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For S.P. Peredo, writing started as a passion and became a necessity.
Peredo, who has lived in Mission since September last year, has recently been published. His collection of short fiction, “Marco’s Journey and Other Stories,” was released Feb. 28 by Austin Macauley Publishers, LLC.
The pathologist, who writes under a pen name, works for the Mid-Valley Pathology Group out of the Mission Regional Medical Center. While this is his first work of fiction, Peredo has published several scientific articles relating to his work and a poem reflecting on his thoughts while performing an autopsy.
Peredo is a Mexican-American who has traveled extensively and has lived in many places within the United States, his native Mexico, and Canada. His experiences in life, particularly due to his work as a pathologist, inspired several stories that eventually made up “Marco’s Journey and Other Stories,” which took one and a half years to be published.
“It felt very gratifying,” Peredo said. “To be considered for publication is so difficult, so it was a total surprise.”
Peredo chose his pen name in honor of his mother. After hearing so many of his stories from his travels, his family motivated him to write them out, which led to him interweaving real life experiences within a fictional landscape.
“I have changed a lot of things for the sake of writing a good story,” Peredo said. “I would tell my stories, and they [his family] would tell me ‘you should write this down, because you’ve had such a rich life.’ I’d say that was the main motive, to document a lot of important things that happened in my life.”
“The book is based on personal experiences, and those experiences were totally unexpected,” Peredo added. “They occured at a time when I was younger, and I guess I was very adventurous at one time. I’ve learned to always expect the unexpected.”
Becoming a published author has been exciting for Peredo. His love of reading grew into a need to get his own work out there.
“Writing became kind of like a necessity, almost,” Peredo said. “I really needed to do it. It’s almost like giving birth – an experience I will never have – but it’s almost like giving birth to an idea, something inside that needs to come out.”
A firm believer that most readers will eventually want to write, Peredo couldn’t get the words off his mind until he put pen to paper. He felt compelled to complete the stories, no matter how painful the process of writing was.
“I guess the older you get, the more nostalgic you become, so you want to leave a legacy of your own experiences,” Peredo said. “Books transport you, and really it’s the ultimate entertainment because when you’re reading, you’re creating images in your own mind.”
The creation of those images leads to an interest in the words, according to Peredo.
“That’s basically why I did it,” Peredo said, adding that he found out quickly that the process isn’t easy. “I started writing some of these stories several years ago, and I’ve had to update a lot of things and do some research on them. It is time consuming.”
According to a press release from Austin Macauley Publishers, LLC, this collection tells “the story of a doctor” whose plane breaks down “on his way to a medical conference in Latin America and ends up travelling by road with five other men through the majestic mountains of South Eastern Mexico. As the narrative progresses, readers are introduced to each man’s life’s story and a friendship soon develops that persists long after arriving at their destination. Subsequently, Marco finds a way to evaluate his own life, which changes forever leading him on a personal journey of self-discovery.”
Peredo initially attempted to get the stories published individually by submitting them to several publications and literary magazines, all of which rejected him. After compiling them into one collection, he met with a publishing company (Austin Macauley Publishers) who took notice and moved forward with him in the process.
“I was very happy that they accepted the whole book,” Peredo said. “It’s been a long process, but it’s been very gratifying.”
Peredo has always been in search of meaning, and found how to learn from the trials and successes in his life through his writing. Influenced by existentialists of old like Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre, along with several modern writers of English and Spanish Literature (Gabriel García Márquez and Charles Frazier, to name a couple), Peredo was fascinated in the way they describe what he calls an “internal magic,” a way to feel good about living.
Writing hasn’t kept Peredo from his full-time job as a pathologist, though balancing it within his schedule has been challenging. All that encompasses pathology continues to excite him, as it encapsulates the functions of diagnosis, teaching and research.
“I really like what I do to make a living,” Peredo said. “It’s a medical discipline, a crossroads between the basic sciences and clinical medicine. A pathologist is one that has to understand all the diseases. I have a love for science and clinical medicine. It gives me the opportunity to do both contribute to the care of patients and be on top of all the state-of-the-art technology and diagnostic methods.”
Peredo said that writing every day, even just jotting something down on days when it feels impossible, is invaluable for aspiring writers aiming to be published.
“My advice is to not despair, and to continue,” Peredo said. “There’s a long process, because none of us are perfect writers. Try to write every day – sometimes if the idea isn’t there, write it down and revisit when your mind is clear, or when you have a chance.”
He hopes that “Marco’s Journey and Other Stories” will entertain and help others on their paths of self-discovery.
“There are painful moments and there are happy moments, which is what happens to us in life,” Peredo said. “First I want to entertain with the story, and I want to see if the reader can find something that they can relate to in their own life.”
Having already completed four new short stories, and with a screenplay and autobiography underway, Peredo is ready to continue all his writing endeavors – while maintaining a dedication to pathology. “Marco’s Journey and Other Stories” is available for $9.95 at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other bookstores across the country.
This story was originally published in the Friday, March 6, 2020 edition of the Progress Times