All we need is love

18 April 2012. 10:55 PM by Suzanne Devonshire

FOUND throughout many cultures and times, love is often difficult to define - but that hasn’t stopped author Stephen A. Dantes from trying.

In his first published novel, Is it Love?...A Triangle Gone Square, Mr Dantes explores the truths and myths of love and relationships.

“I wrote the book to help readers answer the question that has baffled millions,” he said.

“What is love? We all have a definition for it, none of which is more right than the other.”

Following a Caribbean family through four generations as they deal with love, joy, intimacy, betrayal, guilt, jealousy, and suffering, Mr Dantes immerses readers in a story of human experiences and struggles.

“The book questions the reader’s definition of love, the world’s definition of love, and what the average person’s definition of love is through the dialogue and associations of characters,” he said.

“In the end, I am confident that readers will have a fortified definition of love, if not a brand new one.”

St Lucia-born Mr Dantes said that while culture played a role in the story, readers worldwide would connect with his characters’ experiences of love.

“I believe that love is universal. And with that belief come’s the anticipation of readers being able to relate.”

“When read with an open mind, readers will realise that irrespective of the physical experiences, cultural differences, moral imbalances, ethnic practices or racial barriers, love is the one emotion that we all share and show in a unique yet universal way.”

He said the book was based on fictional characters but with many true experiences of real people.

“In essence, I took the stories I’ve heard and witnessed, and created this true-to-life tale about a family with very real struggles [which] many people of the world go through, albeit with different cultural make-ups.

Now living in Canada, Mr Dantes left his career as a mathematics teacher in 2010 to explore his passion for performance poetry and writing, a journey he said was very difficult.

“The difficult part is where you have to worry about income and finance.”

“My families have been supportive and encouraging. Without them I would not have been able to make that bold move.”

The 29-year-old has now had three collections of amateur works published, as well as six eBook poetry publications in 2011.

He has received several awards for his work, including second place in the Spoken Word category in the 2006 St. Lucia Annual National Arts Festival, and the Most Requested Guest Performer award from the St. Lucia Writer’s Forum in 2010.

With the publication of his first novel, Mr Dantes is now working on a sequel to Is It Love? which will take the exploration of love beyond the Caribbean.

“The sequel - Is it Love Too? - addresses the issue of culture as the intricate love story is concluded with experiences in United States, Canada, UK, Australia and Middle East.”

“I answer questions left unanswered in the first book and extend the plot, make it as cross-cultural and cross-continental as possible with the inclusion of the war on terror in the Middle East, as well as the internal war on self of the mother of the protagonist of book one.”

“My focus is to make my readers come up with a solid definition of love, unwavering and unfaltering.”

Is It Love?... A triangle gone square is available now on Amazon.com


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