We’re thrilled to be talking to Jesse Tieter, M.D. from Paul Flower’s The Redeeming Power of Brain Surgery. It is a pleasure to have him with us today at Pimp That Character!
Thank you for your interview, Jesse. Can you tell us your story?
Look, I’m a pretty busy right now. I’d rather not, to be honest. Really. So, okay, fine. Whatever. Here’s the short version. I’m a brain surgeon in Chicago, where I run one of the top practices of its kind in the country. My wife and I have a beautiful young son and the house of our dreams in Evanston. We’ve just finished a new vacation home in southwest Michigan, in my hometown.
Can you tell us about one of your most distinguishable features?
Well, to be honest, it’s probably my intellect and personal drive. I’ve always been blessed with the ability to analyze and handle any situation. I’m a doer.
What would I love the most about you?
I’m probably not the best person to answer that question. I mean, it’s not that I have no lovable qualities, but... Never mind. It’s complicated.
What would I hate the most about you?
See “distinguishable features.”
Where do you go when you are angry?
Good lord. What kind of question is that? I mean, what am I, some kind of idiot who can’t handle his emotions? Is that what you’re implying? Because if that’s what you’re saying, you’re wrong. I keep things like that in check. Anger, I mean. I keep it where it belongs.
What makes you laugh out loud?
What is in your refrigerator right now?
This seems silly. The contents of my refrigerator shouldn’t matter to anyone. And if they did, they are certainly private. I would ask you to respect that privacy. But I will tell you that, at the very least, there will be a few leftovers from nice restaurants, probably a jar of olives for martinis, and some kale or whatever my wife is into these days. But as I said, that’s all my business. And milk, of course. There’s milk. Does that make you happy?
What is your most treasured possession?
A picture my son drew. It’s one of those clumsy, little-kid-crayon drawings. It’s of just the two of us together. The sun is a big happy sun in the corner. I love my son. Let me make that clear. And my wife. I love them.
What is your greatest fear?
Again, this is awfully personal stuff. I don’t typically share it and I resent you asking me to do so. I’m not ashamed to tell the truth. I’m not hiding anything. NO. I’m not. Frankly there’s nothing for me to fear. Nothing. But one thing I do get concerned about, and that is failure. I don’t do failure well. And that’s all I’m going to say about it.
What is the trait you most not like about yourself?
The older I get the softer I seem to get. I don’t like that––the softness, the sentimentality. I never used to be emotional. But now that I’m in my 50s, it seems as though I get more sensitive. Even answering this question shows that.
Do you think the author portrayed you accurately?
A little too accurately, if you ask me. And since you did ask me, I just want to point out that some of the bad things about me––listen, I was a kid when that stuff happened. I was a mixed up kid. That’s all. I’ve spent my life trying to help people, to preserve life. I wish he would’ve focused on a little more of that.
About The Book
Title: The Redeeming Power of Brain Surgery: A Suspense Novel
Author: Paul Flower
Publisher: Scribe Publishing Company
Publication Date: June 1, 2013
Format: Paperback, eBook (.mobi / Kindle), PDF
Jesse Tieter, M.D. has carefully constructed the ideal life. But lately, neither his Chicago-based neurology practice nor his wife and son are enough to suppress the memories that have haunted him since he was a little boy. He can't stop thinking about that summer day in 1967 when his father died.
So Jesse is heading back. Back to the town and the place where a long-repressed horror occurred. Back to make sure his twin keeps the family's secret buried.
But what will he uncover along the way?
His son’s hand felt like a lie. Lately, to him, everything felt this way. The look of sadness on his wife’s face, the burn of a drink in his throat, the whine of a saw in the O.R.; nothing seemed true. Nothing was real anymore. He felt out of balance, too. Even now, the school building, the flag slapping against the heavy fall sky¬¬—everything was tipping away from him. It was as though he’d gotten up that morning and screwed on his head carelessly, as though he hadn’t threaded it good and tight. While shaving, he’d cut himself, a discrete, semi-intentional knick just under the curve of his chin. He’d stood there like an idiot, eyes feeding the message “blood” to his brain, nerve endings responding with “pain” and the logic center unable to formulate a response.
“Pick up the pace. Chop chop. Move out.”
