Interview With Dr. Keith Hummel Immortal Red Author
It’s easy to find the doctor in the emergency room, but how many times can you find an author? I sat down with Dr Keith Hummel from Bath Community Hospital to talk about his upcoming project and what inspired them to write. Dr. Hummel was a navy flight surgeon and a rally co-driver, but that’s not why we are talking. He the author of an upcoming book Immortal Red. Below is the transcript of our interview.
Danny Cardwell/Questioner: Dr. Hummel, how are you doing this morning?
Dr. Hummel/Answerer: I’m doing very well thank you.
Q: Between seeing patients and being a full-time ER physician, how do you find the time to write?
A: Sometimes between patients I make notes; you know five or six interchanges in the twenty minutes or so I have between patients.
Q: Has writing always been a part of your life?
A: It has; I’ve always been someone who likes to write. I was a double major in English in History when I was an undergraduate and started a graduate degree before I decided to go to medical school. I wanted to fly but I had bad vision.
Someone from the Navy told me, “You know, if you were a flight surgeon the US Navy teaches its flight surgeons to fly all the way through solo. We send you through all of the Hand to hand combat, meteorological training and survival schools. Maybe you should think about that?”
That was one of the things that got me through the really bad times in medical school and residency. I knew that eventually, if the Navy took me when I finished, I would be a flight surgeon.
Q: Did your interest in rally cars come from the adrenaline rush from flying?
A: I’ve always liked. Cars my very first car when I was a kid was a was a Triumph TR4 that had rust holes you could crawl in and out of. I always liked rally driving. I did some training at a school in New Hampshire with my son-in-law. My son-in-law is a deputy and really wanted to be the one who did the driving, so I said okay I’ll be the co-driver you just drive flat out and I will pretend that I know what I’m doing. So, that’s what we did. We did that for a few years. It was a lot of fun.
Q: You’re upcoming book Immortal Red has been described as a combination of Michael Crichton meets Dean Koontz and Graham Greene. That’s very high praise. Can you talk about the book?
A: The book is basically a science thriller. It’s written to be a literary thriller, which is a kind of a rare animal. It tries to be both a page turner and a book that is developed by characters. In other words, the characters drive the story rather than just the plot driving the story.
The theme for this is immortal life and eternal youth. Would you want it? How would you handle it? Is three score and ten enough or do you want to keep going? Would you kill to get it? That’s kind of what happens in this book.
In the beginning, we have a marine biologist who is snorkeling off the coast of Cape Fear, North Carolina when she discovers the jellyfish Turritopsis dohrnii, which is very real dime side of jellyfish with a bright red stomach and when this jellyfish gets traumatized to the point of death or if it reaches old age it triggers the release of a hormone and undergoes a process called trans differentiation where it takes good cells and replaces the bad cells that are dying and makes itself young again. Interestingly, it makes itself very healthy, perfect but mature. The characters who are exposed to death and the ones that it works on become essentially the equivalent of 33 years old again and healthy.
I found this Jellyfish by accident just doing some research on the internet and wondered if it could be built into a story. One of my protagonists is a basically a CIA assassin and he is tasked with eliminating a scientist’ daughter who is on the run with the cliff notes for immortality from her mother, but he finds that he falls for her. Overlaying this is a 62-year old native American ex-marine cafe owner who is the last living Cape Fear Indian; the only problem is that the last Cape Fear Indians died 200 years ago. I won’t spoil anymore of it.
Q: I know that you blog and write so how can listeners find you?
A: The book is in pre-orders right now. The publisher is Inkshares.com or if just go to Google and put in Inkshares Immortal Red it’s the second or third thing that comes up.