Wendy reviews Sculpting David by Chadi Nassar. Self published on December 1, 2016, 143 pages.
“It is my favorite word, it is my favorite question. I always want to know why.”
David, a trust fund baby, has gone through the biggest heartbreak of his life. He is successful, spontaneous, and generally liked, yet he cannot hold onto his one true love. Trodding down a street one day, David is bumped on the shoulder. When he turns around, the individual is staring at him with the crispest blue eyes he had ever seen. Jolted from his broken heart and thrown into a world of love so different from what he has known, David ventures on a journey of self-discovery taking him across the world and through all realms of emotions.
Hi everyone! Rainbow Gold Reviews is excited to welcome Chadi Nassar today. He has graciously agreed to an interview with us and is giving away an e-book copy of his book Sculpting David, so be sure to check out the rafflecopter giveaway at the end of this post.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Well, I don’t know what to say really. I’m what is termed in Anthropology as a Third or Cross Culture Kid or T(C)CK. That would be the best way to identify myself. In short, kids (or now grown ups) like me relate to not one specific culture but an amalgamation of a few. We see ourselves, to no fault of our own, as global people and are comfortable in almost any culture we are thrust into. Though, we are also prone to depression also since we do not fit into many ‘norms’ since we find/view ourselves as outsiders everywhere we go until we meet other T(C)CKs along the way. I think (and hope) you will be able to see those aspects of myself in the book through all 3 characters.
Did you always want to be a writer?
Simple answer, yes. Longer one? My upbringing being an international one in terms of friendships and places I’ve lived and seen has aided in my brain collecting stories and making them up. Being able to witness lovers quarrel in Istanbul in Turkish, French in Paris and Arabic in Lebanon has given me a lot of material to play with and make up my own material in the stories I write and plan to. Also, and I know to some this might sound as a cliché of sorts, one of the main reasons I fell in love with the movie American Beauty (it’s a classic now, I feel old haha) is the scene with the plastic bag dancing in the wind since I used to make up stories as a child to all those types of scenes that would pass by my life. Where did the bag come from? Why is it dancing? Was it enjoying the dance? etc. My head would just start going places and making up stories about things and people. It still does. In fact, I think my brain and the imagination it has is wired for story telling so I’ve decided that writing is a good outlet for it.
This is your first book, what was your inspiration?
A breakup. The book is dedicated to a girl I met when I did my bachelor degree in Canada that checked all the boxes I thought I would’ve wanted in a life partner growing up. Every single thing on that list down to her being a violin player. It was insane how she manifested into my life and the way we fell in love; fast and puppy like. When we broke up though I was really heartbroken and from what her friends told me so was she (we stopped speaking then though we had a phone call a few years later when I was in China for my MBA). The romantic in me would say that there is a part of me that will always love her, I’m not sure if that part or any other will ever be ‘in love’ with her anymore though. The writing of Sculpting David was an outlet for my pain about that break up and many other pains. I still wonder how she’s doing at times and send positive thoughts her way since I will always wish her and hers well.
Is there any part of you or someone you know in this book?
A lot of my personality and those in my life are in the book. One of my English professors once said that we should write what we know. Well, I know myself and the people in my life the most hence the book being very people centric. 3 people, 3 personalities, 3 perspectives, 1 life. I have to clarify that none of the characters are based on any one person in my life, they are all fictional characters that draw on people in my life and that I’ve met through my many encounters, but none are based on any one person in his/her entirety.
What was your favorite part to write?
I can’t say. All of the 3 parts are quite interesting to me. Helen was the most challenging though since I really wanted her to give her part of the story. Even though many readers feel she is a villian but I wanted to portray her as a girl who became a woman and made decisions that led her to lead a certain kind of life. She did what she thought was best. Does that make her a villian? I hope not. I truly hope readers try to empathize with her and try to see things from her point of view also.
How long did it take you to write Sculpting David?
I wrote the book over a span of around a decade. The part with David was written in almost a night. It all came to me in a rush but I felt I needed more time to properly hear the other voices so I can make them more distinct. I was worried they would all sound the same or similar but I’ve gotten enough feedback to now know that is not the case (I hope at least LOL).
The MC “David”, goes through a HUGE transformation in this book. Can you tell us why you chose to write such a complex character?
He does doesn’t he? Well, don’t we all also go through a lot and grow quite a bit? I hope so. I truly hope everyone changes while they grow and hopefully for the better. We see things differently when we go through certain ages and rights of passages such as going to college, starting our first job, etc. David is such a character, he had struggled a lot with himself and finding meaning to his life. With struggle so comes growth and maturity. Did I intend to write such a complex character? Well, I think the character insisted on being whole and showing his complexity. Writers would tell you that ultimately we are channels for the stories we tell, they flow through us. David and the other 2 really wanted their own stories told and in their own ways hence the book hosting such complex characters, especially David. This book is about him and his growth, the next 2 books (I intend this series to be a trilogy) will delve more into the other 2 characters and make them more 3D and help us know them better.
You take on some big issues in this book; was that your intent from the beginning or did the story take on a life of its own?
