Ari Rosenschein

GENRE:  Young Adult

It’s the late ’90s—the final days before smartphones and the internet changed the teenage landscape forever. Zack and his mother have moved from Tempe to Berkeley for a fresh start, leaving behind Zack’s father after a painful divorce. A natural athlete, Zack makes the water polo team which equals social acceptance at his new school. Yet he’s more drawn to Matthias, a rebellious skater on the fringes, who introduces him to punk rock, record stores, and the legendary Telegraph Avenue.

As their friendship intensifies, Matthias’s behavior reminds Zack of his absent dad, driving a wedge between him and his mother. Complicating matters is Zaylee, a senior who boosts Zack’s confidence but makes him question his new buddy, Matthias. Faced with all these changes, Zack learns that when life gets messy, he might have to become his own best friend.

Dr. Z and Matty Take Telegraph is about how a friendship can challenge who we are, how we fit in, and where we’re going.

Enjoy an Excerpt:

I hold my breath as I watch Zaylee scan my clumsy attempt at eloquence. It probably only takes her a minute, but it feels like a century. 

“Oh, Zack, you’re sweet. I wasn’t expecting anything like this.” She closes the card and places it on her lap. “Look, you’re a good guy.” 

Oh no. “What’s the problem then?” 

She looks out her window. “The problem is I’m gonna be eighteen in August. Our ages are going to be an issue when I’m away at school.” 

“You like me now, though, right?” 

She looks down at the cheap drugstore rose. “Yes, you’re fun and smart and cool. But you’re a sophomore, Zack.” 

“Forget that. We can make this work.” I’m playing a more confident, forceful version of myself, like one of the roommates on MTV’s The Real World. 

Zaylee opens the plastic container and sniffs the rose. “What would that even look like?” “I’ll visit you on weekends at school.”

“What if I go out of state?

“Then we’ll make plans for when you’re home for the holidays.”

But the time for rational explanation is over. This is my chance to show Zaylee that I can be a bold man of action. So, without any warning, I lean in and kiss her. She tastes like sprinkles. 

About the Author:

Ari Rosenschein is a Seattle-based author who grew up in the Bay Area. Books and records were a source of childhood solace, leading Ari to a teaching career and decades of writing, recording, and performing music. Along the way, he earned a Grammy shortlist spot, landed film and TV placements, and co-wrote the 2006 John Lennon Songwriting Contest Song of the Year.

In his writing, Ari combines these twin passions. Coasting, his debut short story collection, was praised by Newfound Journal as “introducing us to new West Coast archetypes who follow the tradition of California Dreaming into the 21st century.” Dr. Z and Matty Take Telegraph (Fire & Ice YA) is his first young adult novel.

Q&A With the Author: 

What was your inspiration for writing this book? 

At heart, my inspiration for writing Dr. Z and Matty Take Telegraph emerged from the many significant male friendships I’ve had over my nearly five decades on the planet. Each one of these potent relationships had altered the course of my life. I’ve had friends who have pushed, taught, tested, hurt, held, and given me more than I can express in a few sentences. The bond between me and my best friends has shaped me. I wanted to pay tribute to the myriad emotions accompanying gaining a new friend and address the pain of ending a friendship.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book? 

While I grew up in the Bay Area, I was a South Bay kid who started school at UC Santa Cruz in 1993. The characters in Dr. Z and Matty Take Telegraph exist in Berkeley in 1997, an entirely different universe. The internet was only just becoming an integral part of young people’s lives. As a result, it was fun to research what it was like for teens at that time, as I was already onto my semi-grown-up life when Zack and Matty would have been around. It was also a hoot digging into all the skate and water polo lingo and lore from good pals who know those worlds. As a lifelong indoorsman, I had a great deal to learn about the wide world of sports of which I’m an utter neophyte.

Do you have any other books you are working on that you can tell us about? 

I am currently working on a book set in the Seattle tech industry. The book features a large cast of disparate characters who all navigate life and love in the last days before the recent shrinking of that sector, during a time when it seemed like tech would expand indefinitely. The sky was the limit, and these workers were on top of the world. But underneath the surface was plenty of jealousy, greed, and discomfort; that’s what my book hopes to get at.

Can you tell us about what you have planned for the future? 

I have two exciting novel ideas I can’t wait to dig into after editing and sending out the book above. November is a sacred month for me as I use NaNoWriMo as my manuscript drafting period. Dr. Z and Matty Take Telegraph came from my first NaNoWriMo in 2020, and every year since, it has helped me concoct something powerful—albeit in its earliest, roughest state. Last year, I attempted a reverse NaNoWriMo, removing over half the words from a manuscript. It was an eye-opening experience, and I’m excited about the result.

Anything more you would like to say to your readers and fans?

Every review, purchase, NetGalley request, and kind word is so meaningful to me. As a writer, the gratification comes very slowly, and it is all too easy to experience tunnel vision around a project. When people ask questions, share a post, or simply offer a “congratulations” about a book coming out, it spurs me to keep writing. It’s solitary work, and I make no bones about that, but the nods make a real difference. So, thank you, friends.

Website: https://arirosenschein.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/arirosenschein

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/arirosenschein/

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@arirosenschein

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CYQKNBKQ


Ari Rosenschein will be awarding a signed paperback copy of Dr. Z and Matty Take Telegraph (US only) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Post a Comment

Wait! Stop! Are you leaving the same old comment on all the blog pages? Try switching things up a bit. I love reading your comments, but if its the same thing each time... it feels like spam. And NO ONE likes spam...
Please make sure the comments you leave are related to the post, and are at least eight words in length.

Recent Posts

Recent Posts Widget