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Terry Iwanski’s Gritty-Yet-Genuine Memoir About Life as a Fast-n-Free Biker Exhibited at the Guadalajara International Book Fair 2023

As the largest book fair in Ibero-America, the Guadalajara International Book Fair gets its size by inviting major publishers on the continent to network with dozens of global publishers from abroad. This gives visitors a front-row seat to an exchange of knowledge, ideas, and personal stories. One of these personal stories is the memoir of Terry Iwanski. Titled “Gravel Soldiers,” it is an emotional, detailed account of his thrilling, biker lifestyle on the open roads of America.

San Diego, CA – WEBWIRE

“A bold, frank, explicit, yet poignant memoir of one man’s struggle to embrace the sadness of his turbulent past filled with parental neglect, spousal abuse, and personal loneliness.” - Jeffrey T. Babcock

Aside from just being the largest book fair in the Spanish-speaking world, the Guadalajara International Book Fair, also known as the Feria Internacíonal del Libro de Guadalajara (FIL), is also treated as a major cultural event. A major part of this is in the presence of many large local publishers and book retailers, right alongside international book exhibits from publishers across the world. This creates an exciting opportunity for visiting book readers to discover stories, ideas, and information from new authors in other countries.

One great example is the memoir of Terry Iwanski, titled “Gravel Soldiers.”

Iwanski considers himself as something of an outlier in the baby boomer generation. He grew up under the shadow of a rigid, conservative household with a highly abusive father. “Gravel Soldiers” tells of how he survived the ordeal into his teens, experiencing freedom in the rise of rock-n-roll culture.

From that point on, his embrace of this rebellious and youthful movement would eventually lead to the biker lifestyle and bold, adventurous rides along Midwest highways. “Gravel Soldiers” tells it all, from various addictions and run-ins with law enforcement to the camaraderie of fellow riders and finding love in distant lands.

The book was exhibited at the Guadalajara International Book Fair 2023 with the help of self-publishing and book marketing company ReadersMagnet. Without a doubt, it garnered a lot of interest from those who have only seen the lives of sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll in the movies. Yet for Iwanski, it was a genuine life that was no Hollywood invention.

“Gravel Soldiers” by Terry Iwanski is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

“Gravel Soldiers”
Author: Terry Iwanski
Published date: October 3, 2022
Publisher: Self-Published

“Gravel Soldiers” by Terry Iwanski is a bold, frank, explicit, yet poignant memoir of one man’s struggle to embrace the sadness of his turbulent past filled with parental neglect, spousal abuse, and personal loneliness. It is also a profound memoir of a man finding, at long last, the soulmate and genuine ‘true love’ of his life.

As a small child, the author begins his story walking the streets of St. Paul, Nebraska, while “the muffled echoes of the past” pushed at his back. Searching for answers in the abandoned ruins of a small town lost, the young author marched on.

Returning home later that night, he remembers how his mother would “bustle about the small kitchen,” with fear in her eyes. The glaring and unspoken judgment of her unhinged husband kept everyone walking on eggshells. His son (the author) and his older sister Kayla, who shared the basement with Gramma Josephine and Grandpa Andy, his mother’s parents were all victims of his abuse.

From ages eleven to thirteen, the author served as an altar boy for Farther Figlersi in St. Peter and Paul’s Catholic Church, a three-block weekly walk from their home, which the author performed with his grandparents, whom he loved deeply. Along with them the author’s ’“gravel soldiers,”’ marched quietly in his mind as they had first done on his childhood walks.

After a few years as an altar boy, the author begins to doubt the existence of God. And when he sees his Grandpa Andy’s spirit float upward from the window of his hospital bed after his death, the author begins to question everything. Then, his Uncle Clarence appears in a dream-like vision at the end of the author’s bed and tells him to be a good boy. He feels these occurrences are messages from beyond, steering him in the direction he must go.

The pain of witnessing his mother’s abuse is a sorrow he cannot accept. Nor can the author endure his father’s disappointment of not turning into the man he expected him to be. Judgment, the frustration of never being good enough, and the burning desire to escape--give the reader an exceptional true-to-life ’rebel without a cause,’ story, one which Hollywood did not create. Mr. Iwanski has indeed given us the real deal.

“Gravel Soldiers” has it all, the restlessness of a coming-of-age journey, sex, fast cars, drugs, and alcohol, run-ins with the law, biker journeys across the midwest, looking for adventure, broken families, broken hearts, and then, travels to Malaysia, Borneo, and the far east. And finally, a fulfilling redemption of sorts.

As Mr. Iwanski puts it: “I adjusted to the sex, the hate, and the Violence. I sucked it all inward. Only to have it come outward as I matured and learned, along the way. I have no regrets. I am who I am. I sit in my back yard and sip from a can of cold beer while Pedo, my wife works peacefully in her garden. The voices of my “gravel soldiers” have fallen silent. And their silence remains today. I no longer hear their incessant chatter. In their place, I, like my wife, feel a sense of peace. And calm. I am content with my life, as it was, and as it is today. And I hope you will be able to relate to my story.”

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 Terry Iwanski Fil
 Terry Iwanski
 Gravel Soldiers
 Fil 2023

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