From the Author
In the fall of 2006 I found myself driving along a hilly, two-lane stretch of highway through the most boring part of Central Florida - predominantly orange groves & cows - trying to figure out a way to commit my experiences in medical research to paper when an idea occurred. I could arrange them in the form of a novel. Ben Ketchum was born that day and if my radio hadn't been on the fritz he might never have occurred to me. Which proves once again that sometimes it's not so unproductive being bored.
"Of course," I thought as I passed a flock of snowy white egrets perched on a fence that ignored my muffler as I passed by. "Ben could go places, meet people, and do things I'd never have time to do. He should be a microbiologist and he grew up on a ranch. He drives an old pickup truck like mine. And he has just one year left to gain tenure at his small university in Montana. He's single and in need of a vacation so he travels to Egypt and meets eccentric characters willing to help him out with his new project: the brewer's yeast. Along the way Ben could fall in love, discuss topics like energy & cellular metabolism, the history of brewing, cholera, and the bubonic plague in interesting locations. He could even have a graduate student working in his laboratory whose son is fighting cystic fibrosis. He misses his old research with anthrax, laments the competitiveness & tight budgets of modern science, teaches new laboratory techniques while mentoring his students. So many possibilities and I hadn't put a single word down on paper yet," I thought.
About the Author
David Wooster is a biochemist and science writer. He earned his Ph.D. in 2002 at Montana State University while working on cystic fibrosis.