I'd like to send a huge thank you to my friends at Penguin Young Readers for letting me take part in the blog tour for THE STRANGE FASCINATIONS OF NOAH HYPNOTIK! Keep reading for more about this fascinating book, as well as a Q&A with the author, David Arnold!
Q&A with author David Arnold!
1. Can you tell us a little more about THE STRANGE FASCINATIONS OF NOAH HYPNOTIK?
It’s the end of summer before Noah’s senior year of high school, and he feels he’s changing and growing while everyone around him is stagnant. He gets dragged to a party, gets drunk, and lets this strange kid hypnotize him, and when he comes out of hypnosis, everyone in his life has some kind of subtle change: his mother has a scar on her face that wasn’t there before; his frail old dog is suddenly spry; his best friends have different memories of their history together. The only things that haven’t changed are these four peculiarities, which he calls his Strange Fascinations. So he starts investigating those to figure out what’s going on.
2. What inspired you to write Noah’s story?
In 2010 I was on a cruise ship and one of the evening performers was a hypnotist, and I thought, what if one of these people woke up in an alternate reality? The idea of change—what if you went under, and when you came out, everyone in your life was different? But subtly different, not like whole other people. The idea evolved over time, but I think that was the seed. There are a lot of other references to change in the book, and I think that’s due to the fact that I wrote NOAH during a time of transition for myself and my family. We were in the middle of a major relocation, having sold our house in Nashville, but not yet bought a house in our new city, and doing all that with our two-year-old son. So I think it was natural not only to write something I could latch onto, but also something that reflected that season of change.
3. What’s something you absolutely have to have when you sit down to write?
Nothing! Haha. I wrote my first book (Mosquitoland) while I was a stay-at-home dad of our newborn son, which basically meant routines were a luxury I couldn’t afford. I just wrote where I could, when I could, however I could. Cars, couches, beds, tables, kitchens. We couldn’t afford decent childcare, but we had a YMCA membership, so I would drop him off in the YMCA childcare for two hours and write in the lobby. (You’re not allowed to leave the premises, but they can’t make you work out!) It wasn’t ideal, not by a long shot, but it set a particular tone early in my career that I wouldn’t rely on anything—not a routine or a beverage or even a desk (which I didn’t have until a couple years ago)—to write.
4. Do you have any other projects you’re working on that you can tell us about?
Hmm. I am working on another project, which is a bit of a pivot genre-wise, and which I’m not sure I should talk about. Sorry!
5. If there’s one thing readers will take away after reading THE STRANGE FASCINATIONS OF NOAH HYPNOTIK, what do you want it to be?
This is a tough question to answer because the truth is, more than any other book I’ve written, I wrote this book for me. Noah’s story is not mine, but it’s probably as close to an autobiographical character as I’ll ever write—so it feels really personal. Or the process of writing it was personal, anyway. Now that it’s written, I guess I want the book to be for anyone who has ever been offered some dim version of the world and thought, “Surely it’s brighter than that.”
Thank you so much, David, for stopping by and answering my questions, your answers were so much fun to read!
Make sure to check out the other stops on this blog tour!
May 7 – The Blonde Bookworm – Review
May 8 – Confessions of a YA Reader – Review + My Strange Fascinations
May 9 – Forever Bookish – Review
May 10 – Rants and Raves of a Bibliophile – Playlist with Graphic Quotes
May 11 – Adventures in YA Publishing – Author Q&A
May 14 – The Nerdy Girl Express – Review
May 15 – A Court of Coffee and Books – Review + Graphic Quotes
May 16 – BookCrushin – Review + Playlist
May 17 – Mind of a Book Dragon – Review
May 18 – Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Author Guest Post: What Would Your Strange Fascination Be?
May 21 – Pop! Goes the Reader – Wallpaper
May 22 – The Young Folks – Author Q&A
May 23 – Page Travels – Creative Instagram
May 24 – Bookfoolery – Review
May 25 – Dazzled by Books – Candle Creation Post + Review
May 28 – Paper Trail YA – Author Q&A
May 29 – Snowandbooks – Review + Aesthetic Board
May 30 – Reading Writing and Me – Book Review
May 31 – The Radiant Reader – Playlist + Creative Instagram Picture
June 1 – We Live and Breathe Books – Review + Moodboard