Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Interview with Zack Smedley for Deposing Nathan

Deposing Nathan

by Zack Smedley
Publisher: Page Street Publishing
Release Date: May 7th 2019
Genre: Young Adult, LGBT, Contemporary, Fiction
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For sixteen years, Nate was the perfect son—the product of a no-nonsense upbringing and deep spiritual faith. Then he met Cam, who pushed him to break rules, dream, and accept himself. Conflicted, Nate began to push back. With each push, the boys became more entangled in each others’ worlds...but they also spiraled closer to their breaking points. And now all of it has fallen apart after a fistfight-turned-near-fatal-incident—one that’s left Nate with a stab wound and Cam in jail.

Now Nate is being ordered to give a statement, under oath, that will send his best friend to prison. The problem is, the real story of what happened between them isn’t as simple as anyone thinks. With all eyes on him, Nate must make his confessions about what led up to that night with Cam…and in doing so, risk tearing both of their lives apart.

Can you briefly describe Deposing Nathan and their main characters?

The premise, in a nutshell, is that a high school boy (Nate) is deposed and legally forced to tell the story of how and why he was stabbed by his best friend, Cam. Sitting in a room full of lawyers as well as both the boys’ families, Nate will need to decide how much to reveal about how the two met, the complex friendship they developed, and what happened to make things go terribly wrong.

Who would you say is your favourite character from the story and why?

Well, the unanimous fan favorite so far has been Cam, and I think there’s a strong case there. A lot of his snarky comments and rapid-fire sarcasm were drawn from my own personality, so he was a lot of fun to write. However, another character who’s tied for first place in my mind is Mrs. Lawson—the lead prosecutor and Nate’s interrogator—because she’s the only person in the story who doesn’t lie or hurt someone.

How did the story occur to you? Did you find inspiration anywhere?

A lot of people ask me if the story came from my own struggles with religion vs. being bisexual, and I can honestly say that I never spent a single day wrestling with that. However, I hadn’t really seen any books that gave a voice to LGBT Christian teens, and I thought that was crucial (especially to folks trying to balance those two identities). So that’s where the subject matter stemmed from. As for the premise itself, I knew I wanted to write a legal drama with argumentative, rapid-fire dialogue. Once I combined that with the subject matter, I had all the major pieces. Everything else fell into place pretty shortly after.

If you could choose one song to describe your book, which one would it be?

This one is a no-brainer: “Splendor” by M83. (Particularly the second half of the song). I don’t know how I stumbled across a piece of music that so perfectly gives off the exact same emotional energy as DEPOSING NATHAN, but I discovered that song about a year ago and have listened to it every day since.

Since it is still cold outside, what hot drink do you think will go with your book to have a perfect book date?

Hot chocolate with extra whipped cream to soak up the tears.

Can you recommend your readers any other books in case they are left hungry for more once they finish Deposing Nathan?

Oh boy, can I ever. Let’s see…two of my favorite books are MORE HAPPY THAN NOT by Adam Silvera and FLOWERS FOR ALGERNON by Daniel Keyes. Both are heavily cerebral novels that explore the complexities of identity and favor gritty, reality-based arcs over clean-cut endings. If you’re looking for a good “boy likes girl but also might like boy” story, HONESTLY BEN is one of the best depictions I’ve seen of this. And finally, if you’re more looking for the cute fluffy stuff found in the part 1 of NATHAN, I can’t think of a better go-to than ARISTOTLE AND DANTE by Benjamin Alire Sáenz.

What’s next for you?

Even before I started writing this book, my dream has been to personally adapt NATHAN to the screen (either as a film or, more likely, a miniseries). So I’ll be fighting pretty hard to try to make that happen. In terms of my next novel, I’m starting to solidify ideas now and will definitely keep everyone updated on that! :)

Zack Smedley was born and raised in southern Maryland, in an endearing county almost no one has heard of. He has a degree in Chemical Engineering from UMBC and currently works within the field. As a member of the LGBT community, his goal is to give a voice to marginalized young adults through gritty, morally complex narratives. He spends his free time building furniture, baking, tinkering with electronics, and managing his obsession with the works of Aaron Sorkin. DEPOSING NATHAN is his first novel.

1 comment:

  1. I enjoy friendship stories very much and this one adds suspense and mystery and a unique plot that has me excited to read this book. I read most genres, but have been enjoying fantasy and sci-fi more and more lately.