22 Questions: Andrew Smith

Introducing 20 Questions, a new format for interviewing authors. Alongside in-depth, one on one interviews, 20 Questions aims to provide a more spontaneous opportunity for writers to talk about their lives and their stories.

Andrew Smith is the award-winning author of several young adult novels including the critically acclaimed Winger and Grasshopper Jungle, which received the 2014 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award and the 2015 Michael L. Printz Honor. He is a native-born Californian who spent most of his formative years traveling the world. His university studies focused on Political Science, Journalism, and Literature. He has published numerous short stories and articles. The Alex Crow is his ninth novel. He lives in Southern California.

ASmith Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith cover Winger by Andrew Smith cover

Describe your latest novel in 140 characters or less.

I’m a writer. I live in the future. I don’t know what “latest” means to you.

Favourite word?


Which phrase do you most overuse?

Squee. I squee far too frequently. I am a gushing fountain of squee.

eBook, hardback or paperback?

Hardback, please. We are talking about toast, right?

What do you most dislike about your writing?

I can’t fucking read it. I write like a seven-year-old on a Tilt-A-Whirl, with a crayon.

Where is your favourite place to write?

On a Tilt-A-Whirl. With a crayon. You do say “crayon” in England, right?

Your first book love?

Answering Quick-Fire Questions For Dummies

Greatest literary regret.

Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims.

One book you wish you had loved.

The New Testament.

The greatest beginning?

Brady Udall’s The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint

Famous last words.

Please disconnect the electrodes now.

To read or not to read; your favourite Shakespeare play or sonnet?

Henry V

Dickens or Austen?

I’ll go off the board and pick the curry.

Your One True Pairing – characters, authors, books.

My OTP: Remembrance of Things Past and Kanye West

What three authors or characters would you invite around for tea?

When you say “tea,” I’m assuming that’s code for “whiskey,” in which case I’ll chose A.S. King, Michael Grant, and Aaron Hartzler—all of whom have exceptional taste in “teas.”

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?

A dude with no hands? A sea lion? That’s it. A sea lion.

What do you do to relax?

I print out random selfies from Instagram and make up names for them and pretend they’re my friends.

Greatest challenge?

Poaching eggs. I never get it right.

Any embarrassing habits?

I swear at pots with sloppily poached eggs in them.

A talent you wished you had.

(see above)

Who are you most envious of?

Is this douchey of me? I don’t envy anyone at all.

Finally, tell us a secret about what you’re currently writing.

I am currently writing answers to questions. If I weren’t writing answers to questions, I’d be writing something that I’m actually being paid to write. I can’t say much about that other thing because I haven’t even let my editor and publisher know the title of it yet. But it is something that’s going to come out next year, in 2016. And it has words in it. And (here’s the big secret) it kind of has something to do with Grasshopper Jungle.


About Rhys

Rhys is a 19 year old with roots in the UK and Germany. Aside from reading and blogging, he also produces theatre, loves Kate Bush and hopes to pursue a career in publishing. His reviews have been widely quoted in books such as Philip Reeve’s Mortal Engines Quartet, Catherine Bruton’s Pop!, James Treadwell’s Advent and Anarchy and he has presented at such events as Book Expo America.

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