Death Code

Death Code - Kurt Lawrence

There is a lot going on in this book. I felt a little like I had been in a whirlwind after reading it. There are a lot of characters, making it a little hard at times to keep them straight. 

Annestine is the main character, with her friend Jerrie being a main supporting character. And although I know I was supposed to feel connected to Annestine, my heart really reached out to Jerrie and all she goes through. 

While this is a thriller, there was a lot of relationship drama included in it. While I did enjoy seeing that side to the characters, I wished that some of that time would have been spent explaining the plot a little further. 

I really didn't understand Dr. Walters work with DNA and exactly what was going on. Science never was one of my stronger subjects, so it could just be that it went over my head. Obviously any work with DNA is important, but I couldn't wrap my head around their exciting discovery and why people were after them for it. 

Regardless, it was an entertaining book with enjoyable characters. Annestine Walters is not your typical scientist, which I found unique and  applause worthy. 


Some Bio Information

Born and raised in Rochester, New York, I had an early itch for writing.  I published a one page news flyer for a few kids in the neighborhood, even though I didn’t read a lot. I was more of an active athletic youngster, preferring the baseball bat to the book. 

I attended undergraduate school at Indiana University.  While attending Purdue University I earned a Ph.D.  I am now retired from a state government position where I worked for almost 30 years, including writing boring bureaucratic prepositional phrases.  Currently I reside in the mid-west, close to grand children.  

Even today I read very few fiction books, but I do read and write daily during my many activities.  The best books I enjoy are books that involve me from the very beginning. While writing Death Code, I worked hard to immerse my readers in my plot and characters.    

I decided to write under the pseudonym Kurt Lawrence; I always liked the sound of that name. This effort is not about accolades for me—that’s not to say, I haven’t been rewarded.  Writing a novel has brought about a sense of accomplishment like none I have experienced— I found it exciting to research medicine in order to give realism to my characters and plot by developing a novel from nothing and building characters to match a developing story—a story which has no ending at the beginning.  Imagine writing a story without knowing where you are going! 

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Q&A

1. Who is your favorite author?

I always liked Lawrence Sanders, especially the Fourth Deadly Sin.  I didn’t know it at the time but a few of his books were made into movies.  I think I liked the way he provided clues in his mysteries.  He was indeed a talented writer.

2. Where did the idea for Death Code come from?

The idea for Death Code came by thinking about the medical phenomenon I wanted to use as the core of the mystery.  The Death Code plot developed as I wrote the story.  I had a few characters in mind and I knew I wanted a medical research setting where I could bring out both the seriousness and reality of the research and the mystery of the characters.  As I wrote, I developed and documented both the plot and the character traits.  By the time I finished the first third of the book, I had a good idea how Annestine’s research would work into the mysterious event.  Readers may be surprised to know I wrote the Prologue first; of course I had to modify it a little by the end of the story.
 
3. What’s the perfect writing environment? 

The perfect writing environment for me is a quiet one, a computer connected to internet and an oversized delete button.  I don’t even like a phone to ring when I am creating lines. I would be remiss though, if I didn’t say that a good line or a good idea for an event or character trait can come from anywhere.  

4. Can you describe your writing process? 

Often I would create a character while typing the story, then go back and document the character on separate pages so the character traits could be retrieved any time.  I documented the plot the same way.  Sometimes I would do the reverse, documenting the Character then inserting it into the story.  It seemed to me that when creativity was flowing, I just let it flow as I typed.

I also had a few readers that would give me chapter feedback.  I think readers are a very valuable tool for anyone- especially a beginning author.

5. Can you give us a glimmer of hope for Jerrie?

No.  I don't think there is much hope for Jerrie in the future, but who knows what life will bring to any of us.  I will leave Jerrie’s character where the book takes her.  She was a fun character for me.  She has a misplaced sense of how religion should interface with life, in my opinion.  I should say the religion as I have referred to it in Death Code, is quite accurate.

6. What’s your ultimate writing goal? 

My ultimate goal in writing the first book was to see if I could develop plot in an interesting way, sustaining the reader’s interest in my characters and actually incorporating some principles of good writing in a mystery novel.  You and other readers will ultimately answer that question.  I don’t have a personal goal for general writing.

7. Describe yourself in three words. 

If forced into a corner at gun point and tortured with tooth picks under my fingernails, the three words I would choose to describe myself would be thorough, diligent and impatient.