On Monday we had Josh Berk guest blog about finding inspiration in unusual places, Wednesday we had Kristin Walker on the miracle of modern technology, Thursday we had the fantastic Lauren Oliver and Friday we warmly welcomed Natalie Standiford. Today we have Allen Zadoff, author of Food, Girls, & Other Things I Can’t Have!
What first inspired Food, Girls, & Other Things I Can’t Have?
Food, Girls was inspired by my actual experience as a fat teenager in high school. At one point during my sophomore year, the gym teacher (who was also coach of the football team) approached me and asked if I would consider trying out for the team. I said, “No way!” It seemed like a ridiculous request to me. I wasn’t a jock; I was an actor. And honestly, I hated my body, and the thought of changing in the locker room in front of a lot of athletes everyday sounded like hell on earth. But I thought about that moment for a long time, and I wondered: What would have happened if I had said yes? That’s what Food, Girls is all about.
If someone told you 20 years ago that you would be a published author, what would your reaction be?
No way! You’re crazy!
If you could go back in time and tell your 15-year-old self a piece of advice, what would it be?
I would tell 15-year-old Allen, “Try to take it easy. You’ve got a lot to learn and a lot to experience. You don’t have to figure it all out by the end of the day today.”
Are you currently working on anything? Is it ok if you tell us in one sentence what it is about? (unless it’s super top secret!)
I’ve just finished a draft of my new novel for Egmont. It takes place in the theater, but instead of being the usual piece about actors, it’s told from the perspective of the techies. It’s a theater story, a love story, a bromance. And really funny. You’ll be hearing a lot more about it in the next few months.
Do you have any advice you like to give to aspiring young authors?
Write. You get better by writing. Don’t worry about publishing, success, or being famous. Worry instead about your hero and what he or she is experiencing in the story.
I wrote in my review of Food, Girls, & Other Things I Can’t Have that it is a humorous, sweet, and heartwarming story that should win the award for “Funniest YA Book of 2009”. Ultimately, what would you like people to take away from your book?
For me this novel is about the feeling that you have to change in order to be okay. Everyone in the novel is trying to be different than they are. Everyone except Nancy Yee. She’s kind of my hero because she is just her strange, quirky self and it’s beautiful. I hope readers will think about these same issues when they read, and maybe have some new perspectives on them.
Thanks for writing about Food, Girls, Kate, and happy birthday to Read This Book!
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