Physician co-writers moonlight as mystery writers

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The rain clouds were parting just as a crowd was forming at the foyer of the Encino Barnes & Noble on Saturday December 12. Just as you enter the front doors- and before you’re are bombarded by the Christmas gift ideas- author Linda Reid asks “do you like mysteries?” catching you before you have a chance to pass her by.

Stacks of her title Dead Air surrounded her as she talked to customers about the book while signing copies bought by friends, family and interested parties. The book was also co-written by Deborah Shlian, author of the international best selling and award winning title, Rabbit in the Moon.

“We met and worked together at UCLA in the student services department,” said Reid. “Our experiences both in student services and research provided us with the inspiration to write this exciting book.”


The book follows Sammy Green— an investigative reporter, talk show host and  student at an ivy league university as she tries to find out what’s behind all these murders occurring at her school. She uncovers a conspiracy that could involved a number of likely suspect, such as a religious fundamentalist leader, a pharmaceutical company that’s engaged in a public private partnership with the University. That have may have a hidden agenda in mind. As well as staff and faculty at the University, that may not be as honest as they should be in an institution of higher education and ivory tower.

Both Reid and Shlian wrote the book in a course of a year working out the plot together over the phone while living on opposite ends of the country. “Each of us would get on the phone and assigned different chapters or sections to each other. We would write separately and then send via email our drafts to each other and the other would edit so that we would have one voice for Sammy Green and our cast of characters,” explained Reid.

Reid also discussed how inspiration was pulled from both authors, which helped shape the character, and content of the story. Not only are the two authors physicians, Reid also has a background in talk radio and has also worked on television as a medical features reporter CBS station in Washington, while Shlian has written a number of thrillers, such as Wednesday’s Child.

Both Reid and Shlian have already written the sequel to Dead Air and anticipate its release in April of 2011. Devil Winds continues following Sammy Green as she comes to LA working for a radio station. She ends up in a web of mystery and intrigue.

“We’re hoping for an on going series. We’re working on the third book, just in the process of plotting it, so a lot of phone calls.”

Reid lives in Los Angeles and is the Director of Student Health Center at Cal State Northridge.

Atina Hartunian’s articles have appeared in the North Valley Community News, The Armenian Reporter, The Pasadena Weekly, as well as current urban development for She is also a website content manager and freelance writer:

About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.