Today’s Author Spotlight, the three hundred and ninety-third, is of short story author and novelist Gabriel Boutros. If you would like to take part in an author spotlight, take a look at author-spotlights.
Gabriel Boutros spent 24 years as a defence attorney in Montreal. He says he saw enough of humanity’s darker side during that time to fill several books. His work with people from all socio-economic levels and ethnic backgrounds also allowed him to develop some deep insights into the human condition, as his practice had him regularly playing the role of priest, psychologist and social worker to his clients and their families.
In his first full-length novel, The Guilty, he used some of these insights to write about a high-powered lawyer who is filled with self-doubt as he fights to save a client he is convinced is guilty of a double-murder. Gabriel is interested in many genres and styles, so he decided to follow this book up with something totally different. His latest novel is Face/Mask, which he describes as “a brainy dystopian drama”. It’s a story that is set 25 years into the future, and is about everyday people living in a decaying world, and how the poisonous environment around them is reflected in their own behaviour. In writing Face/Mask he was more interested in examining the actions of normal people placed in difficult circumstances, than in heroes trying to overthrow tyrannical governments.
The title refers both to the masks people wear to hide their true natures, and the masks they have to wear in order to survive the toxic air. Once again, he has tried to use the knowledge and insights he has gained in dealing with a wide variety of people who find themselves in very trying circumstances to draw a realistic portrait of human behaviour that is none too flattering.
He is already thinking about his next novel, tentatively titled “A Crooked Little Man”, where he’ll be going back to his roots, the Montreal legal scene. The planned protagonist won’t be a high-powered attorney this time, but someone on the opposite end of the scale when it comes to ability and success. This time Gabriel’s interest turns to a character who lives on the margins, and who is often ignored if not shunned outright by his colleagues. There are great story possibilities about losers who try desperately to make their mark in the world, and Gabriel is looking forward to trying his hand in writing one.
And now from the author himself:
Hi. First of all I’d like to say that I’m a very happy and optimistic person by nature. If I mention that it’s because I tend to write about characters who are unhappy, and whose lives are on a downward spiral, so sometimes people get the impression that I’m also a dark, brooding type. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I’m happily married with two sons who are threatening to eat me out of house and home as they move through their teenage years. I love to read all sorts of styles and genres of books, and I think this has served me well in my fledgling writing career. Along with these two full-length novels, I’ve written a novella that is available on Kindle only (If I Should Die Before I Wake) and several short stories, in genres that range from horror, to fantasy to crime fiction. If I like to read in all sorts of genres and styles, you can be sure that I also write that way.
I would have more time to write if I didn’t spend so much time following my favourite hockey team, The Montreal Canadiens, but that is a small sacrifice for someone who has followed their trials and tribulations for almost four decades. And I’m still fully invested in my legal career, which has brought me nothing but satisfaction over the years.
Pretty boring, huh? That’s why I write about people who are dissatisfied with the way their lives are going, because those lives make for more interesting stories. And I do love telling stories. I think being a natural story-teller comes with the territory of being a trial lawyer, and I’ve enjoyed sharing some of my stories in the books I’ve written and continue to write.
I also love to hear from readers, whether through my website or my newly created Facebook author page (I feel like I’ve finally joined the 21st century!). Thanks for taking the time to read these ramblings.
Here are the sites where you can find out a bit more about me and all the fiction I’ve written:
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