Author Name: Zane Riley
Book Name: With or Without You
Sequel to ‘Go Your Own Way’
Should be read in order to appreciate the books
Release Date: July 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?
Pages or Words: 348 pages
Categories: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, New Adult
The band room was empty when he pushed the door open, but the piano was set up like it was almost every afternoon these days. Only Mr. Robinette and a music stand littered with sheet music was absent.
The silence struck Lennox as odd, but as he sat down he also realized how strange it was to announce himself. So much had changed since the first time he’d snuck in here to play on his own. Now he was auditioning for some college he still couldn’t fathom.
To make Will happy. And maybe a little bit for himself.
“Ah, I wondered if you were going to show up.”
Mr. Robinette was behind him, the door to his office now wide open. He’d taken off his tie and undone a few buttons on his shirt like he did most afternoons when they practiced.
“You just want to play it through a few times or mess around with something else?”
Lennox took a seat at the piano, but didn’t both opening his bag. He’d memorized the piece he was playing by Valentine’s Day and now, almost two weeks later, he could write it out measure for measure on blank sheet music. But playing it was becoming repetitive. For two hours, three times a week, almost nonstop with the same four pages and nothing else.
“I’d rather try something new. That piece is getting a little old.”
Mr. Robinette smiled and pulled a chair up beside him. “I had a nightmare the other night and it was the theme song while I ran around a haunted house Scooby Doo style.”
“You didn’t catch a ride in the Mystery Machine, did you? I’ve always wanted that van.”
“I’ve got a lunch box version of it. It doesn’t fit much though because it’s too narrow. Anyway, play what you want. I’ll be here until about four-thirty, so it’s all yours.”
As Mr. Robinette returned to his office, Lennox pulled what had become his music notebook out of his bag and opened it to the latest page. He’d taken to composing during class when he should have been taking notes, especially calculus where he had no reason to pay attention anyway.
The latest page was a tune he’d come up with while the other kids had been tapping their pencils and erasing answers. Every moment of his life carried a rhythm, a melody, and an emotion he could create with, and his notebook was becoming a testament to that. He played through everything he’d jotted down over the past few days, but after several rounds he kept coming back to one. It was a piano version he’d tried—and mostly failed—to create of one of the songs Will had played on a loop a few weeks ago.
“I’m getting ready to lock up!”
Mr. Robinette’s voice carried out of the office and into the band room. A few minutes and several jingles of Mr. Robinette’s keys later, the office door was shut and Lennox was closing the cover on the keys.
“That last piece you were playing, was it a cover?”
Lennox shrugged as they headed for the door.
“It was supposed to be. Didn’t sound much like the song.”
“Well, the others did. They were all really good, even the ones that weren’t covers.”
Lennox watched him at the door to the parking lot for a moment. He’d been a great help over the last month—all year if Lennox was honest. Mr. Robinette had believed in him in his own way since school had begun, and thanks to him he had a decent shot at this audition.
“Thanks for… all of this. I actually feel like—just thanks.”
Mr. Robinette gave him a genuine smile and patted him on the shoulder.
“You’re very welcome. Let me know how it goes when you get back, okay? I’m rooting for you. Got all of my fingers and limbs crossed. You deserve the chance. Don’t doubt that or yourself.”
It was funny to have so many people believing in him after so long. Happiness was a strange feeling as well. Until he’d let Will into his life he couldn’t remember how to capture such a feeling in his chest and keep it there.
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INTERVIEW WITH ZANE RILEY
Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Zane Riley author of With or Without You.
Hi Zane, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.
Hi! I’m Zane, and I’m a queer transgender writer from northern Virginia. Currently, I’m in the process of packing up to move to Washington state, so I’m pretty busy at the moment, but also very excited. I’ve been writing since I was a little kid, although I didn’t get truly serious about it until college when I switched my major to Creative Writing.
With or Without You is my second novel and a sequel to my first. It continues Will and Lennox’s story as they finish up their senior year of high school. As they begin to learn how to navigate their growing relationship, Will plans for his future in college while Lennox struggles to accept that his future is more than surviving until the next day. They each begin to forge their own paths only to realize that the futures they each want may lead them away from each other.
Tell us your writing goals for this year.
About a dozen ideas come to mind when I think about my writing goals for this year, but the main one is to get back into my groove of writing daily. Most of my year so far has been devoted to deciding to move across the country, packing my stuff up, figuring out what to keep and what to give away. Then I started a new job that allowed me to travel out to Washington state and stay with friends while my roommate and I looked for an apartment in the area. It’s been a hectic time, especially while going through the editing for my second book. Almost all of my writing notebooks are buried in one box or another in Virginia, and I’ve been back and forth from coast to coast all spring.
So, firstly, I’d just really like to get settled so I can find all my notebooks again and figure out what I’d like to work on. I want to get back into my habit of writing daily, because I’ve found it to be a great habit to keep. Everything I write might not always be fantastic or something I’ll keep, but the same is true for various sports practices or sketches an artist draws throughout the week. Some practices are better than others. Sometimes you scrape your knees up instead of scoring goals. It’s continuing to work at your craft that makes you better—makes you more aware of your weaknesses and strengths and how to wield those.
Once I’ve got that groove back, and I’m settled out in Washington state, I’d really like to focus on two ideas I have that move beyond my Go Your Own Way series, which should be finished sometime next year. That was my biggest goal for this year. To start branching out beyond this series and looking forward to what comes next in my writing career.
Both ideas feature a transgender main character, which I think will be a large focus of my writing in the years to come. As a transgender man, it’d be wonderful to see more characters who are like myself. To see trans characters who exist to do more than talk about their gender or dysphoria would be great, too; to feel less like background noise and more like normalcy.
Meet 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 first novel, Go Your Own Way, was published by Interlude Press in 2015.
Where to find the author:
Facebook Author Page: facebook.com/ZaneNebula
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28764212-with-or-without-you
Publisher: Interlude Press
Cover Artist: Colleen M. Good
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