Why I became a writer - by Duane Graveline M.D.
I was captivated early on by the imagination of Edgar Rice Burroughs. Later it would be writers like Asimov, having scientific backgrounds. Very few medical students, including myself, could find the time for reading anything but medical books but one of the major blessings of taking my last exam ever was the opportunity to turn to Michener, Manchester and so many others who have left their mark even though I may not have recognized it at the time.
I suppose I write for a reasonably literate audience. Having a smattering of scientific and technical background allows one to more fully appreciate my themes. You will not find excessive violence, murder or mayhem in my books. You will find mystery and some unusual concepts.
I began to think about writing very early in my career for the experiences, which now guide my writing, started almost immediately after medical school graduation. I interned at Walter Reed Army Hospital and by the time I finished internship and began flight surgeon's training, my first book, ICARUS DESTINY, already was taking shape in my mind. My career seemed to lead from one amazing adventure to another. If I was not traveling the world getting "flight time", I was studying the medical effects of prolonged weightlessness or working as an intelligence analyst evaluating what the Soviet's were doing in space and how they were doing it. Or, I was on loan to NASA as flight controller during the Mercury and Gemini launches, sometimes on a coral atoll in the South Pacific, sometimes on a tracking ship. It was wonderful!
It was then that my writing really started for I was collecting some incredible experiences, which culminated with my selection in May of 1965 as scientist astronaut. This was the research phase for much of my writing to come. BROTHERS OF THE PERSEIDS about aura and mind control and MINDCHANGE about suicidal depression, sensory deprivation and memory eradication both started then. THE ARK about the final cure of AIDS and OUR FATHER about discovering life on Mars also originated during this time. TWINKLESEED about psychic healing and CADUCEAN TRIANGLE about the pleasures and frustrations of medical practice are based on both an earlier and later phase of my life. SPACEDOC about space medicine in the year 2060 is where I want to be.