Zack Smedley Interview, plus links to author biography, book summaries, excerpts and reviews

Zack Smedley

Zack Smedley

An interview with Zack Smedley

Author's Note on Tonight We Rule the World

WELL. I PICKED A BAD YEAR TO WRITE A BOOK WITH heavy subject matter.

The year 2020 will go down in history as a year that took a great deal from us as a whole: lives, jobs, sanity, perceived decency, and personal joy. While I have no right to complain about my incredibly fortunate circumstances throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, there's no other way to say it: This book was written during a year that I should never have picked up a pen, and almost every minute spent at my keyboard was thoroughly joyless.

I always say that my books aren't about protagonists experiencing trauma, but rather, about them conquering it. When I wrote my debut, Deposing Nathan, this worked because I was a college kid who felt on top. Words poured out of me, and when the content got tough, I could step away to enjoy the beauty and exuberance of the world outside my window. This time, though, I felt entirely unqualified: Who was I to rattle on about overcoming obstacles when I was regularly losing afternoons of writing to hypochondriacal panic attacks? How was I supposed to shine a light on human decency when every headline screamed the opposite? Couple this with the countless hours I spent inhibited by this book's heavy topics—which I was determined to portray properly—and the whole process felt insurmountable. I'd lie awake at night, dreading the morning when I'd return to it. Yet, eventually, I always would. Because every week, I would get letters from readers who told me how much Deposing Nathan had helped them. Those letters went up on my wall, and they became the light that wound up guiding me (however gruelingly) out of my maze. To those readers: Please know I did my best to pour everything I could into this book, during a year when I— like so many others—had almost nothing in the tank to pour. I can honestly say I'm satisfied with the result, so now, it goes properly from my hands to yours.

Excellence was described by Aristotle as "the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution." I can't speak to whether I achieved that last one, but I can tell you this project was born from the first two. Because you deserve nothing less than an excellent book.

I hope, from the sincerest place in my heart, that I've given you one.

—zs
12/14/2020

Unless otherwise stated, this interview was conducted at the time the book was first published, and is reproduced with permission of the publisher. This interview may not be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the copyright holder.

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Books by Zack Smedley at BookBrowse
Tonight We Rule the World jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Zack Smedley but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
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  •  Susan   Mihalic

    Susan Mihalic

    Susan Mihalic has worked as a book editor, curriculum writer, writing instructor, and freelance writer and editor. She has also taught therapeutic horseback riding. She attended the University of Southern Mississippi and now ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Tonight We Rule the World

    Try:
    Dark Horses
    by Susan Mihalic

  • Brendan Kiely

    Brendan Kiely

    Brendan Kiely received an MFA in creative writing from the City College of New York. His writing has appeared in Fiction, Guernica, Big Bridge, and the journal Mikrokosmos Literary Journal, among other publications. ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Tonight We Rule the World

    Try:
    The Gospel of Winter
    by Brendan Kiely

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