Tim Federle

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Tim Federle
Federle photo GENERAL.jpg
BornTimothy Michael Federle
(1980-03-24) March 24, 1980 (age 39)
Foster City, California, U.S.
ResidenceLos Angeles, California, U.S.
GenreHumor, Children's
Notable awardsGolden Kite Award 2014 Lambda Literary Award 2015 Odyssey Award 2014 and 2015

Tim Federle is an American novelist,[1] theater librettist, and screenwriter,[2] whose best-known works include the novel Better Nate Than Ever, [3] the cocktail recipe book Tequila Mockingbird, [4] and the Golden Globe Award and Academy Awards nominee for Best Animated Feature, Ferdinand (film). [5][6]


Federle wrote the novel Better Nate Than Ever,[7] the cocktail recipe book Tequila Mockingbird,[8] and co-wrote the book for the Broadway musical adaptation of Tuck Everlasting,[9] also titled Tuck Everlasting.[10]

Federle was born in Foster City, California on March 24, 1980[11] and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,[12] the setting for much of his fiction.[13] Prior to his writing career, Federle appeared in the original casts of The Little Mermaid and Gypsy (2003 Bernadette Peters revival), as an actor, dancer and singer. He worked on the resident choreographic staff of Billy Elliot the Musical where he was the dance captain.[14]



Foster (2021, 20th Century Fox Animation/Blue Sky Studios) On February 13, 2018, Variety announced that Federle would write the screenplay for an animated adventure film featuring songs by Pasek and Paul. The film, currently titled Foster, centers around a young, ardent fan of a fantasy book series; dissatisfied with the series' ending, the boy seeks out the author and the two find themselves on a journey in a mystical world. Foster is set for theatrical release on March 5, 2021.[15]

Ferdinand (2017, 20th Century Fox/Blue Sky Studios) Federle co-wrote the screenplay for Ferdinand,[16] the 2017 animated film based on Munro Leaf's children's book, The Story of Ferdinand. Both the book and the film center around a bull who "would rather smell flowers than fight in bullfights". Ferdinand stars John Cena in the titular role, along with Kate McKinnon, Bobby Cannavale, David Tennant, Gina Rodriguez, and Daveed Diggs. The film was released on December 15, 2017. Ferdinand was a 2018 Golden Globe Award and Academy Awards nominee for Best Animated Film.[17][6]


Better Nate Than Ever (2013, Simon & Schuster [18]) Federle's debut novel for middle-schoolers, Better Nate Than Ever, tells the story of a teenage boy named Nate, who sneaks away from his home in Pennsylvania to audition for E.T: The Musical on Broadway.[19][20] In a CNN article about the book, Federle said: "I think so often when you're a kid, we mellow out those more interesting edges in order to coast through middle school quietly. By the time you get to high school, you're left asking, who the heck am I? I would encourage kids to try and figure out the thing that sets you apart, not publicly but that you're passionate about internally."[21] Nate was published to critical acclaim[22] and as of December 2, 2014, is in its seventh printing.[23] Described by the Huffington Post as "Judy Blume as seen through a Stephen Sondheim lens,"[24] and the New York Times as "inspired and inspiring,"[25] Better Nate Than Ever has been celebrated as unique for being a "book where teenage sexuality is treated with a light touch".[26] The novel is an Amazon Best Book of 2013,[27] a New York Times Notable Book of 2013,[28] a Stonewall Book Award Honor Book,[29] and a Lambda Literary Award[30] finalist. The audio book is an Odyssey Award Honor Book,[31] and was narrated by Federle.

Five, Six, Seven, Nate! (2014, Simon & