Interview with PETROPLAGUE protagonist Christina Gonzalez

And now for something different: an interview with a character from my science thriller Petroplague.  Christina Gonzalez is a graduate student at UCLA, studying bacteria that make–or destroy–the hydrocarbon molecules found in petroleum.

You can watch the Petroplague trailer at the top of this page and order a signed, discounted copy using the shopping cart at the right.

Click here to learn more about the book.

Q:  Christina, you were at the center of the tragic events in Los Angeles during the petroplague.  In fact, some people say the whole thing was your fault.  Was it?

No, it wasn’t my fault.  Well, obviously I had something to do with it.  My genetically-altered bacteria did get into the city’s fuel supply and turn all the gasoline into vinegar.   But I didn’t put them there.  If Neil hadn’t bombed the test site, everything would’ve been fine.

Q:  The media also reported that you found the cure for the petroplague.

Most of the credit should go to my mentor, but it’s true.  My work—under difficult conditions, I might add—led me to the cure.

Q:  Did you know it was going to work?

{Pause} I shouldn’t say this, but no, I actually was afraid my cure might make the problem worse.  We were out of time, with the earthquakes and the doomers’ plot.  It was the mayor’s decision to take it to Bakersfield, but we really didn’t have a choice.

Q:  You used to volunteer for digs at the La Brea Tar Pits.  Do you still go back?

After all that happened, it’s hard for me.  Plus the place has changed so much.  But I do go back once in a while, for my work.  I’m investigating a new species of oil-eating bacteria growing there.

The place I really avoid now is the Angeles National Forest, up in the mountains.  I used to enjoy hiking there but the memories are too stressful.

Q:  How is your research at UCLA going now?

I’m working on a totally green, renewable biofuel made by bacteria that might be in your car’s gas tank within five years.  But mostly I’m excited that I’m going to graduate and get my Ph.D. soon!

Q:  Will you and the mayor be going public about your relationship?

Felipe and I are trying to keep it quiet but you know how it is.  This is L.A.  Public figures don’t have a private life.

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