Introducing Geoff Le Pard, author of My Father and Other Liars

It is my absolute pleasure to welcome Geoff Le Pard to the blog today. I met Geoff in person earlier this year, and he is as genuine as his blogging personality would suggest. If you caught my earlier post you’ll know that Geoff is running a blog book tour at the moment. The more I learn about My Father and Other Liars, the more I look forward to reading it.


The treatment of the adult orphan.

When I started writing My Father and Other Liars I had been thinking about the grieving process. My own father died in 2005 and, while his death came naturally as the end of a process the family lived through, I was intrigued by how the impact of grief worked. I vividly recall the moment I was told he had been diagnosed with cancer. I was sitting in my office, about 3.30 in the afternoon when the phone rang. Mum. She never rang me at work. I knew Dad was in for tests but her news hit me like a set of punches. It wasn’t a long call and by the end of it the initial shock became numbness. I sat staring at the conference table at the other end of my room and realised I couldn’t talk, not without breaking down. I was 47, head of this that and what have you and breaking down would have been embarrassing, humiliating. I got up, walked to the toilets and shut myself in a cubicle.

And that was it. An hour later I was off home to pick up the car and drive to my parents. From there on until well past his actual death a year later and well past the funeral I shed not a tear, felt rather divorced from all the emotion around me. He died in March 2005. In August I cried for the first time. I’ve had those tearing up moments since, never when I expect them and always difficult to deal with.

I talked to a friend about this, about how no one really seemed to understand this late flowering grief. He said something to the effect that being an adult orphan isn’t taken seriously. It’s expected, parents dying before their children. When that occurs at an expected age, people understand your loss, are sympathetic. But they expect you to be ‘grown up’ and ‘get over it’. Why? That’s what I asked myself. I read an excellent book ‘The Orphaned Adult’ by Alexander Levy. In it he takes a series of case studies to examine how grief impacts us as adults when we lose one or more parents.

I wanted to incorporate this theme into my book, since it was about fathers and my father’s death was still quite raw. My main character, Maurice Oldham is in his thirties and has lost his mother, blaming himself for her death. His father is also lost to him, but emotionally not because he’s dead. The book begins very shortly after Maurice finds his father – he believed him dead for many years – and he is angry and, in many senses, grieving for both parents. Finding his father alive robs him of his grief and that causes anger and a different grief in its own right. One of the themes throughout the book is how Maurice tries to come to terms with his father’s continued existence and the betrayals he feels at his father’s hands.

When Mum died five years later, the process was as erratic and difficult. I stood at the graveside and felt an awful heavy lump. This was truly it. Both parents had gone and the tangible connection to my past, my youth, my ancestry gone with it. I tried to bring out some of that in My Father and Other Liars, that linkage and to see in Maurice’s stuttering steps towards a reconciliation with his father the attempt to postpone that loss of one’s own living history.


my father and other liarsMy Father and Other Liars is the second book by Geoff Le Pard. Published in August it is available as an ebook and paperback here:

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

 

 

 

dead flies and sherry trifleHis first book, Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle can be found here:

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com


GeoffGeoff Le Pard started writing to entertain in 2006. He hasn’t left his keyboard since. When he’s not churning out novels he writes some maudlin self-indulgent poetry and blogs at geofflepard.com. He walks the dog for mutual inspiration and most of his best ideas come out of these strolls.


Blog Tour 2 poster 2

Thanks for stopping by.

Mel

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21 Comments

Thanks Mel. I’m very grateful for you taking the time to host me

Thanks Mel. I’m very grateful for you taking the time to host me .

Reblogged this on TanGental and commented:
Somewhat belatedly here is today’s post from my book tour. Mel Barker -Simpson is kindly hosting me
Today I’m discussing issues around being an adult orphan and how I have reflected those experiences in my book. Do please have a read and then stay a while and spend time with Mel.

Such worthwhile themes interwoven in My Father and Other Liars. Thanks for hosting this fascinating topic, and excellent author. I’ve read the book. It’s worth putting on the top of the TBR pile!

A parent’s death can have strange, unexpected effects on us. I thought I’d be devastated when my dad died – and I was, but only for a short time. I do miss him, but I don’t find myself going into periods of grief and sadness. He’s been gone for nearly six years now, so if there is going to be a delayed reaction, it had better hurry up!
Which just shows that this is a very complex area, and one that Geoff does well to explore both here and in his book. It hasn’t reached the top of my pile yet, but it’s getting there. And if it’s as good as “Dead Flies” it’ll be well worth reading
Thanks to you both for sharing this

    It’s my pleasure, I’m grateful to Geoff, too, for sharing. And I agree about the effect of losing a parent. I lost my father eleven years ago and the loss still hits me. I can also understand your point about delayed reactions. My younger sister, who was only 15 at the time of his death, hasn’t dealt with the loss completely and I worry for her. The only thing I can do is be there. Thanks for stopping by.

    Thanks Graeme. Ten years on and it’s now a reflective pause now rather than anything more but initially when it hit might I couldn’t have been more surprised.

You make a good point, Geoff, that the impact on adult orphans is underestimated. Just because it’s expected, and the right way for it to happen, doesn’t make it easy. Great post!

I have been an adult orphan for a long time nearly thirty years ….. i is not easy!

    No, I imagine it is one of the hardest things in life to face and takes strength and courage. Thanks for sharing.

      Yes it s hard I think I was actually angry with my Mum for at least 7yrs after her death. I stupidly was annoyed that we could not talk? Then after 7yrs one day I droke down and wept and wept … I think I finally accepted the fact they were both gone. Thank you for reading! xx

      Grief is a powerful thing and not being able to talk to your mum must have been agonising. I imagine, in a lot of ways, it still is. Time and acceptance only dull the pain, but they don’t take it away. I’m glad you got the chance to begin to heal. Hugs xx

      That’s very raw Willow, but I empathise with the anger. I had tat with dad, feeling he didn’t need to go when he did. Oddly that didn’t last that long but it did take me a while to grieve properly

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