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Spotlight on Invisible by Eric Aune

the book reviews and author interview

invisible-1.jpg.db1afb2354a48af7241abb1ba8d43920.jpg

 

the book

 

Invisible by Eric Aune.

Chase and Ethan were friends in elementary school, but as they moved into Middle School their interests began to split. Ethan became athletic and popular, while Chase found Photography as art and began to really connect with the camera. By the time they started High School, they had different sets of friends and Chase becomes invisible to Ethan, even though as boys they were nearly inseparable. Ethan involved in cross country and Chase in the arts with his photography. Their paths cross at a Cross Country event during their sophomore year. Ethan is competing and Chase is there to photograph the event for the school newspaper. Because he knows he's invisible, he keeps his distance until something happens to Ethan, then Chase must become visible once again. But does he go back to being invisible or will he finally be seen in a new light?
 

Read the book - Invisible by Eric Aune

 

an extract


Chase was sleeping comfortably holding onto the arm that was wrapped around his chest. He opened his eyes and smiled at the arm that held him. He snuggled up to it and moved back until he could feel the warm body behind him. The arm tightened a little when it felt his movement. A short time later he felt a light touch of breath and then lips on the back of his neck and he giggled because it tickled a little bit. The lips kissed all around the back of his neck and his giggles increased. He opened his eyes and turned around until he was looking into Ethan’s smiling face...

 

reader comment

“Thank you for sharing this love story with us ! It's a true winner.”  Johnny C from San Francisco.

 

the book reviews

REVIEW by Jay. 

Have you ever felt inviable, ignored or just not appreciated? I know I have. I guess everyone has at one time or another. Now add in the emotions of teenagers. What a mess it can turn out to be. The drama that three teens can make never ceases to amaze me.

The author brings to life three leading characters. Chase, a shy young man, unimposing and lacking self confidence. Ethan another teenager, athletic, popular, but he lacks self-awareness. Kristi, a self absorbed, needful, and conspiring young lady. This triangle of friends is on course for confrontation and a realization that may surprise you.

The author takes you on an rollercoaster ride of emotions. Anger that makes the blood boil. Happiness that brings a smile to your face. Sadness that will bring a tear to your eyes. Love that will warm the coldest of hearts.

Even though there is a bit of weakness in grammar and structure, it does not distract from the story. I could see that a bit more expansion on the intimacy between the characters would have added to the story for me. 

The drama is intense. You cannot help but cheer Chase on. Thinking a little bit more about Chase, I always find myself rooting for the underdog, but that’s just me, I’d like to see him prevail.

Pour yourself a drink, or go and grab a snack, then sit down to read. The first couple of chapters set up the story, a little more time spent here than I like, but it still worked. Once you have started reading you won’t want to put it down. It left me wanting a bit more, wondering what happened next!

 

REVIEW by William King.

This novella reads similar to a fable, like Dickens' A Christmas Carol, with a moral to teach us. The premise that you might not remember your best friend from three years ago maybe a stretch of the imagination but it's quickly forgotten in the emotional whirlwind of events and a necessary vehicle for the story.

As I started reading it seemed to be a nice story told in a gentle fashion, but wow was I in for a surprise with the drama hitting right at the end of the first chapter, was this some kind of divine retribution? I had no idea, but had to read on. 

You can't help but get drawn into the book. Perhaps the story is best summed up in this scene where Chase is alone with his friend,  “He glanced at the door once again and then leaned down close to Ethan. He paused for a moment as he looked at him and then lightly kissed him on the lips. He then spoke low enough so that no one who was not nearby could hear him, “I’ve always loved you Ethan...” There begin the trials and tribulations of a lost friendship which for at least one of the two boys might be something more.

It is easy to sympathise with Chase our protagonist, but I did wonder at times about the way the author described him, not that he was small for his age, nor that he was reserved, but when he “giggled” it seemed he was younger than his fifteen years. 

This is an uplifting story that taps the emotions. It is also somewhat idealistic, set in a real world situation that might be straight out of a children's television show, it has exactly that feel, it’s real, but is it realistic? Whatever you decide I have no doubt you will enjoy reading it, because despite any criticism I might make, it is a great heart rending story.


 

the interview

The first thing that hit me when I opened Chapter One was, what a great picture. Did you have that picture before you wrote the story, just happen across it, or went searching the Internet?

A couple of years ago, I was talking with some of the other writers and admins for the site over Skype.  This is a common occurrence with us.  We talk to each other a lot about story lines, especially since we are all writing in the RU [*Revolutions Universe – see commentary].  The admins had this thought that we should attach pictures to the stories on CR [Castle Roland] and they were asking the writers if they had any ideas of what pictures they wanted for their stories.  I thought that wasn’t a bad idea, so I started looking around the net as did a couple of the admins.  I think I was the one that found this picture and I thought it fit the story well.  So, the picture came after the story was written and posted.  I originally wrote the story about 5 or 6 years ago and it was posted on Sable Peak Ranch website, which is where several of us posted stories until Castle Roland was re-started.


What inspired you to write this story about a relationship lost and rediscovered? 

I saw a movie on Netflix, To Save a Life.  It was about two friends, one black and one white who were good friends in grade school up to 6th. When they were 12, the black kid saves his friend by pushing him out of the way of a car and becomes injured so that he has a permanent limp.  By high school, the white kid is popular, a jock and all that, the black kid isn’t, probably a consequence of the permanent injury.  The black kid is sort of invisible to his former friend since they run in different circles.  Eventually the invisible one does something that makes his former friend re-evaluate his life and the way he had treated the boy who had been his friend when they were younger.  I took the premise of that movie and wrote this story.  Only I wanted them to reconnect in a positive way.


Did you have the whole story mapped out when you sat down to write, the beginning, middle, and ending?

No.  I knew the beginning and the idea of the story.  I don’t think I was even sure of the end.  I toyed with the idea of having something closer to the movie as the ending, but scrapped that because I wanted a better ending and decided that I wanted them to be together at the end. For the rest, I let the characters tell me the rest of the story as I went along.  The idea that Cross Country would be what first started the reconnection process is because when I was a Freshman, I ran Cross Country and a number of the Scouts in my troop, over the years have been part of the Cross Country team at the High School and I’ve attended a few of their meets. 

There were probably other influences on which way the story went, stories or books that I read, movies I’d seen.  At least some of the influence is from other stories where the smaller kid is treated as invisible for many reasons.  Some are self-imposed invisibility.  They don’t want to be noticed so that people don’t learn their big secret is one that I’ve seen as a theme in many stories. Unfortunately, there are a lot of kids like that out there.  Others are because of something about them, that they are deemed invisible.  But the middle part of the story came as I wrote it and the end fleshed itself out as I neared it.  I always knew it would be a novella. The idea I felt was too long for a short story and too short for a novel length story.    


You are still writing today, and this novella is something you wrote a few years ago, do you think that the way you write has progressed in terms of your technique and style?

Yes, I think it has at least a little bit.  Some parts of my style hasn’t changed much, but I know for certain some of it has changed, especially when I look back at some of my first, but I think even from this story to now, there has been some changes.


Looking at one of your more recent stories – You Can't Go Back – whilst a different genre, it’s interesting that there is a protagonist who has a little brother, like Chase in this book. Is this theme common in your writing, just a coincidence, or drawn from your own life?

Well I am the oldest of 4 brothers (I had a Brother, Step Brother and Half Brother.  We had sort of a Yours, Mine and Ours, family.  Like the old Lucille Ball movie from the 60s).  Thinking on it, I have had several pairings like that in my stories.  I don’t think it is necessarily because of what I had or did not have growing up. 

My brother was the closest in age to me, 1 year and 5 months younger.  My Step Brother was 4 years younger and my Half Brother was 8 years younger.  My brother and I shared a room as we grew up and had a lot of the same likes.  Whereas my Step Brother was a brat as a kid, and a dick as an adult.  Needless to say, we were never close. My Half Brother and I were close as my Brother and I when we became adults. 

I think it is more that I liked the dynamic of two brothers who cared for each other and who are good friends all their lives.

 

How much of yourself, or real situations that you have lived through, do we find in your stories?

There is the adage, ‘You write what you know’.  I use a lot of my knowledge of the places I’ve been and things I’ve done in the stories, but I don’t think I use much in the way of actual situations I have lived through.  So I guess the short answer is maybe sometimes and maybe not other times
 
For instance, a lot of my stories begin and/or take place in the Southern California area, because that is where I grew up and live.  So I know the area.  A few have had experience as Scouts, because I’ve been a Scout Leader for many years, so I know how they work.  Some have a military background or are current military, because I am a veteran and so on. 

 
Since I have worked in the medical field for many years, I bring that knowledge when needed as well.  In fact the doctor that treats Ethan in the Emergency room, Dr. Corners, is the name of a doc that I worked with several years ago.  I got to know him outside of work a little bit and became friends with his oldest son.
 
So all of that helps when I wish to set a scene or situation and I think that is probably the most that I take from my life.  I don’t think any of the characters that I’ve written are much of a reflection of me, but maybe of some of my experiences, usually colored to match the character’s experience.

Thanks to Eric Aune for taking time out to share some insights into the book and his writing.

 

the commentary

The Revolutions Universe is a series of books written by a group of Castle Roland authors which tells the story of what happens when the sitting United States President refuses to step down after someone else is elected? Who will stop him, and what lengths will he go to keep his power?

 

the discussion

Book discussion thread:
If you would like to continue the discussion with the author about the book. Click this link.

 

the book 

Read the book - Invisible by Eric Aune

 

 

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Thank you I love this. This book is on my reading list but after reading this its being moved to the top. Eric is one of my favorite authors and I am sure I am going to have some very long nights ahead of me reading this. 

To the Critics: Jay and Will, thank you for taking the time to read and review this. You input is invaluable when I am making a decision on what I should read next.

To the Author: Eric, everything of yours I have read I have enjoyed thoroughly. I am sure this will be no different. Thank you for taking the time to answer the Critic's questions and give us some insight on you as an author. I have had the privilege of working with Eric over the past 2 or 3 years now in the Revolutions Universe. He is an extremely thoughtful and detailed writing. The research and time he puts into his stories is fascinating. If you have not read any of Eric's books do yourself a favor and start with this one. You will be hooked.

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