Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Interview with Margaret Aranda, MD, Ph.D.

Author of Archives of the Vagina: A Journey through Time

What is so special about your book? It is a "Bible' of Women's Health & Wellness, 500+ pages long, Resources, an Index, and it sets a new bar for Women's activism in medicine. It is so special because I have been laying in bed for 9 years after a tragic car accident that our daughter and I were in...and after ambulance after hospitalization, iv PICC line for almost 4 years, and a traumatic brain injury that made me learn how to walk and talk again....I could no longer assume I would be there for my daughter when she goes on her first date, has her first baby, or enters menopause. So this book is my legacy for her, and by default, for all girls and women.

How is it based on some of your unusual professional experiences? By the time i wrote this book, i saw teens die after suicide attempts, served on the Jail Ward at the L.A. County-USC Hospital, delivered over 100 babies as a medical student, was assaulted by a 6 foot, 6 inch patient who got me in a headlock until my face was purple and 3 nurses got him off of me, lectured a minor jail patient that he could be whatever he wanted to be, instead of catching my own sleep On Call overnight. And the next morning, I saw him cry tears of determination when he thanked me and said that no one had ever told him that before, and that he would change his life.

What will readers be surprised to learn? Without giving it all away, readers will be stunned to learn that I grew up in the summers picking garlic in the fields of Gilroy, CA with the migrant farm workers. I made 35 sandwiches every weekend for me and my 6 siblings. I woke up early to make bacon and pancakes for them, and I made custard pies from scratch. Tragically, my best friend in 9th grade was shot in the head as she thumbed a ride, and the whole school went to her funeral. I thought i knew it all by then, so I attended Alternative School. Then, I tested out of High School with the California High School Proficiency Exam, and I passed it. So I went to college at 16 years of age. 

How healthy is it to live in California? Car accidents are bad, no matter where they occur. I like the emphasis that California has on acceptance on multi-ethnicity, eating an avocado and bean sprout sandwich on whole grain bread, having a Smoothie with grass in it, eating off the Children's Menu if you have a medical reason, and learning about Sports Medicine-caliber exercises like High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), which I also go over in my book. I took the best of the best and put it all in my book: immunonutrition, telomeres, the low-glycemic diet, and avoiding the nations' #1 killer, Heart Disease. And, of course one can ski and surf literally on the same day, so teens love it!

What did you love and loath about writing a book? I loved being a writer. Researching medical literature, mainstream papers, unusual blogs, and the myriad of resources I could scatter on my desk as I wrote. I also loved doing patient interviews, and was equally enthralled with some of the most amazing answers! Personally, I loath marketing, being a publicist, a saleswoman, a pretty woman that gets 10 marriage proposals per week, yet they ask me for money or my credit card number. The Scammers are just shameful. Ending on a positive note, I love having so many friends and fans who are 'there' for me to share in life's challenges. Being a patient is a hard thing for a doctor to do, but I give them hope, cheers, and I won the Invisible Disabilities Award for Perseverance in 2011; it was a definite turning point in my writing career, to just be appreciated. 

Having written five books, where do you see book publishing heading? Some readers just love that book-in-hand, and others love to speed-read on their iPad or nook. I see book publishing heading towards a 'royalty' field where one has to know someone, or be the way they 'want' you to be, in order to fit in to the industry's mold. When authors write, we go into our own worlds, so why should we acquiesce to a 'regular' life? I see more Indie publishing, less fear in creating new ideas, more Apps to facilitate independent writers, and more guided programs to get writers set up on a Speech/Lecture trail, doing book-signings and making that fever reach a pitch that no one could have predicted!

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015

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