First Patients received a 4+ star review, making it an IndieReader Approved title.
Following find an interview with author Rod Tanchanco.
What is the name of the book and when was it published?
First Patients was first released in March 2022.
What’s the book’s first line?
“Unfazed by the village doctors’ refusals, the parish deacon forged ahead.”
What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”.
First Patients is a collection of “back-stories,” if you will, on some momentous events in the history of medicine, focusing on the human narratives of the patients and doctors. The book offers a peek into a world and situations that are now completely alien to us and shows the fears, beliefs, and motivations behind the historical medical discoveries.
What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event?
In the book’s preface, I mentioned reading about the story of a woman in Sweden who begged doctors to invent the first implantable pacemaker in the late 1950s to save her husband. It read almost like a movie and I thought that was very interesting. And when I dug a bit deeper, I learned of the attitude towards technology and medical advancements in the 1940s, 1950s, the state of medical care, how it was evolving, and how this family was affected. From there, I looked at other “first patient” stories and found fascinating accounts about the first vaccinator who happened to be an English farmer who just wanted to protect his family, the first blood transfusions that were performed at a time when it was considered taboo , self-experimenting doctors who became their own guinea pig patients, the excruciating ordeal of the first man cured of HIV, and so on.
What’s the main reason someone should really read this book?
I hope readers would gain an appreciation of the personal trials that patients and doctors — people thrust into challenging situations — experienced during these medical milestones. While technology and medical care have advanced a great deal, human emotions and drive have remained a constant theme, for better or worse. First Patients provides that context.
When did you first decide to become an author?
Probably around ten to twelve years ago when I thought there were many good stories to tell and perhaps, I could tell them well enough to make them as interesting to others as they were to me.
Is this the first book you’ve written?
What do you do for work when you’re not writing?
I am a physician working as a medical director for a global clinical research organization.
What’s the best and the hardest part of being an indie?
Having complete control of the process from beginning to end is both the best and hardest part of being an indie author.
What’s a great piece of advice that you can share with fellow indie authors?
Keeping joy in writing is paramount. Embrace the challenges of learning and conquering the other parts of indie publishing that may not be as joyful.
Is there something in particular that motivates you (fame? Fortune?)
The story research process and the discovery of “treasures”, and then weaving it all together into flowing, coherent prose motivate me. I read somewhere that narrative nonfiction is defined as “true stories, well told.” It’s that simple, and at the same time incredibly difficult to pull off. That’s motivation enough for me.