The Stars That Govern Us follows a young surgeon who struggles with his own fallibility as many lives hang in the balance. What were some sources that informed this novels development?
When I was working on my first novel, Five Fathoms Beneath, I decided the main character’s father would be a heart surgeon. I ended up doing a lot of research into early pediatric congenital heart surgery as background for that character, but very little of that material actually made it into Five Fathoms Beneath. The story of the development heart-lung machine wouldn’t leave me alone, however. It was such an incredible achievement, and it had every element to make a great drama. I was surprised no one had tried to write a novel about it before.
I ended up settling on creating two fictional surgeons who are best friends (I think the term “bromance” applies to Alec and Pete), building them historically accurate backstories, and fitting them into what was happening in 1956 as realistically as I could.
Alec’s character was intriguing and I enjoyed how you developed him throughout the story. What were some ideals that guided his character development?
Alec is very much an #ownvoices character. An #ownvoices character is a character from a marginalized group who is written by a member of that group (in this case mental health). Characters with mental health issues are typically represented in media and literature as stereotypes — and harmful ones at that, such as those which equate mental illness with violence. With Alec, I hoped to force the reader to reconsider what, exactly, mental illness looks like. I drew heavily off my own experiences in dealing with generalized anxiety disorder and a mood disorder in writing Alec’s character. The thought helixes he experiences, and the crippling self-doubt he feels, are things I wrote from the heart. (Being an author with an anxiety disorder isn’t exactly easy.)
In terms of Alec’s arc in the story, many early cardiothoracic surgeons did leave the field, just as Alec seriously considers doing. These surgeries were incredibly dangerous and many, many children did not survive. For Alec, his inspiration to endure and continue on as a heart surgeon comes from his making peace with the fact that someone must do this work, as difficult and as painful as it is.
I enjoyed the medical drama in the story and found it very compelling. What research did you undertake to ensure things were accurate in your book?
I did a huge amount of research into the medical aspects of the story, to the point that I actually bought a cardiothoracic surgery textbook from the early 1960s to try to get a better understanding of the techniques. I probably read at least two dozen books and articles on everything from surgery to the heart-lung machine to some of the personalities who appear in passing.
Otherwise, this was a place where networking with other authors really paid off. My friend, Dr. Brandon Beaber, author of Resilience in the Face of Multiple Sclerosis, volunteered to read the manuscript for me. Although he is a neurologist not a heart surgeon, Dr. Beaber’s help was invaluable.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I’m in the planning stages of a novel set in 1962 that is positioned between my first book, Five Fathoms Beneath, and The Stars That Govern Us. It is designed to tie the two stories together. My working title is The Sweetness of Adversity.
Posted in Interviews
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Through the eyes and voice of a child, Dazhoni Green recounts her battle with brain cancer, wrestling with the debilitating effects of its initial symptoms, the diagnosis and ensuing treatment. These experiences, doubts and fears, were a prelude to a lengthy and arduous recovery. Souvenirs Of Suffering is a candid account that will find the reader cheering Dazhoni on, sometimes with tears, at every obstacle on her way to become the compassionate, energetic young woman she is today. The champions in the story are friends, family members, teachers, hospital staff and camp counselors who patiently and lovingly supported her and other children struggling with debilitating diseases. These children are the real heroes, each and every one. Having cancer as a child changed Dazhoni’s view of life, something the reader will sense as she portrays each milestone along the way.
A threat that most readers can see as a real possibility considering how far science and technology has progressed. Coupled with down to earth characters that you feel a real connection to make this book an outstanding ‘end of world’ saga that has your heart racing right till the end. While overtly spiritual in it’s plot, even the most atheist person could come to enjoy this story because it is a masterful blend of science and religion. With horrifying villains and inspiring heroes plus a few characters who you are never quite sure of which side of the good versus evil fight they stand on, this story is well worth the read.
This book takes a little while to explain how the prologue fits into the narrative but after you see how it all comes together and with various chapters outlining the back stories of the various characters, you begin to understand why the author took time in slowly building toward the most eventful parts of the story.
Once you understand how everything fits together, it takes you on an edge of your seat ride where you wonder how things will turn out. Each character has their part to play and readers get to see both the best and worst aspects of each character, which allows you to become invested in their adventure more deeply than you usually would for a fictional story.
There are a few repeated phrases and words that could have been left out or replaced with a simplified explanation but the intensity of the plot line and anxiety inducing obstacles that are thrown in the way of the main characters do enough to make you forget these minor annoyances.
If you want a thrilling story that takes you to the depths of what an evil mind can cause in this world with the excitement of whether the heroes can triumph. This is a book for you.
My best piece of advice to any would be reader is to make sure you don’t give up on the slow build up toward the real plot because it is well worth the wait and actually helps you understand and feel more invested in the entire story.
