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Skater Boy: Challenging Labels Through a New Perspective

From Song Lyrics to Novel: The Genesis of Skater Boy

Growing up in the ’90s and early 2000s, Anthony Nerada, a Langley resident, found solace in music, singing along to popular radio hits with his family. However, unbeknownst to them, Nerada was subtly altering the song lyrics, changing the pronouns to reflect his inner thoughts. This seemingly insignificant act planted the seeds for his debut novel, Skater Boy, a poignant story that challenges societal labels and gives voice to marginalized perspectives.

Nerada’s writing journey began in the fifth grade when a class assignment sparked his passion for storytelling. He continued writing in his spare time, honing his craft and exploring various themes, often delving into the complexities of villains and their motivations. The idea for Skater Boy crystallized during a road trip with his partner in 2019. Avril Lavigne’s iconic song “Sk8er Boi” played on the radio, and Nerada found himself instinctively changing the pronouns in the lyrics, just as he had done as a child. This realization ignited a spark of inspiration, leading him to craft a story that would challenge stereotypes and explore the nuances of identity.

Wes’s Journey: Breaking Free from Societal Expectations

At the heart of Skater Boy lies Wes, the main character who defies conventional labels. Initially perceived as a “punk bad boy,” Wes embarks on a journey of self-discovery as he develops feelings for ballet dancer Tristan. This newfound love challenges his preconceived notions and propels him to confront his true self, breaking free from societal expectations.

Nerada describes the process of writing Wes as both challenging and rewarding. He sought to create a character that readers could empathize with despite his flaws and unconventional traits. Nerada’s goal was to delve into the complexities of Wes’s inner struggles, exploring the impact of labels on his identity and relationships.

The Profound Impact of Labels

Nerada emphasizes the profound impact labels can have on individuals, especially during adolescence, a time of intense self-exploration and identity formation. He hopes readers will gain a deeper understanding of the harm caused by stereotyping and the importance of embracing individuality.

“Labels can be incredibly limiting,” Nerada says. “They can prevent people from expressing their true selves and living authentic lives. I wanted to write a story that challenges these labels and shows that it’s okay to be different.”

The Message of Skater Boy: Self-Acceptance and Empowerment

At its core, Skater Boy is a story of self-acceptance and empowerment. Nerada’s intention is to reach out to closeted queer individuals who may feel isolated and marginalized. He wants them to know that their voices deserve to be heard and that they are not alone.

“I hope that Skater Boy will inspire readers to embrace their true selves, regardless of what society expects of them,” Nerada says. “It’s a story about the power of love, acceptance, and the importance of being true to oneself.”

Book Launch and Tour

Skater Boy is available for pre-order, and Nerada will be present at the Langley Indigo on February 6th for the book’s official release. This event marks the beginning of his book tour, during which he aims to connect with readers and share the message of Skater Boy.

“I’m excited to meet readers and talk about the book,” Nerada says. “I hope that Skater Boy will spark conversations about identity, acceptance, and the importance of being true to oneself.”

Conclusion: A Call for Understanding and Acceptance

Skater Boy is a compelling and thought-provoking novel that challenges societal norms and gives voice to marginalized perspectives. Through the character of Wes, Nerada explores the complexities of identity, the impact of labels, and the importance of self-acceptance. The novel serves as a reminder to embrace individuality and to love and accept one another, regardless of labels or societal expectations.

As Nerada says, “We need to create a world where everyone feels safe and accepted for who they are. Skater Boy is my contribution to that goal.”