Unheard of Books

MoaTS Now A Double Award Winner

In late August, my 2019 novel won a literary award, Best Medical Thriller from the Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards.

In early September, a week later, Memoirs of a Transferable Soul won another award. I’ll get to the specifics in a minute.

Pinnacle Award Winner, Best Medical Thriller
Pinnacle Book Achievement Award
Sole Winner
Best Medical Thriller

First, a little more about the book. I was looking at my Goodreads Author page, which features prompted questions that authors can answer, to give readers more context about their work. The first of these is—Where did you get the idea for your latest book?

In my case, for MoaTS, the initiating inspiration was a mystery illness. Over a decade ago, I suddenly started waking up exhausted, practically every day. Eventually, talking to doctors about these circumstances, I would describe it as Toxic Sleep, a condition where sleeping well left me feeling worse than sleeping badly. The better I slept, the worse I felt. It’s a miserable situation, whereas, all your life, when all else fails you’ve always been able to count on a good night’s sleep to make everything better. Not anymore.

Without going into further personal details, let’s just say I used this challenge as a What If? to set the premise of my novel; What if a guy with an unsolvable mystery illness discovers a mystery cure, but the cure has a heavy, and rather antisocial cost?

One of my favorite science-fiction thrillers was a book published around 30 years ago, Memoirs of an Invisible Man. This page-burner took H.G. Wells’s premise of invisibility, and gave it several twists that modernized the story, and really pulled the reader in. This updating fiddled with the premise a lot too, making it much more compelling. H.F. Saint, the author, wasn’t the first writer to enhance Wells’s Invisible-Man concept, and he certainly won’t be the last.

Ever since I’d read Saint’s inspired novel, I’d wanted to do something similar. Put a fairly ordinary character into extraordinary circumstances, giving him great abilities that unfortunately also come with even greater disenchantments, and then let him loose to do the problem solving that will work his way out of the inevitable dilemma.

And starting with the fight against a mystery illness, that’s what I’ve done with MoaTS.

By the way, (and speaking of invisibility) I saw in a recent issue of the Philadelphia Inquirer that invisible and mystery illnesses are finally achieving some well-deserved mass-media visibility. Two new television shows together take a very similar crowd-sourcing approach to bring the struggle of patients with mysteries, and their medical teams, to the attention of the wider public, and other professionals. The hope is that this wider attention will bring vital information from other sufferers and problem solvers that have insights that can help. Privacy issues aside, opening up medical data in this way, getting the hive mind at work on stubborn cases, shows a lot of promise in the early going. The shows are Chasing the Cure on TNT, and Diagnosis, on Netflix. (Netflix!)

The premise of Memoirs of a Transferable Soul, is at its heart a science-fiction idea. Medical treatments cause unforeseen metaphysical side effects, basically.

Its inspiration, Memoirs of an Invisible Man, was a science-fiction novel, but it was very much a cross-over bestseller. The quality of the writing, the impingement of its themes on the structures of capitalist society, and on the complicated workings of the American system and its shortcomings gave it an intelligence and weight that broke through its genre containers as a Thriller, a SciFi, a man-against-the-system potboiler. Many of MoaIM’s blurbs, reviews, and listings used the word “literary” in their descriptives at the time, and to me, this is a good thing. This novel was more than any one thing, and more is better, I think.

So, back to MoaTS and its awards. Last week it won Best, as a Medical Thriller. Sole Winner!

This week, I’m happy to announce, it won in another category. Horror!

When I entered the book in the Readers’ Favorite contest, I was given over 20 genres to choose from, and I could pick 3. I picked Medical Thriller, and Science Fiction, and yes, I threw in for Horror too.

And now it has walked off as a Finalist, in the Horror category. This is equivalent to an Honorable Mention.

Readers' Favorite Award — Horror Fiction, Finalist
Horror Fiction, Finalist
2019 International Book Awards

Is it a horror novel? No. But I can understand why it fits there. And I’m very glad, for the award, and proud of it.

It also earlier received 5 independent reviews, all five-stars, from different reviewers at Readers’ Favorite. Several of them used the word “literary” somewhere in their reviews.

This “literary” is one of those terms that may be hard to define or characterize. Sort of a “I Know It When I See It” type thing. I think perhaps a certain thoughtfulness, an awareness of social context, a relevance to readers’ lives and their triumphs and frustrations…. I don’t know. I do know that I’ve tended to really like books that have been described, in one venue or another, with both the words “thriller” and “literary” in there somewhere.

Is MoaTS a Science Fiction novel? Yes, with a touch of the speculative fantasy side of that genre.
Is MoaTS a Medical Thriller? Yes indeed.
Is MoaTS “literary”? A bit.
Is MoaTS a Horror novel? No, but it’s got a horrific thing or two at play in there, swirling and gleaming and catching the light, like a rainbow trout slipping the hook.

Here’s the link to the book’s page at Evolved Publishing, which links out to catalog pages for the ebook and paperback at various outlets including Amazon and B&N, as well as the awards pages, reviews, etc.

And the Amazon (USA) Link for both E-Book and Paperback

Memoirs of a Transferable Soul

If you’d like to know more about compelling reads I can identify that also have “literary” elements, I can name a few. Also, the story of H.F. Saint is a fascinating one. It was a pen name, to echo H.G. Wells, and Memoirs of an Invisible Man was something of a one-hit-wonder. The author quickly disappeared into Europe somewhere and never publishing anything else, after this, his first novel, was a huge hit!

Get in touch if you’d like to know more, in the comments, or otherwise!

W. T. Andrews


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