Reigh Simuzoshya, Author of “The Perfect Prescription: Godly Wisdom on Public Health”

The Perfect PrescriptionWhat is your book about?

The book is about disease prevention. Most diseases mankind contends with, whether communicable or non-communicable, are preventable, which makes disease prevention a significant aspect of any health care system, particularly in face of the rising cost of health care in general. Preventive strategies such as smoking cessation programs or cancer screening programs and vaccinations are cost effective strategies that can significantly reduce morbidity and mortality rates. Disease prevention dates back to Bible times when there were no hospitals as we know them. People mainly relied on preventive measures to stave off diseases and to enhance individual and community health. The book, The Perfect Prescription: Godly Wisdom on Public Health, highlights the amazing similarities between disease preventive measures articulated in the Bible and those espoused by modern public health professionals. The book is written from a health perspective. It does not call anyone to any faith. Rather, it advocates preventive health care that can benefit any person regardless of their religious affiliation. We know that microorganisms are oblivious of any religious affiliations and boundaries.

How long had the idea of your book been developing before you began to write the story?

The book has been in the making since I began to understand how refraining from certain activities can promote health. I have been fascinated by the inverse relationship between engaging in injurious activities and good health from the time I was in high school, decades ago. Therefore, I can say that the book began to form in my mind from that time. Probably this is the reason I chose public health as my profession.

How long did it take you to write your book?

If I add the time it took me to seek, sift through, and synthesize my research material to the time it took to actually pen the material down, I can say it took about six years to write the book.

How much of the book did you have in mind before you start writing it?

In this case, when I started mulling over the idea of actually writing the book, a rough sketch began to form in my mind. That is what motivated me to start conducting and collecting relevant research material. Then the mental sketch morphed into an actual outline, which guided me in writing the book. However, that outline was subject to modification and revision, particularly as I progressed in my writing.

Did you do any research for the book? If so, how did you do it? (searching Internet, magazines, other books, etc.)?

Yes, I conducted extensive research for my book. I searched for books and journal articles written by scholars and experts in the subject matter I was writing about. I also pored over periodicals and magazines, and I studied the Bible for principles and strategies for disease prevention. I provide a list of notable public health professionals, biomedical scholars, researchers, theologians and other published authors from whose work I borrowed at the back of the book.

What about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

We all know that our health, both physical and mental, is one of the most valuable assets we can ever be endowed with. Without it our ability to function well, and our quality of life are significantly compromised and impeded. Therefore, I believe that any form of literary work that espouses health- enhancement guidelines should surely be able to pique the interest of the reader.

Do you have specific techniques you use to develop the plot and stay on track?

What works for me is to first develop a tentative topical outline or framework of the subject matter I am writing about. Then I build my thoughts and ideas around the topics in the outline to form a coherent argument. The outline is always fluid, which means it is subject to modification as need arises.

How (or when) do you decide that you are finished writing a story?

When I start writing a book, I am motivated by the fact that I have something I want to share with the readers and that is what guides me. The book provides, in visible and tangible format, my ideas and thoughts. Once I have, to my knowledge, thoroughly shared my ideas, I feel I have finished writing the book.

Is there a message in your writing you want readers to grasp?

I would like the reader and me to understand that we are only given one body in this life. It cannot not be exchanged for a better one if it is abused. Although some diseases are congenital, and others come through natural and environmental events that many be beyond our personal control, it is important to understand that there are diseases- communicable and noncommunicable, virulent and nonvirulent- that can be prevented and controlled by adopting healthy lifestyles and behavioral choices. These lifestyles and behavioral choices have been articulated in the book. This actually places, on each one of us, a measure of personal responsibility and control over the direction of our health.

What challenges did you face as you wrote this book?

Some of the challenges included identifying appropriate research material and synthesizing it in a coherent manner before incorporating it into the book. It was also challenging to maintain the necessary focus on the actual purpose for writing the book. Finding the appropriate vocabulary and terminology without risking alienating the reader by sounding judgmental was challenging as well.

Do you think writing this book changed your life? How so?

Writing about health guidelines has helped me understand more acutely, at a personal level, how necessary it is for healthy lifestyles and behavioral choices to unfold in my own life. I discovered that I was writing not only for the reader but for myself as well; to live what I was writing about. That is life-changing.

When where you first published? How were you discovered?

Although I have, in the past, written a couple of short articles that were published by the American Public Health Association, my first book was first published in 2013. My daughter happened to watch a spokesperson for my publishers on a TV show and suggested that we contact them, which we did. The rest, as they say, is history.

What writer influenced you the most?

To pinpoint only one author as having influenced me most would be unfair to the host of authors who have set me on my writing career. There has been a concerted influence from an array of authors such as public health authors, biomedical authors, Christian authors, secular authors, and authors of biblical material as well. I am standing on the shoulders of a great cloud of witnesses, as it were. However, I will mention a few of them such as Mary-Jane Schneider, Viktor Frankl, Philip Yancey, Richard H. Hiers, Paul Copan, some authors of various biblical material from both the Old and New Testaments and many, many others.

What advice you would give to an aspiring author?

Write from the heart and write honestly about something you love. Do not follow a trend because trends are transient. Do not write something just because it is what you think will grab the attention of publishers or editors. When you write about what you love, you write with passion. You pour yourself into the work and in the fullness of time the readers will take notice of your work.

How have you marketed and promoted your work?

My book is found on Amazon website: http://www.wmturls.com/pp
There is also a book trailer from the publishers: http://youtu.be/9TOcHIb8N5k
On YouTube: http://youtu.be/MWkIVDKfh9w
On my website: http://www.reighsimuzoshya.com
On Tate Publishing website: https://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=978-1-62854-831-0
On Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-perfect-prescription-reigh-simuzoshya/1117229548?ean=9781628548310

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