Author Name: Naomi MacKenzie
Book Name: Lodestones
Release Date: September 8, 2015
On the eve of a new school year, several groups of college students cross paths as they seek out a secret end-of-summer lake party—including Robin and Charlie, two inseparable friends who discover of the course of the twenty-four hours that their relationship is something much deeper than simple friendship.
Pages or Words: 226 pages
Categories: Contemporary, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance, Young Adult
Larry holds up the flyer to study the map Florence drew. Barry is leaning to look at it, too, when it’s ripped from between Larry’s fingers.
A greasy man in a campus security uniform stands over them with a pinched expression. His faded nametag reads: Ron Anderchuk. “Another one,” he all but growls. “Where in heck did you get this, boys?”
Barry tries his best to look innocent. Which isn’t all that hard, since he knows nothing.
“Found it on the ground,” Larry lies.
“Uh-huh, uh-huh,” the security guy says. “Extra trouble for littering.” He glares hard at the paper for nearly a minute before looking back at them. “You do know parties like this are illegal, don’t ya, boys? And frowned upon by this here establishment.” He raps his knuckles on the table. “I think it best you stick around here this weekend. That would be best, don’t ya agree?” He widens his beady eyes while he waits for their assent.
Barry looks to Larry. Seeing him nodding, he mimics the gesture.
The security officer’s answering grunt sounds disbelieving. He mutters as he walks away; the flyer with their map is gripped in his fist.
“What are we—”
Larry holds up his hand, stopping Barry’s question in its tracks. “Not to worry; I have a photographic memory. I’ve got the map in here.” He taps a fingertip against his temple.
“Even after all of that? And we do have another problem, if Florence is to be believed.”
Larry hums and strokes his chin. He picks up Barry’s tray and they walk to the windows. The orientation officers are indeed spread across the entire expanse outside, handing out pamphlets and organizing games of lawn bowling and oversized croquet. The entrance to the student parking lot is completely blocked.
Barry should throw in the towel, admit defeat and convince Larry to do the same. And he would, if not for one thing. The one detail that has roped him into the excitement over the lake festivities fully and completely is Kate Zimmermann, captain of the Dicaroon Seadogs field hockey team. Barry was looking through the school’s website while Larry was plotting behind him and he caught sight of her picture. He informed Barry that she was one of the girls who was carrying the van’s bench seat into her dorm room and invited him to the party early that morning.
Barry is in love with Kate Zimmermann. He has been since seeing her on the Dicaroon University website the previous summer. Well, he’s in love with the image of her and her red hair and blue eyes and adorable freckles that are so voluminous that they connect on her face. He has dreamed of red-haired kids calling him Daddy and hitting balls with sticks. Possibly. And she’s throwing the party, so even if Barry will never get up the nerve to speak to her should he live for a thousand years, he has to go. For his future dream-wife.
“Well, then,” Larry says. He sets Barry’s lunch tray down on the bussing station and rubs his hands together. “I guess we are in need of a foolproof plan.”
“A stratagem,” Barry says. He feels immediately foolish for being such a huge dork.
But then Larry grins at him. “Ooh, yes, I like that. A stratagem.”
INTERVIEW WITH NAOMI MACKENZIE
VP: Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Naomi MacKenzie author of Lodestones.
Hi Naomi, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.
I’m a Canadian from the east coast, currently living in the Toronto area and pining for the sea. I’ve been writing for myself since I was very young, mostly poems and short stories. I have several novels on the go at all times, but Lodestones is my first completed novel. It involves a large cast of high school and college-aged characters seeking out and attending a lake party on the last weekend of summer.
Tell us something no one else knows about your characters.
Robin’s parents divorced when he was sixteen, shortly after he came out to them. To this day he thinks these two events were linked, even though his mother has repeatedly told him the break up had nothing to do with him.
Charlie once broke his leg at a hockey rink. Not on the ice, but in the stands. He had an attack of vertigo from staring up at the rafters while walking up the stairs to meet a friend. It was one of the most embarrassing moments of his life.
Have you ever written something that made you cry?
Yes. After killing off a character in a novel I’m currently working on. It wasn’t the death of the character that made me cry (which was an inevitability), but the reaction of another character when finding out. Their reaction took me completely by surprise. The two had been estranged for years and she was always cool when the subject of him was brought up around her. But I wrote it, and then spent the next ten minutes lying on my front in bed (where I’d been writing at the time), blubbering like an idiot. The scene makes me tear up every time I re-read it.
Have you ever co-written with someone before?
I have not! I think it would be an interesting experience. It would have to be structured in such a way that specific parts of the project belonged to each author or I would never be able to manage it. I’m very protective of my own writing. I wouldn’t like having someone else reworking scenes that were originally mine.
What is the most difficult part of writing for you?
Staying motivated and keeping on task. I sometimes need a kick in the butt or something shiny waved in front of my face to make myself work. Otherwise, I’ll jump on tumblr or twitter instead. I’m very easily distracted. On bad days, I bribe myself with shopping or chocolate if I can make a certain word count. I’m like a little kid that way. Write 1000 words and you can have peanut butter cups, or a new eyeshadow!
Name your four most important food groups.
Veggie burgers with guacamole, fried mushrooms, pickles and feta
Buy the book:
About the author:
Naomi MacKenzie is a writer and photographer from the eastern coast of Canada. She considers herself a Maritimer first and a Canadian second, or so she told the standardized testing people in essay form during the eleventh grade. She enjoys vegan baking, walks in the woods and, contrarily, hiding from the sun. Lodestones is her first novel.
Where to find the author:
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25837081-lodestones
Publisher: Duet Books, the YA imprint of Interlude Press
Cover Artist: Cover Design by Buckeyegrrl Designs
Cover and Interior Illustrations by Abby Hellstrom
Tour Dates & Stops:
Rafflecopter Prize: 1 – $25 Interlude Press Gift Card, 5 e-copies of ‘Lodestones’