What led you to write Brain Warp?
Gil: Although I enjoy the practice of medicine, I found that I needed a change of pace. At my wife’s suggestion, I picked up writing a medical thriller that I had begun a number of years earlier. I had given it up because, like so many writers, I felt that I didn’t have the time to write. What I needed was the motivation to find the time.
How long did it take to write Brain Warp?
Gil: It took me four months to research the book and write up a summary and another six months to finish the first draft. I was careful to do most of my writing late at night when my family was asleep and the house was quiet.
How did you decide on the location of the book?
Gil: During my internship at St. Vincent’s, I came to love Greenwich Village. It was an exciting and fascinating place to live. For the book, I needed a locale with a strong ethnic community in a large city. For my foreign locale I needed a major European nation with political and economic importance and a government in transition. The Village, with nearby Little Ukraine, was perfect.
Fathers and fatherhood have an important place in Brain Warp. Why is that?
What writers influenced you to start writing?
Have any medical thrillers influenced your book?
Gil: Although there were important plot-driven reasons to select Ukraine as a locale, my father was born in Ukraine and the deeper I got into the book the more I learned about my roots and my father’s background. In fact, two of the characters are named after the town of my father’s birth. As I wrote, I realized how important his influence had been on me and the book became a journey of self-exploration.
Gil: When I began writing, I read about John Gilstrap, a very talented writer and author of Nathan’s Run and a number of other books. I attended several lectures of his on how to get started writing, and he encouraged me to continue.
Gil: Surprisingly, although I have read several medical thrillers I tried not to focus on them because I wanted my book to be original.