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Thomas Duffy Author Interview

Thomas Duffy Author Interview

Social Work is an emotional story following two people overcoming obstacles and trying to find happiness. What was the inspiration behind Marc and Lauren’s bond?

I actually had a bond with a few different mental health professionals who just happened to be female over the course of my life. One who was a big help to me shaped the character of Lauren. The bond you see in the book is based on reality in many respects though certain elements of the bond were fictionalized for dramatic effect. I am thankful to have worked with great, caring, professionals who were efficient in terms of helping me get my own life back on track after some hard times.

This is an evocative story that is high in social commentary. What was your moral goal when writing this novel and do you feel you’ve achieved it?

The loss of my friend to suicide helped me to put together the courage to write this book. I wanted people to see the world through the eyes of someone down on their luck who has mental issues. I wanted people to care about a character they wouldn’t normally like instantly in real life. I certainly feel I achieved the goals I set out to fulfill with this story. I think this is my best work so far.

What character did you enjoy writing for? Was there one that was more challenging to write for?

I enjoyed writing the two central characters, Marc and Lauren, equally. Lauren was a little more challenging to write as I had to delve deep into the life of someone who helps people for a living. I’ve asked professionals to read the book and tell me if they think I was on point. I’m still waiting for their feedback. The reviews have been great. I got newspaper coverage in my hometown of Queens, NY from a local paper and a spot on an Internet TV show. I feel I did something right so far.

What story are you currently writing and when will it be available?

I am working on the sequel to my first book, “Stockboy” titled “Stockboy Nation” and it will be available in 2020 when the marketing campaign ends for “Social Work” and I scrape together more money to invest in the latest novel. I hope people will love it. “Stockboy” deserved to have more dialogue and this time I deliver in that particular regard.

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Social Work is Thomas Duffy’s seventh book. It is a moving story about a young man named Marc who meets a social worker named Lauren after his attempt at suicide. This story is an exploration of the bond between Marc and Lauren and the problems they face in trying to overcome the obstacles both of them experience trying to achieve their own personal happiness. It is set in New York City.

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Social Work

In Social Work author Thomas Duffy, follows his characters through their everyday lives as they work toward their respective goals. Marc attends counseling sessions with his social worker, Lauren. Marc has a rocky past to work through as Lauren has a budding relationship with her boyfriend, Ahmad, that she is building simultaneously.

Both main characters are so relatable. Duffy doesn’t shy away from Marc’s struggles or the struggles of those in his counseling group. Marc had taken some less than savory paths and ended up in a very dark place, eventually attempting to take his own life. Lauren shows him that there is hope and that life is worth living. Readers will identify with Marc’s lows and many will also identify with stepping into the shoes of those who help to lift others out of the abyss.

Lauren is an excellent social worker, and seems to really follow the rule book. She keeps counselor/patient boundaries very clear, at first anyway, but does seem to struggle with letting Marc go once she decides to leave her job. The two had developed a close but appropriate working relationship. She feels guilty when she decides to leave, and struggles with being another person in a list of those who have deserted Marc. Handing Marc over to another social worker felt like giving up on him or throwing him away to both parties involved.

Duffy also delves into relationship complications that both main characters experience. Both Marc and Lauren have their own problems in love. Marc falls for a series of girls who are never quite fitting for what he needs. Lauren hints that her now fiance, Ahmad, isn’t her type but provides her with stability and prospects for the future. Admittedly, Marc is her type, but that doesn’t seem to be an option.

Thomas Duffy also examines a predicament that many of us find ourselves in. Marc is ambitious. He has big dreams, but not a big bank account. Instead of following his dreams, he is forced at times to settle. He wants to get into the entertainment industry, but isn’t independently wealthy. This means he can’t afford to put his job to start up any projects. This leaves him to work in a job that is unfulfilling.

This is the second Duffy book I have read. His style is simple, including lots of back and forth conversation between characters that gives readers a fly-on-the-wall sort of feeling. We hear what the characters say to one another, but we are also privy to their internal dialogue. This gives a unique perspective into how people feel verses what they show to the world. He gives a glimpse into humanity’s dynamic that we are all familiar with but don’t often talk about.

Social Work flows well and is easy to understand. The characters are endearing and relatable which got me invested in the characters.

Pages: 272 | ISBN: 1694404684

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