Pages: 317 | ASIN: B078LWJ632
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Medication administration is a very practical and manual task. However, it does encompass some important elements that enhance the impact and improve the outcome. This book is meant to guide unregulated healthcare providers who find themselves at a crossroads of how to go about their responsibilities and duties. It is a guide to consider overall well being and patient preferences as a means of delivering better care. Despite the practice being unregulated, this book guides it so that it is appropriately managed. It is basically a roadmap for avoiding problems faced in the use and administration of medications. The book is divided into three major modules. The first is medication safety. The second is Medication administration techniques. The third is insulin administration and diabetes management.
The best possible quality of this book is the depth of facts and experiences on which it is based. Both authors are major players in the nursing and medical fields. They have amassed extensive knowledge and real world insight into medication administration. The vastness of their experiences shines through this book. It is simply a gem with tidbits that could easily be found in a textbook and sections that one would only encounter in practice. That is what makes this book so valuable, its capability to prepare the caregivers better for actual encounters rather than textbook hypotheticals.
Another important quality of this book is the structure. It has been divided into three modules which cover the subject of medication administration in depth. The first module opens with explaining the role of unregulated care providers and medication safety in communities. This does well to lay the land. It acts as an appropriate foundation for the next phase of the text. With a good understanding of the role an unregulated care giver plays, they will then learn about all the numerous techniques of administration. The last module is about a scourge that affects every community in the world. Insulin administration if done right is life saving. The book covers this last part with precision.
Perhaps the only issue with this book is that it is a bit tailored for the Canadian setting. However, the material seems flexible enough to model for other countries. This therefore does not take away the value of the material. The book is also written in very simple English. This is suitable for people like the personal support workers who might not have adequate medical experience to understand technical jargon.
This book is informative and well structured. The authors’ competency and knowledge comes through clearly in their delivery of the material. Medication Administration is a book worth reading if one finds themselves in a situation where they have to provide unregulated medical support.
Pages: 130 | ASIN: B07SW83YRL
Osteoporosis & Osteopenia: Vitamin Therapy for Stronger Bones is a comprehensive guide to bone health. Why was this an important book for you to write?
My father died when I was very young. Despite the poverty that surrounded me during my childhood, my mother prepared meals packed with vitamins and minerals. This allowed my brain to soak up data at a higher than average rate, which empowered me to succeed despite the challenges. As I became a man, I began to appreciate the power of basic nutrition and vitamin supplements.
I have been a public servant for most of my adult life. It is my most fervent hope to share information that can improve the lives of others, just as my life has improved in such an incredible fashion. I chose to write about osteoporosis because it is one of the lowest hanging fruits for disease prevention that the average person can readily address. Low bone density is becoming a global threat that can be easily deterred. Raising awareness and providing simple solutions if the purpose of this book.
This is the first of a three-book series on vitamin therapy for disease treatment and prevention. I am calling the series “Share The Health.”
The book focuses on the link between lifestyle choices, age, gender, eating habits, and bone health. What is a common misconception you find many people have about bone health?
Excellent question! There is no single answer because misconceptions evolve over time. For decades calcium was considered the end-all-be-all to improving bone health. We finally realized that excessive calcium intake was generating heart disease, especially in women, at an alarming rate. This misconception harmed a lot of families and caused a lot of heart-ache, literally. We now know that vitamin K2 was one of the missing links in the bone building process.
I would say a common misconception today (and for some time) is viewing a symptom as the only issue to address. For instance, if I were to test positive for low vitamin D levels in my blood, the typical approach would be to have me ingest more vitamin D. In my book, I point out that the vitamin D measured inside of your blood is not the same as that which you ingest or obtain from sun exposure. Vitamin D is transformed inside of your liver to another state. It is this second version of D that is measured inside of your blood. The liver-transformation process relies on several co-factors including magnesium and zinc. So rather than viewing low vitamin D as the issue, I recommend viewing it as a potential symptom of some other underlying problem such as a magnesium deficiency or liver injury. Yes. If you take more vitamin D, you will increase the overall levels measured in your blood. However, you may also be masking the underlying root cause of the deficiency, which may lead to other health issues in the future, such as osteoporosis.
Additionally, fad diets and some very popular fat-burning products can be very damaging to your bones even though they are perceived as being good for you (another misconception). Osteoporosis develops very gradually. You feel fine for years until you suffer micro-fractures resulting in back pain. By then, the damage to your bone health is fairly severe. Additionally, few people are tested for low bone density until they are in their 60s. Thus, the fad-dieter or fat-burning product user feel perfectly fine as their bones slowly deteriorate. However, vitamin therapy can slow, prevent, or improve the condition at almost any stage of an individual’s bone health. The sooner you start to address specific nutrient deficiencies the better off you will be.
