Pondering the deep questions, in novel form

It’s not uncommon to question the comings and goings of life. The meanings of the everyday, and large-scale events. Perhaps even some of us have dwelt on the meaning and purpose of our existence here on Earth.

“Embrace Inverse Vibrations,” a book by Eugene local Adam Chouinard, attempts to find out.

In a novel split into seven parts, Chouinard examines a variety of life’s questions, from personal reflections such as, “What will I regret, or be proud of, when I’m gone?” to societal ponderings regarding our influence on Earth, all told from the point of view of one man’s journey through a place called Limbus.

Nearly 14 years ago, Chouinard had a brush with fate, which helped spur into motion his novel. While in the car with a group of friends, the driver fell asleep they got into a near fatal crash, hitting a guardrail at almost 80 mph.

“It was sort of a life-changing event actually, and so that, I think that experience sort of stewed for a while in there and found an outlet through some of the storytelling in the book, and that’s the personal level of the story.” 

As a biologist by trade who studies animal behavior and evolution, it wasn’t unusual for Chouinard to ask the big questions. That accident, and his studies, really spurred into life ideas for his book.

“The personal side of it, if I have to rationalize it, comes from that brush with death. Then the other stuff comes from looking at the world through the lens of a biologist, and someone who studies animal behaviors,” he said. “I think about us as a species a lot, in the way that I look at other species on the planet and the way that they have evolved, all the baggage they have because of that, and then the way that we will continue to evolve, and the way that we could continue to evolve.”

He’s always felt the need for a creative outlet. Originally that outlet was music, and albums he created only for himself and a select few others to listen to. But he found himself with a gnawing need to write a book that could perhaps address life-changing thoughts sometime in 2012 he said.

“I just wrote it in about a year and didn’t let myself give up and then I put it in a drawer and I despaired for about six years. I read it again and I let a few close friends and family read it,” said Chouinard.

At first, he thought it may turn out to be like his music, enjoyed by a select few. But after near-constant thought of it for those six years, and an unshakeable passion to finish it, he went through that first draft and started editing.

“I just decided to take the plunge, to just go for it,” said Chouinard.

Of course the next step after the long editing process is publishing, and Chouinard wanted to take control of his own work with independent publishing, and the beginning of Proavia Press.

While still a very new publishing option, Proavia may someday see books from different authors, as Chouinard hopes to be able to help others who share similar genres of work get published. He’s open to producing “diverse forms of artistic expression” from music to poetry to videos and visual art, as well as books.

It’s “just the beginning,” he says. 

Now, coming up on the one year anniversary of the publication of “Embrace Inverse Vibrations,” Chouinard plans to have more projects in the queue, including a science fiction coming-of-age story he plans to release next summer.

In the meantime, “Embrace Inverse Vibrations” is available at The Bookmine and Kalapuya Books in Cottage Grove, and Tsunami Books and J Michaels Books in Eugene. It is also available from a variety of online retailers, but Chouinard stresses the importance of supporting local shops.

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