Character Interview: Zander Roth (Wicked Hunger by DelSheree Gladden)

On the outside, Zander Roth is the model of self-control and polite existence. No one else can see the daily struggle to control his hunger, the devastating secrets he hides, or the desires he fights to deny.
1. How did you first meet your writer?
After all the news coverage my family received last year, it wasn’t surprising when DelSheree showed up at one of my football practices wanting to talk. The story of my parents deaths was what drew her to my family, but she ended up with a different story entirely.  
2. Did you ever think that your life would end up being in a book?
I never wanted it to be, but no, it’s not surprising. It seems like no matter how hard I try to pretend everything is fine and normal, it’s impossible to hide all the cracks in that fantasy.
3. Tell us about your favorite scene in the book.
My sister, Van, would kill me for admitting this, but my favorite scene is the first night I sneak into Ivy’s room. Being near her without wanting to kill her every second was intoxicating. It was a moment that changed me. Whether for good or bad depends on who you talk to.
4. Did you have a hard time convincing your author to write any particular scenes for you?
There were times DelSheree wanted me to make different choices, smarter choices. It wasn’t that I wanted to argue with her. I knew what I should do. Ivy was too strong of a pull, though. Denying her anything was simply beyond me.
5. What do you like to do when you are not being actively read somewhere?
Get away from the world. There are fewer chances for me to hurt people if I just stay away from everyone and keep to myself. That’s not always possible, but I’ve learned to keep my distance…from everyone.
6. If you could rewrite anything in your book, what would it be?
That’s a hard question. The right answer would be to have walked away from Ivy that first day and never looked back. The real answer, though, would be to have seen through the lies earlier and seen the truth before people got hurt.
7. Tell the truth. What do you think of your fellow characters?
My sister Van is the most important person in my life. I underestimate her all too often, but she is one of the strongest and smartest people I know. I have a lot of respect for my grandma, but she doesn’t understand as much as she thinks she does. Explaining what I think and feel about Ivy is impossible. There is so much conflict inside of me when I think of her that I don’t even know where to begin.
8. Do have any secret aspirations that your author doesn’t know about?

For all the times I have criticized Van for trying to live a normal life, that is what I really want more than anything. I know being happy, really happy, isn’t something I will ever truly experience, but that doesn’t mean I don’t still want it.
9. If you had a free day with no responsibilities and your only mission was to enjoy yourself, what would you do?
I really don’t know. I’ve been living this life of careful restraint for so long, I’m not sure I would even know what to do if I was actually free.

10. What impression do you make on people when they first meet you? How about after they’ve known you for a while?

Everyone who meets me thinks I am polite, calm, restrained, boring even. It’s a mask I’ve tried very hard to create. No one really gets to know me. I won’t let them. Ivy was the only one who got close enough to see through my mask and I never should have let that happen.

11. What’s the worst thing that’s happened in your life? What did you learn from it?

Losing my parents left scars that will never heal. They weren’t the only people I lost, and each new loss only makes the wounds go deeper, harder to recover from. I’ve learned to stop opening myself to the possibility of being hurt.

12. Tell us about your best friend.

I’ll have to apply that term a bit loosely. Friends aren’t really my thing, but the closest I have to a real friend is Sam, one of my teammates on the football team. It wasn’t really my choice to become friends with Sam, he just always seemed to be at my side. He keeps my mind off darker thoughts, though, so I don’t mind him hanging around. Maybe one day he’ll actually become a real friend, but he’d probably be better off walking away.

13. What are you most afraid of?

Hurting someone. Van thinks I have so much control, but keeping my hunger in check is more of a struggle than she will ever understand.

14. What’s the best trait your author has given you? What’s the worst?

DelSheree and I would probably disagree on whether this would be the best or worst trait, but I see my determination as a good thing. It has kept me out of trouble, kept me focused. She would argue it kept me from backing off from Ivy and call it my biggest fault.

15. What do you like best about Ketchup? Least?

Ketchup is persistent. I’m not sure if that’s what I like most or least about him, but I can appreciate his refusal to never give up. I know he loves my sister, and despite the fact that I find him rather annoying 90% of the time, I’m glad he hasn’t walked away from Van yet.
16. How do you feel about your life right now? What, if anything, would you like to change?
My life has never been more uncertain. I thought I had the basics figured out. I can’t even begin to explain how wrong I was. If I could, I would have tried harder to find out what I suspected my grandma was hiding.
17. What aspect of your author’s writing style do you like best?
It’s honest. She doesn’t let me skate by when I make mistakes. She forces me to face them and deal with the consequences, no matter how unpleasant.
18. If your story were a movie, who would play you?
I’d have to go with either Channing Tatum or Kellan Lutz, although I’m not sure how either of them would look as a blonde.
19. Describe an average day in your life.
An average day in my life is hardly average. Controlling my hunger all day in place that is teeming with physical and emotional pain that teases my hunger relentlessly is not an easy thing. Football and other sports help me get through the days, but sometimes I have to turn to something less…socially acceptable.
20. Will you encourage your author to write a sequel?

Encourage might not be the right word. Do I want to have any more of my failures displayed for everyone to see? Not particularly. But do I want people to know the truth? Absolutely. 
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