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Friday, March 1, 2013

Interview and Giveaway: Tim Federle

I'm so excited to start the March MG Madness with an interview with one of my newest favorite middle-grade authors AND one of my newest favorite awesome people...TIM FEDERLE! Tim is the author of the fabby fab Better Nate Than Ever. 
(read my review here and see the whole March MG Madness schedule, with big giveaway, here)


Better Nate Than Ever
by Tim Federle
2/5/13
Simon & Schuster BFYR
Purchase: Amazon / B&N / Book Depository

Nate Foster has big dreams. His whole life, he’s wanted to star in a Broadway show. (Heck, he'd settle for *seeing* a Broadway show.) But how is Nate supposed to make his dreams come true when he’s stuck in Jankburg, Pennsylvania, where no one (except his best pal Libby) appreciates a good show tune? With Libby’s help, Nate plans a daring overnight escape to New York. There's an open casting call for E.T.: The Musical, and Nate knows this could be the difference between small-town blues and big-time stardom.


WS: What three words best describe BETTER NATE THAN EVER? 
My. Debut. Novel!
WS: Can you give us your best one sentence pitch to convince readers (especially reluctant readers) why they should give the BETTER NATE THAN EVER a try? 
The adventure of a small-town theater geek who runs away from home to crash an audition for E.T.: The Broadway Musical.
WS: Grab a copy of BETTER NATE THAN EVER and answer the following:
Favorite chapter? 
"It's Like a Bed But Stranger and Lumpier and with More Wooden Slats, and Hidden Crumbs," which is a chapter where Nate has a heart-to-heart on a futon.
Favorite page? 
1. Because anything is possible.
Favorite character? 
The reader -- honestly. Without the reader, there are NO characters.
Flip to a random page and give us 1-2 sentence teaser:
 p. 165! Nate is stranded in New York City without a dollar to his name, and so he goes to Chevy's in Times Square and schemes up an innovative way to avoid paying the bill.
WS: What inspired BETTER NATE THAN EVER? What do you hope readers walk away with from Nate's story? 
I moved to New York to dance on Broadway, and after ten years and five shows, I was ready to tell a different story than I had as a performer. I hope readers walk (or skip) away with a sense that their dreams -- whether it's acting or archery -- are allowed to be bigger than they are. 
WS: Music is an important element to your story, so is there one specific song that would be the book's theme song? What would Nate's theme song be? 
Ooooh I love this question. Nate's theme song would be "Bigger Isn't Better," from the Broadway musical Barnum, which he sings at his audition. And which I used to sing at my own auditions. It's all about how the little guy can come out on top.
WS: Nate sees some pretty fascinating things in NYC and has some incredible (and interesting) experiences while in the big city...where would you tell a NYC newbie they must visit or eat at? What are some of your favorite NYC places? 
An NYC newbie? Go straight to Schnipper's in the New York Times building. A very loud, very delicious, quite greasy cafeteria where all of Broadway eats between shows. Especially the kids.
WS: What do you love about writing middle-grade? Why do you think middle-grade is such a popular and important category of books? 
So much to love: unjaded readers, for starters. And I think it's popular (and growing!) because more and more, books like Wonder and Liar & Spy are showing us that a brilliant story is a brilliant story, no matter the intended age.
WS: What is your all time favorite middle-grade book? Who is your favorite middle-grade hero and heroine? 
Matilda! Hero: Georges from Liar & Spy (recency bias!), and Matilda, from . . . you know.
WS: Fill in the blanks:
I'm really awesome at procrastinating and then jamming.
I'm really embarrassed to admit that I had dessert at every meal today, and one of the times it was the meal.
If a musical were written about my life, it would be called (Allergic to) Cats
My favorite middle-grade appropriate curse word or expletive is shouting out the titles of legendary flop musicals, just like Nate and his best friend Libby do. 
The last great book I read was The Art of the Idea.
WS: If you were to create and bake a cupcake inspired by BETTER NATE THAN EVER what would it look and taste like, and what would you call it? 
Nate is constantly shocked that on nearly every street corner in New York, you can find a cupcake shop. So I'd create a New York-themed cupcake -- bright yellow frosting (taxi cabs) with a fruity filling (the Big Apple). It might not look pretty, or even taste that great, but just like Manhatan, it'd be frustratingly irresistible. 

Tim Federle
Tim Federle is the author of over seven hundred emails. 
Born in beautiful San Francisco and raised in character-building Pittsburgh, Tim discovered show tunes in elementary school, prompting bullies to discover Tim. Armed only with grit (and his father’s credit card), Tim fled to New York City as a teenager. He has since worn a Tina Turner wig at the Super Bowl, a polar bear suit at Radio City, and a big fat grin in five Broadway shows. 
Better Nate Than Ever -- about a small-town teen who hops a Greyhound to New York to crash an audition for E.T.: The Musical -- is Tim’s first novel, and was recently named an Amazon Best Book of the Month and a Junior Library Guild selection.

Win a signed copy of Better Nate Than Ever from Tim Federle!
Tim has generously offered a signed copy of his awesome book to one winner.
DETAILS
-US/CAN only
-will run from 3/1 - 3/31
-there will be one winner
-must be 13+, one main entry per person
-winner will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
-Word Spelunking is NOT responsible for lost, damaged, stolen prizes in the mail
Fill out Rafflecopter form


14 comments:

Carl Scott said...

Thanks for the interview Tim. This book sounds like the story of a great adventure. I like Nate already, I hope he does well in the Big Apple. P.S. - Janksburg PA, great name for a town.

Paige said...

This sounds like a great book I enjoy the plot already and can't wait to check out the book :)

Paige @ Comfort Books

deanna_boocock said...

I am always looking for novels with male heroes for my Grade 4/5's. This would be a wonderful addition to our classroom library

Amy said...

What a great interview!! I love his answer to favorite character!! This sounds like a really fun book. I love the idea of it.

SweetJess80 said...

I love cupcakes! Wait, what? I got distracted...right. I run the children's department of my local Barnes & Noble, and I would love to win your book! That way I could recommend it to all my little munchkins.....mmmmm....donuts.....

Heidi Grange said...

What a fun interview. I love the idea of a story about a kid who loves Broadway. This would be perfect to share with my students who love to perform.

Jennifer | Book Den said...

This sounds so cute. I love that page 1 holds all of the possibilities. :)

akossiwaketoglo.com said...

I've been following Tim many months before his book debut and I have to say he has the same personality coming out from this interview.

I love it when authors are just themselves and Nate is on my tbr list. :)

~Akoss

Nikki H said...

From this interview I can tell that Time is full of life and has a funny personality. I hope his book is filled with both of these things. I can't wait to check it out!

Lauren said...

My son loves these books! Thanks so much for the giveaway!

Dena McMurdie said...

I've seen this book around. It sounds really fun. I can't wait to read it!

Donna Macdonald said...

I look forward to reading this book! Thanks for offering a free copy.

Debz said...

How have I not heard of this book before now? I'm one of those crazy kids who dreams of being on Broadway, and I actually have a friend who pulled a Nate and is now performing in Shrek: the Musical. Sounds like an awesome book!

Jennifer Malone said...

This book made me look like a crazy person with how many times I laughed out loud reading it. And I so totally didn't care.