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.
How would you define your life?
I would say my life is pretty hectic! It’s been a really exciting, stressful, joyous two years.
You told me that you have a baby, how did you divide your time for writing and your family?
I wish I had a good answer! I still haven’t mastered this balance, especially when I’m on deadline. I have two sons under three, and I’ve been working basically nonstop since my younger son was six weeks old. I’m so lucky to have a lot of help and support at home, and my husband is a super involved dad. When things get busy, it’s helpful for me to really focus on writing whenever I have a few child-free hours, and then try to focus on family for the rest of the day. I do my best to step away from social media when I’m with the kids – I’m not always successful, but I try!
What’s your favorite YA novel?
So hard to pick just one! These days, I’m so in love with Jandy Nelson’s I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN.
What’s your current read?
Hannah Moskowitz’ NOT OTHERWISE SPECIFIED. It’s phenomenal – killer voice, really charming characters, and has a lot of really important things to say about race, sexuality, body image, and how these things intersect.
How did you come up with the idea of Oreos?
Easy – they’re my favorite food! Simon’s love of Oreos is one hundred percent autobiographical.
Do you plan on going here in the Philippines?
I would absolutely love to – hopefully one day!
Are you working on another project?
I am! I actually received a two-book deal with Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins, so I’m currently rewriting that second book. I believe it’s scheduled to come out fall of 2016.
If yes, how would you describe it?
I’m going to be a little secretive here, because it’s still in the early stages, but I’m planning it to be a loose companion to SIMON, set in DC with one character in common.
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