Kevin Zdrill discovered the power of story telling at the age of 11. After dusting off a manual typewriter from the closet of his parent’s home, he began creating short, comedic skits for his friends to read. Their laughter at these unadorned stories sparked an enthusiasm to continue exploring human behavior and relationships.
“I’m always looking for the characters within my books to have natural flaws. I find it speaks to their desperate nature in humorous and earnest settings. It’s important for the reader to relate and bond to the characters and to care about the chain of events that occur. I wrote No Kiss Good-Night (2012) to capture the angst many of my friends were facing turning 40 and still looking for love. Forty years old is a significant milestone for many people, especially men.”
When we first met Gus in No Kiss Good-Night, he was a man on the cusp of turning forty and desperate to find love. He was still suffering from his last relationship disaster ten years earlier. His resolve was to focus on a dating website despite the reality that it continued to beat down his self-esteem with every date. In the end, it was pure chance that connected him with Mitch. Yet, he allowed the resurgence of his past to nearly destroy what he had with Mitch. Gus eventually discovered his mourning for the past was holding him hostage from moving forward into a healthy relationship.
No Kiss Good-Night was a fun book to write. I purposely choose Winnipeg as the city of choice for the story to take place in. Winnipeg is a writer’s dream due to the vast cultures of food, ethnicity, eclectic city districts and entertainment. My personal goal prior to writing was to attend and experience every culinary establishment, festival and recreational venues in order to experience the atmosphere, music, food and drinks. For anyone who has visited Winnipeg or resided in Winnipeg they are certain to have been to some of the same places in the book. The book also serves as a bit of a historical marker to the businesses that have since closed taking a piece of Winnipeg fabric with it. Missing you Blue Note Cafe; Kelekis!
In Boom Chicka Wah Wah (2013), we catch up with Gus seven years later to find he’s settled into a fairly mundane relationship with Mitch. Now he’s being tormented by a male obsession to push his reckless side by performing death-defying stunts while Mitch is pressuring to progress their relationship to get married and have children. The book showcases a common a deal breaker in relationships: opposite goals and opposite views on marriage and having children fueled by staunch refusal for both sides to settle into a healthy compromise.
With the Ukrainian In Me (2015)(EDITOR’S CHOICE AWARD), we become part of Larissa’s journey at age thirty starting over again in relationships, having to reside back with her parents and told from a female perspective. Not only is Larissa working to find that perfect match, but during the process she is finding herself. During her self-discovery, Larissa comes to terms her own happiness and contentment isn’t reliant on being in a relationship. For her own journey it becomes about identifying the inner critic within herself and moving past it.
Crazy, Mixed-Up World (2014) explores the darker, unflinching realities of modern day relationships that pulls no punches with the characters. The story weaves between a series of relationships that unwittingly interconnect by chance and fate, ultimately influencing the outcomes of their lives. “I wanted to develop a narrative that depicts the fatalistic side of human nature in our current society. This is a complex, character-driven story.”
The Jungle Room (2020 Upcoming Winter Release) picks up the tangle of broken lives in Crazy Mixed-Up World now in the city of Los Angeles where the city of Angels are not enough to stop the deceit and greed from being exploited. “This was an an exciting sequel for me to be able to tie up loose ends of the questions left of the remaining characters from the first book — a question many readers were left wanting to know. The interweaving of deep character development and manic interactions provide for a fast moving pace and explosive endings.”