Welcome to Meet The Newbies, a co-hosted event from Rachel @ A Perfection Called Books and I, in which we introduce you to all of the new kids in school aka the 2015 debut authors.
Becky Albertalli is a clinical psychologist who has had the privilege of conducting therapy with dozens of smart, weird, irresistible teenagers. She also served for seven years as co-leader of a support group for gender nonconforming children in Washington, DC. These days, she lives in Atlanta with her husband and two sons, and writes very nerdy contemporary young adult fiction.Find Becky on her website, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads.
Meet her debut novel:
Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised. With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.
Check out my raving review for this amazing book HERE
Becky Albertalli, thanks so much for participating in Meet The Newbies! Check out her fantastic answers to the questions that Rachel and I asked her.
-Describe your book in five words or less.
Nerdy gay email love story.
-What’s your favorite part of being a debut author?
I think a lot of us will say this – the community! I can’t even express how amazing it’s been to connect with readers, bloggers, librarians, booksellers, publishing people, and other authors (especially my fellow debuts). I think the YA community is incredibly special, and I’m really grateful to be a part of it.
-What was your favorite thing about the first day of a new school year?
I think the first day of a new school year has this feeling of possibility (specifically the possibility of making out, which never actually happened for me in high school. But still. There was the POSSIBILITY). I absolutely remember planning my first day outfits the night before, and the feeling of walking through the school’s atrium with butterflies in my stomach. There was always this feeling that I could be about to have the best year ever.
-Are there any similarities between you and Simon?
So, so many. It’s almost easier to mention the ways he’s not like me (one example: Simon is squeamish about things touching his eyes, while this is something I’m extremely brave about). I think so much of Simon’s voice and his memories were pulled from my own thoughts and experiences. He’s definitely more outgoing, more charming, and less neurotic than me. I think I’m more self-aware.
-Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda was amazing and so many people have loved it. What has your favorite fan reaction been?
Thank you so much! Hearing from readers has been absolutely incredible. It’s impossible for me to pick a favorite fan reaction, but I’ve been incredibly touched by the readers who have taken the time to reach out via email or social media with thoughts about the book, stories about their own experiences, and (of course) pictures of Oreos. I’ve also gotten some incredible fanart and even fanfiction! I am blown away. My readers are the actual best people.
-What was your initial idea that started Simon vs. the Homo Sapien Agenda?
The book definitely started with Simon’s character. I had this image of him in my head, and as he became more real to me, the story began to develop around him.
-Are you currently working on anything? Do you have any information on the release of your sophomore novel?
I am currently on my third rewrite of my very stubborn second novel. I’m hesitant to reveal too much, as major plot elements keep changing, but I’m planning for it to be a loose companion to SIMON, following the friends and family Abby left behind in DC. I’m expecting it to be released around the fall of 2016.
Becky Albertalli has kindly offered to giveaway Simon VS. The Homo Sapiens Swag and Oreos! This open to the US Only.
Other #MeetTheNewbs Posts & Giveaways: