Member of the Week: Mark Oristano, author of Surgeon’s Story

Mark OristanoName: Mark Oristano

Book Title: Surgeon’s Story

Your book’s Amazon purchase link: https://www.amazon.com/Surgeons-Story-1-Americas-Pediatric/dp/193595377X/

What is your book about? Pediatric heart surgeon Dr. Kristine Guleserian, her life, her medical study, and her amazing work in the OR as one of only 9 female pediatric cardiothoracic surgeons in the U.S.

What inspired you to write your book? I’ve been a volunteer at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas for 20 years. I got to know Dr. G, as she’s called, casually at first. The more I heard about her and talked with her, I knew there was a story here worth telling.

Can you describe your writing process?  For this book, it was five years of shadowing the surgeon on rounds, in surgery, meeting patients, doing numerous interviews and then, sitting down and writing it all. I’m a journalist, so I tend to write journalistically. 

Surgeon's StoryHow did you come to do what you’re doing today? I’ve been writing since I was 16. I’m now 65, but don’t spread that around. It’s always been a part of my life.

Can you describe a typical day in your life? Wake up. Shower. Get dressed. Make coffee. Check online stuff. Read papers. Have breakfast. Do Times crossword puzzle. Spend the rest of the day doing “book stuff,” whether writing or marketing. Workout. If I’m in a show (I’m also an actor), go to rehearsal or perform.

What do you most enjoy about what you do? As I work for myself, I’m always Employee of the Month.

Are there any people and/or books that have inspired you along your journey? Woodward and Bernstein’s All the President’s Men. The sportswriting of Frank Deford. Mostly journalistic stuff. 

Can you share something that people may be surprised to learn about you? I used to be the weekend sports anchor at WLAC-TV in Nashville. The weekend news anchor was a young woman named Oprah Winfrey.

What’s next for you? Well, it’s almost 7 p.m., so dinner. But seriously folks…marketing and doing interviews for Surgeon’s Story.

Is there anything else you would like to add? Pay no attention to the people who tell you “No.”

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