Winner! 2016 IndieReader Discovery Awards LGBT Category

 

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Finalist in the 2013 Book of the Year Award Gay & Lesbian (Adult Fiction) Clarion Foreword Reviews

 

A dramatic story of innocence lost and alienation from society, the novel Simple Simon is the story of Simon Powell’s journey back to self after losing himself in Reverend Moon’s Unification Church and battling addiction during a successful career in Hollywood.

 

"Simple Simon's message of reconciliation and hope is truly for anyone who has struggled to resolve the truth they know about themselves with the way others see them. The power of forgiveness and acceptance can resonate with all readers." -Melissa Wuske, Clarion Foreword Reviews

 

". . . Simon remains an extremely compelling character, and readers will find themselves invested in Simon's fate. He may be self-destructive, but he's always trying to adhere to a moral compass--although one that's been badly damaged by his life experiences. It's an engaging story throughout, and it's rarely obvious where Simon will wind up. A sweeping, unpredictable fictional autobiography."

 -Kirkus Reviews

 

"...Poe's narrative moves quickly and smoothly, and fills in the blanks left in Simon Says. These first novels by Poe will leave his readership wondering--and waiting for--what he comes up with next." -Publishers Weekly

 

"Simple Simon is a story that will ring bells of hope not only for gay people, but for anyone who has ever suffered from crippling self-doubt." -San Francisco Book Review

 

"Though a work of fiction, the autobiographical SIMPLE SIMON by William Poe is an honest, wrenching look at what it means to try to cope in a world where you are misunderstood. As a result, its triumphant ending is all the more satisfying to the reader. [the author] made me see his side of the story and feel his emotions [the author] sets out to encourage others in his situation, and in similar situations . . . with this book, he succeeds . . . anyone reading SIMPLE SIMON will learn much, and will find the time well spent." -Judge, 22nd Annual Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards.

 

Simon Says begins the story of Simon Powell, a young man struggling with his sexual identity and the conservative mores of Sibley, a fictional hamlet near Little Rock, Arkansas. Simon finds solace in Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church, but turns to drugs and alcohol upon leaving the group, eventually going into rehab. Simple Simon takes readers on Simon’s journey of self-discovery as his counselor encourages him to explore his past through writing. Simon's fate, both emotion and physical, remains in question. The story continues in a third novel, soon to be released.

 

New novel explores importance of self-discovery, acceptance

In “Simple Simon,” writer William Poe stresses the need for self-reflection amidst the struggles of suppressing true identity

SILVER SPRING, Md. - “Simple Simon” (ISBN 1477624996) covers the issues of coming out as homosexual and the dangers of trying to suppress one’s true identity. Author William Poe pulled from his own life experiences to create the powerful, fictional work.

 

Simon Powell is a young gay man in rehab who is urged by his counselor to write in order to learn who he truly is as a person and become a complete individual worthy of love. In his disturbing recollection of innocence lost, Simon leads an alienated, withdrawn life because of his homosexuality. Following his troubling early childhood, Simon depicts everything from his artistic talents to his parental neglect and near suicide. After falling into drugs and religion, Simon’s story takes him from the depths of addiction and self-loathing to battling back in an effort to realize his dreams of becoming an artist and starting a new life with Thad.

 

Stressing the importance of self-reflection, “Simple Simon” attempts to show readers that learning who we are can lead to a happy and fulfilling life. A story about the choices we make and their subsequent consequences, the novel strikes a chord with readers with its message and Simon’s universal desire to be understood as a unique person who needs to learn how to love and be loved.

 

Highlighting the struggles involved with coming out as a homosexual and the dangers of suppressing your true identity, “Simple Simon” explores how these inner conflicts can lead to drug dependency and suicide. Furthermore, by incorporating a desire to understand one’s place in nature completely separate from religious authority, the novel weaves in and out of religious themes like marriage equality and contemporary religious movements compared to traditional Christianity, creating a thought-provoking read for adults interested in alternative lifestyles and religion.

 

“Simple Simon” will be available for sale online at Amazon.com and other channels on September 9, 2013.

 

About the Author:

A writer and visual artist, William Poe earned his bachelor’s from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock before earning his master’s from the University of Nebraska. At 18, he joined the Reverend Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church and remained there for most of the next decade. His novels, “Simon Says” and “Simple Simon,” draw upon his experiences growing up in Arkansas, his involvement in a controversial church and his struggle to overcome addiction while carving out an identity for himself as a gay man. His first novel, “Simon Says,” has received favorable reviews from Publisher’s Weekly, ForeWord Clarion Reviews, IndieReview, Midwest Book Review, and others.

 

MEDIA CONTACT:

William Poe

Email:             SimpleSimon@poegen.net

Phone:             (240) 478 - 0232

Website:          www.simplesimonnovel.com

 

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