Publisher responds to questions concerning novel "Grognard"

Sunbury Press, the publisher of the novel "Grogard" by Hollywood, FL author Patrick Quere, responds to questions about the book raised on blogs and in emails.
"Grognard" by Patrick Quere
"Grognard" by Patrick Quere
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* Grognard
* Hollywood
* Florida
* Hate Speech
* Nancy
* Bruneau
* Beau
* Patrick Quere

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* Camp Hill - Pennsylvania - US

Nov. 15, 2010 - PRLog -- Camp Hill, PA - The following statement is provided by Lawrence Knorr of Sunbury Press, Inc., the publisher:

By now, many people are learning about the novel "Grognard" and its apparent connection with a gruesome murder in the author's hometown. We continue to be shocked and horrified by the events surrounding the murder of Nancy Bruneau. Our deepest sympathies remain with the Bruneau family and the Hollywood, Florida community.

As you can imagine, we have received numerous questions and inquiries regarding the content of the novel "Grognard" and the recent events surrounding it. For specific information on what transpired and our previous responses and actions, please see our prior press releases.

I will now take this opportunity to clarify some very important points regarding this book, the author and the publisher.

First, regarding the "hate-speech" rants in the book:

We, at Sunbury Press, do not espouse any of the views presented in this work of fiction. I personally do not harbor such ill-feelings towards anyone. The author, Patrick Quere, feels similarly. The book is a work of fiction in which the protagonist (Felix Moullec), a misanthropic psycho/sociopath, complains about all the ills in his life and community and affixes blame on every living creature around him. Clearly the main character is insane, diminished by his environment. Simply put, he hates everyone!

A quick skim of the book, or "trolling" for specific passages misses the point. When read in its entirety, the book conveys the imagery from the mind of a crazy person. Obviously someone who feels this way about everyone has a mental health problem. Given this theme in the book and its possible connections to the horrible events in Hollywood, Florida, we plan to donate profits from this book towards mental health causes. (please see our prior press release about this decision and the charities selected.)

Second, regarding "auto-biographical"

It is our position this is a work of fiction. Patrick Quere, the author, has mentioned there are "auto-biographical" elements in the story, and that it is also somewhat "biographical". What Quere has done is borrow elements from his youth and from the local community. He has also "imprinted" some quirks or characteristics of people he has met along the way on the characters in the book. (What writer doesn't?) While I do not personally know Patrick Quere beyond our recent  business relationship, he does not appear to harbor any such beliefs in real-life. His writing,  at worst, is the product of an overly-imaginative, highly-capable writer of fiction.  

Third, regarding the decision to publish

Interestingly enough, none of the reviews to date had mentioned anything about "hate-speech". The focus of Bradley Winterton's review (Taipei Times) was on the violence in the book. (This was written before the Beau Bruneau incident.) When considering the book for publication, we understood the main character was insane, so anything he was "saying" was seen in a different light. To focus on the speech and violence in the book is to miss the point about mental wellness and what can evolve in the "soup" of declining neighborhoods across this country.

Such speech and violence is actually very commonplace in the media and in our entertainment. Listen to a lot of the music that has circulated in recent years, or go to the movies. Quentin Tarantino has certainly played in this space. Even Clint Eastwood in "Gran Torino" rants about the Asian-Americans living next door, as they bear resemblance to the North Korean soldiers he shot and killed and stacked "like cord wood".

As you can probably tell from our increasing list of publications, we have not focused on any one genre or agenda. We have tried to be agnostic about the content and have sought to be a vehicle for the arts, history and fiction. I refer to the following quotes, from people much wiser than I, as instructive in this matter:

"If all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed."
-- Benjamin Franklin, 1730

"Everyone is in favor of free speech. Hardly a day passes without its being extolled, but some people's idea of it is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone else says anything back, that is an outrage."
-- Winston Churchill

"This is slavery, not to speak one's thought."
-- Euripides, Greek tragic poet (480 or 485 B.C. - 406 B.C)

"To forbid us anything is to make us have a mind for it."
-- Michel de Montaigne, Essays, 1559

"Censorship of anything, at any time, in any place, on whatever pretense, has always been and always be the last resort of the boob and the bigot."
-- Eugene Gladstone O'Neill, American playwright (1888-1953)

"What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist."
-- Salman Rushdie

"The books that the world calls immoral are the books that show the world its own shame."
-- Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891

In closing, I'll address the questions about the main character Felix's motives. A recent blog was focused on this. Simply put, he is a misanthropic psycho/sociopath. Such people say and do things with no apparent logical motivation. In that regard, Patrick Quere has brilliantly conveyed the inner-mind of such a character. Is Quere such a person himself? Could such a person write such an "introspective" work? I don't think so!

Lawrence Knorr
Sunbury Press

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Sunbury Press, Inc., headquartered in Camp Hill, PA is a publisher of trade paperback and digital books featuring established and emerging authors in many fiction and non-fiction categories. Sunbury's books are sold through leading booksellers worldwide.
Source:Lawrence Knorr
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Tags:Grognard, Hollywood, Florida, Hate Speech, Nancy, Bruneau, Beau, Patrick Quere
Industry:Books, Publishing, Entertainment
Location:Camp Hill - Pennsylvania - United States
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