Best seller sets sights on second novel

Dec. 19, 2013
Andrew Lam
Photo courtesy of Todd Lajoie
By Katelyn Gendron

LONGMEADOW – Andrew Lam, MD, has proven once again that he can be one of Baystate’s top-notch retinal surgeons, as well as an author, a professor, a husband and a father.

On the heels of his Amazon bestselling book, “Saving Sight,” this Renaissance man has penned a new novel, “Two Sons of China,” based on the Dixie Mission of 1944.

“Many consider China to be the ‘forgotten’ theater of World War II. I discovered a real-life, little-known expedition called the Dixie Mission, in which brave Americans ventured to Mao Zedong’s northern stronghold of Yenan to see if the Chinese Communists were fighting the Japanese effectively, and to consider arming them with U.S. weapons. I wanted to tell more people about this forgotten piece of American history and thought writing an exciting, romantic war saga would be an effective, entertaining way to do this,” Lam told Reminder Publications.

“Like a lot of people, I’m fascinated by the Second World War. I also love watching sweeping, romantic war movies where we get to see how cataclysmic circumstances affect ordinary men and the women they love. I wanted to write a novel like this, but set in a place that might surprise many readers: China.”

“Two Sons of China” took four years to write, edit and publish by Bondfire Books, he noted. The novel is currently available,, iTunes, and via

When asked why he chose to deviate from the nonfiction genre that was “Saving Sight,” Lam replied, “It’s certainly a challenge to write both fiction and nonfiction well, I think. ‘Saving Sight’ is a nonfiction book that blends my own experiences as an eye surgeon with the amazing stories of medical innovators whose inventions were ridiculed but ultimately saved the sight of millions around the world. Writing that book came naturally to me because I’m very passionate about my work as a surgeon.

“Fiction writing is a lot different – but in a good way. I enjoy the challenge of creating realistic characters that readers will care about and root for. I love doing historical research and I think novels can be a very effective way of giving people a greater appreciation for history. Since I only write about subjects I’m passionate about, the whole creative process is actually a lot of fun,” he continued.

Lam believes those interested in World War II as well has romance novels will be intrigued by this particular work.

“At it’s core, the book is about love – not just the obvious romance between David and Katherine Payne, a beautiful and elusive British journalist whom he pursues, but even more so the ‘love’ between David and Yuen, whose friendship grows so strong that these two men of opposite backgrounds and beliefs ultimately make great sacrifices for one another. So, in addition to providing a window on a forgotten part of American history, I hope readers find this story to be a thought-provoking, emotional journey that they continue to think about long after they’ve finished reading it,” he said.

Lam isn’t one to rest on his previous successes and is already working on the revisions of his next novel, “Repentance.”

“[It’s] a story about the 442nd Regimental Combat Team – Japanese-American soldiers who fought heroically in Europe during WWII while many of their families were unjustly incarcerated in internment camps at home. Many are not aware that the 442nd became the most decorated unit in American military history and I hope this book helps spread their story far and wide,” he explained.

When asked how he can possibly fit in time to write as a practicing surgeon, an assistant professor at Tufts University of Medicine, a father and a husband, Lam replied, “I simply write whenever I can. This might be during lunch at the office, between cases in the OR, poolside during my son’s swim meets, or after the kids are put to bed. When you’re passionate about a story or have found a piece of history that isn’t well known but deserves to be, you just make time. Of course, having a wonderfully supportive wife helps a lot, too!”

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