Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Zane Riley for stopping by today. Please give them a warm welcome.
Title: With or Without You
Author: Zane Riley
Publisher: Interlude Press
Cover Artist: Colleen M. Good
Genre: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, New Adult, Romance
Release Date: 07/21/2016
In the much-anticipated sequel to Go Your Own Way, high school seniors Lennox McAvoy and Will Osborne pick up right where they left off—navigating the tumultuous waters of a new relationship and dealing with Will’s disapproving father.
When a violent incident forces Lennox to give up his independent ways, he must come to terms with his past just as Will is grappling with his future. As Will’s college plans become reality, will Lennox have the courage to go after the opportunities he doesn’t think he deserves?
Recent Release Spotlight with Zane Riley
We are here today to talk about With or Without You. What can you tell us about it?
With or Without You is a sequel to my first novel, Go Your Own Way. It follows Will and Lennox as they finish up their senior year of high school. Will wants to go to college out-of-state and Lennox hasn’t even considered his future beyond his next meal. The story focuses on their growing relationship, and Lennox struggling to realize he deserves the chance at a future of his choosing.
Please tell us more about our main characters.
Will’s your typical good kid. He does well in school, he doesn’t go out partying or drinking, he’s responsible, and he’s on his school’s baseball team. Will’s the sort of kid who’s looking toward the future after high school when he can move out of his small town and on to better things. Then he meets Lennox in the first book, Go Your Own Way.
Lennox is everything you imagine a bad boy as. He’s rough and cocky. He’s got his leather jacket and his attitude that says he doesn’t care about anyone or anything. From his ankle monitor to his piercings he’s nothing but trouble. That’s what Will thinks at first. Throughout Go Your Own Way, Will and Lennox learn to slow down and listen to each other. Will finds out that Lennox isn’t as callus and cruel as he likes to act, and Lennox realizes he’s found someone he trusts and cares about.
What do you want to tell those who may be new to the series?
With or Without You picks up almost immediately where Go Your Own Way left off. Originally, the two novels were one enormous story, but I cut them to better develop the boys and the narrative. It was very important to me that both Will and Lennox have the chance to grow emotionally at their own pace instead of being rushed into character development they weren’t ready for. This second book is definitely my favorite of the two. They’re already together, and so their relationship gets to evolve as they figure out what it means to be together and how to trust another with real, deep secrets.
What about With or Without You makes you the proudest?
Seeing it finished and better than I expected it to be. When I first started writing this, I was still clutching on to the original manuscript I wrote about five years ago. I used it as a guide for the first book, Go Your Own Way, and tried to do the same for this one. It didn’t work. Not one bit. I got to about 40,000 words and it hadn’t even been a week in the story. It dragged. The original story wasn’t this one, and it took writing all of that out for me to realize I had to set it aside. Will and Lennox’s lives aren’t built for that first story, they’ve got to create their own. So I deleted everything I’d written, and wrote the whole manuscript in about three months. It was chaotic, but I’m glad I took the step to let their story diverge from the original manuscript.
What is next for these characters? Is there more to this series? If so who will we hear from next?
I can’t say too much because of spoilers, but there will be a third book. The major plots revolve around what happens over the course of With or Without You, so my lips are mostly sealed. I can say it will follow them as they struggle to figure out their futures, individually and together, and the unexpected way life has of showing you that what you’ve always thought you wanted, isn’t what you need. You’ll be hearing from Will and Lennox again.
If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring writers, what would it be?
Don’t stop. Write every day. Don’t expect every single word you write down to be used or kept or meaningful. Writing is like any other craft, you practice and practice, and learn your strengths and weaknesses and then work to better those. It takes a lot of time and commitment and some things you write aren’t going to amount to anything. I have folders or random little word documents that I just had to write down at the time, and now I read them and I don’t even remember what the story was about. But I see little mistakes I used to make, and I recognize parts where I can see how my writing has grown and changed. I like to keep that record to see how I’m improving. I think it’s important to be able to look back and see the progress you’re making.
(Note: Pick one or two of the following)
• What part of a new story comes to you first? Characters? Plot? A scene? A theme? Or does it vary from book to book?
Generally, I start with characters. They’re the foundation for how a narrative develops since my plots usually hinge on the particulars of a character’s past, present, and personality. Their future becomes the plot. That’s usually how it works for me, but sometimes, especially with stories that are more fantasy or sci-fi, it starts with plot. There’s a whole world that needs to be built and understood for fantasy and sci-fi stories, a world that relies a lot less on our own world, so the plot and world building comes first in those.
Do you take a break from a first draft to get distance from it, or dive right into editing, or edit heavily as you write?
I usually take a break if I have the time to do so. I like the distance a break provides because it lets the story fall away from me so that when I come back to it, it’s fresh. I’m not sure I remember what’s said or done and where some plots ultimately end up. It’s as close as I can get to being my own beta reader, which for me is helpful so I can have a new perspective on what I’ve written.
If you could be any Disney character who would you be, and why?
Since Star Wars is technically Disney now, I want to be Rey. Or Princess Leia. Maybe Finn. Or Poe. Basically any of the new characters from the Force Awakens plus Princess Leia. If I could rotate between them, I’d be a happy guy.
If you had to be a cat, dog, or a rat, which would you choose and why?
Definitely a cat since I have four. I just want to nap all day and then have someone pay all the bills while I spend my day picking my favorite sunbeam.
What are you reading right now and what is next on your to-be-read list?
I am currently rereading A Game of Thrones because it’s on my Kindle and all of my physical books are packed away in boxes until my cross-country move is finished. I’m also reading Seven Tears at High Tide by C.B. Lee and it’s so adorable. I love it to bits. Kevin and Morgan are precious young boys falling in love and I’m hoping they’re still together by the end!
Rapid Fire Time
- Batman or Superman? Ms. Marvel
- cinnamon or maple? Cinnamon
- Peanuts or Cashews? Cashews
- Tardis or DeLorean? Tardis
- Light saber or a Sonic screwdriver? Lightsaber
- Spring or Fall? Fall
- Rock or Country? Rock (Sorry, family)
- Cat in the Hat or Horton Hears a Who? Horton Hears a Who
- Harry Potter or Lord of The Rings? Harry Potter
- Baseball or Cricket? Baseball
What are you working on? What is next?
My main project right now is the third, and probably final, book in this series. I won’t say too much since the major plots of the third book are built on how the story evolves in With or Without You, but I’m excited for it. It’s going to be difficult to say goodbye to Will and Lennox, but I’m ready to start writing for some of my other characters again.
About the Author
Zane Riley is a transgender writer who wrote his first work of fan fiction in the fourth grade. He is a recent transplant to Vancouver, Washington where he spends his time watching long distance baseball games, hiking, and exploring the musical depths of the internet. His rst novel, Go Your Own Way, was published by Interlude Press in 2015.
Facebook Author Page: facebook.com/ZaneNebula
Tour Dates & Stops:
21-Jul: Parker Williams, Unquietly Me, Louise Lyons, Joyfully Jay, Velvet Panic
22-Jul: Bayou Book Junkie, Sinfully Addicted to All Male Romance, Outrageous Heroes
25-Jul: Havan Fellows, Gay Media Reviews, Nephy Hart, Happily Ever Chapter
26-Jul: Oh My Shelves, Kirsty Loves Books, Dawn’s Reading Nook
27-Jul: MM Book Escape, My Fiction Nook, Prism Book Alliance
28-Jul: MM Good Book Reviews, Book Lovers 4Ever, Open Skye Book Reviews, BFD Book Blog
29-Jul: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Inked Rainbow Reads, Boys on the Brink Reviews
1-Aug: Alpha Book Club, Love Bytes
2-Aug: Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Butterfly-O-Meter
3-Aug: V’s Reads, Molly Lolly
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