PRIMAL CALLING by Barry Eisenberg – Spotlight * Interview * Giveaway – CLOSED


While rummaging through the attic, high school senior, Jack Davies, is surprised to find his never-before-seen birth certificate, revealing a startling bit of information that changes his life. In PRIMAL CALLING by Barry Eisenberg, the story his mother told about his birth, he discovers, is revealed to be a lie, shattering long-held beliefs and the trust he had for her. Jack becomes obsessed with discovering the truth, leading him down a dangerous path. Faced with unanswered questions and confounding obstacles at every turn, Jack finds himself deeply enmeshed in an intricate world of national security and international intrigue. Relationships are tested as his every move is tracked by a group of mysterious people. Who are they? Whose side are they on? Who can he trust? And, most importantly, who will he ultimately become? WE ASKED BARRY A FEW QUESTIONS!


1. Where did you come up with this premise?

It was by chance, actually. I had heard the tail-end of a story on my car radio about a young man searching for the father he had never met. Over the next few days, I kept imagining the journey he must have traveled and thought I’d write a short story about that quest. The more I wrote, the more immersed I became, and almost before I knew it, Primal Calling, the novel, was born. 

I am currently working on a novel about a family faced with the difficult decisions about how to care for an aging, declining parent. This story was inspired by our family’s actual experience, as I reported in The New York TimesLessons on Living from My 106-Year-Old Aunt Doris, and the overwhelming response I received. 


2. We are all intrigued by books about secrets. Why?

Secrets are the things hidden between the layers of our public selves. I would venture that most secrets have purpose – from the benign, as in planning a surprise, or deeper psychological stockades built around couching pain, burying guilt, coping with grief, or squelching desire, among many other possibilities. Some are good at keeping secrets; others will burst at the seams without the ability to divulge their own or be granted license to share another’s. Some will carry their secrets forever, like an unwanted tattoo. Some secrets are burdens and some are energizing, but all, if told, are revelatory. Writers give their characters secrets to let readers in between the layers to learn about them — what motivates, what inhibits, why they are who they are — and to build mystery and suspense. Authors parcel out clues, building suspicions, enticing readers to speculate, and opine about truths and deceptions. Unraveling them can be very satisfying, and being surprised by their reveal can make for very exciting reading.

3. What is your one line pitch for this novel?

Primal Calling is a tale of international intrigue ignited by a young man’s search for the father he never even knew he had, but, at its core, it is a journey of self-discovery and a family’s pursuit to reconcile love and trust.

4. I see you’re a health care consultant. What do you think about this virus? The state of our health care system, or lack thereof?

The pandemic has exposed the fact that if you are Black, Hispanic, or poor, your chances of getting high quality care and surviving the COVID-19 virus, and many other health problems, is lower than that of other segments of the population. This should be regarded as a national disgrace and a call for action. Ultimately, the question of health policy is about whether we think health care is a right or a privilege. Increasing numbers of people believe it is a right. And health policy has moved in this direction over the past one hundred years, though it’s been two steps forward, one back (occasionally three back!) and we still have a long way to go. The last thing anyone should worry about when they or a loved one gets sick is whether they can access and afford good quality care. I have a recurring fantasy that we may someday have a national discussion about health policy without it being politicized. 

5. Explain your research.

Doing research is a means of honoring readers. It demonstrates that we have done the work necessary to bring authenticity to the fact-based parts of our stories. My background in conducting research, including getting a doctorate in the social sciences, has proven very helpful in my fiction writing. Primal Calling required considerable research in the areas of oil exploration, adoption and custody, and international espionage. These seemingly unrelated areas are woven together in the book. I also do much research in three areas related to my work as a faculty member in the State University of New York. One involves what it takes to lead a health care organization today. I co-authored a book, Mastering Leadership in Healthcare: A Vital Resource for Healthcare Organizations which discusses the growing complexity of health care systems and the challenges their leaders face. I also do research in physician-patient communication. It seems that every patient has a story about an experience that lacked clarity, thoughtfulness, and kindness. Why is that? And finally, I have been writing about the consolidation of colleges and universities, comparing it to what began in health care about 25 years ago, and is likely to accelerate now because of the pandemic. Thanks to FSB Associates we have one copy to giveaway. Just tell us how the virus is affecting you. It has totally changed my life. I try my best to stay in the moment. We’ll choose a winner soon. Good luck. GIVEAWAY: USA only please.
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11 thoughts on “PRIMAL CALLING by Barry Eisenberg – Spotlight * Interview * Giveaway – CLOSED

  1. The virus has kept us from our kids and grandkids. We already struggled because they are hundreds of miles away in different directions. Now it’s impossible. We are pretty isolated so we have stayed healthy but it does get depressing…

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  2. I know work at home and there is no chance of us returning until next June. My husband also teleworks at home and this can sometimes be difficult if we are both on conference calls at the same time.

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  3. This book sounds fascinating and unforgettable. The virus has made us stronger and taught us a great deal about life and our priorities.

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  4. The virus has changed our lives in many and various ways. To mention just one way: we carry several cloth masks in each car. We always wear a mask when we are outside of our home.

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  5. Thank you for sharing about this book , it sounds very intriguing and thank you for sharing about the author. This virus sure has taught me that patience is a good thing and for sure it has reinforced what I have learned along time ago. to have patience and to Not take anything or anyone for granted.

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  6. I’ve been home alone since March. The only time I leave my yard is to get meds or groceries. Today I went to the doctors for my annual physical…joy. I haven’t done anything fun off my property since January.

    But…I have travelled, met new people, laughed, cried, and marveled…all while reading books! Sooo I’m good for awhile just staying home and saving lives.

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  7. It’s been a discouraging year. Seems some people would like to keep the crisis going. I focus on things that happen in my daily life & shut off the noise.

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