Gourley finds success
as a 23-year-old published novelist
(July 2002) MADISON, Ind. A mild mannered, soft-spoken
Madison, Ind., resident, Jason Gourley, has crossed the threshold into
a career in creative writing. 1st Books Library has published his first
novel, My Brothers Family.
Gourley, 23, has lived in Jefferson County, Ind., all of his life and
is a 1996 graduate of Madison High School. He lives with his wife, Tina,
and two stepchildren. He admits he hasnt fully realized the meaning
of his accomplishment.
It really hasnt hit me yet, Im still in shock,
says Gourley, holding the dark blue paperback in his hands. Its
like a dream.
Gourleys determination to be published led him to the library,
where he searched in writers publications such as Writers
Digest Magazine until he found the publisher he wanted.
I sent in a query letter, describing the book,
Gourley recalls, and I still cant believe they contacted
me, wanting to see the manuscript. Its all happened so fast.
Gourleys novel is a fictional narrative in which the main character,
Conner Hurley, relates his painful story of childhood abuse and the
surprising outcome of his search for healing. Gourleys goal in
writing the book is summed up on the 1st Books website: To help
the readers unlock their minds and help them visualize the everyday
hardships of lives from a different angle, to motivate those who have
suffered with undeserved pain.
An excerpt from the novel gives an insight into Gourleys writing
talent and the seriousness of his chosen subject.
The illumination from the moon provided shadowy images of tree
branches dancing with the wind on my bedroom floor. I was paying so
much attention to the beauty of it that I didnt become aware of
a pillow being lowered towards my face.
According to the publishers release, The brutal images of
sexual, physical and emotional abuse Conner suffered makes My
Brothers Family a difficult book to read. But we must give
credit to Gourley for being loud in echoing the voices of innocent victims
and exposing the growing problem of child abuse.
Why would Gourley write a novel on such a serious subject? He has worked
in the Madison State Hospital Adolescent Unit. His awareness of human
suffering was gained through the gathering of young patients histories.
Ive seen the hardships. Thats what motivated me to
write this book.
The novel was written over a period of seven months, with Gourleys
wife, Tina, clearing the way for his progress. Her pride and approval
I try to give Jason all the space and quiet time he needs for
his writing. Sometimes its a challenge keeping the children quiet
and fielding his phone calls so he can work, she said.
Shes great, Gourley says, smiling. Tina really
is supportive and gives me the atmosphere I need to do my writing.
Tina also worked at the Madison State Hospital and shares Gourleys
awareness of the pain of abuse. Tina acts as Gourleys in-house
critic and reads all his material before submission. I think we
each read the novel about four times before we sent it in, he
Gourley credits his family for his creative talent. My dad has
a creative mind. Hes artistic in his music and landscaping.
Gourley fondly remembers his grandmother, Helen Gourley, telling wonderful
stories of early Jefferson County days as he sat on her lap. She
died when I was quite young, but I remember what a bright person she
Gourley also has a love of poetry. He has works published in The
National Library of Poetry and Caders Anthology.
Gourleys plans for the future are already in motion. He has completed
his second novel, called Watch Your Back, also a tale of
abuse, and is nearly finished with his third book.
Id like to make writing a career. I definitely enjoy it.
Tina smiles her approval. Jasons making me wait to read
his new novel until hes completed the first draft.
Meanwhile, Gourley will be busy with the promotion of his novel. 1st
Books has arranged for him to be interviewed by a radio station in Cincinnati,
the first of many media exposure interviews.
Information about Gourleys book is available
online at www.1stbooks.com.
Website visitors can order My Brothers Family in electronic
form for downloading ($3.95) or order the book in soft cover ($10.95).
The book will be available shortly in local bookstores.
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