New Thrills

By Mark Alpert

Right now my wife and I are in Australia. It’s our first visit to the continent Down Under. We’re visiting our son as he spends a semester abroad at the University of Western Australia in Perth.

But I’m also looking for new ideas for thrillers. As my wife and I started planning our trip to Australia, we knew we wanted to see other parts of the country besides our son’s college, and the Great Barrier Reef was high on our list of must-see destinations. And once we decided to visit the reef, we knew we wanted to scuba dive there.

So we did our pool lessons in New York City before we went on vacation, and we did our open-water dives on Heron Island, a Great Barrier Reef island that lies astride the Tropic of Capricorn. Now I’m a certified diver, and I feel sure that this new experience will help me write all kinds of suspense stories.

What about you? Do you ever try new hobbies or adventures with the hope of writing about them?

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About Mark Alpert

Contributing editor at Scientific American and author of science thrillers: Final Theory (2008), The Omega Theory (2011), Extinction (2013), The Furies (2014), The Six (2015), The Orion Plan (2016), The Siege (2016), and The Silence (2017). His latest thriller, The Coming Storm (St. Martin's Press, 2019), is a cautionary tale about climate change, genetic engineering, and Donald Trump. His website:

3 thoughts on “New Thrills

  1. For the most part, I plan what I want to do and if it lends itself to a book, that’s gravy (really good gravy, because then I can write off part of the trip). My Caribbean cruise led to Deadly Engagement. Writing off the trip to the Galapagos would have been nice, but unless I wanted to write about an Equadorian Park Ranger, it would have pushed the boundaries of “couldn’t happen that way” too far. I’m hoping to send some of my Blackthorne, Inc. covert operatives to the British Isles very soon–at least before I have to file taxes.
    The only time I put research first was when I wanted to write a series set on a cattle ranch. For that, I booked a week at a working cattle ranch that used guests as cowhands.

  2. Go visit Rottnest Island Mark. Beautiful little bays for snorkelling and diving. It’s off Fremantle which I’m sure you’ll be visiting if you’re looking at the UWA. And do take an evening picnic to Kings Park. That ticks off three iconic visitor experiences you’ll never forget. Enjoy.

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