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Archive for July 6th, 2017

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.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

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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:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Would you call yourself a born writer?

Well, I came from a very literate family. Reading was always stressed. I taught myself to read at age 2.5. I’ve always had a flair for language, so maybe it is born, who knows?

What was your inspiration for SURGEON’S STORY?

I’ve been a volunteer at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas for 20 years, and that’s where Dr. Kristine Guleserian is a heart surgeon. The more I got to know her and know about her, the more I thought she was a perfect subject for a book. Luckily, when I pitched her the idea, she readily agreed.

What themes do you like to explore in your writing?

The truth of real people and what makes them tick. Why they do what they do.

How long did it take you to complete the book?

Six years, but that was mostly because any time we had an editing session or some interview time carved out, we’d have to cancel it so Dr. G could go to the OR and operate.

Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.

Up at 9. Coffee and newspapers. Breakfast. NY Times Crossword (mandatory for writers), emails and catchup. At noon, writing until four. Then the rest of the day to do whatever.

What did you find most challenging about writing this book?

The amount of technical/medical knowledge I had to acquire. I had to learn about the anatomy of the heart both before and after birth. I had to learn terms like homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia. Heck, just typing some of them is difficult.

What do you love most about being an author?

I’m always employee of the month.

Did you go with a traditional publisher, small press, or did you self publish? What was the process like and are you happy with your decision?

We had several New York houses who were interested, but only if the book was done in the doctor’s first person voice, which she refused, saying it was too egotistical. So we self published.

Where can we find you on the web?

http://www.surgeonsstory.com

 

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