What is your professional background and how has that helped you write this book?
I am that 2nd-grade geek that teachers marveled at. My professional background is in highly technical fields such as military and commercial aircraft avionics, ground-based radar technology, airport instrument landing systems, and a whole lot of other nerdy things. I have always been fascinated with biology, technology, space travel, and the overall human condition. Anything related to science grabs my attention. As a Civil Servant, I served as an Air Traffic Safety Inspector, and a Technical Operations Quality Control Specialist. I researched and generated reports in Washington DC that influenced how the world flies today. I studied and analyzed tons of data to identify trends in seemingly unrelated areas associated with America’s National Airspace System, which is the busiest and most complex airspace system on Earth.
This book has been a major undertaking. My ability to conduct research into very complex subject matter enables me to see the whole process of very technical systems and the ripple effects that often go unnoticed. I simply applied what I enjoy doing into the subject of the human process for developing bone tissue. I did not go too deep into it as this was meant for general consumption. However; academia, medical experts, and fitness professionals will likely find some useful information in my book as well.
There are doctors and scientists that know a whole lot more than I do on the subject of bone development. However, I try to serve as the bridge between highly technical subject-matter and the average person who is simply living their life to the best of their knowledge and ability. I hope that my book goes deep enough to educate the general public, but not so deep as to lose them ten words into the discussion. This too is a balance that I strive for in my writing.
When and where will this book be available?
I thought that you would never ask. Just kidding. The scheduled release date to the public is Friday, May 31, 2019. At that time you will find my book available through most major outlets including Amazon (Kindle and print), Barnes & Noble (POD), Apple, etc. You will also find it throughout the United Kingdom, Australia, Europe, and other places abroad.
My primary goal is to help others improve their lives by improving their health. Therefore, I wanted to ensure that as many people as possible have access to the information.
Millions of people unknowingly suffer from low bone density, which, if left unchecked, leads to osteoporosis. Are you one of them?
Worsening symptoms eventually cause chronic back pain, a curved spine, and even bone fractures.
The way bones form inside your body is truly incredible! Your bone cell builders need a steady supply of raw materials from diet or vitamin supplements for maximum density and strength. This easy-to-follow vitamin therapy approach is designed to fuel your natural ability to increase bone density, improve bone quality, and reduce bone loss, no matter when you start.
Osteoporosis & Osteopenia: Vitamin Therapy for Stronger Bones provides a wealth of information on:
- Keeping your miraculous bones strong
- Dangerous myths about vitamins and minerals
- How popular fat burners harm your bones
- What young adults should do now to avoid osteoporosis
- The real solution to vitamin D deficiency
- And so much more…
Treat osteoporosis (commonly misspelled osteoporosisi) naturally. You can achieve significant long-term results in your bone health with the smallest investments. Simply apply the information contained in this book and improve your entire life.
Posted in Interviews
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Pheasant describes in an immediate way the experience of being in a coma and out of her body. She learns how everything in life is her choice, whether to live or to die, when she chooses to live, and that everything in her life has to be relearned and rebuilt. Join her and her mother, Susan, an accomplished artist, in the story of how she had to begin again. Read about the challenges and triumphs of recovering from, and living after, a traumatic brain injury.
Posted in book trailer
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The Mom and Her Autistic Daughter by Regine Dubono is a fitting title for this book. Dubono explains the life and turmoil of Desiree, an adult with autism, and her mother. Desiree’s medicines’ effects and side effects are explored. The struggle to find Desiree a long term living arrangement becomes a source of contention between Desiree, Desiree’s mother, and her caregivers. Her mother finds it difficult to find balance for herself and her daughter while playing a deck that seems stacked against them.
The author delves into Desiree’s everyday life which feels tumultuous at best. Desiree has parts of her life she enjoys such as shopping and manicures, but everything apart from that feels tense. In working in Special Education I have found in the past that this is pretty typical of autistic children. I assume that would generally carry over into adulthood as it has with Desiree. My students have had areas they excel in and become almost obsessive about their particular interests. Anything else feels boring or daunting. Any deviation from their schedule can also cause a tailspin or meltdown. These are things that readers who have not worked with people with autism may not know and may learn from the book.
I’ve also had a bit of experience in dealing with drugs and their side effects while caring for my father. Dubono explores how drugs may “fix” one issue, but cause many more. One drug may also cause further symptoms that need to be controlled, thus producing the need for more drugs. These are frustrating waters to navigate. Readers may get more of a grasp of how many pharmaceutical companies and drug-pushing doctors work in this aspect. This part of the book is especially pertinent in today’s social climate.
