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About Colin M. Drysdale


Colin M. Drysdale is a marine biologist and author. While he has published countless academic papers and several technical books (under his real name), The Outbreak is only his second published work of fiction. He chose to publish this book under a pseudonym in order to separate it from his academic and technical writing. After all, those who enjoy his fictional work are unlikely to want to read his Ph.D. thesis on an obscure group of poorly known whales.

He has been a marine biologist for almost twenty years and has worked in places as far apart as Scotland, St. Helena, the Pacific Northwest of Canada and Labrador. He has always had a fondness for the marine environment and is a keen sailor (whenever he gets the opportunity to do so). Given this background it is probably unsurprising that his first novel is primarily set at sea.

However, as was the case with his first book (For Those In Peril On The Sea), The Outbreak is far from your typical sailing story. Instead, it's a tale set in a post-apocalyptic world where the land is no longer safe.  This comes from the author's love of post-apocalyptic fiction, and particularly those which fall within the zombie sub-genre, which he puts down to watching the BBC's six part adaptation of The Day Of The Triffids when it was first broadcast in the early 1980s. 

While the story and characters in The Outbreak are fictional, the landscape in which it is set is real and is based on the author's own experience living and working in the western Scotland. The intimate knowledge he gained of the geography of this region is deeply infused into the book and in many ways plays a key role within it. This is not surprising, given that he has spent the last ten years in his academic life writing and teaching about how landscapes can influence where different species occur. This comes across in both The Outbreak, and in For Those In peril On The Sea, where the landscape plays as much a part in how the story develops, and particularly the final outcome, as the characters themselves.

While The Outbreak  is the second book in the For Those In Peril series, it doesn't represent a true sequel. Rather it is a book which is set in the same world, and it follows a different set of characters as they try to escape from a city as it is over-run by the Haitian Rabies Virus, which creates the infected. He is currently working on a third book in this series which will bring the characters from the first two books together as their storylines finally collide. This is currently scheduled for publication in Summer 2014.

Colin M. Drysdale currently lives in Glasgow, where he runs a small business providing training for ecologists. While he is still actively involved in marine biological research, he now splits his time between his academic work and his fiction writing. He feels that this gives him a broader perspective on life that improves his work in both these spheres.


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Last modified: 04/30/14