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Welcome to my website. My name is Michelle Dalson, and I am a premedical student at Duke University, majoring in psychology and minoring in biology.

My novels:

As an aspiring academic physician, I am especially passionate about advancing scientific and medical research. Thus, I took on the challenge of writing fictional stories that would demonstrate how science, technology, and medicine have shaped our world.

Genotopia is the series I had written to demonstrate this theme. Though it is a fictional series, the 3 novels emphasize the ethics, benefits, and drawbacks of scientific progress. The stories take place in a world dependent on genetically modified animals, since my fascination with genetic research inspired me to write books like these.

Through these novels, I hope to emphasize three important themes:

1.) The relentless battle between nature and man’s scientific progress

2.) The beneficial (and dangerous) impact of scientific and medical advancement on racial divisions, culture, and society.

3.) The impact of culture and society on scientific and medical advancement

 

Now writing fiction was not particularly a hobby of mine. It was time-consuming and stressful: while I was writing these stories, I was always consumed by the feeling of impatience to just “get this over with.” That being said, writing novels is not something I am passionate about. So then why did I complete an entire series? Well, it was the idea behind writing these novels that kept me going– I cared about the progress of scientific and medical research and I wanted to create something that would emphasize the fascinating complexity of science and medicine.

On the other hand, medicine is a field in which I feel I belong to. Whenever I would volunteer in the hospital, shadow a doctor, interact and converse with patients, run wet-lab experiments, study for biological and physical science courses, or read research papers on the latest medical breakthroughs, I was never consumed by the feeling to “get it over with;” I enjoyed going through the process of learning and performing medical and scientific tasks in the lab and clinic one step at the time. Thus, although I will no longer be writing any more stories, I am eager to continue my work in medicine, aiming to advance the medical sciences in ways that would benefit society, just as I had depicted in the themes of my novels. I hope that my novels will also encourage my readers to address, understand, and appreciate how science and medicine have shaped our world.

 

You can also find me on Facebook and Twitter

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7 Responses to Home

  1. Greetings!
    Saw your posting and looks like an interesting read.
    I am a late bloomer in the publishing world and was published for the first time a year ago, Aug, 15th being the release date. My novel is titled Shadow Guardians, a sci-fi read, and was published by Martin Sisters Publishing. If you are interested you can see it on Goodreads, Amazon, barnesandnoble.com, martinsisterspublishing.com, etc. One of the things we as authors are supposed to do for our promotions is to develop a social media presence by garnering contacts, developing email lists, reading and rating others’ book on Goodreads, and the like.
    Anyway, I would be interested in hearing a little more about what prompted your story and how you developed, what your goals are as a writer, and perhaps how you plan on marketing Genotopia.
    Sincerely,
    Brett Lawrence
    Author of Shadow Guardians
    brettlawrence.net

    • Hi Brett! Thank you for expressing interest.
      First of all, a lot of things inspired me to write the Genotopia series. When I was a child, my brother and I loved to play those pokemon games on the nintendo DS, and we would spend lots of time coming up with our own pokemon characters, creatures, and gameplays.
      By the time I was in high school, I was taking a biology honors class. I fell in love with the subject of biology, especially the topics that covered DNA, genetics, and the concepts of genetic engineering…and that’s when the idea came to me: pokemon are like genetically modified animals. I started seeing pokemon as animals whose genes have been modified to give them superpowers, and that the characters in the games/shows were using these creatures’ genetically enhanced powers to battle for monetary rewards. I thought to myself, why not write a story about this whole concept, NOT to retell pokemon, but to allude to the possible future we might have if we were to create such creatures? So thus began my writing journey for the Genotopia series!
      My main goal as a writer is to tell a great story that I can enjoy writing and others can enjoy reading. I’ve been inspired by lots of books and stories, some that have left me breathless after finishing. Such feelings give me the urge to “give back” and tell my own story that can leave other readers feeling as uplifted and inspired as I felt after finishing a good book.
      For my marketing plans, I am hoping to connect with other readers/writers before I release my book. I am still in the process of reviewing/revising it, so in the meantime, I also plan to use my author website as a tool for marketing. I’m glad you asked me this, because I plan on hosting interviews for other authors/writers out there, asking them questions about their writing journey and what they’ve experienced throughout their writing, publishing, and marketing processes. (If you are interested, you can follow me and I’d be happy to interview you!). I might also make a forum in which readers, writers, and authors can discuss their books, post excerpts, summaries, character descriptions, and whatnot. Although I might decide on that after I start a few interviews. (what do you think about these suggestions?)
      Thanks again for expressing interest! I will also keep your author page saved on my personal list of authors and will check out your site 🙂 Let me know if you have any more questions.

