Today on my blog I am taking part in the Noah Can’t Even blog tour! As some of you may know, I absolutely loved this book, and found it absolutely hilarious (you can read my review of it here), so I am really thrilled to be taking part in the tour! The author, Simon James Green, will be answering some questions I had about himself and the book, so welcome to my blog Simon! (also, a big thank you to Olivia Horrox and Scholastic for arranging this interview!)
Which of the characters do you think you are most like?
I mean, I’m not even going to pretend, or cover it up… Noah. It’s Noah. We share a ridiculous number of characteristics: we can both be pernickety about more or less everything, we both love Agatha Christie and Murder She Wrote, we both frequently make idiotic life choices that lead to assorted humiliations and calamities… The book isn’t autobiographical (as such), but there’s a lot about what Noah goes through that happened to me at his age.
How long did it take to write Noah Can’t Even?
Well, it’s been about five years, from first outlining it to publication day. But I must stress, so much of that time was spent faffing around, drinking coffee and having naps. When I knuckle down to it, I can actually write quite fast… which is lucky because I have to write the sequel to Noah Can’t Even in the next couple of months! Nothing like a deadline to focus the mind!
As well as an author, you are also a screenwriter! How does writing a novel compare to writing a screenplay?
Screenplays tend to have a much faster turnaround time, so with Noah it’s been nice being able to write it over a longer stretch and spend more time working editorially on it. Novels require you to get a character’s internal thoughts on the page, whereas in a screenplay you allow for the actor to convey this to an audience either through action or the way they play the dialogue, so that was a big difference for me. But I enjoy both equally and for different reasons.
Did you know you wanted there to be romance between Noah and Harry from the beginning of writing the novel?
Oooh, yes! I knew from the start that I wanted to explore sexuality and coming out, and I knew I wanted to do that with Noah and Harry. They’re just so cute together, it would be a travesty not to! I love writing their scenes, they’re both so adorable, and in different ways they both need each other.
Noah’s mum becomes a small celebrity due to her stunning Beyoncé tribute. What are your ops on Beyoncé?
Well, obviously I love Beyoncé – what sort of person doesn’t?! Beyoncé is this fabulously talented, inspirational woman, admired and lauded by millions on the international stage. She can sing, dance, empower and inspire. And then you’ve got Noah’s mum, who I’m sure would love to imagine she is all of those things… she just isn’t. But I love the idea that his mum thinks she’s a good tribute act and that for poor Noah it’s just the most humiliating thing ever for people to find out about.
Here comes the inevitable question: what’s the most awkward thing that’s ever happened to you?
I mean, where do you want to start with this one?! I was once having a good old look at someone I quite fancied, as I walked along the street, and, SMACK! I walk straight into a lamppost, like a character in a really obvious slapstick comedy. My glasses became askew and I hurt my nose, causing my eyes to water. Not really the uber cool impression I wanted to portray, but probably serves me right! Yet this is just the tip of the iceberg…
Noah Can’t Even is the funniest book I’ve read in a long time – what would you say is the funniest book you’ve ever read?
I really enjoy most of Stephen Fry’s books – especially The Liar. I love his sense of humour and the way he plays around with language, so he would be high up my list. I thought Lobsters was a good giggle, and of course, Super Awkward!
What would your ideal cast be?
Ha, ha! I love these sorts of questions because I always saw the book very cinematically when I wrote it – probably because of my screen background. There’s a post coming up later on this tour where I go through a few options for each character, so let me give you a taster… how about KJ Apa from Riverdale as Josh Lewis? Obviously he would need to do a British accent, but I think from an abs and pecs point of view, he is perfect casting! Oh, and, er…. he’s a good actor and everything too, obviously! I might go an Google some pictures of him now, just to make sure though…
Did you have a playlist whilst writing Noah Can’t Even?
Music is really important to me when I’m writing. I can’t listen to it whilst I’m actually typing, but I will often spend time just pacing around my kitchen with certain tracks playing (usually quite loudly). I find this puts me in the right headspace for coming up with new ideas, creating dialogue and so on. Sometimes I combine this activity with a gin and tonic. Sometimes two gin and tonics. I’ve found this combination (two gins + music) equals optimum creative output. Three gins, on the other hand, equals disaster. There’s actually a blog coming up later on this tour where I talk more abut music in Noah Can’t Even, so look out for that!
Can you tell us anything more about your second book?
It’s a sequel to Noah Can’t Even! We will have moved on a couple of months from the end of the first book, and a brand new set of challenges, problems and god-awful humiliations lie in wait for Noah. There will be several kilogrammes of ripe Camembert and an aggressive goose involved too – and plenty more of the sweet stuff as well.
That sounds super exciting, I can’t wait! Thank you so much to Simon for visiting my blog, I have loved hearing more about such a fab book. If you want to find out even more about Noah Can’t Even, then you can check it out on Goodreads, Amazon, or The Book Depository!
Simon James Green grew up in a small town in Lincolnshire that definitely wasn’t the inspiration for Little Fobbing – so no-one from there can be mad with him, OK? He enjoyed a classic British education of assorted humiliations and barbaric PE lessons before reading Law at Queens’ College, Cambridge, where he further embarrassed himself by accidentally joining the rowing team despite having no upper body strength and not being able swim. When it turned out that being a lawyer was nothing like how it looks in Suits or The Good Wife, and buoyed by the success of his late night comedy show that involved an inflatable sheep, he travelled to London to pursue a glamorous career in show business. Within weeks he was working in a call centre, had been mugged, and had racked up thousands of pounds worth of debt. Finding strength and inspiration in the lyrics of Tubthumping by Chumbawumba, he eventually ended up working on a range of West End shows and UK tours, co-wrote a feature-length rom-com for the BBC and directed Hollyoaks for C4 / Lime Pictures. After trying really, really hard, he also managed to write Noah Can’t Even. If you are interested in stalking him, he still lives in London, where he spends a lot of time telling people that Noah Can’t Even is only partly autobiographical, and his mum has definitely never done a Beyoncé tribute act.
Look out for the other stops on this tour this week!