Monday, June 22, 2015

A Q&A and a giveaway! (Open AUS)

Hello! Today I have something incredibly special and equally exciting- a Q&A with the fantastic Becky Albertalli, author of Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda, which I recently reviewed, and the lovely Penguin Books Australia is giving a copy away- lets party, I say to that.

I'm so excited to have had the chance to ask Becky some questions relating to her writing process, Simon and Oreos. Lead me to the gluten free isle and I am there with those suggestions.

*Q* Did you always know you had stories inside of you that you needed to get onto paper?
*A* I think I always knew I had to get stories out on paper (I’m one of those people who thinks about writing all day, even if I sometimes hate actually sitting down at the computer and doing it). I never expected I’d ever be published. I wrote Simon after leaving my job as a psychologist when my son was born, because I wanted to give writing for publication one shot. 

*How long did it take you to write Simon?
Simon took about five months to write and revise – I worked primarily during my son’s naptimes!

*How do you keep inspired?
I tend to be very inspired by my own memories and little moments in my daily life. I also reread my journals from high school before beginning new projects.

*What is your writing routine?
I usually write on my couch or bed – never at a desk. I tend to reread what I wrote the previous day to ease back into the story. I edit compulsively as I draft. I definitely have a hard time staying focused, but I try my best to unplug from distractions during my writing time – especially because, as a parent of two very young kids, I get so little time to actually write. 

*Is there a character in Simon you liked more than any of the others, or connected to more distinctly?
This is probably a very predictable answer, but I definitely felt most connected with Simon. He is kind of a more charming, less self-aware version of me, and so many of his thoughts and feelings are based on my own memories of being a teenager. I would also say I’m pretty similar to Leah, Alice, and (I have to admit) Simon’s mom.

*If there was a film version of Simon, who do you envisage as the main characters?
I’ve always pictured Miles Heizer from Parenthood as Simon, but some other contenders have come onto my radar lately: Dan Cohen from My Mad Fat Diary and Logan Lerman. I love daydreaming about this!

*What do you think is the most important thing for aspiring writers to remember?
I think writers should always remember to listen and observe. Try to be fully present and engaged in every conversation and interaction, and get in the habit of noticing the details about friends, family, and strangers.

*Do you like Oreos? What’s the best way to eat them?
I love Oreos as much as Simon does! My favorite ways to eat them are:

-In ice cream or milkshakes
-Oreo balls/Oreo truffles
-Double Stuf dipped in milk  

Thank you so much, Becky, for answering my questions!

And now, one Australian reader has the chance to win a copy of Simon for their very own. It's a wonderful story that features, among other things, 1. Family 2. Oreos 3. Discussions on coming out 4.Adorable emails 5.Two guys falling for each other in a way that is simple and gorgeous and so needed in literature right now.
Enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. YAY FOR THIS GIVEAWAY. I seriously want to read this book, it sounds adorable and everyone is giving it raving ratings (that I've come across so far anyway XD) so I really want to experience this oreo wonder for myself. YUM.

    1. Oh well that's fantastic! It is definitely adorable (cutsey emails at their best, I tell you that), and I hope when you read it you love it, Cait. Good luck with the giveaway! xx

  2. AHH! I loved this one too Romi! So cute, and the message was great as well. :) Thank you for sharing this interview and for the giveaway! ♥

    1. Yes! I love how Simon just thought about (and thus presented to the readers) all these messages of acceptance that were so natural. It was like he was in my head, because I think those things too, particularly in regards to everyone needing to come out. Straight until proven otherwise? Psh.
      Thank you, Zoe! xx

  3. I have yet to read Simon! But I am super excited because I got it from the library! I can't believe they had it haha. And woah. She wrote it in 5 months! That's a pretty short time!

    1. Oh yay! That's fantastic- I love it when you don't expect your library to have a certain book and they DO have it and laugh gloriously in your face. But you still get to read the book! I'll look out for your thoughts on the blog, Val! xx

  4. I haven't read Simon yet, but it's so awesome that you were able to interview the author. I have heard so many great things about this book, and Becky's answers made me even more eager to read it. :)

    1. I was so excited! It was really excellent. Oh, I'm really thrilled to hear that, Charlene. It's interesting to get the perspective on things from the author in a way that's different from what you might get in the book or bio, and if this has made you more excited to read it then YAY in veritable capitals. xx

  5. EEP. I love QnAs with authors that I love. And Becky's answers are as adorable as I expected them to be.

    I also relate to my MCs more than anyone else in my novels. they each have a little different part of me. But I must say my current WIP's protagonist is probably least like me (except for an obsession with pop culture TV shows HAHA).

    I'm going to share the link to this post on Twitter because people need to enter to win SIMON :D

    1. Yay! I was so excited for you to see this, actually. I'm glad you like it!
      I was thinking about that recently, actually, because... in the one book I did, kind of my first main one, I definitely did. But in this one I'm editing? Nope. Which I find so interesting- how strange it's the same with your current WIP!

      Aww! Thank you so much. Have I ever said how lovely you are? xx

  6. Amazing! A new mum and a best seller. Goes to show how amazing women are and the massive workload they juggle. That's really inspirational. That's a really clever way to tap into her teen self too, by revisiting journals from when she was at that age. I can imagine how genuine her story lines would seem. I think a few YA authors either write too mature or too young for the genre. I can't wait to read this one, all the love! Thanks for the brilliant giveaway Romi and good luck to everyone else who's entering <3

    1. Absolutely! It's so much to juggle and so inspirational, for sure.
      Isn't it? It would give you a unique perspective and remind you of feelings and things you did. Very neat. Oh I've felt that before, too- a lot of the time they feel too young and it makes it pretty difficult to relate to the character who is supposed to be going through these adolescent things. Becky does a really good job with Simon- he certainly sounds the age he is supposed to me.
      Good luck, Kelly, and thank you for the lovely comment! xx

  7. Ahh, I just loved this book so much. :) Now I have to migrate to Aussie to win a copy...

    I think it's so awesome how Becky goes back through her old journals. I have tons of notebooks stocked up from when I was old enough to write in them, and the stuff I've written in there... Let's just say I wouldn't want anyone else to read them. ;)

    It would be so tough to find time to write with two kids! Luckily, I'm still far, FAR away from that point in my life, haha.

    Awesome interview, Romi!

    1. Ahha, sorry it's not open internationally, Aimee!

      Yes, isn't it? I can't imagine doing that when I'm older. I think I'd surprise myself with a lot of what I wrote, but it's also... nice to think that one day I might do that, remember things I did and felt that I might've forgotten. Already looking back on when I was 13 and writing in journals is an insight. Time wears away at my memories, for sure. Well... in some cases.

      Thank you so much, Aimee. xx

  8. STILL need to read this! Simon just sounds like the sweetest character - and this author does as well actually. Hopefully I can get to it soon-ish!

    1. Romi is slowly making Aylee add books to her growing TBR. She finds it amusing.
      You really should read this, though- I think you'd enjoy it a lot. xx

  9. Ooh, I've been looking to read this one for awhile - and now you've only convinced me further, because Becky sounds like an absolutely fabulous person. (Anyone who has three different ways of enjoying Oreos is an author after my own heart. ;))

    It's so wonderful to meet you, Romi - and thank you so much for sharing this lovely interview! x

    1. Oh, I'm so, so glad that I've made you more eager to read it, Topaz! I am so keen to try some of her suggestion for Oreos. They sound beyond amazing and I WANT THEM ALL.

      It's lovely to meet you too, Topaz! Thank you so much for stopping by (I'm thrilled you liked the interview!). It's so nice to meet fellow booklovers. xx


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