      Michelle Dalson

      • Michelle,
        Thank you for your prompt reply.
        Since I myself happen to still be something of a newbie to all of this your plans do sound reasonable. I am currently using a couple of books for reference material, in a manner. One is Goodreads for Authors by Michelle Campbell-Scott and How to Market a Book by Joanna Penn. The latter is really more geared to the indie/self-published writer, though there is a considerable amount of information for both that route and the traditionally published writer. In this day and age, the burden of promotions and advertising seems to be with the author, unless one is fortunate enough to be taken on by one of the big publishers. And yes I would be interested in staying in contact since, as I mentioned earlier, it is advised authors develop contact and email lists of other authors for a variety of positive reasons. Authors don’t have to be in competition but can help one another along. I guess in that vein no author is an island.
        Your story development sounds somewhat similar to mine, sort of a “what if” scenario. Shadow Guardians was actually written about twenty-five years ago. I work at a state mental institution here in Lakewood/Tacoma, Washington, and one day, I got tired of staring at four walls during lunch breaks and asked myself a couple “what if” questions. Before I even learned about outlines and synopses that were the skeleton and flesh of any story mine became sort of a roadmap. I had an idea of where I wanted to start and where I wanted to end with Shadow Guardians sort of like a road trip with landmarks and the occasional detours. I wondered if an alien race could be working covertly among the people of Earth and, if so. what might they be doing. One “what if’ question led to another and. lo and behold, SG was born.
        I wrote for a number of other reasons. I loved to, and still do, read Star Wars and Star Trek and found them to be just good, clean fun. I thought to myself, “I can do that.” I also read a couple of other sci-fi stories that had pretty good plots but became disappointed when foul language, promiscuous behavior, and/or gratuitous violence were used as plot devices. The X-Files had a small series of books, and it was the third one I enjoyed that started out really good but soon descended into copious use of the f-word. Needless to say, I put it down and never went back. I knew then that a good story did not need rely on such devices to be good. Also, when we write, whatever the genre, we are sort of gods of our own universe, developing, moving, and interacting our own characters through conflicts, resolutions, whatever. My greatest fun was in bringing life to my characters and making them alive and believable–all wrapped up in a what I felt was a good story.
        Back to marketing plans… I actually sort of write as a hobby as a full time job sort of precludes being more serious about it. I plan on retiring in about six years, and one of my goals is to write full time. Right now, I am planning on working mostly through contact development both within and outside of Goodreads it, as well as Amazon. I am currently working on a second installment and, hopefully, will have all of that in place before then.
        Let me know when you are about to be published. Perhaps you can send me an excerpt prior to a release date which I can read and maybe even provide a blur or some other type of support.

        Brett Lawrence
        Author of Shadow Guardians
        spacedcadet76@yahoo.com
        brettlawrence.net

  2. Hi Brett,
    Your story sounds interesting! Sounds like something I would be interested in reading. I love anything that involves aliens, science fiction, and the like.
    I’m curious…how are you using goodreads to develop your contacts? I am still getting adjusted to the site, although I’m finding facebook writing groups to be a little easier developing contacts with other writers. How are you using goodreads to do the same? Are you involved in lots of groups or messaging a lot of friends?
    And I am actually sending my story to beta readers right now, so if you are interested, I can email you the draft or send a few chapters for you to review. Let me know if you are interested!

    -Michelle Dalson

    • Michelle,
      Sounds good. If you want to shoot the whole work to me that would be fine. I am presently reading another book (hard copy) from a Goodreads author and will fit yours in, though an electronic read shouldn’t conflict. As I mentioned, I could do a blurb for you since, in the estimation of my editor, we are professionals and, hence, maybe have just a little authenticity and clout with readers.

