Tag Archives: Substance Abuse Expert

I am overwhelmed and appreciative of the many inquiries I have been receiving, so much so, I am compelled to give answers to the questions, “What is taking you so long and when will the next Shawn Marks Thriller be finished?”  I am humbled by the interest in the sequel to Addiction on Trial, which is entitled, Lost to Addiction.  But as we all know, once editors and publishers get hold of the manuscript, who knows what the title will be☺.

But that won’t affect the story line and for those of you who want a taste of the coming action, and without giving away anything to the readers who have not yet finished the first adventure of Shawn Marks, that egotistical but likable big shot Boston attorney, let me give you a peek through the window.  The opening chapter of Lost to Addiction has Shawn Marks sitting at dinner with District Attorney Venla Hujanen at the French restaurant overlooking Somes Sound.  Just as the conversation is about to fall into the crevasse of legal entanglements, with each struggling to ignore personal attraction and maintain appropriate professional etiquette between two adversarial attorneys, Marks get a phone call from shipping magnate George Kreening.  You remember Mr. Kreening – he’s the one who allowed Marks to stay on his yacht in West Haven Harbor while defending Jimmy, the heroin addict from away, who was accused of murdering Annette.  Apparently, Kreening’s son has found himself in a bit of trouble, to say the least – a dead roommate is never a good thing.

Okay, sorry I got sidetracked, but I am as anxious to get the sequel finished as you are to read it.  And yes, that bombshell reporter Sally Jenkin may even return, along with the likes of Hanny!  But I have some good reasons for the delay.  As you know, I wrote Addiction on Trial to entertain while also educating about what addiction really is; to enthrall while sending a message of societal discrimination toward drug addicts; and to weave intrigue and suspense culminating in a riveting murder trial while relying on medical and legal truths.  I am pleased to say, that I have accomplished my goals, and more so than I ever imagined.  As a result I am being pulled me away from finishing the sequel.  But if I sound like I am complaining, au contraire.

And if you think that the relentless New England blizzards this winter would allow me to nestle up next to a fire, while writing voraciously, I think these photos show a different perspective ☺

Steven Kassels

Snow 18

But on a more serious note, my worlds of doctor and author have both collided and merged.  As you may know, there is an opiate (Heroin, OxyContin, etc.) epidemic raging across our country, most notably along the east coast.  Our politicians are not responding in concert, as you may have read in my previous Blogs & Op-eds.  My medical administrative responsibilities have increased significantly with the surge in demand for treatment, and the requests for my participation in educational and legislative matters have grown as well.  This week, I will be in on the road for three days.  First, I will have a meeting at a medical school to discuss how to incorporate Addiction on Trial into the general education of students; to help them understand at their embryonic stages of becoming doctors that addiction is the precursor to many diseases and societal ills.  The following day I will be on the MBPN/NPR Radio Call-In Show along with a patient to discuss my book and more importantly the legislative budget proposals to cut certain funding for addiction treatment in Maine.  From there I will travel to meet with students in Psychology courses at a local college to review the characters of my book and to discuss potential treatment strategies, as if the characters  were real, which they are, at least in my mind, and based on thirty years of Addiction Medicine experiences.  In May, I have been invited to speak to medical school deans and curriculum advisors at a meeting of the Coalition of Physician Education in Substance Use Disorders – “COPE”.  I also appreciate the interest by book clubs and groups to meet with me in person and by Skype, and these interactions are always engaging and fun; so please let me know if you want to schedule an event.

But none of this would be possible without the tremendous support I have received from all of you who have read, enjoyed and embraced the messages of Addiction on Trial.  It may take me a little longer than we all want to get the sequel on to bookshelves, but in the interim, I hope that I do not lose your passion for more of Shawn Marks, as he takes us on another adventure of murder and intrigue, passion and denial, and the “what-ifs” of life.  A special thanks to all the readers who have written Amazon Reviews and my utmost appreciation for your spreading the word.

Please feel free to post comments and let me know what characters you definitely want back in the sequel, as it is not too late!  And be sure to let me know what actor should play Shawn Marks in the movie ☺