The Book Nerds are lucky enough to host the last stop on the Noah Zarc Blog Tour! And -- even better -- the author of Noah Zarc, D. Robert Pease -- was gracious enough to grant us an interview! Many thanks go out to him for answering our montage of random questions...
1. Having a protagonist who does not have use of his legs in a story where there is a lot of physical action was an interesting choice. Can you talk a little bit about how you came up with the character of Noah Zarc?
Noah is a combination of many different people in my life. And a small picture of maybe who I wish I was as a kid. When I wrote the first draft of the book, my son was the same age as Noah. Much of what I wrote was modeled after him--although my son might lean a bit more toward Hamilton, personality-wise, than Noah. But in actuality a great deal of Noah is just what I imagined a cool, confident kid would be like. I was neither of those things as a kid. I was shy, picked on, and not at all sure of myself. Of course as a parent, I'm pretty happy my kids aren't defying me at every turn and taking off on adventures without my okay.
As to the question of why is Noah a paraplegic? That's a bit less grounded in anything from my life. I had one of those strange moments when my character spoke to me. In the first draft of Noah Zarc, he wasn't disabled at all. But I kept feeling like he was supposed to be. I fought it because I didn't want people to think I put him in a "wheelchair" because I was trying to be politically correct. So I really didn't want to do it. But as I revised, and as he kept telling me he wasn't supposed to be able to walk, I finally gave in. I hope it feels genuine, and not just a gimmick. I certainly did not intend it to be.
2. Let's put Noah in a couple of scenarios and talk about how he would fare.
a. Noah Zarc in The Hunger Games?