Dr. Fidelis Mkparu is well known in the medical community. The former Wayne State University student is now a cardiologist in our neighboring state of Ohio.
Dr. Mkparu recently took a step in a different direction and published his first novel, ‘My Last Summer with You: No Fanfare for a Withered Rose,’ in July. The book introduces readers to Joseph – a young man who comes to America as a college freshman. Joseph is honest, kind, and extremely devoted to his education. Throughout the book, Joseph struggles to fit in with his peers, while fighting the prejudices of those too naïve to give him a chance. Not only does Joseph learn the meaning of friendship and trust, he always remains true to himself.
Although somber in parts, ‘My Last Summer with You: No Fanfare for a Withered Rose’ is wonderfully positive and keeps the reader interested throughout. It’s a ‘must read’ for those in search of a fresh, new author with an interesting story to tell.
In a recent interview with Examiner, Dr. Mkparu spoke openly about his new novel. He also talked fondly of his time in Detroit.
Examiner: Can you talk about the time you spent in Detroit?
Dr. Fidelis Mkparu: I came to Detroit, Michigan in 1981 and left in 1983. There are so many memorable events that I still remember. However, I was very fond of the main city library and the museum. I spent so much time at the library that I became friends with some of the library workers. It had abundance of classical music collection. I was into chamber music at that time and I spent a great deal of time in their music room. I was not the party and drinking type so I wasted my youth reading and listening to classical music. Detroit probably had one of the best libraries in the country at that time.
I was also into Opera and musicals. I had the opportunity to see ‘The King and I’ which featured Yul Brynner in Detroit.
Examiner: Talk a little bit about your time at Wayne State University.
Dr. Mkparu: Wayne State University was one of the premier schools for biochemistry and biophysics research in the early 1980’s. One of the professors had an active research program in sickle cell membrane protein dynamics. It was one of the reasons I went to Wayne State. I was a restless student who wanted to achieve too much with limited time. My goal was to be a physician, but I also wanted to be a basic medical science researcher.
Wayne State University was more of an international university when I was there. I met so many students from different cultures. To me, Wayne State University was a sociocultural laboratory where students learnt to accept and appreciate different cultures. It changed my life permanently.
Examiner: Did you always have the desire to write fiction?
Dr. Mkparu: I had written so many things down over the past thirty years, but never had the time to complete a novel until now. The desire has always been there.
Examiner: When did you know you had this novel inside you and what made you tell this story?
Dr. Mkparu: Over the past four years I have been a guardian to many young male college students. It has been disheartening for me to watch some of them drop out of school because of their disillusion with education, and the culture of immediate gratification. Like I tell some of the kids ‘you can still be an academic superstar.’ Every one of us is not going to be a singer, an actor, a basketball star, or a football star.
Examiner: You created some deep and wonderful characters in this novel. Were they influenced by people you once knew?
Dr. Mkparu: Some of my close friends claimed that I wrote an autobiography and called it a fiction J It was not meant to be an autobiography, but there are some old friends that may identify with some of the characters.
Examiner: You left readers wanting more – we need to know what happened next. Is there another novel in the works? Do you plan to write a series of novels about Joseph?
Dr. Mkparu: I have so many ideas about my next work, but I feel that my novel was unfinished on purpose. I hope to continue where I stopped.
Examiner: Are you getting positive feedback on the novel from your patients?
Dr. Mkparu: Some felt that I wrote a romance novel which was not my intention. Some felt that I use ‘big words,’ but most like my novel.
Examiner: I’ve read many positive reviews on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Is the book doing well?
Dr. Mkparu: It is doing as well as it should since it has only been out for two months and the e-book version has not been available. The e-book version came out on September 28, 2012. I have to give it at least six months before making a judgment about how it is selling.
Examiner: Finally, is there something or someone that inspires you to write?
Dr. Mkparu: Paulo Coelho’s work inspires me. He is very spiritual and a gifted writer.
‘My Last Summer with You: No Fanfare for a Withered Rose’ is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
For more on Dr. Fidelis Mkparu, click this link.