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I Learned To Embrace My Pain

Andre Gress Author Interview

Unforgiven follows a former writer whose career and life are falling apart as he seeks refuge in a cabin only to discover more family secrets and a mystery of his family’s past. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

This is the first book I wrote. Which was written after I completed my Associates of Arts Degree in Creative Writing at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. In which, at the time, I had not been a true practiced writer in the field of novel writing. In addition, my life experience was rather dark. I was going through a lot in the course of writing this book. Namely the loss of my mother.

So as for inspiration for the set up of the story, I was imagining my future as a successful writer. Plus, because it had only been a year since I lost my mother, and was dealing with self doubt and anxiety, my character was an echo of who I was at the time.

Henry experiences a lot of extreme emotions in this short book. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

As stated in the previous question, my mother passed away quite recently before I wrote the book. In which my grievance was brutal on me because I’ve always been sensitive, raw, transparent and always felt like I had to deal with my emotions by myself. However, over time I learned to embrace my pain and talk to others.

I selfishly used Henry as a catalyst for the pain I was going through. As for why he went through so many extreme emotions in such a short book, that is because I wasn’t dealing with my pain in a healthy way. Looking back, I could have filled out the gaps and made him more well rounded.

Nevertheless, I am still proud to have written this book. After having written this book, I knew I had potential to be a better writer some day.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Anger, fear, family and self worth. I have always been a visual person. So, when I exemplified these themes in the book, I was showing them to the best of my ability. However, through my practice, I noticed that in this book, I barely scratched the surface. Yes, I showed extreme emotions, but I could have peeled through layers of where the core is of those themes. Emotions are complex and rich. Especially as you get older. The fact that Henry is middle aged, should indicate that he is complex, and his emotions have a lot of acreage. If readers want to see that acreage in a part 3, I will certainly explore those layers.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I am working on book 4 of Boone and Jacque. Subtitle being: Cytrus Moonlight. It is my fantasy series which will end after book 5. Book 4 focuses on Jacque’s uncle Leon Arnaud’s murder. However, there are many other things going on in the new town they live in. Cytrus. My journey through book 4 has been interesting. I look forward to sharing that journey with you all.

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Mark is a middle aged man whom used to be a well-known writer and now lives a lonely life with his dog Rosy. He gets fired from his job as a book editor leaving him frustrated and scared for what will come next. He then receives a chilling call from his sister saying his mom is in the hospital due to kidney failure. He comes upon a section of his allegedly dead father’s will, in which he has been given the deed to a cabin. He decides to go on a road trip with his dog Rosy. As time goes by he eventually meets his entire family as certain events unfold and brings them all back together in a scattered way. Through this family reunion Mark has to make a choice on what life he wants to live. Will he choose one that will bring excitement and danger? Or will he crawl back to a quiet life?

All in the Family

All in the Family is the second book in a series about the Field’s family by André Gress. Having read the first book and being left with a lot of untied ends and questions about the plot and characters, I was rather eager to get into the second book to get some answers.

The plot of this book is a lot more action packed than the first one: it follows the Field’s family, a family of prolific art thieves, who are being hunted by their arch nemesis Gavriil. Like Gress’ first book, I enjoyed this book mainly for the description of the plots. What was also interesting in this book was the dynamics built between the Field’s family characters- their interactions were riveting and offered a unique layer to the story.

Throughout the novel the author includes the narrative voice of another character, a raven who tells the story of what happened. Having an external character retell narratives was a powerful plot device. Since the raven didn’t seem to have any relation or connection to the story the reader is able to get an unbiased perspective.

Many themes in the book were dark and tense and I wanted to know more. As I mentioned before, the book is incredibly detailed so there are a lot of interesting choices when it comes to how things are described. There is a lot of really grotesque descriptions, especially regarding injuries or the appearance of the villain and sometimes I had to stop reading and then pick up where I left off. The grotesque language is used effectively, so if you’re a read who enjoys darkly creative scenes then you’ll find plenty to enjoy here. While I enjoyed the book overall, I felt that there was one particular part of the book that alluded heavily to sexual assault and I felt it was unnecessary. Otherwise, I enjoyed this book for the same reasons I enjoyed book one, for the themes and narrative choice in this book. A lot of the literary choices made by the author were well thought out and played an integral part in the plot.

All in the Family is a creative and dark thriller with an inventive plot that will keep you entertained with its meticulously developed world.

Pages: 281 | ASIN: B07F2TPWFD

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Unforgiven

Unforgiven is a short story written by Andre Gress. The story is told by the character Henry Fields, a once-famous ex-writer whose life falls apart in every way imaginable in the first chapter. However, there’s no silver lining until he is suddenly informed about a huge family secret that will change the nature of his life catastrophically.

The narrative takes the reader on an emotional rollercoaster. It’s evident from the start that Henry harbors much anger and bitterness towards his life and perhaps the people in it due to various circumstances. The story is told from Henry’s perspective, but it also contains a lot of italicized side comments. These comments feel like Henry’s unofficial internal monologue and often include points of criticism or snide remarks aimed at both himself and others in the story. The addition of these side comments adds depth and intrigue to the story because you get an inside look at Henry’s thoughts and emotions.

I appreciated that the main character is presented as a person who was both a little flawed and quite sensitive. He has a clear adoration for his little dog Rosy and reminisces about his past. So many male characters are created to be strong and dominant, to the point that the idea of being emotional is nonexistent. It was refreshing to follow a character that is a little more realistic with his emotions, especially with the things Henry has gone through and experienced.

I enjoyed the overall story and narrative development; the development of the main character and his life situation at the start of the story was vividly descriptive and exciting. However, once the big family secret is revealed to Henry, he goes from being outrageously angry to accepting in no time at all. I felt this story aspect was rushed, and some of the storylines were cut out. Still, this is a captivating story and takes the reader on a memorable adventure.

Unforgiven is a gripping story about a man and his journey to self-discovery and learning the truth about his family. As events unfold, he will have to choose what path he follows, and readers will be hanging on edge to see his life’s direction.

Pages: 95 | ASIN : B01NAJSA6N

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