It is my pleasure to welcome fellow Indie Author Jason Zandri to talk to us about his book: AS LIFE GOES: ELEMENTARY! Take it away, Jason…
“As Life Goes: Elementary” begins the telling of the story in 1981 Wallingford, Connecticut. This is of special consideration for me; it is not only my own hometown, where I have lived my whole life, but it is where my grandparents settled, where my parents were born and raised, and where I am raising my four children today. When you include my great grandparents who were here a short while near the ends of their lives, there have been five generations of my family here in our town.
I set up the story in 1981 Wallingford for a couple a reasons. One reason was relative ease of a setting. Instead of needing to make up an entire town and setting from 1981, I simply used memories and recalled places from my own youth, for the most part. A couple of places, like Colony Convenience as one example, are made up. Although the place does actually exist as a gas station, the store as it is described in my story, never existed. Other places, like Boylan’s, Windy’s, the Center Cinema, and so forth, were actual businesses that are now long closed.
Many of these places I went to as a kid myself, as they were all walking and bike riding distance from my house. None of the main events in the story were taken from anything that actually occurred in my life, but the occasional small things were. The entire sour apple stick thing… yeah, I did that (but it was in sixth grade). I got into trouble for it too. I vaguely recall the conversation with my parents and the principal going something on the order of “we don’t want to stymie the boy’s entrepreneurial efforts, but the amount of candy and gum he’s selling into the classrooms is becoming a distraction to the educational process.”
The second reason I used Wallingford in the story is I really love my hometown and it was my way to introduce all my readers to it. As I move the story from “As Life Goes: Elementary” through the series, I will be walking the reader through not only the lives of the main characters but through some of the changes in Wallingford during the years that the series takes place. The series starts in 1981 and continues in “As Life Goes: The End of the Innocence” in 1986 and into 1987. The events of “As Life Goes: The Reunion” occur in 1992 and the beginning of 1993. “As Life Goes: The Wedding” takes place in 1999 and 2000 and the final chapter of the story of their lives, “As Life Goes: The Funeral” starts in 2009, continues into 2010, and finishes in 2011.
I have been taking a walk down memory lane for some of the incidental history of the town, while I make up a story with events that never actually occurred. Mixing the reality that is Wallingford with the fictional events of the “As Life Goes” series has been fun for me on different levels and I am happy with the end product of “As Life Goes: Elementary” and where I see the rest of the story heading.
About As Life Goes: Elementary
“Every new beginning starts from nothing. Understanding that you can have everything in the love of one person, isn’t that worth the risk of personal capital? Isn’t that kind of love worth it?” – Diane Wakeford
“Have I ever told you, you’re the nicest boy I’ve ever met?” – Melissa Bancroft
“I will have the friends I want. I don’t care what boy likes me or what boy I like. You’re an awesome friend. I am not giving you up because we’re going to different schools or for any one person either.” – Elizabeth Wellsworth
Mark Sanford returns to his hometown with his son Matthew in tow to rebuild their lives. Recently divorced, and with the mother totally abandoning her parental responsibilities, both father and son are beginning their fresh start together.
Matthew begins to make new friends in the neighborhood and at school while he tries to find his place among people that have been friends with one another for years at elementary school.
Mark takes over the reins of the former family corner store with the help of a young woman looking for work. The ability to love and trust that woman entering his life is difficult for him because of all he has lost. For Matthew, that “first love” is difficult to understand without a motherly influence and with a father that has been deeply hurt.
As Life Goes: Elementary – Links to Excerpts
As Life Goes: Elementary – Excerpt I
As Life Goes: Elementary – Excerpt II
As Life Goes: Elementary – Excerpt III
Books and links
Before Another Sunset (The Sunset Series Book 1)
Another Sunset (The Sunset Series Book 2)
I Hero: The Beginning
I Hero: Nathan Returns
As Life Goes: Elementary
As Life Goes: The End of the Innocence – (expected November 2015)
As Life Goes: The Reunion – (expected April 2016)
As Life Goes: The Wedding (expected July 2016)
As Life Goes: The Funeral (expected October 2016)
I Hero: Untitled Book 3 (Expected first half 2016)
I Hero: Untitled Book 4 (Expected second half 2016)
I Hero: Untitled Book 5 (Expected first half 2017)
Social Media links
Twitter – @GUNDERSTONE https://twitter.com/gunderstone/
Facebook Author page – https://www.facebook.com/jzandri
LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/jasonzandri
Google+ – https://plus.google.com/+JasonZandri/
Author blog – The GUNDERSTONE Review https://gunderstone.wordpress.com/
ABOUT JASON ZANDRI
Jason has been working in the information technology field in one form or the other since 1996. He is currently employed full time at Bloomberg LP as a Systems Engineer in the R&D group. Jason lives in Wallingford Connecticut, with his wife Renata. He is the father to four children, three boys and 1 girl – 11 years (Andrew), 9 years (Angela), 7 years (Adam) and 6 years old (Alex).