Our interview today is with George Beck, author of Trounce
FQ: Trounce is an intriguing name for this book. Why did you choose it?
When I wrote this book, my objective was to weave a story about a man overcoming his own demons, advancing in life. To trounce is to defeat decisively.
FQ: Emilio is an illegal immigrant, as is Pedro, yet you avoid any political commentary on the hot issue of immigration, which is refreshing. Why use characters crossing the border rather than, say, an unemployed nice guy from the next town?
Trounce is a story primarily about love and courage and a plot heavier in politics would take away from the genuine naturalness and humanistic quality of the characters and their lives.
FQ: Pedro is a very upbeat person although he’s endured so much hardship. Is he based on anybody in your own life?
When I created Pedro's character, I was reminded of a migrant worker I met. This man told me about the tragedy of his life and how quickly things went bad for him. What stuck with me was his upbeat outlook on life, despite everything he has had to endure. And that's the personality I chose for Pedro.
FQ: The relationship between Emilio and Sara changes repeatedly throughout the story. Was it fun creating a pair who were so in love yet so distrusting of each other?
Yes, it was a lot of fun. And that's just the way life is. Relationships go through many stages, especially in the beginning. Each of us at some time or another will or will have already gone through this.
FQ: We read a lot about terrorists from the Middle East but rarely hear about those from south of the US border. Do you see the plot of Trounce as something that could happen in the US in the near future?
I see our vulnerability. Many undocumented people cross our border daily. We've seen a surge in violence south of the border and it is possible. Not every terrorist needs to board a boat or a plane to harm us. They can easily slip through the border, set up residences, and go about undetected.
FQ: Courage plays a big role in Trounce. Indeed, Emilio is convinced he’s a coward until he is forced to prove himself near the end of the book. And yet, he is more interested in analyzing Sara’s courage. Why?
Well this is a great question. Thank you for asking. Emilio learns and develops through his interactions with the strong and courageous Sara. Could a woman be more courageous than a man? Yes of course and Emilio confronts this reality and finds inspiration through her. Emilio's tangled with feelings of love for Sara and questions whether he could love somebody like her. As we all know, love is a powerful thing and it overlooks what it wants to.