Thursday, December 22, 2011

Residue and Ashes, an Interview With Author Russ Vanheel

One of my favorite topics and interests as a writer is how creativity can be used in healing and self recovery.

In Residue and Ashes, author Russ VanHeel set out to record his healing journey using short story writing as a form of therapy. He explores the domestic abuse and trauma that he suffered in a past relationship from many angles.

Russ's writing is deeply visceral, and at times disturbing. Residue and Ashes is not for everyone, as it explores abuse situations and the abuser/victim experiences that are both traumatic and frightening. Those who have suffered abuse however, will recognize their own experiences in them and hopefully feel the liberation of deeper understanding that comes through self exploration and reflection.

Some of the stories Russ has written from the perspective of witnesses and several through the eyes of his abuser. Several of these stories explore the emotional experience of abuse through fictionalization, but all share autobiographical elements.

Healing is a personal process but sharing ones experiences is an integral step in moving forward and embracing life. Residue and Ashes is the author's vehicle of healing, which he hopes will touch others who have survived domestic abuse allowing them to know that they are not alone.

Residue and Ashes is a study in healing, and an exploration of the soul.

Join host Vonnie Faroqui as she interviews author Russ VanHeel about his latest book Residue and Ashes, a collection of short stories that explore the healing journey. How has the author used writing to aid in self recovery? How vital is creativity in the healing process?

Click Play to listen . . . 

Author Russ Vanheel and grandchildren
 After two years of extensive therapy, I had finally learned I was a victim of domestic abuse. From a male standpoint, this was an extremely difficult concept for me to accept, and up until then, it felt like nothing more than a weakness on my part. Who was this woman that had caused such an overwhelming magnitude of ruination to every aspect of my life? Someone totally devoid of a conscience, and clearly incapable of having empathy for others. I'd never known anyone like her before she came into my life....
~ Russ Vanheel

Russ's two books, Life in Purgatory and Residue and Ashes are available through Outskirts Press and Amazon books.

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