I spent years in the pharmaceutical and drug research industry. To most people, drugs spring up on the pharmacy shelves pristine and ready for use like Aphrodite emerging from the sea on a shell. There is really no understanding of the painstaking and tedious route drugs must take before they are approved by the FDA. As a result, there is either an inherent trust or distrust about pharmaceutical companies and the drugs they make. Like any other author, I asked myself, how do I tap into these fears and create a story?
The evil drug company, of course has been done before, many times poorly and formulaic. My interest is not in painting the pharmaceutical companies as all evil for no one really believes that the thousands of people who walk in from the parking lot every day into a pharmaceutical are plotting evil and mayhem. Yet, I know from my personal experience how strong the allure of billions in revenue and profit are. Ig can and clearly has distorted judgement in subtle ways, and in some cases, not so subtle ways. It is the drug business, after all.
As always, it is an individual with his own drives and motivations at the center of any malfeasance and that is the case with Shadow. In my novel, I expose the individual trajectories that got the pharma executives from the inception of trouble with their development program through to where they are now. Keep in mind this is all backstory and it gets dropped in by bits to explain the behaviors of the various players while the main action all unfolds. It is not THE story it is a backdrop that supports the story.
So while there is an evil drug company at the heart of Shadow, it is how the very human individuals act and why that makes this aspect of the story compelling, with their attendant angst, betrayal, fears, and tragic ends along with some acts of heroism as well.
In future blogs, I’ll discuss some of my approaches to developing the core concepts in Shadow and how they combine into creating a story that interests me and hopefully you as well.