About the Book:
All Londres Leon ever wanted was to feel normal… Meet Londres Leon, a child born on a stormy, chaotic night where tragedy seems to follow tragedy. As Londres grows up, the chaos only continues as he can’t seem to conform to the mold everyone has cast for him. It’s more than a coming of age story. It’s more than an adventure. It’s more than you can ever imagine. The debut novel from Rutherford Rankin tells a story of struggle, heartache, and tragedy with a surprise ending you have to read to believe.
About the Author:
Rutherford Rankin grew up in the very small town of Satanta, Kansas, where it wasn’t easy being different. After graduating from Emporia State University, Rankin moved to New Mexico, the “Land of Enchantment,” and earned a master of arts degree in educational administration from New Mexico State University. Rankin lives in Roswell, New Mexico, with his husband and works as a student affairs professional at the local community college. Fighting Against Gravity is his first novel.
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Can you tell us more about your book What is it about?
The main character of Fighting Against Gravity is a boy named Londres Leon. The story follows him from the night of his birth through his early 20s. Growing up, Londres always feels different in some way, but is never able to pinpoint why. His father is a brain injury survivor with a bad temper and he makes Londres’ childhood a nightmare as the society around him seems to disapprove of every decision he makes.
At 17, Londres meets a transgender man who changes his life forever simply by revealing to Londres who he really is. The remainder of the story follows Londres as he tries to navigate a new world around him and fight against the expectations society sets on a daily basis.
I don’t want people to think this is just a book about being transgender. It does have a transgender protagonist, but that isn’t what the book is all about. The book is really about unrequited love, being different, family, and loss. In the end, it’s really about the sacrifices people will make for the ones they love whether that’s family love or romantic love.
Who do you think would be interested in this book, is it directed at any particular market?
It’s not directed to a specific market. I did that on purpose because I didn’t want people to say, “Oh, it’s a transgender book—that’s not for me.” This book is really for anyone who’s ever experience unrequited love, loss, or anyone who’s ever been in a situation where they felt different. It really has a mainstream appeal.
With that said, however, it is written in the style of Suzanne Collins, John Green, and Ned Vizzini. It’s got a bit of adventure, a bit of romance, a bit of psychology. It’s really got something for nearly everyone. One thing I’ve been told by the majority of those who’ve read it is that it starts out sounding like a young adult novel and matures into a grown-up book. I did that on purpose because I wanted the readers to sort of grow up with Londres as he matures.
Out of all the books in the world, and all the authors to choose from, which book and author would you suggest to be your favourite and why?
I really like David Sedaris for my favorite author. He is absolutely, unequivocally my favorite author. I think his writing is hilarious and I love his use of sarcasm. While I can’t write humor (I’ve tried, it didn’t work out) I appreciate his clever use of it.
As far as favorite book, I would have to say it’s actually Bless Me, Ultima. I love anything with magical realism and Rudolfo Anaya’s use of it in that book was just amazing. It’s truly an amazing book and I can’t recommend it enough to anyone who asks for a good book to read.
What guidance would you offer to someone new to the writing work, or who was trying to enhance their craft or business?
One question I get a lot from authors I work with is what to do when you have writer’s block. I’ve found that keeping a journal that you write in every day is key to getting through those moments of writer’s block. It doesn’t have to be anything deep. I was just writing silly things that came to mind. With one journal entry I made myself write about an empty white room and then just let myself free write about what was going on in the room. When I had writer’s block when I was writing Fighting Against Gravity, I would occasionally go back to that journal and see if there was anything that I could turn into a scene for the book. That entry that I mentioned where I wrote about an empty white room turned into an awesome dream sequence in the book and if I hadn’t kept that journal I would have never thought of it. I think that’s my biggest piece of advice is to write in a journal every day, even if it’s just a page.
Where can our readers find out more about you, do you have a website, or a way to be contacted?
I’m the co-founder of a small independent publishing company called Michelkin Publishing, so readers can follow new developments on our website at http://books.michelkin.com. We also have a Facebook page, a Twitter, a LinkedIn profiles, and an Instragram. You can find us by searching Michelkin Publishing on any of those platforms. There is more information about me there as well as other authors we are working with to publish. Our goal is to bring truly unique stories to the world, so we’re always looking for unusual stuff to bring to the market.
For readers wanting to contact me directly, you can always email email@example.com and I will respond directly.