Saturday, August 4, 2012

Celebrating Michigan Authors ~ Gabriel Rheaume

In the first of the series: Celebrating Michigan Authors, I'd like to introduce  you to Author Gabriel Rheaume.

Bio: Gabriel Rheaume is from Detroit, Michigan, born in 1982. He is a graduate from Wayne State University concentrating in English, Spanish, and Africana Studies. He has spent time on the shores of Lake Huron, and traveled extensively across the United States as well as Canada. He currently resides in Michigan and is 29 years old.

How I came to write: I came to write The Shores We Walk from a statement I made to my girlfriend, who is now deceased. I told her that her family was so dysfunctional that someone should write a book about them. As time passed I became more interested in the idea and pursuing it myself. When she took her life at the age of 19, I made a vow to myself that this book would transpire. So I had a creative writing class in college and it all started from there.

Her death led me to alcoholism and drug addiction. As my addiction became worse my writing style transformed into surreal and delusional accounts of memories and life itself. As time progressed my best friend died of a heroin overdose in my apartment while I was sleeping, and another one of my close friends passed away due to unexplained causes. All of these factors continued to come out into my writing, so I decided to write the book as a tribute to all of them and write it in a way that way that feels like being on drugs as well as bouts of psychosis, and visits from beyond the grave. The book grew as I was in and out of rehabs, but not until I got my own addictions under control was I able to wrap up the story, get an editor, and self-publish The Shores We Walk. Although it is a tragedy, there is also a ray of hope. I recommend it to those struggling with addiction, families of addicts, and those just curious about the lifestyle of a junkie. It is a fast paced read, that is brutally honest and painful, but also written in a lyrical prose.


When all the people close to Francis end up dying, a lot of questions are left in the air while Francis falls into a deep psychosis. It is written through a veil of drugs and visits from beyond the grave. It is a love story, a tragedy, a struggle with faith, and brief moments of hope. Through all of the darkness there is also so much beauty. "In the book, The Shores We Walk, Francis, based on a postmodern St. Francis of Assisi, narrates the story of four people as they slowly self-destruct and battle drug addiction, homelessness, and poverty. While Gabriel attended Wayne State University he saw such tragic things every day.  He was inspired by the fact that even though these people had nothing, they never lost sight of what really mattered to them. He realized that life has more joys than sorrow and wished that more people would recognize that simple fact. When asked about his experiences in downtown Detroit he simply says, “When you see a homeless man with a larger smile than a rich man you have to question what’s actually important in your life” (Sandusky Tribune).


"If the weathered barns along the road did not reveal their age, it would seem like going back in time. He had not visited her cottage since the snow had fallen. It is off one of Michigan's Great Lakes with a beach that has a coast with no near end. There is no view beyond the lake and sky. Sometimes freight ships sit near the horizon, slowly drifting in time with the clouds. At times the sky and the lake become indistinguishable. There is not a better easel for the sunset than the framed sky above this vast oasis. To sit afloat in the center of any large mass of water has an unfathomable magnificence. It is like analyzing the one infinite living second that is recognizable as life. The horizon can be divided by two shades, that of the water, and of the the air. There is no end to this one-second as there is seemingly no end to the polar vision of the water and the sky.
Each season is equally enchanting. Lake Huron in winter is deep blue with waves frozen to the white beach. The barren rolling, snow-covered hills are like a desert. The wind forms drifts that are small cliffs.
The spring is a time of new life. The green is so vibrant that plants glow in the daylight. Blossoms decorate trees like white and pink ribbons. The air is as fresh as rich, black, soil.
In the summer, the purple chicory grows in fields of grass. Queen Anne's Lace makes groups of wild plants flowers look like bouquets. The breeze from the lake is cool and comforting.
The colors of the leaves in autumn are almost unnatural. A rainbow falls from the sky and the land becomes a palette of trees."

Links: E-store


Amazon Kindle:

Facebook book page:

Article and review from the Sandusky Tribune:

Book review Outsider Writers:

Twitter: OscarOptimism

Thank you Madison!
Gabriel Rheaume
The Shores We Walk

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