Hold By Rachel Davidson Leigh
Luke Aday knew that his sister’s death was imminent—she had been under hospice care for months—but that didn’t
make her death any easier on him or their family. He returns to school three days after the funeral to a changed world;
his best friends welcome him back with open arms, but it isn’t the same. When a charismatic new student, Eddie
Sankawulo, tries to welcome Luke to his own school, something life-changing happens: In a moment of frustration, Luke
runs into an empty classroom, hurls his backpack against the wall—and the backpack never lands. Luke Aday has just
discovered that he can stop time.
He broke into a weak smile with the shine again in his eyes. “You came to the game. It was a crappy
game, but you were there.”
Luke inched in the door and sat on top of the desk closest to the door. The two desks between them
might as well have been two miles. “Of course I came.” He didn’t say, “I came because you asked,” or
“I had to go because you wanted me there,” because that didn’t make any sense at all. “I didn’t really
know what I was watching, but I tried. Dee gave me a crash course in lacrosse.”
“Next time, I’ll come over and give you a tutorial,” Eddie said with a shaky grin. “You see, there’s
this ball, and the whole team is trying to make sure it goes into the other team’s net.”
“Shut up” Luke rolled his eyes, but he couldn’t help smiling back. Next time. He said, next time.
What happened to Wes? “I’m sorry, but I can’t take lacrosse lessons from a man who looks like he’s
going to the opera.”
Eddie eyed his black-on-black. “I look like I’m going to an audition,” he finally said. “I don’t know.
Today, I wanted to look good.”
You do, Luke thought. You are.
He opened his mouth, but the words stuck in his throat. He felt the influence of their room, just like
all the rehearsals before this one. Even when he couldn’t find a good direction to save his life, he
eventually sank into their place, their stage and Eddie’s smile, as if he could stay here forever. As long
as Eddie kept looking at him as if he were the smartest, funniest, most talented boy he’d ever known,
part of him was sure the outside world would hold its breath and wait. Outside, there were secrets and
questions and too many hospital beds, but in here—Luke’s stomach clenched. It would be glowing and
perfect for a while, but then he had to go.
Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Rachel Davidson Leigh author of Hold
Hi Rachel, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.
Hi! Thank you so much for having me on your blog! I’m Rachel, and my hobbies include overanalyzing television shows and pairing readers with their perfect books. My debut novel, Hold, is a story about grief, identity, and transformation. After his sister’s death, Lucas Aday can hardly drag himself back to school. He couldn’t possibly prepare himself to stop time or to fall for the only other boy who doesn’t stop moving.
I’m glad that you get the chance to talk to Luke today. He deserves as little bit of celebrity after everything I put him through. Take it away, Luke.
What is your character’s name? Does the character have a nickname?
Hi. I’m Luke. Well, actually, my full name is Lucas Aday, but no one really calls me “Lucas” anymore. Most of the other nicknames I know about aren’t from my friends, so I’ll just stick with Luke. That picture on the top left is me. A lot of people say that I look like Suraj Sharma. He’s the actor who was in Life of Pi, but I really don’t see it.
Where was your character born? Where has he lived since then? Where does he call home?
I don’t know exactly where my birth parents lived, but I know my birth hospital is in Mumbai, and I was in Indian foster care for nine months before I was adopted. My mom and dad live in North Grove, Minnesota, which is right outside the Twin Cities. It’s a suburb, but it’s close to the city, so that’s cool. My folks moved there before I was born and we’ve never lived anywhere else, so I guess that’s home. In a couple years, I’m going to go somewhere for college, but even then I’ll probably come back a lot for the holidays and over the summer. I can’t really see my parents letting me just ghost.
Who are your character’s friends and family? Who does he surround herself with? Who are the people your character is closest to? Who does he wish he were closest to?
I already talked about my parents, but I also have, or had, an older sister. Her name was Elizabeth, but everyone called her Lizzy. She was seven years older than me and she died not that long ago. We knew it was coming; I mean, she was in hospice, but it still feels weird that she’s gone.
Weird isn’t the right word. It’s not strong enough, but I haven’t found the right word yet.
Right now, I spend most of my time with my friends, Marcos and Dee. Marcos is the picture on the top right and Dee’s pic is just below his on the right. The picture on the bottom left is of this new kid, Eddie Sankawulo. I’m not sure why I included him, really. He screwed up my whole first day back at school after the funeral and now he wants me to work on this theater project with him. It doesn’t make any sense and I think he’s got about a million secrets. Anyway, it’s complicated.
What is one strong memory that has stuck with your character from childhood? Why is it so powerful and lasting?
This was a long time ago, but I remember when I went to my very first Concert in the Park. We used to go all the time, but that was the first summer I got to be there too. I was five and that means Lizzy would have been twelve. I was really young, but I’ve still got this image of us all out on the grass listening to The Rich Lewis Band, and I’m weaving strands of crepe paper through the spokes of Lizzy’s wheelchair. Right after the concert, I think it started raining and I got upset because the crepe paper got all soggy, but for a few minutes we were all ridiculously happy. In seventh grade, I started a collage of drawings above my bed and that’s one of the first memories I drew. Lizzy loved her chair and she loved music, so I liked it too.
Your character is getting ready for a night out. Where is he going? What does he wear? Who will he be with?
Ha! I don’t think I’ve ever had a “night out.” That sounds like I’m going to a club or something, but I go to movies. There’s this one really old theater called the Westgate where Marcos likes to drag me and Dee for cheap movie nights. He loves that place, so I can’t count how many times I’ve seen Plan 9 from Outer Space and Back to the Future, usually with about four other audience members, all old enough to be my grandparents. We always sit in the same place and Dee likes to say that she can see the outline of her butt in the seats. FYI: Dee is disgusting, but I love her anyway.
Your character is doing intense spring cleaning. What is easy for him to throw out? What is difficult for him to part with? Why?
I don’t keep a lot of junk in the first place. That’s my mom’s thing, but if I did keep something, like a book or playbill from one of the shows I did tech for at school, then it would take a lot for me to get rid of it. In general, if I got it from Marcos or Dee, it’s not going anywhere, and you can pry my drawings and art supplies out of my cold dead hands.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Rachel Davidson Leigh is a teacher, a writer and an avid fan of young adult LGBTQ f ction. Her hobbies include
overanalyzing television shows and playing matchmaker with book recommendations. Currently, she lives in Wisconsin
with her family and two neurotic little dogs. Hold is her debut novel. Her short story “Beautiful Monsters” was featured in
Summer Love, a collection of short stories published by Duet Books, the young adult imprint of Interlude Press.
Connect with author Rachel Davidson Leigh at racheldavidsonleigh.com
on Twitter @rdavidsonleigh
Hold By Rachel Davidson Leigh
Category LGBT Fiction, YA, Romance, Magical Realism
BISAC YAF052040 Young Adult Fiction / Romance / LGBT
YAF031000 Young Adult Fiction / LGBT
YAF038000 Young Adult Fiction / Magical Realism
ISBN (Trade) 978-1-945053-09-2
ISBN (eBook) 978-1-945053-10-8
Publication Date October 20, 2016
Pages 270 (69,500 words)
Price $16.99 print / $6.99 multi-format eBook
Publisher Duet Books, an imprint of Interlude Press
Cover Design CB Messer
Director, Marketing & Communications
Fine Print Literary Management
jacqueline@ f neprintlit.com
Hold will be published by Duet Books on October 20, 2016.
Interlude Press Web Store: store.interludepress.com
Apple IBookstore: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/hold/id1148322903?mt=11
Book Depository: Not yet available
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