Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Guest Post: Theresa Rizzo, Talking About 'The Lives Between Us'

The Lives Between Us 

I read Theresa's newest book, The Lives Between Us and loved it. I love all of her books! You can read more about the book and my thoughts here. This is a story that takes us into the lives of people on both sides of the controversial topic of stem cell research and in particular, embryonic stem cell research.

As I was reading The Lives Between Us, I was amazed at the depth of information that was in the book about this topic. I kept wondering how an author goes about gaining enough knowledge about a topic such as this, to make it so real and believable to the reader.

Theresa is here today to give us some insight about how this book came about and how she researched the topic.

Welcome Theresa! Why did you chose to write about this controversial topic, embryonic stem cell research? And how much research did you have to do for this book?

Hi Susan,
Thanks for having me back to the Book Bag!

In 1981, embryonic stem cells were first derived from mouse embryos. In 1998, University Wisconsin-Madison researchers first developed a technique to isolate and grow human embryonic stem cells in culture—the only catch was, that in getting the cells from the blastocyst (a structure with a fluid-filled cavity and about a few dozen cells, that is about the size of a period, formed 4-5 days post fertilization), the blastocyst is destroyed.

When embryonic stem cells were hailed as potential miracle cures for all kinds of diseases and disabilities the moral controversy intrigued me. I could sympathize with both scientists and pro-life people, yet thought they both way over-simplified the issue.

I think it’s easy to take moral stances when one is not directly affected, but what happens to your morals when it’s YOUR child or your spouse who stands to suffer or died? And every wonderful, life-changing invention seems to have an equally magnificent way to abuse it, or danger associated with it. Look at electricity. Life-changing; yet it can kill too.  Cars? Handy dandy way to get around quickly—yet there were 32,244 lives lost in the United Sates in 2013 due to car accidents. And that statistic is average for the past 40 years.

So the embryonic stem cell debate intrigued me and I had to write about it.

I did a tremendous amount of research for this story. I had to research so many things from politics, to medicine, to settings, to current laws, and this all took a lot of time and some of it changed over the course of the years it took me to write and publish this story. While it’s a work of fiction, I wanted it to be as realistic and factual as I could make it, but the facts of politics and medicine kept changing!

Photos from Wikipedia---one on right is a human blastocyst, with inner cell mass at upper right

Thanks Theresa, for this information. 
And thanks for stopping by today. 

Leave a comment below if you have any questions or comments for Theresa. This is a fascinating subject. 

And seriously people, if you have not read this book, or any of Theresa's other books, you really need to. She writes great stories! 

Click on these titles to go to my posts about her books.

About the author 

Theresa Rizzo is a bestselling, award-winning author who writes emotional stories that explore the complexity of relationships and families through real-life trials. 
Born and raised in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, she currently lives outside of Boulder, Colorado with her husband of thirty-two years. She’s raised four wonderful children who are now scattered across the country.

Theresa's debut book, He Belongs to Me, won the 2014 National Indie Excellence Award for romance and the 2014 Readers Crown Award for Mainstream Women’s Fiction and was a finalist in the General Fiction Category of The 2013 USA Best Book Awards.  

Connect with Theresa

Be sure to check the sidebar for my current giveaways!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Susan, Thanks for asking about the research behind The Lives Between Us. I think it's pretty cool and glad readers are interested too!


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