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Meet Dimitrije Medenica author of The Good Healer
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Norm Goldman


Reviewer & Author Interviewer, Norm Goldman. Norm is the Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures.com.

He has been reviewing books for the past fifteen years when he retired from the legal profession.

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By Norm Goldman
Published on August 16, 2010
 


Norm Goldman, Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures.com interviews Dimitrije Medenica author of The Good Healer

                                           


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Today, Norm Goldman Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures.com is pleased to have as our guest Dimitrije Medenica author of The Good Healer.

Good day Dimitrije and thanks for participating in our interview

Norm:

What motivated you to write The Good Healer?

Dimitrije:

The main motivation behind writing The Good Healer was my father. His mastery of medical science and his unprecedented success in curing extremely ill patients — frequently considered to be in the final stages of cancer — has prompted me to write about a young healer. As with any medical pioneer, his methods were not well understood, and he became controversial. Many were those who saw him as their last hope. Since many patients had political ties, the controversy escalated into one of Geneva’s worst scandals. He never sought fame, and he never craved financial rewards. His only wish was to cure people. I think the best inspiration for my novel is most closely summarized in the dedication quote at the start of my novel.

Norm:

Was your writing of the book improvisational or did you have a set plan?

Dimitrije:

I wanted the reader to feel Jean Duchesne’s love of life. Naturally, I had a clear outline for the novel’s events and their causes. However, as is surely the case with many writers, characters often take a life of their own. Though they must fit within a defined outline, unforeseen challenges arise as the story progresses. The writing was improvisational only in how the characters reacted to given situations.

Norm:

Did your writing of the book ever conflict with your career as an Architect?

Dimitrije:

The current economy has struck a terrible blow to the construction industry. As far as I can remember, I have always wanted to write a story. Over the years, work took all my time. However, in the past few years, real estate development has drastically slowed freeing some time for other endeavors.

Norm:

Where did you get your information or ideas for The Good Healer? As a follow up, it is said that writers should write what they know. You clearly know about medieval history and herbal plants. Were there any elements of the book that forced you to step out of your comfort zone, and if so, how did you approach this part of the writing?

Dimitrije:

I always had a passion for history. Throughout my studies at the University of Virginia and Columbia University, I attended many classes and lectures on the Medieval and Renaissance periods. I gained further knowledge of these two periods by undertaking a number of study trips to Europe. There, I was exposed not only to architecture history, but also to how humanism influenced the early Renaissance. Some of my professors were highly respected scholars in their fields. Though I have some knowledge of herbal plants, I am not a healer. Reading some of my father’s memoirs, observing the evolution of his research into the Nigella Sativa plant, and remembering some of the plants used by the Swiss during my childhood, was how I approached writing the medical portions of my book.

Norm:

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?

Dimitrije:

Perhaps the most surprising thing I learned was how cruel and widespread were the witch hunts in Switzerland. In fact, the territory of today’s Switzerland was the site of more accusations and executions than anywhere else in Europe. The last person to be executed for heresy was burned in 1792, in Bern. This is after the French and American Revolutions! Even today, one may see remnants of people’s fear of witches during various village festivals. Ugly carved wooden faces of witches are carried down main streets, their dark long black hair flowing in the wind.

Norm:

How did you go about creating Jean Duchesne and Marthe Grosbuffet in The Good Healer?

Dimitrije:

As a child, my most memorable readings were the adventures of Tintin, by Hergé. His adventures made me open my eyes to the world. Only later did I become interested in reading about the author himself. In one of his most memorable quotes he mentioned his character was himself, and this is why he never consented to having anyone else write and draw his graphic novels. His answer always stuck in my mind. Jean Duchesne is a mix of my father and I.

As for Marthe Grosbuffet, I have always lived surrounded by strong women figures. When my father was forced to leave, my mother took care of me and my sister by herself, with no help. My sister became a successful lawyer and opened her own firm, while my wife is a successful portfolio manager. I guess Marthe is a mix of all the strong women in my life thrown into the fifteenth century.

Norm:

On reading the press release concerning yourself, it is mentioned that you are an architect who has worked on a variety of healthcare projects, focusing on the relationship between patients and their response to physical settings. Could you elaborate?

Dimitrije:

When I started my career I worked under the leadership of a prominent New York Healthcare firm. Though I chose not to continue building healthcare projects, I learned much in the firm’s handling of nursing homes, clinics, and hospitals. I worked on combining the needs of medical professionals and patients. It was always important to choose layouts and materials conducive to the patient’s quick recovery. Choices ranged from arranging medical equipment in rooms to more psychological aspects — such as the way rooms were numbered and colors used in pediatric departments. My memories range from designing a hospital chapel for all religions where light itself played a crucial role to carefully numbering patient rooms so as to inconspicuously avoid the number thirteen.

Norm:

What is next for Dimitrije Medenica and how can our readers find out more about you and The Good Healer?

Dimitrije:

I am currently working on the next novel involving Jean Duchesne and Anthonia Ducastel. My novel should soon be available in digital format on Kindle, the Nook, and the iPad. I am also working on an audio book of The Good Healer. Though I do not want to divulge much of the next story, I can say that it will involve the search for more of the miraculous plant called Nigella Sativa. The search will most likely take many of my characters across the Alps and Southern Europe.  My readers can connect with me through The Good Healer’s page on Facebook, or by logging onto my website: www.thegoodhealer.com.

Thanks once again and good luck with all of your future endeavors

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