Hey! It’s James back with you again for another #BeyondTheBio! Today I’m joined today by one of my favorite people. She’s a #BeyondTheBio alum, a NY Times Bestseller, and the biggest Oreo fan in the YA author universe. Becky’s newest book, Leah On The Offbeat, takes place in the same delightful universe as her previous two novels, Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda and The Upside Of Unrequited, and focuses on Simon’s best friend, Leah, as she grapples with changing friendships, first love, and senior year angst. It was an instant bestseller and for good reason! It’s adorable and hilarious and powerful, and you all need to add it to your TBR immediately. Alright, let’s get to the interview! Oh, and be sure to stick around to the end for a chance to win some swag straight from the Simonverse!
Hey Becky! I'm so glad that you decided to join us for another #BeyondTheBio. Since we chatted last year, you've had some pretty exciting developments: Love, Simon hit theaters, Leah On The Offbeat became a #1 NYT bestseller, and you announced an exciting project with Adam Silvera that comes out later this year. Those are three pretty amazing accomplishments, and you deserve all the props! But I'm curious... What's the fourth most exciting thing to happen to you this year?
Oh my gosh - it really has been a year, hasn't it? I guess number four would be that I get to visit a continent I've never been to later this year. Or maybe the fact that I finally made a bitmoji!
I don't want to spoil anything, but Leah On The Offbeat has one of my favorite prom scenes ever. Can you tell us about your prom experience? Embarrassing anecdotes welcome!
I loved prom, especially senior prom. I went with a friend from drama club, and we shared a limo with a bunch of our best friends. I remember certain snapshot moments, like when the deejay honored our request for the Vengaboys' Boom Boom Boom Boom (name a better song. I'll wait). We ended up sleeping over at my dad's house that night in a big coed group, and I felt very very in love with my friend group. The impending goodbye felt so huge. (Semi-related: the deejay from Leah On the Offbeat was actually based on the deejay from my college undergraduate senior cocktails party. My friends and I were baffled by how many times the deejay had to confirm there were seniors in the house at an event that was literally only open to seniors.)
Speaking of high school, I saw a picture on your Instagram that I just have to ask you about. It's your wall in high school, and, OMG, the pictures, the posters, the stuffed animals... it's just too perfect! Can you tell us the backstory behind one of the objects in that room?
Oh God - and keep in mind, this picture is only one angle. The ENTIRE ROOM looked like this. I liked to be surrounded by all my favorites - and the aesthetic evolved over time as I took certain pictures down and put new ones up. if you look closely, you'll see a ton of Dawson's Creek and Sailor Moon, which were two of my three biggest obsessions when I was around fifteen or sixteen (the third was the actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, whose shrine sadly isn't visible from this angle). The big framed picture is a print from one of the Little Bear picture books. It was in my mom's room when she was younger, and it was in my bedroom for as long as I can remember. Now it's in my son's bedroom.
I'm gonna be honest, I absolutely geeked out at all the Hamilton references in Leah On The Offbeat and Upside Of Unrequited. What's your favorite Hamilton song?
I have so many favorites, but I will say Dear Theodosia hits me right in the Mom bone.
Alright, Becky, you get to be BFFs with one character from your books. Who is it?
I think I'd want to be BFFs with Dylan from What If It's Us (Dylan is Ben's best friend, so he's actually a character Adam invented - though I got to write a good bit of Dylan in my chapters as well). Dylan is just an awesome best bro. He's also literally David Arnold filtered through Adam Silvera's brain, so that kind of seals the deal for me.
That’s it for today’s interview with Becky, but don’t leave just yet. We’re giving away some amazing swag from the Simonverse, and you definitely don’t want to miss out. Just click on the image below to enter. And be sure to come back again next week, when Daniela will be chatting with Meredith Goldstein about her upcoming book, Chemistry Lessons.