      In addition, my editor suggested I read other authors’ books and not just for entertainment. She wanted me to get a feel for other styles and also the basics, like comma usage. Though she did suggest other genres I have decided to stick to sci-fi. As an aside. she felt I wrote like a veteran and a style very similar to George R. R. Martin and Game of Thrones, her favorite author. She even bought and sent me a copy! And me totally unfamiliar with that work at the time! I do believe that was my ticket to being published. I have maintained all along it’s about finding the right editor, at the right time, under the right circumstances, which seems to have been borne out.

      As I mentioned yesterday, I have a copy of Goodreads for Authors, which I would recommend it for your author library. (I bought my copy through Amazon.) Anyway, with GR’s size and the number of authors, readers, and books available on the site there would seem to be plenty of opportunity to develop contacts, fan following, etc…again, according to the book. With my speed and other commitments it feels like a pretty good place to start building a platform, getting to be known out there, developing contacts, etc. It doesn’t mean I would stay solely on Goodreads in the future. Besides, Goodreads was where I first saw your posting, I believe.

      To be honest, it is slow going and takes time as I have been informed. I belong to three groups currently, with the author’s and sci-fi author’s group being mostly new authors posting their novels. I have sent messages to maybe four or five and received back answers on maybe three. One has stayed in semi-frequent contact (the author of How to Market a Book) and one has replied after a couple of weeks. On the other hand, I joined the book trailer group. Everyone on that one chats back and forth about everything under the sun. Sometimes I have to just shake my head at the content and sheer volume. Speaking of that, you might even want to consider building a trailer for your book. Take a look at mine on my Goodreads page or else the Facebook one.

      I forgot to mention one of my earliest lessons as a writer from years ago (not that I learned that many in the genesis of writing) was to write what you know. You have not mentioned where you live but you know Pokémon and you ran with it. My stories have to have a tie in with two things: the Puget Sound region where I live (Lakewood, WA just south of Tacoma) and space travel. This is, after all, the home of X-Files. When I was very young, I was fascinated with astronomy and the early NASA rocket launches,,,Mercury, Telstar, Explorer, Pioneer, etc. As a matter of fact, I still am very much into space exploration and rocketry and you will find that in any story I write. I also built and flew model rockets for about twenty-five years till the late nineties. It was my small effort to “be out there.” Now writing stories carries out that childhood dream in a more formal fashion and opens my mind up to a universe of wonder in my creativity.

      Well, I need to stop this for now as I have rambled on for quite awhile. Should you desire, there is a sample read for Shadow Guardians on Amazon and, I believe, also on barnesandnoble.com.

      Until next time…
      \
      Brett Lawrence

      • Hi Brett,

        Sure, I can email you the draft, thank you for volunteering.
        And wow, that’s great that you found a good editor to work with. Did you get an agent to represent you?
        I found George RR Martin’s writing style quite enjoyable. He did a great job bringing his characters to life and building up tension throughout the novel, so that sounds amazing to have an editor find your writing style similar to his. I looked up your book and added it to my to-read list on GR, so I should get to read/review it soon!
        Yes, you are very right: it is recommended to write about what you know. Since I am only 17, my only prominent life experiences involve incidents at school and interactions with peers and family members. The school setting is therefore something I can easily write about and implement into my novels; for example, the main characters in my Genotopia books are teenagers in a Secondary Training School where they train the genopets, while behaving like typical teenagers and going through the experiences most teens go through in high school (i.e.: relationships, school drama, etc.). Also, I love animals and I used to love reading books with animal protagonists when I was in Elementary School. So that’s how I built up my world in the Genotopia series, where humans and animals have a more interpersonal relationship with each other.
        Space exploration interests me too! I love astronomy, although I can never see myself working in that field (I like writing about it in fictional worlds rather than committing my time to studying it!). However, biology was a topic that I can both write about and relish researching the subject. Hence, another reason why I came up with the idea of genopets as I mentioned earlier.
        As for GR, I am trying to find discussions in 3-4 groups such as the sci-fi, YA, and author ones…although it seems hard to get noticed by anyone since there are LOTS of members in the groups.
        Anyway, I look forward to reading your book soon! I am also reading other authors’ books and am trying to finish up one more by the end of this week.
        I hope you enjoy the draft I sent you. I look forward to hearing your honest opinions about it whenever you are ready 🙂

        -Michelle Dalson

  3. Tad Mowat says:

    I discovered your guide extremely enjoyable and pretty soon will write my viewpoint also.

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