Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Monday, March 6, 2017

Inside Look #22 (Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner)

An Inside Look - With Jeff Zentner (Author of Goodbye Days)

*This was a new feature I added to my blog during summer 2016.  I don't have as much time during the school year to run the feature weekly, but definitely will when I come across a book/author/series that I want to dig into more.

*It has been such an honor to connect with authors and "chat" with them about their novel, the characters, and their thoughts about the story.

*Here are the links to the first TWENTY-ONE interviews…

*This is the first time I've featured an author for the SECOND time.  My second "Inside Look" feature was with Jeff Zentner and his novel The Serpent King.  

*When I learned that Jeff was coming out with a second novel, I wasn't sure how he could "top" the first story.  The Serpent King had become one of my favorite young-adult stories.  I was lucky enough to be included on a "book tour" of Goodbye Days and read the ARC within days.  During #NCTE16 I picked up my own ARC that I could share with fellow readers back at home.

*The story of Carver and his life absolutely blew me away.  To be honest, I was a "bubble" during several episodes in the novel.  I am so impressed with Jeff's writing and now can say both of his books are at the top of my list of "must-reads".  

*Goodbye Days will be released into the public on Tuesday, March 7, 2017 (tomorrow).  I'm so grateful that Jeff agreed to answer my questions about the story and Carver during a very busy time in his life.

*Here are the responses he shared with me and I'm thrilled to share them with you...

Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner (Released March 7, 2017)

How did you come to know Carver?
The same way I get to know all of my characters: he showed me the littlest bit of himself. Then I let him live inside my head for several months while I listened to his voice and got to know him. I put pieces of myself in him as well as pieces of other people I love and admire. 

What do you think is Carver's most admirable quality?
I love Carver’s willingness to admit that he's wrong and his desire to atone for mistakes. 

Is there anything you wish Carver would have changed or done differently in his story?
I would have loved it if Carver could always have had an enlightened and educated view on mental health treatment, but characters have to grow, and coming to greater enlightenment was part of his journey.

What do you think Carver can offer to other young people that are experiencing similar situations to what he went through?
Hopefully the courage to do as he did and get professional help for his mental health issues. To follow the advice of a trained mental health professional. 

How did you research Carver and the circumstances he found himself in?
With regard to Carver’s mental health issues, I drew some from my own experiences and consulted a couple of talk therapists. With regard to his legal woes, I drew on my legal training and experience as a state prosecutor. 

Do you and Carver share any similarities?
Many. I think we’re both good hearted people who make mistakes but always try to do better. 

What was the hardest scene to write about Carver?
It was very painful to write the goodbye day between Carver and Judge Edwards. Because I can so deeply empathize with Judge Edwards’ pain over the loss of his son and desire to see some justice. And I do think the exacting of this justice was necessary for Carver to finally be set on the path to healing. 

Who do you think was Carver's biggest supporter and why?
It's a three-way tie between Georgia, Dr. Mendez, and Jesmyn. Without Georgia, Carver would never have gotten help from Dr. Mendez. And Jesmyn saved him from being alone, which would have been a terrible thing on top of all the other ways he was suffering. 

Why do you think some people can forgive others for their mistakes while others just can’t and never move forward from tragedy?
I don't know, honestly. Humans are all wired so differently. We experience grief in such different ways. It might be that some people never confront their grief in a way that allows them to move forward. I don't know.

What do you think Carver is doing as the present time? 
I think Carver’s in college, studying writing. I think he has a wonderful new group of friends. And sometimes they'll all be hanging out, and he’ll look at them and remember the friends he lost. 

No comments:

Post a Comment