Today, I’m delighted to host author Christoph Fischer. I’ve previously drawn attention to his gripping and heart-warming novel Time to Let Go. His latest release is an equally captivating medical thriller called The Healer. As like his other books, The Healer has genuine characters and tackles controversial and socially relevant subject matter. It has been receiving great feedback from readers. Some comments, include:
- As someone going through illness and chemotherapy myself, the author’s description and innate understanding of the desperation I feel completely gripped me. There were moments where I had to sit back and just absorb it all in, I could envision myself in the lead character’s position so completely.
- The character development in The Healer is perfection and the story line is fantastic, with plots and subplots that will keep you enthralled until The End.
- Christoph Fischer writes with empathy, authority, and integrity, telling an important story that is at once moving and, in its depiction of the futility of cancer shows how hope and determination can play a vital key to survival. Masterfully written, it’s harrowing, brutally honest, and utterly absorbing.
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Christoph was kind enough to spare some of his time for a short interview. Below are some of his thoughts on writing The Healer as well as his upcoming projects.
Interview with Christoph Fischer:
*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.
*Is the book just fun and entertainment or is there more to it? I wrote the first draft of the book as a character study with deeper psychological aims rather than as a thriller. At that point the story had an alternate ending and a different flair altogether. Then I had an idea to turn this into a thriller and rewrote it. The central themes from the first draft are still in there but I put the emphasis on entertainment, the mystery aspects and tried to steer clear of making the book a statement on energy healing versus Western Medicine.
*What are those central themes for you in The Healer? Erica, my protagonist, needs to open her mind and reassess her life; Arpan, the healer, needs to overcome his self-doubts. Overcoming your fears and having faith in yourself are central to the story. Their limiting attitude stops both central characters from being who they are or who they want or could be. In my mind, Erica and Arpan mirror each other in that respect perfectly, both hiding behind a persona and living from validation which comes from other people and success. All of this is now hinted at rather than explored in depth.
*What are your views with regards to Western Medicine and Alternative Healing? Much of what Erica feels is based on personal experiences and sensations. I’ve been to a few energy healers / alternative therapists and regularly see an acupuncturist. (I cheekily dedicated the book to him) I’m very open and believe that there is a lot outside of Western Medicine that works. In both fields there are naturally good and bad practitioners, which made writing a thriller full of doubt and ambiguity so much fun for me. I didn’t write it to prove a point or make a statement but to make people feel the doubt.
*After your Historical Trilogy and two contemporary family dramas, seeing you release a thriller came as a surprise. What do you think about genre focus as writer? Creating a formula probably works better for sales and brand recognition, so I may not be doing myself any favours crossing genres as I do. Unfortunately I can only write impulsively about what interests or fascinates me and so I have to take the risk that some of my readers will not join me on parts of my journey. As reader and consumer, I happily follow a few writers who cross genres and luckily I have found that large parts of my audience are doing that with me, for which I am very grateful. Having said that, my next novel “In Search of a Revolution” is a return to Historical FictionThere is also another thriller and a sequel to Conditions in the pipeline and even a comedy, if I can juggle them all.
*What’s in the works next? “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.
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You can find out more about The Healer and Christoph Fischer below.
About The Healer:
When advertising executive Erica Whittaker is diagnosed with terminal cancer, western medicine fails her. The only hope left for her to survive is controversial healer Arpan. She locates the man whose touch could heal her but finds he has retired from the limelight and refuses to treat her. Erica, consumed by stage four pancreatic cancer, is desperate and desperate people are no longer logical nor are they willing to take no for an answer. Arpan has retired for good reasons, casting more than the shadow of a doubt over his abilities. So begins a journey that will challenge them both as the past threatens to catch up with him as much as with her. Can he really heal her? Can she trust him with her life? And will they both achieve what they set out to do before running out of time?
CHRISTOPH FISCHER (Short Biography):
Christoph Fischer was born in Germany, near the Austrian border, as the son of a Sudeten-German father and a Bavarian mother. Not a full local in the eyes and ears of his peers he developed an ambiguous sense of belonging and home in Bavaria. He moved to Hamburg in pursuit of his studies and to lead a life of literary indulgence. After a few years he moved on to the UK where he now lives in a small hamlet, not far from Bath. He and his partner have three Labradoodles to complete their family.
Christoph worked for the British Film Institute, in Libraries, Museums and for an airline. ‘The Luck of The Weissensteiners’ was published in November 2012; ‘Sebastian’ in May 2013 and The Black Eagle Inn in October 2013. “Time To Let Go” , his first contemporary work was published in May 2014, and “Conditions” in October 2014. His medical thriller “The Healer” was released in January 2015.
He has written several other novels which are in the later stages of editing and finalisation.
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