Rob McConnell Interviews: Mark Nechoda – Life Lessons from a Dying DJ

Spread the love

Almost immediately after finishing his novel about confronting death, former NYC radio DJ Mark Nechoda was given two to three years to live by his doctor. For several years, Nechoda was a popular radio personality known as “World Famous Mark Kelley.” His novel, “The Old Homestead,” (, is about a radio producer who finally learns how to live and love after he has an epiphany during a brush with death. Just after he finished the book in 2010, Nechoda, who had lived with hepatitis C for decades, learned from his doctor the disease had progressed beyond treatment. “I look at death differently since I wrote my book. I’m not afraid of it. It’s just a trip to another place, another point on the map,” he says. “Ironically, that summarizes my book perfectly.” Places like New York City and The Old Homestead, a 150-year-old restaurant in the city, have been some of the main characters in his life, he says. “Now, I spend more time Appreciating those memories than worrying about insignificant ‘problems.’ ” Mark Nechoda was known to his New York fans as on-air radio personality “World Famous Mark Kelley” for many years. He has also appeared professionally on stage and TV and in film. He attended Ithaca College, where he studied with award-winning film and television writer, Rod Serling. Mark, a native Chicagoan, lived abroad in South Africa and New Zealand for nearly 10 years before returning to the United States in 2002. –