Dubono’s explanation of the struggles in finding Desiree a permanent and sufficient placement especially hit home for me. Many readers who have dealt with this kind of thing will be able to sympathize with the accounts she gives. It is extremely hard to find caregivers for adults. It would be exponentially harder to find care for those who are prone to have outbursts and labelled as “difficult.” Clean and suitable facilities and genuinely caring and qualified caregivers aren’t always readily available. My family knows that from experience. Anyone who has dealt with this will find her accounts relatable.
The structure of the book feels somewhat lacking and feels repetitive at times. One letter in particular that is written by the mother is repeated almost verbatim in another part of the book. I had to flip back to make sure I hadn’t lost my place. There are quite a few grammatical and spelling errors throughout the book. There are also many abbreviations that are left unexplained. There is substance in the experiences and relationship of the mother and daughter, but the book doesn’t flow as well as I would have liked it to. I think the book would benefit greatly from an editor and proofreader.
There are important lessons to be learned here. This is a story that should be told as a cautionary tale and to help parents or guardians not feel alone in this situation. Desiree’s voice should be heard, I just think the book could use some revision and restructuring.
Pages: 123 | ASIN: B07H5RCYB5
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Hair Loss: Options for Restoration & Reversal educates readers on the variety and effectiveness of hair-loss treatments. Why was this an important book for you to write?
Hair loss is a pervasive problem affecting both men and women, and it can have profound psychological effects on the afflicted, especially women. Hair loss is currently experienced by more than 80 million people worldwide, which encompass 50 million men and 30 million women. It is a problem in need of a solution.
I became interested in the causes of hair-loss related issues twenty-five years ago, when I began to experience some hair thinning. In search for a possible solution to ameliorate or reverse my thinning hair, I began an empirical journey of discovery that continues to this date. I’ve experimented with a multitude of balding prevention recommendations; some were effective, and others were a complete waste of time and financial resources.
My objective for writing this book is to educate the consuming public about the effectiveness of the many available hair-loss treatments and restoration modalities available in a very deceiving industry. It was important to write this book because I believe that anyone experiencing hair loss will save a considerable amount of time and money by reading this comprehensive and detailed guide about hair loss. This book will educate the consumer on what works and what doesn’t, and this along makes this writing project important. It provides the reader with a historical perspective regarding hair-loss, as well as its causes, treatments, and promising future trends. In fact, we are living in a very exciting and promising time for hair-loss research.
What is a common misconception you find people have about hair-loss and restoration?
A common misconception about hair loss is that it is caused by a genetic predisposition inherited from the mother’s side. Other myths are that sexually active men become bald sooner, which implies that a hormonal component is the catalyst, or that only older men go bald or that wearing hats and wigs makes you lose your hair.
The fact of the matter is that currently, there is no conclusive evidence that explains all the causative factors that lead to male and female pattern hair loss or androgenetic alopecia. The cause is a multivariate problem that can encompass a hormonal component, a disease process, stress exposure, medications, hygiene, and even nutritional deficiencies. Therefore, education is the key to mitigate the risk of been duped by a deceiving industry. Moreover, education will place you in the right path to a worthwhile solution.
What type of research did you undertake to write this book?
I performed a comprehensive literature review of the field of hair loss research. I basically analyzed the majority of worthwhile research studies to bring forth only the information I believed to be crucial to understanding this topic. Additionally, I also interjected my own personal experiences with this topic since I’ve been afflicted by this condition also. However, through my personal education and initiatives, I have been successful in mitigating and ameliorating my hair loss significantly.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I have begun to research the literature on the topic of Diabetics with emphasis on type 2 diabetes.
I believe type 2 diabetes is a lifestyle disease process that is preventable and reversible.
However, it is a very unforgiving disease if the discipline to adhere to a regimented eating plan is not meticulously maintained until a physiological reset (re-balanced) is achieved between the liver and the pancreas.
My goal is to have this book ready by December of 2019 or possibly early 2020.
The condition of hair loss is a topic of significant public interest, and understanding the pathophysiology and treatment of the different types of alopecia (hair loss) will surely have an impact on the men and women afflicted by this condition. Hair loss is a pervasive problem affecting both men and women, and it can have profound psychological effects on the afflicted. It is a problem in need of a solution. The author’s interest in the causes of hair-loss related issues surfaced twenty-five years ago when he began to experience some hair thinning. In a search for a possible solution to ameliorate his thinning hair, the author began an empirical journey of discovery. He experimented with a myriad of balding prevention recommendations, which led to the creation of Hair Loss: Options for Restoration and Reversal.
The objective of this award-winning book is to educate the consuming public about the effectiveness of the many available hair-loss treatment and restoration modalities. It is an important, comprehensive, and valuable tool for both men and women who are afflicted with hair-loss problems. It provides the reader with a historical perspective regarding hair-loss, as well as its causes, treatments, and promising future trends.
Posted in Interviews
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