Novel Shows How to Become a Man, Today

Published: August 2nd 2010
in Culture » Books

Larry Rodness
Today I Am A Man cover

He described the novel’s target audience as both older teenagers as well as adults. “Most kids are responsive because they identify with the boy who goes through these things, and adults are also responsive to it because they view the situation through the eyes of the character as a father. I wouldn’t say it’s for a 12 year-old kid. It’s not a kids’ book. Some of the events that go on include a death and a number of things that kids face, but I would say it’s for high school and adults.”


Now that Today I Am A Man is out, the next step, according to Rodness, is getting it into the school system, a process which is difficult. “I’m making those rounds, because bullying is a big issue at school and there are ways in the book that I’ve described [to handle it],” he said. “I’m not saying you should do this or you should do that. It’s not that kind of book but there are different solutions that are approached and I think it’s controversial enough that a lot of people would talk about it. I’ve had interest from teachers, who are saying they’d like to use it, and now I’m trying to get it into the school system but it’s a huge bureaucracy. It has to go through various boards and also has to be accepted by the teachers themselves so I have to approach it two different ways.” 


The novel is being published by Savant Books and Publications, a publisher based in Hawaii. For those wondering about the seemingly strange connection between a Toronto author and a Hawaiian publisher, Rodness explained that it was made as part of the process of writing a novel. “When you write a book, there’s a list of publishers worldwide on the internet, and so the approach is that I’d send a synopsis of three chapters to the appropriate publishers because some work in strict genres. There are academics, there are people who do strictly children’s books, so you have to know which publisher to send to. I had about three publishers who were interested, and Savant were the ones who showed the most interest and wanted to sign a contract, and so as a result I went with them, of course.” 


Rodness is not simply resting and enjoying the fruits of his labour, but rather has already written a second novel which he has sent to publishers. The new novel was inspired by a European cruise he went on with his wife. 


“You really have to reinvent yourself over the years, because the time is done when you went to work for a company and you got your gold watch after 25 years and retired,” he said. “That doesn’t happen anymore. And besides, when you’re in the arts, you’re always thinking about what else is out there, what’s new, what inspires you and the same things don’t inspire you day by day. You need change.”


Today I Am A Man is available for purchase through Those who are in the Toronto area can also purchase the novel at Israel’s and at the Batner Bookstore.

Related articles: (Larry Rodness, Jewish novel, Today I Am A Man)
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