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Saturday, July 30, 2016

Guest Post from Gary Dvorkin

 Hi everyone!

About a month ago, I was approached to see if I'd be interested in hosting a stop of new author, Gary Dvorkin's, blog tour. As he had just published his first book, Gary had not hit my radar yet. But, I'm always excited to discover new Canadian writers, so I agreed as long as he kept the focus on Canada. Below is Gary's post, followed by a little info about him and his book. As an added bonus, to all the 10th Canadian Book Challenge participants, you'll be emailed an exclusive mini-challenge with a chance to win a copy of Ransom's Voice. The winner will be announced on September 1st.

From Gary Dvorkin:

Canada is a great country for writers, and I am proud and grateful to be a Canadian. I was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, and I currently live in Montréal, Québec. I’ve always loved writing, and ideas for stories seemed to be demanding to be heard. For years, I lived with that inner voice and was less than happy with myself for not just sitting down and pounding out a novel.
 
I am grateful that this voice has now been dealt with! My novel, Ransom’s Voice, follows Dominique Stein, a beautiful, young, Jewish woman. Her sanity is overly dependent on external cues: chameleon-like. It all explodes. She desperately searches to find her way back inside that cozy bubble of sanity she had constructed. Lost, her bearings off and wobbly, she discovers that her instincts are not functioning as they should. Horrific crimes are committed. Not everyone survives. Dominique is found not guilty by virtue of temporary insanity and is sent to a psychiatric prison for women.

 There, she is caught between the kind, serene Freudian analyst Dr. Haddad, and the head of the institute, the manic, megalomaniacal Dr. du Chevre, who offers her the Faustian contract: be the subject for his secretive, odd research, and he will get her out of prison earlier. Dominique has to navigate her way out of this maze of institutional insanity. Which shrink is telling her the truth? Or, are they both lying to her, manipulating her for their own strange motives? She must figure this out while trying to survive the random, explosive violence of the women’s prison.

The book is strictly fiction. There is a little bit of me in most of the characters (but not all!). Strangely, I was not a big reader of psychological thrillers. But then a friend compared Ransom’s Voice to The Silence of the Lambs. I had seen the movie but had never read the novel. It was an interesting experience to read it and try to understand what my friend had seen in common with Ransom’s Voice. I then read Patricia Highsmith’s The Tremor of Forgery, which I loved.

I read a lot of history and biography, but remind myself to keep in touch with fiction. Recently, I reread Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms. Plus, Roth’s Letting Go.
Having written a novel, I am now, of course, reading novels in a very different manner. I am much more conscious of, “What are they up to?”

My most admired authors are Leo Tolstoy, Philip Roth, Tom Wolfe, Stephen King, and Edward St Aubyn. My favourite Canadian authors are Douglas Coupland, Robertson Davies, and Saul Bellow. (Vive Lachine Quebec!) I certainly agree that it’s important to support fellow Canadian authors with their work.

Be sure to check out my debut novel, Ransom’s Voice.



Gary Dvorkin Author Bio:

Debut author Gary Dvorkin, M.D., has been working as a practicing neurologist in Montréal, Canada for more than thirty years. He earned his medical degree at the University of Alberta. Born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, he currently makes his home in Montréal, Québec with his wife. He has one daughter. Unlike his reading interests in history and biography, Dvorkin prefers to write fiction books, and his first novel, Ransom’s Voice (Brown Books Publishing Group), was released on February 23, 2016.



Ransom’s Voice Synopsis:

Dominique Stein is beautiful, young and Jewish. Her sanity is overly dependent on external cues: chameleon-like. She wakes up every morning at 5:59:59. She weighs in at exactly 111 lbs., her snug palindrome. These are her "friends." They keep her safe. Then, it all explodes, and she finds herself desperately searching to find a way back inside that cozy bubble of sanity.

Lost, her bearings off and wobbly, she discovers that her instincts are not functioning as they should. Crimes are committed, and not everyone survives. Found “not guilty” by virtue of temporary insanity, she is sent to a psychiatric prison for women. There, she is caught between the kind, serene Freudian analyst, Dr. Haddad, and the head of the institute, the manic, megalomaniacal Dr. du Chevre, who offers her the Faustian contract: be the subject for his secretive, odd research, and he’ll get her out of prison earlier. Dominique has to navigate her way out of this maze of institutional insanity while also trying to survive the random explosive violence of the women's prison.

In this psychological thriller, Gary Dvorkin crafts a compelling story of love, betrayal and reality-shifting anxiety. Dominique hears many voices in her life. But which one can she trust? Which voice will ransom her sanity?





Ransom’s Voice Endorsements:

"A superb exploration of sanity's dark corridors, recounted with grace, intelligence and biting irony. This is a book to be savored."
-Arthur Holden, Goodreads

"It was the most suspenseful, thrilling tale of a young woman's transformation in the hands of her captors' professional routine. Every chapter brought unexpected twists; every move Dominique took presented a different side of her complex character. I teach drama at a local high school. I could not help but think of my senior students. As part of my curriculum, I work on character development. What an amazing learning experience it would be to analyze a scene from the novel. Extremely visual, with thrilling turns, but at the end, a fully accessible human story."
-Kati Kemeny, Goodreads

"Ransom's Voice is a taut, cerebral thriller with a wicked sense of humor. This debut novel succeeds as both an inventive page-turner and a complex exploration of sanity and reality, with echoes of Patricia Highsmith's dark suspense and Carl Hiaasen's laugh-out-loud dialogue. In both story and tone, Ransom's Voice surprises, shocks and delights in equal measure."
-Charlie Delfield, Amazon

"This book was a rollercoaster ride from beginning to end. What I love about Dvorkin's book is that every time I was sure that I knew what was coming up next, I was constantly surprised to see the book turn in a direction that I wasn't expecting. This book gave me a very interesting glimpse into the human psyche. It's very controversial at times and really gets you thinking! I highly recommend it!!!"
-Yuval, Goodreads


Book website: www.RansomsVoice.com

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