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Author Explores Consequences of Mental Illness

B.W. DeCaro released first novel, “Grown Men Don’t Cry.”

Great Falls resident B.W. DeCaro has released his first novel, "Grown Men Don't Cry".

Great Falls resident B.W. DeCaro has released his first novel, "Grown Men Don't Cry". Photo Contributed

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“Grown Men Don’t Cry” is the first novel from Great Falls author B.W. DeCaro.

When it came to writing his first novel, Great Falls resident B.W. DeCaro knew he wanted to delve into some serious topics. With his first novel, “Grown Men Don’t Cry,” he’s done exactly that, creating a story in which two men must deal with mental illness in themselves and the ones they love.

The book tells the story of two men who grew up together in Bristol, N.H. Jimmy left town, joined the Marines, and has been deployed multiple times overseas. He has returned to his hometown with a bad case of PTSD and the intention to end his life.

Ben never left the town, got married and had children. He is facing a serious kidney disease, as well as a family history of mental illness that threatens to overwhelm him.

Circumstances dictate that the two men enter each other’s lives again, in a way that could help them both find some peace.

DeCaro said the idea came from seeing a friend’s Facebook post about his struggles with PTSD. He later reached out to another friend, one that he had grown up with but had drifted from over the years, only to find out he had passed away several years earlier.

The book moves in and out of various characters’ point of view, and back and forth from the present to the past.

“My goal was to get the reader to like these guys as goofball kids as they’re growing up and finding things to do in a small town, and then follow them as they grow up and deal with the consequences of mental illness,” DeCaro said. “That’s the purpose of the title, to use sarcasm to highlight the fact that a lot of men don’t feel comfortable dealing with these kinds of issues.”

DeCaro said he was inspired by the film “Stand By Me,” as well as authors such as Jodi Picoult and Mitch Albom.

“I definitely wanted to write a story that made people think, and that had some heart behind it as well,” he said. “I started out knowing the themes I wanted to address. I just didn’t know how it would all unfold as I was writing.”

After coming up with a number of scenes that would show the themes, DeCaro worked to connect them, and impart his own style on the narrative.

He originally self-published the book, but he won the recent Ultimate Hero Contest, which netted him a publishing contract with Total Recall Press.

“Grown Men Don’t Cry” is available online at Amazon.com in paperback and as an e-book. DeCaro said a portion of all proceeds from the book’s sale with go to nonprofits that help service members and those with mental health issues, such as the Wounded Warrior project.

More information on DeCaro is available at HYPERLINK "http://www.bwdecaro.com/"

Book Signings in Great Falls

Author B.W. DeCaro will be signing his novel “Grown Men Don’t Cry,” in several locations around Great Falls.

He will be at Katie’s Coffee House, 760 Walker Road, on Saturday, Sept. 28 from noon to 1:30 p.m.

He will also be at the Great Falls Library, 9830 Georgetown Pike, on Tuesday, Oct. 15, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.