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Novel explores the nature of insignificance

Published 9:45pm Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A long way from her alma mater of Nansemond River High School, Suffolk native Nicole Lockhart, now an actor, writer and model in New York, is gearing up for the release of her debut, self-published novel, “Unadequate.”

Written over four years, Lockhart said, in between screen auditions, fashion shoots and various other projects, the novel “escorts readers through the brief but meaningful life of an ill-fated boy,” according to a news release.

Lockhart
Lockhart

The story, about “floundering young hero” Jodie Pedersen — a “Southern boy with a girl’s name who is teetering in a coma post an accidental suicide” — urges readers to “look past our own faults or failures, and appreciate the significant impact even a single life can have on the world.”

Lockhart said she started writing the book at 19. “I had an idea about where I wanted to end, and as a writer, I believe you have to work from the ending.”

From the perspective of dealing with bullies and simply the challenges of being a human being, the novel was “in some part” based on Lockhart’s experiences, she said.

“I think the book was part of that self-discovery (of realizing) that I’m adequate,” she said.

In a short publicity film, Lockhart elaborates: “Unadequate is a book for anyone that has felt insignificant. Your story, my story, all of our stories matter.”

Amid his comatose state, according to the news release, Pedersen “relives the so-called accidents of his entire life,” including experiences with his “envious childhood bully, his African-American and protective nanny, the incendiary girl he loves, and his hard-hearted parents.”

“Captive in a white void with simply a crude abstract painting to view, Jodie stands in judgment before only himself asking the question to a frustrating omniscient Voice: What did it all matter?”

Lockhart said the novel had broad appeal for “mature 14-year-olds and up; (and) it’s definitely something I think adults would identify with.”

But she said there were some “mature themes that younger audiences might not be ready for.”

From April 11, the novel will be available from Amazon; in audio format — spoken by Lockhart — from iTunes; and from McNally Jackson Books (online at www.mcnallyjackson.com).

Lockhart said she plans to travel to underprivileged locations overseas for readings, starting next winter.

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