I’m so excited to be a part of the book tour for I Am the Walrus that is hosted by TBR and Beyond Tours. I was really excited to also be able to interview the author for this book!
How would you describe I Am the Walrus in one sentence?
NS & EE: Hilarious science-fiction adventure story about an ordinary kid who discovers he has special abilities that may well DESTROY the world.
Can you introduce us to the main character(s) of I Am the Walrus?
EE: Noah is the protagonist. His body has been acting a bit weird lately, and he’s trying to figure out what’s going on.
NS: Ogden is his neuro-divergent best friend. He’s a bit of a genius at solving problems… but also at creating them.
EE: Sahara is an Olympic-hopeful gymnast at the school. She has a run-in with Noah early on, and detests him at first – but can’t get him out of her mind.
NS: And Dr. Kratz is a disgraced government agent who now must suffer through life as a middle-school science teacher, but sees Noah’s abilities as a way to gain back his status.
Do you know from the beginning how your books will end or do you let your characters decide their journey?
EE: We usually have a pretty good sense of how our book is going to end, but how our characters get there is up to them, and they often surprise us. (Even if we have to occasionally point our characters toward the destination, we try to make the pointing invisible to the reader.)
NS: However, this book was an exception to that rule! We actually combined our original concept for book two INTO book one, so it ends in a completely different place than we had initially planned!
Do you have a favorite scene, moment, or quote from the book?
NS: There are so many funny scenes in the book that we enjoyed, writing and re-reading, it’s hard to choose a favorite. But if we had to…it would be the destruction of Noah’s house — it was one of the most difficult scenes to write, because there were so many things happening at once, and so many characters to keep track of, but it came out as satisfying and funny as we hoped it would.
What is something readers will find in I Am the Walrus that they may not realize based on the
EE: The story takes a turn around p. 100 that should surprise the reader, and it spins the story in a whole new direction. (In fact, our editor felt it was a little too surprising, so we had to do a little more work setting it up.)
What’s something you hope readers will take away from I Am the Walrus?
NS: Our bodies and minds go through weird things as we’re growing up. I’m hoping Noah’s absurd experiences resonate with readers, and allow them to laugh at themselves, instead of stressing out about things.
EE: I mainly want readers to remember they had a good time reading this book, and my fondest hope is that it makes them laugh out loud.
What are three books you would recommend if someone enjoyed I Am the Walrus?
NS & EE: Well, if they enjoy I Am the Walrus, We’d definitely recommend they check out the three books we co-wrote of the Accelerati Trilogy (Tesla’s Attic, Edison’s Alley, and Hawking’s Hallway) because it’s basically the same comic tone of sci-fi/adventure. Rereading parts of those books still make us laugh out loud!
ABOUT THE BOOK
TITLE: I Am the Walrus
AUTHOR: Neal Shusterman & Eric Elfman
GENRE: Middle Grade Sci-fi
RELEASE DATE: April 11, 2023
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Eoin Colfer meets Rick Riordan—with a little Margaret Peterson Haddix sprinkled on top—in this hilarious new sci-fi series from award-winning authors Neal Shusterman and Eric Elfman.
When fourteen-year-old Noah falls from the trees on his classmate Sahara, he doesn’t understand how, or why, he would have been up there. It’s just one more in a string of strange things happening to Noah lately.
Like when he keels over and every muscle in his body freezes when confronted by bullies. And when he vanishes into the background at a moment he doesn’t want to be noticed. And when he unexpectedly blasts Sahara with a bird shriek while flapping his arms uncontrollably in the middle of a school dance. What does it all mean? And why do there suddenly seem to be so many mysterious people trying to kill him?
Noah’s friend Ogden has an idea…but like all of Ogden’s ideas, it’s out there. Way out there…
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Neal Shusterman is the New York Times best-selling author of over thirty novels for children, teens, and adults. He won the 2015 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature for Challenger Deep-and his novel, Scythe, was a 2017 Michael L. Printz Honor book-and is in development with Universal Studios as a feature film. His novel, Unwind, has become part of the literary canon in many school districts across the country-and has won more than thirty domestic and international awards. He co-wrote his most recent novel, Dry, with his son Jarrod, and in addition to being on numerous award lists, Dry is currently in development with Paramount Pictures. His upcoming novel, Game Changer, is in development with Netflix as a TV series, and he is co-writing the pilot episode.
Eric Elfman is the author of fourteen books for kids and adults, including Tesla’s Attic, Edison’s Alley and Hawking’s Hallway (all co-written with Neal Shusterman), an award-winning Middle Grade series from Disney-Hyperion Books. Eric and Neal are now developing a TV series based on Tesla’s Attic Eric’s Almanac of the Gross, Disgusting & Totally Repulsive, from Random House (now in its 6th printing), was named an ALA Recommended Book for Reluctant Readers. As a screenwriter, Eric has sold projects to Dreamworks, Universal, Walden Media and Interscope. Eric is also a private writing coach, with a number of award-winning and New York Times bestselling authors among his clients.