROMOSOME 6 is happening in a biotechnology firm behind closed doors. It is no accident that the creation of Dolly, the cloned sheep, occurred behind closed doors. One can only use their own imagination to wonder what is going on.
Robin Cook: I think that my fellow doctors get as much enjoyment out of reading my books as everyone else. I imagine some of the biotech firms are not happy about it. I know a gentleman who runs such a firm -- he was in the middle of CHROMOSOME 6 and dismayed that I was "so much on the mark"
Robin Cook: Under the current social situation that medicine finds itself, where doctors are being dictated to in terms of how much time they can spend with a patient and what they can tell the patient, I'd rather write novels.
Robin Cook: I don't really like creativity by committee. It is difficult sometimes.
Robin Cook: Two just out, CHROMOSOME 6 and INVASION, in the last three weeks. The next hardcover should be out closer to January of next year.
Robin Cook: Thank you. Thank you, everyone, for coming -- I enjoyed it!