Now, as he snaked through the crush of other parents and children, he had to look down to convince himself the boy was there, attached to the hand, flesh and bone. The red hair, “his mother’s hair” everyone called it, was sliced by a crisp white part; his head bounced in beat with his sneakered feet. The child was so painfully real he couldn’t be a lie.
It amazed him that his son looked so much like his wife, especially the tiny mouth, the way it was set in a crooked, determined line. He was a kid who liked to have fun, but he could be fierce. Today, the challenge of a new school year, of third grade, had brought out the determined streak. This was good. They would need that streak, he and his mother would.
“Whoa.” The tiny hand now was a road sign, white-pink flesh facing him, commanding him. Far enough. He obeyed. Squatting, arms out for the anticipated embrace, he suddenly wanted to tell everything. Tears swam. His throat thickened. The earth tilted and threatened to send him skittering over its edge. There was the slightest of hugs, the brush of lips on his cheek then the boy was off, skipping toward the steps as though third grade challenged nothing, caused no fear, as though the world was in perfect balance.
He walked back to his Lincoln Navigator with the exaggerated care of a drunk who didn’t want anyone to know his condition. He got behind the wheel and suddenly was no longer in his 50s; he felt 16 and too small, too skinny and insignificant to handle the giant SUV.
He nosed the vehicle toward home, alternately trembling and gripping the wheel as he merged with the morning traffic. The plan struck him now as odd and silly, the challenges too great. His hands, already red and scaly, itched fiercely. Get a grip, he told himself. Get a grip.
His tired mind—when was the last time he’d really slept well?—jumped from one stone of thought to another. Was everything covered at work? The bills—had he paid them all? Did his wife suspect anything? Yes. No. Absolutely. Of course not. Relax. Relax. He left the expressway at the exit that took him past their church and wondered if the church, too, was a lie. What of the wedding there so many years ago?
Through a stoplight and past a Dunkin’ Donuts, his gaze floated around a corner. A flash of inspiration—hit the gas. Let the tires slide and the back-end arc around. Let physics have its way until the big vehicle broke free from the grip of gravity and danced head over end, coming to a stop with him bleeding and mercifully, gratefully dead inside.
No. He had something to do. Had he figured the angles right? Gotten the plan tight enough?
A horn jabbed through his reverie. He had drifted into the turn lane of the five-lane street. He jerked the wheel and cut across traffic into the right lane. Tires screeched, horns screamed. A black Toyota streaked past on his left, the driver’s fist, middle finger erect, thrust out the window.
Rage, sharp and bitter, bubbled in his throat. He hesitated, then jammed his foot on the accelerator, cut the wheel hard, and sent the Navigator careening into the left lane.
A staccato barrage of profanity pounded the inside of his skull. He bit his tongue to keep the words in. His heart hammered and a familiar, dizzying pressure filled his ears. The SUV roared ahead, past one car, past a semi then another car, quickly closing the gap on the speeding Toyota. He couldn’t see the car’s driver but he could imagine him, some stupid, simple-minded schmuck, eyes locked on the rear-view mirror as the lumbering Lincoln grew larger, larger, larger. The instant before he would slam into the smaller vehicle, he jabbed his brake and turned again to the left. There was a squeal of tires and more horns bleating behind him; the semi rig’s air horn bellowed angrily past. Ramrod straight, eyes fixed ahead on the now-slow-moving car disappearing tentatively around a curve, he brought the Navigator to a shuddering stop in the center lane. He tensed and waited for the resounding WHUMP of a crash from behind. None came. Face flushed and eyes gleaming, suddenly rejuvenated, he accelerated quickly then eased the Navigator back into the flow of traffic—no looking back.
Buy The Book:
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-redeeming-power-of-brain-surgery-paul-flower/1115659168?ean=9780985956271
Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE
About The Author
Paul Flower is an author, advertising copywriter/creative director and a journalist.
He has written and produced award-winning advertising for print, radio, television, outdoor, the Web––really, just about every medium––for business-to-consumer and business-to-business accounts.
His news features have appeared in regional and national magazines. His first novel, “The Redeeming Power of Brain Surgery,” was published in June 2013 by Scribe Publishing. Visit Paul’s website at paulflower.net.
Author Website: paulflower.net
Author Page / Publisher Website: http://scribe-publishing.com/brain/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/paulflower.writer
Twitter: https://twitter.com/flowerpaul Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7137509.Paul_Flower