Title: With or Without You (Sequel to Go Your Own Way)
Author Name & Publisher: Zane Riley (Interlude Press)
Publication Date & Length: July 21, 2016 – 348 pgs
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?
This was such an amazing book. I will say honestly that I did not read the first book in the series but this book was so easy to follow that I believe it could be read in order or as a stand alone. But no doubt about it, I will be reading the next book in the series so I can see what ups and downs Will and Lennox will have to face when they head off to college.
Will and Lennox are two totally different people who by looking at them you would think they would not be compatible at all when the opposite is true. They are actually a really good fit together. They both offer the relationship different things that the other needs. Will offers support and encouragement to Lennox. He believes in him and in his talents and pushed him to achieve what he can with his talent when Lennox believes himself to only be ok. Will pushed Lennox to reach for the stars and not settle for less then he deserves and Will also encourages Lennox to open up to Will and except love.
Lennox offers Will a safe haven to explore his sexual side with. He encourages Will to explore more about his sexuality and too except everything about himself and not hide it or be scared of it. Will is very serious and Lennox brings out his playful side l. Lennox also encourages him to become more open and honest about his feelings with his dad and Karen.
These two have a rough road ahead of them but I believe they will make it in the end. They may not always be together but I do believe that no matter what they will find their way back to one another. Can’t wait till the next 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.
- What is your least favorite part of the publishing/writing process?
I think the waiting between steps is probably the hardest part for me. Not because I can’t handle waiting, but after I send that first manuscript off, I wipe my brain clean. Then I get it back a few weeks or months later, and I’m like, “I wrote this? Are you sure? I don’t remember Will saying that… or doing that. Someone help.” I always remember the ending, but everything in the middle leaks right out of my head. I usually spend the week leading up to get those first notes back taking my time reading through the manuscript I sent off.
- As an author, is there one subject you would never write about? What would it be?
I took a while to think about this one before answering, because there are a lot of subjects I would be cautious about pursuing, but I don’t think there’s anything I would never write about. For example, I’d be cautious and do a lot of researching before writing about the Holocaust or Japanese internment camps. I’d be equally as cautious writing from the perspective of any religion, race, nationality, sexuality, gender or experience that isn’t part of my own identity. It’s important to stop and to consider if you’re the person that should be writing this story, and even if you’re at a point in your writing career where you’re capable of bringing the truth to a character that’s needed.
- When did you first realize you wanted to write?
I was in fourth grade when I first started writing in my free time. Star Wars fanfiction of course. That was almost all I was reading at the time was Star Wars books. Then Harry Potter that summer leading into fifth grade. That was a big push time for me, realizing that I could also write stories about adventure and kids my own age.
I wouldn’t say I realized at the time that I could do that professionally or as an adult, I just thought it was fun. About half way through college was when I got serious enough to consider it as something more than a hobby.
- How long did it take to write your book?
About three months. I’d actually started it, got about 40,000 words into it, and realized not even a week of time had passed in the story. A story that was supposed to cover from Thanksgiving to roughly high school graduation in late May or early June. I spent about three months writing that first attempt, took a trip up to New York City, and when I got back, I deleted it. Everything went. I shut away the old version of the story I’d been trying to use as a guideline and just let myself write. It was a difficult choice, but necessary. The story is much better for it.
- For Fun: Where is one place you’d like to visit you haven’t been before?
Anywhere outside of the United States. I’d love to see New Zealand, or the Black Sea, even London. If I ever get the opportunity I would love to see Egypt and learn more about the history there in person.
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.
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.