Author Interview with Thomas Reilly

Thomas Reilly
Thomas Reilly

Thomas Reilly is a retired biotechnology scientist and executive who holds a doctoral degree in microbiology. He is the author of numerous essays and articles on science and technology. CHASING TIME, his first novel, is a medical suspense story that captures many elements of the drug research and development processes. He lives in Wilmington, Delaware with his wife Linda.

Why did you write the book? What was your motivation behind it?
Two prime motivators drove me to write Chasing Time. First, an idea about using future events to shape present decisions had been circulating in my mind for years. This is the essence of Chasing Time. Second, after receiving so much positive feedback on my writing during my career (manuscripts, essays, reports and the like), I wanted to challenge myself and determine if i could write a full-length novel.

Who do you see as your main audience for this book and what do you hope they will get from reading your book?
I envision this suspenseful novel will broad appeal to a large population segment because of its universal themes of family, persistence, and devotion. In addition, Chasing Time should also appeal to those reader segments interested in magical realism and those who follow bioscience developments. Simply put, my goal as a writer is to enrich the lives of those who will read my work and enrich my own life as well.

How do you see this book being relevant today?
Aside from the universal themes of Chasing Time (family, persistence, devotion) that are particularly relevant in today’s society, the book clearly describes many of the medical breakthroughs of recent years that will shape all of our lives in the future.

Why do you think you the right person to write this book? How do you think your qualifications or experience make this a better book?
First, I had this unique idea of a time capsule from the past revealing events from the future. Exploiting this idea into a book is best done by the idea generator (i.e. me). Secondly, I am uniquely qualified to write about medical breakthroughs based on my education (Ph.D. and MBA degrees), and experience in working as a scientist and executive in pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

Can you share a little bit about the process of writing the book? Did you keep writing once you sat down?
I challenged myself to write a full-length novel based on one original idea, that is a time capsule from the past revealing events from the future that shape present decisions. Hence the name, Chasing Time. I would sit down for a few hours every day in effort to expand the storyline. Over a period of several months, the story seemed to catch fire as I weaved different ideas and components into a (hopefully) cohesive and entertaining storyline. Of course, there were many days when the writing did not click, and I wondered if I could ever finish. But over time, my writing style evolved to become more expressive and more consistent, and in about a year’s time, I had my completed work.

Does writing energize or exhaust you?
The answer is easy- both.

Have you written any other books or do you have any books planned for the future? Tell us as much as you are willing to share!
Writing Chasing Time has inspired me to continue writing, and I am nearly finished with a second novel that, once again, describes the effects of a magical Janus key on the lives of everyday individuals in present time.

How many hours a day do you write?
Two to three hours per day is what I shoot for.

Does your family support your career as a writer?
Absolutely. My wife is a retired English literature teacher and has spent countless hours reading my work, editing, and making storyline
suggestions. My four children have read my book and offered strong support and encouragement.

What is your favourite childhood book?
In high school, it was the Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas. In college, it was Tokien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy.


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