Sunday, January 14, 2024

Audiobook Tour: The Human Trial by Audrey Gale @RABTBookTours


Medical Thriller / Historical Mystery

Date Published: Sept. 21, 2023

Publisher: Books Fluent

Narrator: Scott Graff

Run Time: 9 hours, 8 minutes


Dr. Randall Archer is a misfit.... the brutal blue-collar home where he grew up. a 16-year-old escaping to college, then medical school, on a full scholarship to Harvard. the highest echelons of Boston society, where the woman he marries and the blueblood research partner with whom he shares his laboratory belong.

Even Archer’s brilliance as a pathologist catapults him into direct and dangerous conflict with the medical establishment he fought so hard to join.

As the Great Depression presses down around him, Archer teeters at the edge of a precipice. He must choose between his hard-won career and the sacred oaths he took as a doctor and scientist—before all his choices are lost forever.

Interview with Audrey Gale

    Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?

    Because of my own writing, the amount of science successfully carried by the story and characters of two recent books, All the Light We Cannot See by Doerr and Where the Crawdads Sing by Owens gave me confidence to really delve into some serious science in my medical thriller, The Human Trial.

    How do you select the names of your characters?

    Character names are often an almost inexplicable process for me. Some characters seem to insist on the names they come into my head with. Others require changing as I get to know them through the process of perfecting the writing and story. Still others I search baby-naming books or sources for that will give a bit of etymology on the meaning behind the name.

    Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

    I don’t really hide secrets but I am aware that certain referrals or hints to related matter are handled subtly or won’t be picked up unless one has a certain background.

    What was your hardest scene to write?

    The hardest scene in The Human Trial to write was perhaps the first. So much is required of the opening scene. Putting characters on stage, showing important aspects of them vis-à-vis the story, grabbing a reader, creating curiosity or concern or some connection between character and reader, and not getting bogged down in all that! Phew. But also, I tried very hard to keep the science throughout the novel in palatable bites so it didn’t bog things down either. So the science scenes to an extent.

    Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

    In this particular case, I’ve long seen a two-book series, a 1930s story leading to a 1970s story via a multi-generational saga. But given the medical essence of the series, it occurred to me during Covid I should do a third that brings it all into the modern era. The third is just a concept at this point, but the second book is underway. They will however be able to stand independently.

    What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?

    My goal was to highlight scientific discoveries made in both physics and medicine that have been kept below the radar for the usual reasons: power and greed. I have found my readers to be very open to these concepts, eager almost. And I attribute that to the general dissatisfaction felt in our medical system today, the most expensive in the world by far but not the most effective. I think some eyes have been opened.

    What inspired you to write The Human Trial?

    The inspiration for writing The Human Trial were three main things: a miraculous cure I first saw on my very ill Golden Retriever, then on my father diagnosed with leukemia, and a separate experience even earlier when I thought I had lymphoma. Those three things really got my brain going and wouldn’t let me go. I can go into detail.

    Can you tell us a little bit about the next books in The Human Trial or what you have planned for the future?

    As I said, I’m already working on the sequel to The Human Trial. It takes place in the 1970s, the Vietnam era, Nixon’s defrocking, and another time of general angst and activism. While my first in the series was inspired by two male scientists actually working in the 30s, the carryforward will revolve around two female characters of subsequent generations, a mother and daughter, who are as different as night and day. The medical underpinnings continue.

    Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in The Human Trial?

    There are three main characters, all beautifully flawed and human. First is Randall Archer, MD, a scrappy kid clawing his way to the top at any cost. Then there’s his eventual research partner, Adam Wakefield, PhD in Physics whose breakthrough microscope opens unexpected and ultimately dangerous vistas to them. And finally, there’s Elizabeth Perrish Archer, a woman ahead of her times with all the concomitant problems that brings.

    What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

    What I enjoyed most about writing this book was producing something I’m really proud of—both in the thriller aspect of the story with compelling characters, but also staying true to my goal of delving unapologetically into deep science that will, I hope, open eyes.

About the Author

Audrey Gale long dreamed of being a writer, but never anticipated the circuitous road she’d take to get there. After twenty-plus years in the banking industry, she grew tired of corporate gamesmanship and pursued her master’s in fiction writing at the University of Southern California. Her first novel, a legal thriller entitled The Sausage Maker's Daughters, was published under the name A.G.S. Johnson. Her second, The Human Trial, is the first book in a medical thriller trilogy inspired by Gale’s own experiences with the gap between traditional medicine and approaches based on the findings of the great physicists of the 20th Century. Both The Sausage Maker’s Daughters and The Human Trial incorporate Gale’s fascination with historical and scientific research, and always with women finding their places. Gale lives in Los Angeles with her husband and dogs where she is found hiking the Santa Monica Mountains every chance she gets.

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