Covering topics ranging from civil war in Finland to Alzheimer’s, if there is a common thread in Chrisoph Fischer’s contemporary and historical books, it’s the personal journeys and battles his characters face. They might be confronted by an epic world-changing event (like World War 2) or an event that disrupts their personal world (like a pancreatic cancer diagnosis). So while these seemingly insurmountable odds might at first seem rather grim, Fischer does a fine job of painting people’s discovery of love, life, happiness, and, dare I say it, a little magic in their worlds. Since I’m biomedical guy, I focused on one of Christoph’s latest books, The Healer. It follows an advertising exec faced with her mortality when she’s diagnosed with pancreatic cancers. She’s ready to try everything and ventures out into the world of medicine, both Western and alternative, in search of a new chance at life. Powerful story, great characters, and wonderful writing, I highly recommend it. On a side note, one of Christoph’s other books, The Luck of the Weissensteiners will be available in a multi-author book bundle called At Odds with Destiny. Definitely worth the admission price of $0.99. If you’re interested in checking out any of his other titles or want to know more about Christoph, check out his personal website: http://www.christophfischerbooks.com/
The Healer delves right into an exploration of Western and alternative medicines. What inspired you to write about this subject?
I had a big health scare last year that turned out to be nothing. Sitting in those waiting rooms with many seriously ill people was quite an eye-opener, although every one of us has met someone during their life who suffered from an incurable disease.
I’ve heard some amazing stories from patients who went down the alternative route and I’ve experienced myself that some alternative practitioners really are onto something. The question which path I would go down if I was faced with a fatal diagnosis stayed with me long after those scary weeks.
What kind of research did you do to tackle these subjects? And did you learn anything surprising or particularly interesting?
The research for Western Medicine was easy. Most of the information I needed was accessible on the Internet. When it came down to the tricky technical details I asked a friend who works as a radiologist. I was amazed at how complex the fields of Radiology and (Western) Medicine are, when looked at in detail. What I thought of as straightforward procedures and diagnoses turned out to be far more complicated than I had thought, with many more factors to consider.
As for alternative medicine, I have tried a variety of alternative therapies and healing myself and have always been interested in the holistic approach. I could draw largely from my own experiences and research that I had already done years ago. When I have been to some alternative practitioners I have often been stunned at their work and the effects that defy any rational belief.
Since you’ve written several historical and contemporary literary fiction works and now have this character-driven medical mystery novel, you’ve covered a fair range of genres and topics. Where does the inspiration come from for these stories?
Inspiration comes from a mixture of places: fascination with certain subjects, curiosity to learn more and, of course, my imagination. I have witnessed mental illness and Alzheimers’ in real life. They affected me deeply and I have tried to figure out how I would cope. That created the ideas for some of my contemporary novels.
I’m very interested in history. The outline for those novels came when I did some ancestral research and discovered areas of history and facts that I knew virtually nothing about. I read more on the subject and the plot formed almost on its own.
My next release is just around the corner: “In Search of a Revolution”. It is a historical novel about the Civil War in Finland and I hope to release it around Easter. It deals with idealism, friendship, rivalry and love and spans the period between 1918 and 1950.
My historical novel “The Luck of the Weissensteiners” will be released as part of a multi-author discounted Box Set “At Odds With Destiny”.
I have also a new thriller in the pipeline that has just gone to the editors. Its working title was “The Gambler” but now that there’s a film out with that name I need to find a better one. It is about a man obsessed with numbers and gambling. When he becomes obscenely rich overnight he finds himself not as happy as he would have thought.
Can you tell us about your labradoodles? Are they your best critics? Your muses? Cheerleaders? 🙂 And do you have a picture of them we can share?
I have three of them: Molly is 10, Greta 9 and Wilma 4. Molly and Wilma had four litters between them with 35 adorable puppies.
I have a blog, although I only use it when we have puppies.
My labradoodles are what keeps me sane, in writing and in real life. They are little impressed with my writing and often push my hands gently off the keyboard to remind me that life needs to be led outdoors, with ball throwing, walking and with real people.
Thanks for the interview, Christoph. If anyone else is interested in those labradoodles, check out their blog here.