Hey guys, it’s Lois! Very recently I had the amazing opportunity to interview three YA authors. Although I was incredibly nervous I knew I could not miss out on this opportunity. I was able to ask all three of the authors any questions I could think of.
The first author I had the chance to interview was Simon James Green. Simon is the author of “Noah Can’t Even“.
“Poor Noah Grimes! His father disappeared years ago, his mother’s Beyonce tribute act is an unacceptable embarrassment, and his beloved gran is no longer herself. He only has one friend, Harry, and school is…Well, it’s pure HELL. Why can’t Noah be normal, like everyone else at school? Maybe if he struck up a romantic relationship with someone – maybe Sophie, who is perfect and lovely – he’d be seen in a different light? But Noah’s plans are derailed when Harry kisses him at a party. That’s when things go from bad to utter chaos.”
Let’s get on with the interview!
1) How did you begin writing books?
Simon began explaining that he had always been writing. He had done a law degree at university but didn’t want to go into a career in law. Instead he began working in theatre. Whilst working in theatre he wrote a lot of screenplays, but when writing screenplays he found that there is a lot of interference and compromise from and between actors, and other people involved in the play, who have their own ideas. As a result Simon decided to try writing a book as they could be more focused on his own ideas. He continued writing books as a side hobby whilst also writing screenplays and one of those side hobbies became: “Noah Can’t Even“.
2) Who is your favourite author?
Simon had to think about this one a little, as anyone would do when trying to name one author. He is a big fan of Sue Townsend who is the author of “The Secret Life of Adrian Mole” series. He also is a fan of Stephen Fry’s books. One of Stephen Fry’s books he mentioned was “The Liar“. Simon is a fan of books that are funny but also have an element of mystery. Another author he mentioned was Andrew Smith who is the author of “Grasshopper Jungle“.
3) Is the character of Noah in “Noah Can’t Even” inspired by yourself, someone you know or a product of your imagination?
Simon explained that when the book was first published he would deny that Noah was inspired by himself. But as time went on he has opened up more to the fact that Noah is quite autobiographical in many respects. The events in the book are not autobiographical, but how Noah reacts and behaves are very much inspired by Simon’s own character.
4) Which do you prefer, E-Books, Paperbacks or Hardbacks?
Simon almost immediately said that he much prefers paperbacks. He feels that after spending his whole day writing on a computer screen he would much rather pick up a physical book than have to read off yet another screen. He would also much rather have a paperback over a hardback as hardbacks are quite bulky and a lot heavier compared to paperbacks.
5) What is your thought process when writing a book?
Simon explained that his thought process when writing can vary. He has to be in the right frame of mind to write a book. Simon likes to plan out a story before he begins writing, he also has to know where the story is heading and then he begins his writing, slowly shaping the narrative into its final form.
6) Do you have to write in silence or have some form of background noise?
Simon has to have complete silence when he is writing. He can’t write if there are any distractions. Simon even had to take a trip to Devon to get away from the hustle and bustle of London whilst he was writing recently!
7) If you had the ability to make everyone in the world read one book what would it be and why?
Simon said he would like to have a right wing homophobe read a LQBTQ+ YA love story. He suggested “Simon vs. the Homosapien Agenda“. Simon said he would love to open their minds to how lovely LGBTQ+ love stories can be. One specific person Simon would give an LGBTQ+ YA book to would be Vladimir Putin.
8) Do you feel like you are completely happy with a book once you have finished writing or do you always think of things you can improve on?
Simon constantly thinks of things he can improve on in his books as to him, they are never 100% perfect. Before he published “Noah Can’t Even” he was starting to hate the book. He even thought of finding every copy of the book and correcting little things because he began doubting that anyone would like the book. Simon said obviously that wouldn’t have been possible and you can’t go on changing a book forever. Eventually you have to stop changing things and just let it go.
Thank you so much Simon for taking the time out of your day to answer my questions as well as the advice and encouragement about getting a job! Thank you also to the Young Adult department at Waterstones Deansgate and Scholastic for the amazing opportunity! Don’t forget to look out for my interviews with Stephanie Kate Strohm and Beth Garrod!
Be sure to check out Book Depository using my link here: Loisreadsbooks
Until next time,