After growing up in suburban New York, Oristano moved to Texas in 1970 to attend Texas Christian University. A major in Mass Communications, Mark was hired by WFAA-TV in 1973 as a sports reporter, the start of a 30-year career covering the NFL and professional sports.
Mark has worked with notable broadcasters including Verne Lundquist, Oprah Winfrey and as a sportscaster for the Dallas Cowboys Radio Network and Houston Oilers Radio Network. He has covered Super Bowls and other major sports events throughout his career. He was part of Ron Chapman’s legendary morning show on KVIL-FM in Dallas for nearly 20 years.
In 2002 Oristano left broadcasting to pursue his creative interests, starting a portrait photography business and becoming involved in theater including summer productions with Shakespeare Dallas. He follows his daughter Stacey’s film career who has appeared in such shows as Friday Night Lights and Bunheads.
A veteran stage actor in Dallas, Mark Oristano was writer and performer for the acclaimed one-man show “And Crown Thy Good: A True Story of 9/11.”
Oristano authored his first book, A Sportscaster’s Guide to Watching Football: Decoding America’s Favorite Game. A Sportcaster’s Guide offers inside tips about how to watch football, including stories from Oristano’s 30-year NFL career, a look at offense, defense and special teams, and cool things to say during the game to sound like a real fan.
In 2016 Oristano finished his second book, Surgeon’s Story, a true story about a surgeon that takes readers inside the operating room during open heart surgery. His second book is described as a story of dedication, talent, training, caring, resilience, guts and love.
In 1997, Mark began volunteering at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, working in the day surgery recovery room. It was at Children’s that Mark got to know Kristine Guleserian, MD, first to discuss baseball, and later, to learn about the physiology, biology, and mystery of the human heart. That friendship led to a joint book project, Surgeon’s Story, about Kristine’s life and career.
Mark is married and has two adult children and two grandchildren.
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What is it like to hold the beating heart of a two-day old child in your hand? What is it like to counsel distraught parents as they make some of the most difficult decisions of their lives?
Noted pediatric heart surgeon Dr. Kristine Guleserian has opened up her OR, and her career, to author
Dr. Guleserian’s life, training and work are discussed in detail, framed around the incredibly dramatic story of a heart transplant operation for a two-year old girl whose own heart was rapidly dying. Author Mark Oristano takes readers inside the operating room to get a first-hand look at pediatric heart surgeries most doctors in America would never attempt.
That’s because Dr. Guleserian is recognized as one of the top pediatric heart surgeons in America, one of a very few who have performed a transplant on a one-week old baby. Dr. Guleserian (Goo-liss-AIR-ee-yan) provided her expertise, and Oristano furnished his writing skills, to produce A Surgeon’s Story.
As preparation to write this stirring book, Oristano spent hours inside the operating room at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas watching Guleserian perform actual surgeries that each day were life or death experiences. Readers will be with Dr. Guleserian on her rounds, meeting with parents, or in the Operating Room for a heart transplant.
Oristano is successful sportscaster and photographer and has made several appearances on stage as an actor. He wrote his first book A Sportscaster’s Guide to Watching Football: Decoding America’s Favorite Game, and continues to volunteer at Children’s Medical Center.
“We hear a lot about malpractice and failures in medical care,” says Oristanto, “but I want my readers to know that parts of the American health care system work brilliantly. And our health care system will work even better if more young women would enter science and medicine and experience the type of success Dr. Guleserian has attained.”
Readers will find all the drama, intensity, humor and compassion that they enjoy in their favorite fictionalized medical TV drama, but the actual accounts in Surgeon’s Story are even more compelling. One of the key characters in the book is 2-year-old Rylynn who was born with an often fatal disorder called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome and was successfully treated by Dr. Guleserian.
Watch the Book Trailer at YouTube.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Welcome to My Bookish Pleasures. We would love to get to know you and your book! When did you begin writing?
I began writing Surgeon’s Story 6 years ago, when I asked Dr. Kristine Guleserian to team up with me on the project. As far as ancient history goes, I began writing professionally in 1968.
Describe your writing process. When and where do you write?
I write at home, in Dallas. I get up about 9, read the paper, have coffee, do the crossword (vital for writers) and then, about noon, I start to write. I work until about four pm and then do other things.
Can you tell us about your most recent release?
Surgeon’s Story is the story of Dr. Kristine Guleserian, one of the nation’s most distinguished pediatric heart surgeons. It covers her family life, education, surgical career, and numerous stories of patients and families she has worked with and remains close to even years later.
How did you get the idea for the book?
I’ve volunteered at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, where Dr. Guleserian is a surgeon, for about 20 years. The more I heard about her and got to know her, I became convinced her story needed to be told. I asked if she’d let me shadow her and write a book about her, and she agreed. Several New York publishers were interested in the book, but only if it was written from her first-person point of view. She refused, saying that was too egotistical. So the book is partially my first-person view, lengthy quotes and stories from Dr. G, and photos.
What was the most challenging aspect of writing your book?
Learning and understanding the incredible medical technology I had to come to grips with. Idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy. Homzygous familial hypercholesterolemia. That kind of thing.
Do you find it easier to write nonfiction?
Yes. I don’t do well making up stories on my own. I was trained as a journalist, and I find journalistic writing to be much easier.
Do you have plans to write fiction?
What projects are you currently working on?
Marketing Surgeon’s Story, which is available in paperback, hardcover, and Kindle formats on Amazon.com!!!
What advice would you offer to new or aspiring nonfiction authors?
Don’t get it right, get it written.