Ed Briant pursues many interests – he’s an author, most recently of the YA novel I Am (Not) the Walrus (Flux, July 9); an illustrator of several picture books, beginning with Paper Parade in 2004; a comics artist (of PW’s Tales from the Slush Pile); and he’s also a musician – specifically, a rhythm guitarist. He’s combining several of his loves in a promotional giveaway for his new book: three booksellers, selected in a drawing, will each receive a print of Briant’s poster art for Walrus, plus a signed copy of his novel, and five guitar picks to give away to favorite teen patrons.
Walrus is a somewhat autobiographical work that centers on Toby, the 16-year-old bass player in a Beatles cover band based in a fictionalized Brighton, England (Briant’s hometown). Briant has created several pieces of artwork based on the band members and their songs, but, he says, “I never did any Beatles-based art before I wrote the book, although I had so much fun doing the Beatles-based art that I can't think why I didn’t do any before.” The band, of course, broke up long before Briant’s target audience for the book was born, but he thinks that the Fab Four still hold plenty of appeal for modern teens.
“The Beatles are universal,” Briant says. “I teach a creative writing class at Rowan University and use Beatles lyrics for some of my writing exercises. It’s the only poetry that I can be confident that everybody – of every age group and background – will know.”
For details on the giveaway, visit Briant’s Web site.