Maxwell Gruber’s first novel, Us People, which was released earlier this year, tackles the topic of homelessness, focusing especially on the harsh realities of homelessness and mental illness among teens.
It was Gruber’s experience as a volunteer at House of Charity, a homeless shelter operated by Catholic Charities in Spokane that inspired him to write the novel. When he saw first-hand he realities of life for young men close to his own age, the framework for his first novel began to take shape.
US People tells the story of Sam Case, a teen who takes to the streets after a family trauma renders him homeless. He finds help and support from his friend Cam, a troubled veteran who befriends him and helps him negotiate the difficult life of the homeless. The sparse language and fast-moving pace make the story a compelling read, even as the plot points to the huge needs for more assistance to be offered to those struggling on the streets. It also tackles the dual issues of mental illness and teen homelessness. Gruber began writing the novel his senior year in college, finishing it before graduating from Occidental College in Los Angeles in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry.
The sparked a campaign that has provided more than 400 cold-weather clothing items such as hats, gloves, scarves and socks to help warm the campaign was part of the Spokane native’s pre-launch book celebrations in December. He personally delivered a carload full of the warm clothing items to House of Charity, a homeless shelter operated by Catholic Charities of Spokane.
Us People [ISBN: 978-1-945507-61-8, $14.99] released in 2018 from Clovercroft Publishing. It is available from online retailers and selected book stores. For more information, visit http://www.uspeoplenovel, or follow Max on Facebook: Us People Novel (@UsPeople) or Twitter @Us_PeopleNovel.
Our next guest is Dr. Ron Bracy, author of Walk On. was born at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, Dr. Ron Bracy was adopted at the age of five and grew up in Bethesda, Arkansas. A graduate of the Air Force Academy, he served in the U.S. Air Force for 42 years and is a veteran of the Vietnam War where he flew 183 combat missions. He was on duty in the Pentagon during the terrorist attack on 9-11-01. Bracy has taught at all levels of education and currently teaches at Geneva Classical Christian School, Boerne, TX. Highlighted in the August 2016 “San Antonio Magazine” as one of the area’s top private school educators, he was also featured in the March 2018 “Living Well Magazine.”
Walk On finds the reader trapped in the Valley of Despair. The question of the centuries, “What hope is there for me during my pain and sorrow?” will resonate in the heart of every reader. Ron Bracy, the author of Walk On, uses the writings of the ancient Hebrew prophet Habakkuk as a road map to guide the reader out of the Valley of Despair. Bracy starts with Habakkuk’s failure to understand why there is so much pain and evil in the world–a question asked every day by everyone. He then leads the reader through the verses of the prophet’s book and explores various roads which people take to find a way out of their Valley of Despair. In the end, Walk On reveals there is only one road that will lead a person from the Valley of Despair to the Mountaintop of Praise. You, the reader, must find that road!
Bracy’s philosophy of life and Christian faith has been shaped by these words: “A building under construction is never completed.” He is still learning how to “Walk On.”
“Every year, I share the story of ‘a hundred times’ with my new classes. They need to know that in all circumstances, good and bad, God is always with us; He is not silent; and most of all, he is sovereign! Despite where we are on the journey of life and faith, God will take us through the Valley of Despair to the Mountain of Praise.”
Walk On: From the Valley of Despair to the Mountaintop of Praise [ISBN: 978-1-942587-91-0, Carpenter’s Son Publishing, $14.99] is available from selected book stores and online retailers. For more information about Ron and his writing and speaking ministry, visit www.walkonbook.com