DR. MEL'S MESSAGE - From my novels to my other projects, no telling what you will read. This is the only place you will get to read about how I developed a screenplay into a novel and what is the driving force. I will talk about many things from films to books to acting to producing. It really will depend on where my mind takes me. I hope you will join me on this journey.
I would be remiss if I didn't speak of the CO-VID 2020 PANDEMIC! First, please everyone remain calm and diligent. Let's not become a society where we disregard each other. Instead, let's come together and help each other. At present, in New Orleans, where I live, we have the most cases in our state. I watched from Monday, when we only had one suspected case, until today, four days later, the Governor of our State, closed all K-12 schools, all concerts, all public gatherings of more than 250 people. Never in my life have I seen what is going on today. I pray everyone does the right thing, wash their hands, stay at home (sick or not) and allow this Pandemic to stop. Social distancing is what I believe is the only way. Be safe.
Now that I'm off my soap box, and basically stuck at home until April 13, 2020, I have plans on how to spend my time -- read, write, art, garden, and clean. That brings me to my love of reading. As you all know, I introduce you to books and their authors a couple of times a week. Today is no different. I have a wonderful mystery novel for you that is sure to intrigue. "First, Do Harm" by Marc Kage has all the makings of a first-class bestselling book. Please enjoy learning about Marc and his book.
As a doctor, one is expected to take an oath: “First, do no harm” and then to provide benefits to those who need it and contribute to their welfare. Nobody expects someone to abuse those powers of trust, especially the residents of a low crime suburb.However, not everyone feels morally obligated to follow them either.Dr. Benson Zubia is entrusted to care for the well-being of many loyal patients, including Detective Lara Dennis. Zubia is extremely good at his job and nobody ever felt the need to question his work ethic. Life is fleeting and though the townspeople mourn the deaths of hundreds of Dr. Zubia’s elderly patients, they don’t suspect any foul play.That is until a mistake is made in the doctor’s attempt to forge an elderly woman’s will. This leaves many, including Detective Dennis and her best friend Rita Adelson, to wonder, what else has he done?
MARC KAGE - AUTHOR
Tell your readers a little
about yourself, where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school
etc. Let them get to know the personal you.
I was born and raised in
Livingston, New Jersey. I pretty much grew up there. I went to elementary
school, middle school, and High school. I did music for a great amount time. I
started piano when I was six, joined my elementary school orchestra, and played
cello, which I did until my junior year in high school. As far as piano goes, I
played that until I was eighteen. I think a lot people, especially my family,
loved the fact that I did cello and piano; they loved the mini-performances,
the recitals, etc.
Contrary to popular belief;
however, I don't think I'm as passionate about music more than writing. I did a
lot of writing in secret, growing up. I loved that the characters and scenes
show up in my head, and in writing them down, I get to bring them out into the
light and explore them, explore new ideas with them and new places. In a lot of
ways, it was a way to delve into my feelings about things, my preconceptions
and discomforts. There’s an element of wish fulfillment, too - maybe I can’t be
a football player because I know that I’ll never have the dedication to get
there, but I can certainly write a character who is!
What inspired you to
author this book?
The number one inspiration
was the Harold Frederick Shipman case. There were aspects of that case that are
similar to the novel – victims’ will and the victims’ families taking action along
with the murder of numerous elderly patients. There's another aspect of that
case that was the primary inspiration. It was Shipman’s demeanor after each
patient’s death. In a lot of these testimonies from different folks (etc. each victim's
family members/friends, police, journalists, investigators, etc.), it was
mentioned that Shipman had a very heartless view when the relative died. I've
come across this numerous times to the point where I had a similar mindset,
like Shipman. One example was my high school senior English teacher mentioning
to one of my peers about initially failing me for a part of a presentation, and
the groom was snubbing another before leaving the wedding. Fun fact: the
wedding was in 2009 and the same day as my birthday which is August 1st. Those
are just two examples.
Where did you get the
inspiration for your book’s cover?
To be brutally honest, I
really don't know. I remembered looking Fifty
Shades of Grey cover, the first book in the series, and trying to do a
style similar to that with a medical thriller edge. That's all I gotta say on
Who has been the most
significant influence on you personally and as a writer?
I think the thought of
sharing my world with others, and all the emotions in it, brings me a lot of
inspiration that I feel I need to get who I am out there. In a way, that
everyday people who can relate to and enjoy. Writing has helped me come to
terms with my inner demons, since often, conflicts idealized by the author
reflects their inner conflicts, and this is true for me. I think seeing my
characters overcome these conflicts tell me I can do the same since these
characters come from my heart.
What were your struggles
or obstacles you had to overcome to get this book written?
self-appreciation. When I wrote the story, I would always doubt if I have given
it my best shot. I would edit it several times, and when I come back at it
after a fortnight, I would still find it disgusting. I curse and abuse myself
for actually writing it in the first place. “Yikes, were you nuts while writing
this? What do you think you are, a top-selling author? This is crap!”
And then I lose some of my self-esteem as a writer, and I would lose my
confidence in my art. This cradled numerous fears in me - fear of not being
liked by my readers, fear of sounding crap, fear of not being read-worthy. After
self-publishing “First, Do Harm” very recently, its been quite the opposite.
Alright here we go! "First,
Do No harm" is an oath that every doctor takes, and in exchange, they are
rewarded with the trust of their patients. However, what happens when someone
decides to abuse that trust? Dr. Benson Zubia has many loyal patients in the
low-crime suburb of Chester New Hampshire, including Detective Lara Dennis. Dr.
Benson is extremely good at his job and his work ethic is without question.
Although many of his elderly patients die, no one suspected any foul play. That
is until he makes a mistake trying to forge an elderly woman's will. Now many
people, including Detective Dennis and her best friend Rita Adelson, are left
wondering what else has Dr. Zubia done?
I'm going for the
suspense/thriller genre. I enjoy reading books and seeing films in the genre as
well. It was a natural choice for my books. Why I like those books is a more
profound question. I like stories that have multiple layers with all sorts of
different things to discover on each layer. Stories that have stressors in
them, which cause characters to challenge their base assumptions about
themselves or to push themselves further because of their deals are captivating
and keep me interested from beginning to end. That’s why I think the reader
will enjoy this book!
What do you consider your
greatest success in life?
I think it’s when you've
identified your life goals and work toward it. I don't think it's when you've
achieved a goal; it's the journey you take that it then becomes an
accomplishment in your life, and I think that’s something to be proud of.
What one unique thing sets
you apart from other writers in your genre?
I don't listen to people
who try to tell me how to do things in my writing. Originality is important to
me and I try to look for solutions using my innovative skills and I try to if I
am successful - explain about how to use innovative skills to solve an issue.