posted on May 26, 2020 by Linda Bond

Writing a medical thriller while reporting on and living through one

I am Emmy award winning news anchor and reporter who spent two decades working in big, bustling newsrooms alive with a frenetic energy I fed on. Now, I spend my days as one of only a handful of people allowed in our newsroom during the covid-19 crisis. I anchor three newscasts, the noon, the four and five pm shows. In between I introduce the Governor and the President’s news conferences, digesting every detail of this pandemic. Then, I provide a synopsis to my viewers. I feel like a sponge soaking up bad news daily. My hair is sprayed into a helmet that looks, I hope, like it did before social distancing and salon closings. But my nerves are not as easily held down and kept in place.

I leave the set each night feeling like rocks have been sewn into my shoulders. Some nights I can’t sleep and I get up at four am just so I don’t lay there and stare at a clock that isn’t going to change just because I want it to. I know I have to get up and go to work even if I don’t feel like it simply because there are so few of us allowed into the news station. I feel the responsibility. I can’t get sick. I pass that pressure onto my husband and kids. Even though I don’t want to.

My co-workers are now working from home. I miss them. Because they are using their iPhones to broadcast live, issues often pop up that none of us could have predicted or prepared for. Like the battery dying on the phone, audio dropping out, or a dog interrupting a weather forecast by pawing the computer and making the graphics freeze. These are the details we laugh about while trying to not let the real details of death make us so heavy we can’t present that calm face and even tone viewers need right now.

I miss the old days.

By that I mean 2019.

Any day of 2019.

What keeps me sane? Writing fiction under the pen name Linda Bond. I took 10 years of experience as a medical reporter and used it to pull back the curtain on a fictional hospital engaged in a medical mystery with the potential to become a community outbreak. And I reached out to many of my media contacts, like an ER doctor who is both handsome and soundbite savvy, a PharmD expert who knew all about how drugs work in the body, a director of a local health department, and our local police department PIO, who is also an expert in crisis control. With their help, I wrote a book I was really proud of because it set up a medical mystery that even the most advanced medical experts might have difficulty unraveling.

I had no idea that Entangled would release my book right in the middle of a real pandemic. I had no idea when my imagination was weaving all these plot twists and turns that some of the scenes would come close to real life headlines. That millions of Americans would be affected by a real medical mystery that would change lives forever.

What I can promise you is that this medical mystery will have a happy ending.

People are dying in Dr. Joshua Salvador’s ER. His medical assistant, only weeks from delivering her baby, hangs on to life by a thread. The symptoms seem horrifyingly familiar, and he begins to suspect the deaths are targeted at him. But, before he can figure things out, top TV investigator Rachel Wright is standing in the middle of his ER, convinced an outbreak, an epidemic, or even a botched flu vaccine could be the cause, and she’s going to tell the world. 

“The story is spot on with how people are feeling right now as it answers some questions about an outbreak.” – Book Him Danno – Goodreads review

“In the craziness of today’s world it’s unsettling to think about this happening. Really makes you think twice.” – Read All About It

One person to comment below will win a digital copy of Flatline.

Linda Bond

Linda Bond

Linda Bond is an award-winning journalist by day and author of romantic thrillers by night. She has won 13 Emmy awards, numerous Society of Professional Journalist and Associated Press awards, as well as a Florida Bar and an Edward R. Murrow award. A breast cancer survivor, she's also active in the Tampa community with The American Cancer Society, Hooked on Hope, and The Shoot for a Cure, raising money and awareness any chance she gets. She's the mother of five, four athletes and an adopted son from Cuba. She has passion for world travel, classic movies and solving a good mystery.

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