Interviews With Writers The Last Rose of Summer by Mary Austin
Targeted Age Group:: Adult Audiences – Adult audiences only. Although there is nothing sexual in the book, some material is shocking, and the complexity of the story and the science would prove too challenging for many young readers.
Heat/Violence Level: Heat Level 3 – PG-13
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
This novel should never have been necessary. Its content should have been a scientific paper years ago. However, after exhausting other options discussed in subsequent books, the author had to give up her career as a board certified pediatrician and then her personal safety to tell the story to the public.
The Camera Aversion of Scientists
If you want to see a lab empty out like the place is on fire, get a camera.
Almost everybody who works in labs is camera shy. This can be a problem if
you’re in that large majority and land in a prominent lab where the university (or
even local media crews) might be around on a regular basis depending on what’s
been discovered. These poor guys, who are just trying to do their jobs, want to
film scientists doing science, but the problem is that almost all of the scientists
want to run away.
One postdoc I remember even hid in the lab’s “hot room” to avoid a news
crew. That’s the term for the room where all the radioactive materials are
stored— very safely, really; there’s little to no risk to going in that room despite its
off-putting appearance. The university’s radiation safety staff inspects those
rooms regularly, and nobody’s allowed in there without knowing what they’re
But the door has those giant radiation warning signs on it, and my
colleague correctly guessed that the camera people sure as hell wouldn’t follow
…That guy in the hot room stood around for almost an hour with nothing
to do, until he was sure the crew was gone. Having successfully avoided
appearing in the video, he went back to work and faced nothing but a bit of
ribbing from the rest of us.