The Hot Zone was a #1 bestseller when it came out in 1995. It also got me thinking. When we deployed overseas one of the things our team medics had to study and brief the rest of the team on was the medical threats in our area of operations.

I was on my sixth Dave Riley novel and I decided to write about a pandemic being utilized as a weapon. Biological warfare has always been an indiscriminate weapon and therefore not popular with the military. That is, of course, changing. On our current horizon, we will see biological weapons designed for specific genomes. We’re talking genocide.

Continuing my tradition of brilliant titles, I topped my five previous books with this one: Z.

Yep. That’s it. One letter. I mean, seriously? Why didn’t anyone smack me upside the head? I thought I was being cute. Big lesson here, writers! Don’t be cute. Be smart.

Terrible, terrible title. As you can see, since I’ve republished it, I’ve added Final Countdown to the title to give it a little pizzaz.

At this point in my career I was doing one thing right, though. I was staying ahead of my contracts. Z was the third book on my second three book deal. But I was already thinking ahead. This is one reason why I’m still making a living as a writer after three decades– I stayed ahead. Any writer who thinks they have it made? Their career is over at that moment.

My wife asked me the other day how many people have been making a living as a writer of fiction as long as me and the list is pretty short. That’s not boasting. That’s just a reality.

So, I will soon talked about how I further went into the science fiction field with The Rock one of my favorite books.