John Corey Whaley: Noggin Q&A Part 1

Today, I am pleased to present the first of our three-part exclusive Q&A with Noggin author John Corey Whaley.

john corey whaley2So tell the truth: did you decapitate a lot of action figures as a child? Okay, I’m kidding. But please tell us about the inspiration for such an outrageous premise!

I always wanted to write something with an absurd premise–a la Vonnegut–and just a few days after chunking the second version of a book I had decided not to publish, this weird idea just sort of popped into my head (pun intended).

I love how, despite the crazy premise, NOGGIN is so deeply rooted in reality. How did you balance the outrageous with the realistic while writing this book?

It definitely took a lot of thought and fine-tuning. I wanted the tone and meaning of the story to be as relatable as any other contemporary realist story, but I always wanted to use the outrageousness of the premise to heighten those things—I think sometimes the most authentic, universally felt moments happen in spite of the absurd events surrounding them.

What (if any) type of research did you do for NOGGIN? (And if you did not do any research, what was your reason for that choice?)

There wasn’t a lot of research involved with writing this particular book. I did some reading about leukemia, so I could describe Travis’ illness/symptoms accurately, but I mostly used my own pop cultural knowledge of cryogenics to deal with those parts of the story. I set the book in Kansas City, MO, where I’ve only been once, so I did some geographical research at one point too.

Tune in on Wednesday for Part 2 of our Q&A!

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