Books

Interview and Giveaway: Andrew Simonet, Author of A Night Twice as Long

One of my favorite parts of having a blog is getting to interview authors. I especially love it when I that interview gives me insight into someone that I would totally want to hang out with sometime. That is the case with this interview of Andrew Simonet, author of the new book A Night Twice as Long. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

But before we get to the interview, let’s take a look at the book.


A Night Twice as Long
Andrew Simonet
Published by: Farrar Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Publication date: June 1st 2021
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

What do you call the difference between what you should feel and what you do feel? Life?

The blackout has been going on for three weeks. But Alex feels like she’s been living in the dark for a year, ever since her brother, who has autism, was removed from the house, something Alex blames herself for. So when her best friend, Anthony, asks her to trek to another town to figure out the truth about the blackout, Alex says yes.

On a journey that ultimately takes all day and night, Alex’s relationships with Anthony, her brother, and herself will transform in ways that change them all forever.

In this honest and gripping young adult novel, Andrew Simonet spins a propulsive tale about what it means to turn on the lights and look at what’s real.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play


Andrew Simonet is a choreographer and writer in Philadelphia. His first novel, Wilder, published in 2018. He co-directed Headlong Dance Theater for twenty years and founded Artists U, an incubator for helping artists make sustainable lives. He lives in West Philadelphia with his wife, Elizabeth, and their two sons, Jesse Tiger and Nico Wolf.

Website / Goodreads / Twitter


And now, a Books, Tea, Healthy Me exclusive interview with Andrew Simonet!

Is there something special about the book you are currently promoting that you want everyone to know? Your inspiration maybe? A fun hidden fact?

It is inspired by my relationship with my brother who has autism, which is different from every other relationship in my life. I find it difficult to explain to someone who has not experienced it. When I talk to someone who has experienced cognitively different siblinghood, we instantly understand each other. I am trying to understand that relationship, reflect on it, and open up some space. I’m not an expert, by any means. In fact, I wrote towards it because I don’t understand. I feel inadequate as a sibling much of the time.

From where do you get your ideas for your books?

There’s often a strong first image. For this book, it’s in the first few lines, so it’s no spoiler: “The lights went out. I shaved my head. Now I’m going to find the truth.” The image was a young woman with a shaved head venturing out into the chaos of a weeks-long blackout. She has been inside, reclusive, and now she heads out, a badass with no hair.

Where do you begin when you develop new characters? Physical characteristics, personality, plot? What comes first and how do you go from there?

Dialogue. I spend a lot of time listening to my characters talk and argue.

Does writing exhaust or energize you? Why?

Energizes me, mostly. In fact, when it doesn’t happen, I get exhausted. There’s a real-ness to my relations with these fictional characters. When I don’t spend time with them, it’s like missing dear friends, like I’m cut off from a part of my community.

What is your writing kryptonite? And what is the cure?

Too many people around. Solitude.

What book are you reading right now?

Rereading The Bone People by Keri Hulme. It’s magnificent, even better than I remember.

What do you do to keep yourself healthy? What is your #1 healthy lifestyle tip?

I sleep a lot, way more than most people. It feeds my creativity, heals my body, and helps me process difficult things. Humans benefit from way more sleep than our current world recommends. I think 10-11 hours a night is ideal. There’s a shame around sleep–we’re not being productive–that keeps many of us sleep-deprived.

What is your go-to recipe when you cook at home? It doesn’t have to be healthy – just yummy. Bonus points if it has something to do with your book!

Chocolate chip cookies topped with salt. I use Steingarten’s “Best So Far” recipe (you can google it), and they are amazing every time. You can convince people you’re a genius baker with this one recipe.

Fun Facts

Favorite snack to eat while you are writing.

Toast. Sometimes I can get past sundown having only eaten toast and coffee.

What would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

This past year, I got very connected to a family of beavers. They are astonishing creatures.

If you didn’t write, what would your occupation be?

Farmer. Or cook.

What do you enjoying doing when you aren’t writing or reading?

Singing songs, making food, swimming. Ideally with a large group of friends.

How do you take your tea??

Strong. Milk, no sugar.


GIVEAWAY – Enter to win a print copy of A Night Twice As Long!


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