Interview with WF van der Hart
Author of Too young to die: A scientific thriller in the age of biotechnology
W.F. van der Hart is an author who started writing after an intense and successful international business career in consulting and finance. As a passionate reader with a curious mindset, he has a strong interest in science in its broadest sense. He writes thrillers inspired by true and amazing scientific developments in our ever-changing world and based on extensive research. He has lived in different countries in Western Europe and South America and worked in many other countries all over the world which fueled his passion for traveling. He loves discovering other cultures and enjoying nice local food and wine with friends and family.
Follow me also on twitter @WFvanderHart for the latest updates and special offers.
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How would you describe "Too young to die" to a new reader?
- "Too young to die" is the story of a journalist suffering from depression and chronic back pain who gets a new exciting assignment: an article about a new drug that allegedly can stop the aging process, rejuvenate the body and increase the human lifespan significantly. During his investigation he learns more about this experimental drug, and he realizes how it could change the human species in unprecedented ways. While learning about the drug, he does the unthinkable and his life changes rapidly, but not everything changes the way he had hoped. He gets sucked into an intricate web of crime, greed and genius evil.
What was the inspiration behind "Too young to die"?
- It has been inspired by several real scientific developments and articles. Currently, the scientific world is advancing at an unprecedented pace and nobody can really foresee yet how humanity will change by all this. Lots of research is conducted into aging and longevity. All the research can roughly be divided in three areas: understanding and investigating the aging process, slowing down the aging process and reversing aging. Several drugs have entered clinical trial stage and soon we will see drugs on the market that will increase the human lifespan tremendously. This quest for the "Fountain of Youth" has reached a high speed, and especially the research into "senescent cells" looks very promising and has been the main inspiration for this book.
Which authors do you admire? How have they influenced your writing style?
- I admire many authors in both non-fiction as fiction. In non-fiction I admire authors like Malcolm Gladwell, Yuval Noah Harari, Daniel Kahneman and Hans Rosling. In fiction I admire writers like Stephen King, Tom Clancy, Dan Brown and John Grisham. They all inspired me to write realistic thrillers based on real scientific developments.
Can you tell us a little about the locations in your book?
- The main plot plays in the United States of America, while one chapter plays in Saint Petersburg in Russia. Part of the story takes the reader on a journey throughout the United States of America from the west to the east, and some parts are described in quite some detail and based on thorough research.
What can you tell us about the main character in "Too young to die"?
- The main character is Dave Wilson, a middle-aged New York journalist. Dave has gone through a typical midlife crisis and he has been suffering from depression and chronic back pain. His job and his son kept him going in his life. The character was inspired by some scientific research I had run into. Research shows that people's happiness in life goes through a typical u-shaped curve. The bottom of this happiness feeling is reached for most people between the age of 45 and 50 years after which their happiness goes back up again. I believe one of the causes of this midlife crisis is that typically around this age people notice the decline of their bodies and the limitations of life and their careers. What fascinates me is that current developments in biotechnology suggest that this could all change with the creation of new drugs that rejuvenate people.
Too Young to Die is a compelling, gripping scientific thriller of a journalist’s investigation into a rejuvenation drug which is about to change the human race forever.
Dave Wilson, a middle-aged New York journalist suffering from depression and chronic back pain, is thrilled with his new assignment: an article about a new drug that allegedly can stop the aging process, rejuvenate the body and increase the human lifespan significantly.
The twenty-first century is the age of biotechnology and he goes to the depth of this during his investigation. Scientific developments are happening at an exponentially growing pace and are about to change the human species in unprecedented ways.
While learning about the impressive advances of science, he decides to do the unthinkable. His life changes in unimaginable ways, but not everything changes the way he had hoped. Dave gets sucked into an intricate web of crime, greed and genius evil.