The Five Questions: Becky Albertalli

Photo courtesy of Decisive Moments Events

Photo courtesy of Decisive Moments Events

“I see a lot of people saying you have to have connections in the industry to get a book deal. Absolutely not true.”

Becky Albertalli is the author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and will be a fellow panelist at the Boston Teen Author Festival in Cambridge this September 26.

1. What’s the surprising inspiration behind one (your choice) of the characters or stories you’ve created?

While it’s probably not surprising that I drew upon my high school journals for inspiration, it might surprise readers to know that two scenes in Simon are pulled almost directly from the journals. But I won’t specify which scenes.

2. If you could rescue one obscure book and make it more widely known to the world, which book would you choose and why?

Jaclyn Moriarty’s adult book, I Have a Bed Made of Buttermilk Pancakes. I’m not sure if this is obscure in Australia, but I wasn’t able to get it in the US without ordering it from abroad. It’s one of my all-time favorite books.

3. You can ask one question to any author, living or dead. What would you ask and why?

I would ask J.K. Rowling to marry me. I’m guessing this requires no explanation.

4. What’s the best (or your favorite) feedback you’ve received from a reader?

I’ve gotten so much incredible feedback, including letters from several teen readers who came out to their friends and families after reading Simon! But I also love something one of my friends said to me recently: “I’m so glad I loved your book as much as I was going to say I loved it.”

5. What’s the worst writing advice you’ve received from a teacher?

I don’t know that I’ve ever received bad writing advice from a teacher, but I guess I’ve come across questionable advice on writing forums. This one’s more related to publishing than writing, but I see a lot of people saying you have to have connections in the industry to get a book deal. Absolutely not true.

For more information about Becky Albertalli and her books:

Visit her online at:

Join her on Twitter at @beckyalbertalli

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