I often get asked how I came up with the idea for my book The Mosquito Bites. I have always read that you need to write about something you know. But at the same time, you need to have a passion for the topic and the story you are telling. Without passion, it is just words on a page.
My first job out of graduate school was working for a chemical company that produced insecticides to control pests on crops. My specific job was to go to the company’s research farms and collect data on how effective new products were against five different insects and then make recommendations to the corporations which products should move to the next stage of development. The goal was to come up with a new product to introduce into the market every two to three years—products that help control insect infestations in field crops, thus increasing yield for the farmers and bringing better food at a lower price to the marketplace. In the end, everyone wins; the company makes money on the sale of the insecticide, and consumers get good food products at a lower price.
It was during my visits to the farms that I thought, “What would happen if these products changed the plants, good or bad, in a way that we were not aware?” That thought led to the character of Alex Gregory and the idea behind The Mosquito Bites. Although the book is fiction, the premise behind it comes from real-life experiences. Could something like this be happening that we are not aware of?