Andrew's Debut Memoir—COMING SOON!
When unexpected loss tore through the fabric of his family, Andrew unraveled. In the thick of his senior year of undergrad, his grandmother passed away. Unable to return home to say goodbye, he turned to relationship after relationship as this unexpected cycle of death began. Just a few months later, his college voice teacher died, a man who had become a second father to him. Three months later, Andrew got a call the morning after his birthday, learning his Uncle James had been killed in a motorcycling accident, taken at 38 years young with his third child on the way. Six months later—amidst his fighting for justice, understanding and a broken heart for the loss of his baby boy— Andrew’s grandfather suffered a stroke and passed away. One month after this, Andrew’s great grandmother.
Confronted by this immense and all-consuming death, he created connections with men in every season, convinced that each new relationship was his answer to healing the grief he’d gotten so good at avoiding. His mission to find a partner whom he could love, fix, crave, or boast about became the addictive quick fix to hide from himself, his loss, and even his childhood abuse that sex was now triggering in him.
He moved to NYC after graduation, just to flee the city months later to something new from the fear of growing roots there. He traveled the world by ship, performing for thousands, but his chase didn’t end there. Andrew fell in love while working on his ship and moved to Australia upon concluding his contract, convinced this was the relationship that would change everything. Not even one week in, his choices were turned upside down and he was faced with a decision, and the decision he made changed everything.
Andrew’s world filled up with more bravery and truth than he could fathom, the very moment he finally defined his existence himself—instead of through the eyes of his mother, his queerness, his abuse, his string of lovers, and his crushing grief.
In Finding Brave, Norlen names each chapter after a different man, and names each man by the quality and lesson he gained during the time spent with each of them, amidst his unending loss.
Growing up in the church, Andrew’s idea of identity was always rooted in marriage, or the aspiration of marriage, but heterosexual marriage. Fighting to feel loved by the kind of person he wished to love was an exhausting battle—a reality for so many LGBTQIA+ young people today.
Andrew’s memoir bridges that gap. First, for a generation of parents—just like his mother—presenting them with a book from someone like their child. Secondly—and most importantly—Finding Brave will empower a young, queer individual to listen to their own vulnerability and share their story, without apology.
Finding Brave gives words to anyone who needs to know that the way they love is okay. Men are taught to be strong, tough, and “the best”—but here, Andrew champions vulnerability, kindness, and finding bravery from within.
I love the way he writes.
The imagery is so vivid and strong!
These words matter. Defining Brave will get people through hardships, you will triumph with Andrew—like I did.
Red Bank, NJ
We all have our journeys, but Andrew's self-awareness is so impressive, it makes the book special. The message is powerful and so transferable...readers will fall in love with Andrew!
His writing is a window that allowed the reader to see him
I hear his voice very clearly in this,which is not easy to do.
Jamaica Plain, MA
Life Changing. Relatable. While our grief may differ from one another, the reality is we all share our bodies natural responses to trauma and grief. This book could not have landed into my hands at a better time!
I was on the radio, Mom!
Listen to my full interview on Joy 94.9 all the way in AUSTRALIA!
God bless a zoom call! I got to swing through The Drive Thru w/ John-O @ Joy 94.9 radio in Melbourne, Australia and talk all things Defining Brave and my story with one of my dear friends! Check it out here! (my interview starts at 20:40!)
It's Okay Not to be Okay!
Watch my full interview/ Q & A with Sam Barlow High School students
I had the pleasure of kicking off this amazing series of interviews with high school students back in my hometown in Oregon. Covid-19 has rattled all of our lives and this was an amazing opportunity to share my own truth with these teens who are also deeply struggling.