The intention was there for the book to insight some sort of feeling from the reader. It was my intention to get readers to really love or hate the characters and hopefully empathize with them all. From what I’ve noticed since it has been published through the feedback I have gotten is that the readers really do feel something and the story hits certain aspects of their soul. I had one reader absolutely hate one of the characters to the point of wanting to like grab them and yell at them. If someone hates the book, I know the book accomplished its purpose of making them think. No one has extreme emotions without having some sort of thought process behind them. If someone likes or loves the book, the same thing would’ve happened. They read the book and their brain worked through certain emotions which manifested into loving the book. So to go back to specifically answer your question, yes, I do take on some big issues, but don’t we all? Life throws them at us whether we like it or not. I did want to take on the issue of David’s identity and who he is, for me to do that, I had to take on all those issues in the book (and more to come in the future).
There are two versions of this book, a set of three episodes and as a full length novel. What made you decide to publish it that way?
I had always wondered what if we read the book like we watch TV series. What I mean is that sometimes we stumble upon a series or tele-novella where we watch a random episode and then decide to rewind and watch the whole thing in the way it was intended to be seen. In an age of Netflix and on demand everything, I thought why not? Also, Episode 2 can be a stand alone story so I wanted to offer it as such. Episode 2 is a very important aspect of David’s life that fills a gap that defines him in what I would say is one of the two biggest ways he’s defined himself. Yet, the other 2 episodes can be read without it and so can it can be read without reading Episodes 1 and 3.
I also think that art should be as interactive as possible. When I made that decision to offer the book in 3 episodes, I wanted the readers to play with the story and help shape it and decide how to read it themselves. That is why I offer them the chance to do so in all the descriptions of the book and the episodes. Full disclosure
Are you working on any other projects that you can share with us?
Yes. At the moment, I have a few projects I’m playing with.
– I’m working on a collection of short stories, they’ll be published in collections of 13.
– A completely new story that would be very valid in today’s world of, to put it very diplomatically, ‘conservative’ rulers of countries LOL so even though I will try not to localize the story into any specific country I think, I have a feeling it will be perceived as political. It is a complete work of fiction. Inspirations in terms of stories would be “Man in the High Castle”, “Star Wars”, “The Matrix” etc more in terms of their story arcs and character development and underlying messages than anything in their actual stories. The twist in this book I think will not be guessed, so let’s see how it develops and if people will like it.
– I’m trying to channel the second book of the David Saga but I have to admit it is proving difficult. The characters want to relax and see how they are received by the readers or maybe I am worried in investing in them much more until this one takes on a bit more traction. Not sure.
And now on to some fun questions…
What’s your superpower?
Fun answer: Superman, don’t tell anyone I am actually Clark Kent (I say while now wearing a Batman T-shirt LOL)
Serious answer: Empathy. I cry at movies.
Cat or Dog?
Dog! Mine is called Tequila and she’s the best!
Do you sing in the shower?
No. I do think a lot in there though.
Where can our readers stalk *cough* I mean find you?
My author pages:
You can subscribe to Chadi’s mailing list here:
Thank you very much for hosting me. I am quite humbled by your taking the time to read and review my book and to interview me. Here’s to many more interactions with you and your readers!
We were given a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I was sure that this was going to be just another MM romance, boy was I wrong! While this has some VERY romantic elements, this is not your typical romantic MM fiction. I would classify this as what one of my friends calls a “Queer romance”. A story that isn’t traditional in that it has more to do with finding your own peace and learning to be happy with yourself in the end. I admit that at the beginning of this story, I didn’t know where it was going, I would urge everyone who reads this to just stay with it because it really does all fall into place.
It doesn’t have the normal boy meets boy and they fall in love then there’s a thing that happens and they almost lose each other before one of them makes the grand gesture and they live happily ever after with TONS of sex thrown in. This story is about self discovery and how painful it is to grow into the person you were meant to be, living the life you were meant to have.
I cried more than once reading it. David, was so full of emotion throughout the story. I can’t remember a book where the MC had so much depth and feeling. He’s not a character you can easily forget; he’s broken and rebuilt more than once.
The story is always centering around love and his lovers. I wish I could go into more detail about the other two MC’s without giving the book away. I will say that both of them have positive and negative impacts on David’s life and while both of these protagonists are pivotal in the story and are both very complex, I felt so differently about each of them. Helen is someone who, while I can understand where she was coming from, I was surprised by some of the decisions she ultimately makes. And Alexander, with his blue eyes and his open heart… just read the book and you will understand. SO MANY FEELS!
This novel is also written and can be purchased as three episodes. I was impressed with how the author was able to have each of the MCs tell their own story here, yet it was also all interwoven together.
I would recommend that everyone reads this book. As much as it’s nice to read a fluffy romance, it’s nice to dig a little deeper every once in a while and this book is the perfect way to do that.
10/10 Pots of Gold (100% Recommended) – Compares to 5/5 Stars
GOOD LUCK ❤
Chadi’s vivid imagination originated during family road trips every weekend. Anything could get his mind running, from a garbage bag swaying in the wind to the person crossing the road. Growing up as an expat in the UAE he is considered a Third Culture Kid. His adventures as a child and his ability to create a story out of any object has fueled his passion for writing. Sculpting David is his debut novel which is only the start of Chadi’s budding career.