Neal Shusterman: Passion Beyond Belief


Bryce Scanlon

Neal Shusterman presents in front of Ms. Barrow’s drama class.

Maria Estrada, Spanish Editor

On Oct. 27, award-winning novelist Neal Shusterman visited Coral Gables Senior High School and delighted his audience with a presentation through which he encouraged constant interaction between the audience and himself. Shusterman initiated his presentation with a Q&A session in which he rallied the audience to truly inquire about their topics of interest. Through a series of queries, the audience was able to embark on a journey of revelation, and to discover what Shusterman’s goals, aspirations, likes and dislikes were.

One of the first questions entertained was what initially inspired Shusterman to become a writer. The prolific author then indulged in the audience and divulged an interesting anecdote of an experience during his freshman year of high school. His principal had asked him to submit one of his stories in a contest; although he didn’t win, his English teacher, however, encouraged him to keep writing. Shusterman considers this teacher to be the predominant reason behind his success as a writer.

“She pushed me to excel my own expectations; every week she would give me extra credit for writing a story and this really helped me. I began to improve as a writer, and if it weren’t for immense support I don’t think I would have pursued this career. Early on I learned that you can’t fear rejection, it’s part of the road to success,” Shusterman said.

Throughout the presentation, it became evident that Shusterman was extremely passionate about his novels and that his inspiration came from all sorts of places. Because he writes for a plethora of genres, the audience was extremely curious as to what Shusterman’s favorite novel was.

“I consider myself an impatient writer. Your books are like your children: you love every one of them equally. I find every book has a certain favorite aspect. I feel as if every one of my readers has a distinct favorite book, and that means I’m reaching different readers with different stories,” Shusterman said.

In essence, Shusterman was a very didactic and entertaining presenter who was able to successfully connect with the audience.

“I think this was a wonderful presentation; Shusterman answered all my questions and I was honestly engaged with the whole thing,” junior Nicholas Bolet said.

With a movie deal in the making for “Unwind”,  we hope to continue seeing Shusterman strive for greatness and success in achieving his goals.