With his new novel, the genre-bending Selfies, author Gabriel Gilbert tempts readers into the story by dangling two damaged lovers jumping into a hot affair. If you are expecting Fifty Shades, hang on, because readers have discovered this tale moves from lust to love—and plunges into chaos.
Gilbert’s novel begins with a curious text message exchange, then introduces Carinda Campbell, a woman reeling from her ex’s white-collar crimes who fled Virginia to turn a new page in West Palm Beach. Enter: Ray Welles. This Purple Heart Marine and soon-to-be ruined tech entrepreneur is trying to muddle through post-war trauma, a divorce, alienated kids, and his dysfunctional executive team.
But in the heat of their affair, Ray and Carinda do not exactly kiss and tell the truest versions of their backstories. As will happen in the digital age, “don’t ask, don’t tell” lasts so long as it takes to Google someone. Gilbert’s characters illustrate the outcomes, ranging from hilarity to debauchery, crime, and shame.
Selifes is a literary mash-up of Fifty Shades of Gray meets King Lear. Gilbert tosses new adult, thriller, and literary so that readers do not even notice. Characters one-up each other, exchanging duties as narrator with brutally frank “selfies.” Chapter by chapter, their monologues raise the stakes with the truth eventually landing face-up. Alienated children, queasy friends, and money going out the window to lawyers, anything goes in Selfies.
Gabriel Gilbert lives in Palm Beach Gardens, FL and splits time living on a small lake in rural Wisconsin. Gilbert is a graduate of Johns Hopkins’ Writing Seminars program, earning a masters in creative writing and studying under Robert Stone (Dog Soldiers, Children of Light) and John Barth (Sot-weed Factor, Lost in the Funhouse).