New from Simon & Schuster

Author Revealed

About Allison Gutknecht

Q. High school and/or college

A. I went to Eastern High School (Voorhees, NJ), the University of Pennsylvania for undergrad, and NYU for grad school.

Q. Name of your favorite composer or music artist?

A. Bernadette Peters

Q. Favorite movie

A. Mary Poppins

Q. Favorite television show

A. Sesame Street

Revealing Questions

Q. How would you describe your life in only 8 words?

A. Writer interrupted by wrangling a dog and cat.

Q. What is your motto or maxim?

A. A little bit of nonsense goes a long way.

Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?

A. I am most happy in the same way a cat stares out the window -- safe at home but awash in possibility.

Q. What’s your greatest fear?

A. Getting a sunburn. I should really own stock in sunblock companies.

Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?

A. New York City. Thankfully, I live here, so it works out.

Q. With whom in history do you most identify?

A. Benjamin Franklin, if only for his philosophy, "Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing."

Q. Which living person do you most admire?

A. Ann M. Martin, because her Baby-Sitters Club series made me want to be a writer.

Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?

A. I would use the word "ridiculous" less often if it applied to less situations....

Q. What do you regret most?

A. Asking to see "Cats" for the third time instead of the original cast of "Into the Woods"

Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?

A. The ability to play music by ear

Q. What is your greatest achievement?

A. I've had the same two best friends since sixth grade, and in the words of Mandy, they are two of my "most favorite people in the world, at least most of the time."

Q. What’s your greatest flaw?

A. What I lack in patience, I make up for in impatience.

Q. What’s your best quality?

A. I have a very strong sense of follow-through.

Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?

A. I'm never fully dressed without lipstick.

Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?

A. Ethel Mertz, because whatever shenanigan her best friend gets herself into, Ethel is right by her side.

Q. Who is your favorite fictional villain?

A. Cruella de Vil. Obviously, my dog is appalled by this choice.

Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?

A. People who walk slowly under scaffolding while carrying oversized umbrellas.

Q. What’s your fantasy profession?

A. Broadway diva. Unfortunately, I am just short of being "tone deaf with two left feet."

Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?

A. Loyalty, sense of humor, reliability

Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?

A. Since I've had teeth, my favorite meal has been noodles with butter, no parsley. To this day, if I don't eat pasta multiple times a week, I get twitchy (and I still hate parsley).

Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?

A. The theme song from "Cheers"; "Move On" (sung by Bernadette Peters); "I Don't Want to Live on the Moon" (sung by Ernie); "When You Wish Upon a Star"; "I'm Still Here" (sung by Elaine Stritch)

On Books and Writing

Q. Who are your favorite authors?

A. Ann M. Martin and Stephen Sondheim

Q. Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?

A. In the words of Stephen Sondheim from 'Sunday in the Park with George,' "Anything you do, let it come from you -- then it will be new. Give us more to see."

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