The Benevolent Lords of Sometimes Island received a 4+ star review, making it an IndieReader Approved title.
Following find an interview with author Scott Semegran.
What is the name of the book and when was it published?
The Benevolent Lords of Sometimes Island. Pub date: Oct 1, 2020.
What’s the book’s first line?
The first time I experienced real, life-threatening danger was in the seventh grade.
What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”.
The Benevolent Lords of Sometimes Island is about four middle school boys who get stranded on a desolate lake island in the middle of Texas during the summer of 1986. It is Lord of the Flies meets The Body by Stephen King. A gripping suspense story with adventure and danger, tinged with humorous banter between the four friends, the middle schoolers face certain death without adults to protect them from the unrelenting natural elements, as well as the wild creatures that lurk in the wilderness around the lake. With a backpack filled with money and marijuana they stole from a merciless high school gang leader, it’s only a matter of time before the high schoolers come looking for them, too.
What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event?
I was inspired after listening to an audiobook of Lord of the Flies narrated by William Golding. In it, he explains that the boys in his story represent scaled-down society, and I thought that very strange because the boys in his story are all white boys from a private school in England, which is the farthest thing from real society as we know it. Where are all the different races and creeds and genders and everybody else in this scaled-down society? Also, the boys I knew when I was 12 or 13 wouldn’t have done what the boys in Lord of the Flies did to each other. The boys I knew would have helped and supported each other.
So, after ruminating about this for quite some time, I decided to write my response to Lord of the Flies, which actually was William Golding’s response to The Coral Island by R. M. Ballantyne, an adventure novel from 1858. I felt the boys in my story should be of different races and backgrounds, and they should care for each other just as the friends I had did when I was 12 or 13.
What’s the main reason someone should really read this book?
The main reason someone should read my novel is to be transported to a time in the 1980s when kids weren’t monitored by technology and they could have their own adventures without being under the watchful eyes of their parents. And if readers are familiar with Lord of the Flies, then they can ruminate about the fate of those boys in that story and the fate of the friends in my story and decide for themselves which story has the more honest and accurate portrayal of adolescence.
What’s the most distinctive thing about the main character? Who-real or fictional-would you say the character reminds you of?
The main character, William Flynn, is adventurous and mischievous, but also has a tender heart. He deeply cares for his friends, although he makes some impetuous decisions in the story which put his friends in a very dangerous situation. I would say William reminds me of several fictional characters, like an amalgam of Gordie from The Body, Peter Parker from The Amazing Spider-Man, and so many others. To be honest, he also has a bit of my 13-year old self, too, in his DNA.
What other books have you written?
To Squeeze a Prairie Dog: An American Novel, Sammie & Budgie, Boys: Stories about Bullies, Jobs, and Other Unpleasant Rites of Passage from Boyhood to Manhood (the IndieReader Discovery Awards winner in 2018 for Short Stories), The Spectacular Simon Burchwood, The Meteoric Rise of Simon Burchwood, Modicum and Mr. Grieves.