Previously working on hit dramas, the multifaceted Dr. Neal Baer is returning to his role as author.
Baer, who worked for years on “ER” and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” tells Newsmax that the follow up to his novel “Kill Switch” will be out in early 2014.
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“I’ve always been interested in how the brain worked, so I was able to create this character with my writing partner,” he said of working with Jonathan Greene.
In “Kill Switch,” forensic psychiatrist Claire Waters teams up with Detective Nick Lawler. Together, they take on a deranged patient while Waters also struggles to come to terms with a childhood trauma.
“She is very intently interested in what makes a criminal a criminal, what is it about their mind that is different from other people’s minds, and she’s looking for a biological explanation,” Baer said. “While that’s important, there’s also the emotional, the spiritual, the other elements that make us human beings and she isn’t looking into that because she fears that in herself.”
Readers won’t have to wait long for a follow-up, as the writing duo is working on the sequel, “Kill Again.” In the novel, Claire and Nick go after a serial killer who finds original ways to elude them.
“I’m very excited about the second one,” Baer said.
Baer, who wears many hats, has combined his work as a doctor with his love for film. Most recently, he produced the film “Studio H” following rural North Carolina teenagers wanting to end obesity in their town.
Armed with cameras, the high school students captured their community’s weight problem, which is exascerbated by limited access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
“So they took their own story and they solved it by building a farmers' market. And I’m really interested in making documentaries as well that tell people’s own stories,” he said.
In 2010, Baer worked with 16-year-old AIDS orphan Alcides Soares in Mozambique to create “Home is Where You Find It.” After learning to use the camera, the teen documents his journey of finding a new family after his parents succumb to AIDS.
Also, as co-chair of the University of Southern California’s Hollywood Health and Society, he sets up bus tours for television writers to visit the unassuming neighborhoods of Los Angeles to experience pressing issues such as obesity and AIDS for themselves.
With the one-on-one interaction with people living the reality that actors will portray on television, the writers are able to bring real life to their scripts.
“What if we took them to cities like Cudahy and Vernon that have oil refineries and rendering plants right in the city . . . but nobody’s ever really been down there?” he said. “And what if they saw what was going on and what if we invited community leaders to hop on the bus and tell their stories.”
Baer got his start in television writing after school specials before attending Harvard Medical School. He then combined the two while working on the set of the hospital drama “ER,” followed by his move into the realm of cop dramas in “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.”
Currently, Baer is working with the director and writer of “Lost” to adapt Stephen King’s “Under the Dome” into a CBS television series.
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