Friday 19 May 2017

Blog tour: Noah Can't Even by Simon Green

The cover for Noah Can't Even was revealed at Scholastic's Book Blogger Feast back in January. It got a lot a laughs let me tell you! I really think this one is going to grab a lot of attention on the bookshelves. This has been described as part coming of age, part coming out story and it sounds awkward and hilarious- just like my teenage years and I am delighted to be on the blog tour for it today. Simon is sharing a brilliant guestpost on his growing pains.


THE growing pains of SIMON GREEN

 Whilst Noah Can’t Even isn’t really autobiographical (I mean, thank god, can you even imagine?!) there’s a lot in there that reflects my own experiences growing up. 

Let’s start with the setting – Little Fobbing is a fictional small town in Lincolnshire. By a complete coincidence, I also grew up in a small town in Lincolnshire, Called Market Rasen. Yes, odd name, I know. Now, small towns have a lot of positives and in all honesty, I had a good time growing up where I did. But those places also present certain challenges – the main one being, you don’t have much anonymity. Everyone kinda knows what you’re doing and you’re up to. I never got into the mess that poor Noah does in the book, but I did experience that sense of everyone knowing about you, and how being under the microscope like that can intensify the stuff you’re going through.

Noah’s an absolute geek… er, yeah. I was too. I still am really. Nothing pleased me more than handing in a good essay, or going the extra mile with some coursework. I still like premium stationery and I still have anxiety dreams about GCSE’s and A Levels… just like Noah.

Let’s talk about my social life during my teenage years. Well, this could just be a blank paragraph really. I didn’t have one. I pretty much stayed in. Maybe watched a bit of telly. Phoned a friend. Did my homework like a good boy. I did go to a party in the Sixth Form. I got drunk on Martini and lemonade and puked up everywhere, so that went well. It many ways, Noah’s social life is actually more successful than mine. So sad. 

I don’t want to give any spoilers, but Noah has a couple of romantic entanglements in the book. ‘What abut you, Simon James Green?” I hear you ask. No. No, I did not. No one wanted to kiss me at school. I’m going to style this out and tell you it’s because I was solely focused on work, and didn’t have time for such trifles as romance and heavy petting. But who am I kidding? Looking back, I should have tried harder. I should have got better hair, more fashionable clothes, made an effort. Terrible missed opportunity. 

Noah’s relationship with his gran is partly based on my own. I would often watch Murder She Wrote with my gran, just as Noah does with his, and, just like Noah’s, my gran also had a thing for using correct grammar and social etiquette. The stuff in the old people’s home is also based on my experiences with my gran (albeit not when I was a teenager), and some of the lines “At night, little boys break in and they hit my knees with toffee hammers!” are actual things my gran really said. 

Whilst most of the actual plot isn’t lifted from my life, a lot of Noah’s thoughts and feelings most certainly are. I think most teenagers experience those feelings of insecurity and doubt, working out who they are, who they want to be. I was no different in that regard and reliving all that through Noah in this book has been quite cathartic. And it’s been less traumatic, because I’ve been able to say to Noah, “Hey, chill out. It all works out OK in the end.” Of course, he doesn’t listen. I don’t blame him. I wouldn’t have either.

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