Thursday, March 12, 2009

Interview with Michael Sonbert (The Never Enders)

Interview: Michael Sonbert
Questions by: Lauren

1. You have a novel out called The Never Enders, which is such a good title to get people thinking. Is there one particular meaning behind it or does it encompass a lot of ideas about the book?

For me, it's the idea of being young and thinking that things will always be the way they are at that time. It's the idea that the beautiful struggle that many of us go through during our early twenties will last forever. It's difficult and exciting and the most fun many of us will ever have in our lives and when you're there, at least for me, I never thought it would end. My friends and I were The Never Enders. Of course, it did end and the next thing comes along. As I've gotten older I've realized that that's not a bad thing.

2. The Never Enders deals with a lot of heavy issues: drinking, drugs, violence. Are these things you've experienced in your own life (through yourself or others) or were they simply topics you wanted to talk about (perhaps a mix of both)?

I have done my share of partying and I've seen some pretty dark days, however, I didn't plan on writing about those things just to write about them. I sat down and started typing and that's what came out. It felt right so I kept going. Before long I'd written The Never Enders. But I get frustrated at the idea that some people have that this is a "drug book" or something like that. I feel that the drugs and the violence are a minimal part of it. At the end of the day I think it's about young people, trying to figure things out. Trying to figure out where they belong. Trying to find love.

3. If you had to pick a song to go along with this book, what would be your pick and why?

I heard the song "Passive" by A Perfect Circle while watching a movie called Constantine and it completely blew my mind. The scene took place in this underground club and everything was dark and there was some blue and some red and some of the customers were demons and others were angels and it looked exactly like what I'd pictured The Never Enders to look like. I'm not a huge fan of the band, but that song always reminds me of the book.

4. The cover is interesting in regards to the man and his shadow, as if he's two different people. What are your thoughts about it? Did you have any say behind the picture?

I didn't design the picture but I did have a say in choosing it. Although it's funny because I never really thought about it as two people until you mentioned it. It's a great observation. I think Perry is two different people. He's extremely torn between his old life and the new one he's trying to forge for himself. Right or wrong, he's trying to be an adult while still being very much a kid. He struggles with that as many of us do. Rock on for noticing it. :)

5. The book is stated to be a cross between The Catcher in the Rye and Fight Club. How so? As Catcher falls under YA and Flight Club is more Adult, where do you think your novel fits? Is it a cross-over?

I think it's because a lot of the content is dark and kind of male oriented that people make the Fight Club comparison. However, because the narration is so straight and the reader is very much inside the head of Perry, people make the comparison with Catcher in the Rye. At the end of the day, all the comparisons are there to get someone to pick the book up off the shelves. People will make up their own minds. Honestly, you can't believe some of the comparisons I've heard from people. Everything from Vonnegut to Plath. I'll take it though. I just want the book to resonate with people. Thankfully, at this point, it seems as if it has.


the epic rat said...

"Never Enders" remind me of Never, Never Land :) An interesting comparison, and I found Michael's answer really interesting too and very true. His book will find a home in someone's hands, whether it is YA or adult or maybe both.

P.S. I nominated you for the "I <3 your blog" award here

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Cecilia: AW, thanks. And I'm glad you enjoyed the interview. I definitely agree as well. :)