AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Mark Oristano, author of 'Surgeon's Story' & Giveaway! @surgeonsstory


Mark Oristano has been a professional writer/journalist since the age of 16.

After growing up in suburban New York, Oristano moved to Texas in 1970 to attend Texas Christian University.  A major in Mass Communications, Mark was hired by WFAA-TV in 1973 as a sports reporter, the start of a 30-year career covering the NFL and professional sports.

Mark has worked with notable broadcasters including Verne Lundquist, Oprah Winfrey and as a sportscaster for the Dallas Cowboys Radio Network and Houston Oilers Radio Network.  He has covered Super Bowls and other major sports events throughout his career.  He was part of Ron Chapman’s legendary morning show on KVIL-FM in Dallas for nearly 20 years.

In 2002 Oristano left broadcasting to pursue his creative interests, starting a portrait photography business and becoming involved in theater including summer productions with Shakespeare Dallas. He follows his daughter Stacey’s film career who has appeared in such shows as Friday Night Lights and Bunheads.

A veteran stage actor in Dallas, Mark Oristano was writer and performer for the acclaimed one-man show “And Crown Thy Good: A True Story of 9/11.”

Oristano authored his first book, A Sportscaster’s Guide to Watching Football: Decoding America’s Favorite Game. A Sportcaster’s Guide offers inside tips about how to watch football, including stories from Oristano’s 30-year NFL career, a look at offense, defense and special teams, and cool things to say during the game to sound like a real fan.

In 2016 Oristano finished his second book, Surgeon’s Story, a true story about a surgeon that takes readers inside the operating room during open heart surgery. His second book is described as a story of dedication, talent, training, caring, resilience, guts and love.

In 1997, Mark began volunteering at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, working in the day surgery recovery room. It was at Children’s that Mark got to know Kristine Guleserian, MD, first to discuss baseball, and later, to learn about the physiology, biology, and mystery of the human heart. That friendship led to a joint book project, Surgeon’s Story, about Kristine’s life and career.

Mark is married and has two adult children and two grandchildren.

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About the Book:


What is it like to hold the beating heart of a two-day old child in your hand?  What is it like to counsel distraught parents as they make some of the most difficult decisions of their lives?

Noted pediatric heart surgeon Dr. Kristine Guleserian has opened up her OR, and her career, to author Mark Oristano to create Surgeon’s Story - Inside OR-6 With a top Pediatric Heart Surgeon. 

Dr. Guleserian’s life, training and work are discussed in detail, framed around the incredibly dramatic story of a heart transplant operation for a two-year old girl whose own heart was rapidly dying.  Author Mark Oristano takes readers inside the operating room to get a first-hand look at pediatric heart surgeries most doctors in America would never attempt.

That’s because Dr. Guleserian is recognized as one of the top pediatric heart surgeons in America, one of a very few who have performed a transplant on a one-week old baby. Dr. Guleserian (Goo-liss-AIR-ee-yan) provided her expertise, and Oristano furnished his writing skills, to produce A Surgeon’s Story.

As preparation to write this stirring book, Oristano spent hours inside the operating room at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas watching Guleserian perform actual surgeries that each day were life or death experiences. Readers will be with Dr. Guleserian on her rounds, meeting with parents, or in the Operating Room for a heart transplant.

Oristano is successful sportscaster and photographer and has made several appearances on stage as an actor. He wrote his first book A Sportscaster’s Guide to Watching Football: Decoding America’s Favorite Game, and continues to volunteer at Children’s Medical Center.

“We hear a lot about malpractice and failures in medical care,” says Oristanto, “but I want my readers to know that parts of the American health care system work brilliantly. And our health care system will work even better if more young women would enter science and medicine and experience the type of success Dr. Guleserian has attained.”
Readers will find all the drama, intensity, humor and compassion that they enjoy in their favorite fictionalized medical TV drama, but the actual accounts in Surgeon’s Story are even more compelling. One of the key characters in the book is 2-year-old Rylynn who was born with an often fatal disorder called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome and was successfully treated by Dr. Guleserian.

Watch the Book Trailer at YouTube.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

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Q&A with Mark Oristano


Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

I’ve been a volunteer at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas for 20 years. I got to know Dr. Kristine Guleserian by hearing her give some lectures, and occasionally I’d meet her in the hall. I began to hear more and more fascinating stories about her, and about the way she deals with her patients as people and not just “cases.” I finally asked her if she’d like to do a book.  She asked me what it would be about. I said it was to be about her and she said nobody wanted to read about her. I said, “Everybody wants to read about you. They just don’t know it yet.” 

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

As Surgeon’s Story is a  book about heart surgery, it is full of detailed medical information. Understanding the heart, the circulatory system, and the subtleties of congenital heart disease required both a great deal of private study, and understanding guidance from Dr. Guleserian, who is an excellent teacher as well as surgeon. I think the key to writing a book like this, or any book for that matter, is to write about a subject that you really love and find interesting, because it’s going to become a major part of your life for a long time.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

I self-published in concert with Authority Publishing. Early in this project, I had a literary agent in New York, and several traditional publishers wanted the book, but they all insisted it be written in the doctor’s first-person voice, which she said she would not do as that was too egotistical. So, I went the self-publishing route.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

Not really.  My first book was A Sportscaster’s Guide to Watching Football, which I wrote following a 30-year career covering the NFL and the Dallas Cowboys.

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

Nothing else at present.

Q: What’s one fact about your book that would surprise people?

That every single thing described in it is absolutely true.

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

That there are parts of America’s health care system that do work, caring doctors and nurses who are dedicated to their patients in the extreme. These people deserve to be acknowledged.
  
Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

Enjoy reading Surgeon’s Story!





Mark Oristano is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

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  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card.
  • This giveaway ends midnight July 28.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on July 29.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

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