Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

“They were delighted to tell me everything…”

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Richard Preston

I decided to write The Cobra Event as a novel in order to solve a very specific journalistic problem. I became interested in biological weapons while writing The Hot Zone, and I realized that there was something very important about them that the scientific community was trying its damndest to ignore. But the weapons experts I need to talk to wouldn’t go on the record because their positions in the government were too sensitive.

But once I decided to write a novel about biological weapons, they were delighted to tell me everything I needed to know, from how FBI agents dress and get along with their families, to the scientific work they did on bioterrorism…I ended up visiting the FBI facilities at Quantico, Virginia, including a secret facility that I ended up describing in The Cobra Event.

Richard Preston, to Robert S. Boynton in The New New Journalism

Written by nevalalee

October 26, 2014 at 8:41 am

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