Q&A: Harry Kraus, M.D. (An Open Heart)
An Open Heart (David C. Cook) isn’t just the title of Dr. Harry Kraus’s new book, it’s also a common theme in his everyday life as a surgeon. The Doctor answered four questions for us about his career and his newest project.
Q: The characters in your book have supernatural experiences while their hearts are stopped during heart surgery. Where did you get the idea for this book?
Believe it or not, I got the first idea for this book when in a dive boat in the Indian Ocean off Mombasa, Kenya. I saw a teenage boy with a T shirt that said, "Crysis". I was intrigued by the spelling and thought about what kind of novel could be written with a title like that (of course, eventually, my publisher chose another title!). I thought, what if a surgeon thought he heard a message from his long-deceased twin sister (a cry from his sis...crysis). One "what if" thought lead to another, and eventually presented itself as the plot for An Open Heart.
Q: How much of the plot is pulled from real life experience?
All of the locations around Kenya are real places. Kijabe Hospital is real. It's where I currently live and work. The Kenyan cuisine is authentic. All of the open-heart scenes are taken from my real life O.R. experiences, but the "other-worldy" experiences of the patients is pure fiction.
Q: What made Kenya a great setting for this book?
Kenya is perfect because it really is a hotbed for supernatural activity, spiritual war, and witchcraft.
Q: Which do you prefer: writing a novel or performing a surgery?
Before or after midnight? I love both, but if someone needs emergency surgery, it sure would be more preferable to need it between 9 and 5.
Q: Do you have any projects currently in the works?
Yes! "Lip Reading" is a new novel and will come out in January with David C. Cook. It it a contemporary drama that surrounds the billion-dollar stakes game surrounding development of a safe artificial blood product.
Q: Who is your favorite character in An Open Heart?
Oh, I am biased: The surgeon, of course. Jace Rawlings, flawed, touched by grace!