GLEN ELLYN – Seventy years old might sound like an unusual age to begin a career as an author, but for Glen Ellyn resident Dan Harris, it was the perfect time.
Those years under Harris’ belt provide him with a unique background that has helped him pen the story of a National Security Agency operator seeking to solve the mystery behind a deadly new chemical weapon.
“The Resurrection Protocol” is an action-packed thriller centered on agent Jake Ankyer, with a plot that weaves the dangers of a weapon of mass destruction with surprising discoveries indicating Saddam Hussein is still alive.
“I didn’t write the book to try to make money,” said Harris, who authored the novel under the pen name “D.K. Harris.” “That was not my interest at all. I wanted to write the book to write the book.”
Harris came up with many of the ideas for the novel in 2012, and after retiring in 2013, he spent the year writing on and off.
“I wrote the book as much for myself as I did for anybody else,” he said.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Marquette University and a master’s degree in business administration from DePaul University, Harris spent many years in the consulting business.
Some of his work was with the American Medical Association and involved developing the first U.S. online medical information network. He also edited a publication that physicians are mandated to use to report professional medical procedures and services for medical insurance claims.
His editing background extends to many biomedical and computer medical journals, giving him experience in the world of writing.
Harris was introduced to nanotechnology, which plays a key role in his book, when he worked for the DuPage County Health Department.
Nanotechnology is science, engineering and technology conducted at the nanoscale. It involves the ability to see and control individual atoms and molecules, according to the National Nanotechnology Initiative’s website. One nanometer is a billionth of a meter.
The chemical warfare weapon featured in Harris’ book involves applying nanotechnology to a nerve agent, which he said could be done in reality.
Other background that proved helpful in writing “The Resurrection Protocol” include Harris’ time in the military during the 1960s and his third-degree black belt in Hapkido karate.
Harris also used the expertise of friends to help with the accuracy of his book.
Marjory Eskay-Auerbach, an orthopedic surgeon, fact-checked the book to make sure the medical content was correct. She said everything central to the plot is plausible, but gave Harris more artistic license for elements included for entertainment.
A longtime friend of Harris, Eskay-Auerbach said the book complements his background, making it much more scientific that most of its genre.
“I think it’s great,” Eskay-Auerbach said. “I think for as long as I’ve known him, it fits with his personality and the people he knows.”
“The Resurrection Protocol” is available on Amazon, both in print and as a digital version for Kindle. A booksigning for the novel will be Saturday at The Bookstore in downtown Glen Ellyn.
So far, Harris has received positive feedback from those close to him and from readers who have reviewed it on Amazon.
Harris designed his debut novel so that it could lead into a series, and he’s ready for the new adventure.
“Old guys can do things, too,” Harris said with a laugh.
About Dan Harris Residence: Glen Ellyn Family: Wife, Karen; son, Daniel Education: Bachelor's degree in computer science from Marquette University; master's degree in business administration from DePaul University Notable: Published his first novel, "The Resurrection Protocol," in January Activities: Fly fishing, martial arts
If you go What: "The Resurrection Protocol" booksigning When: 1 p.m. Saturday Where: The Bookstore, 475 N. Main St., Glen Ellyn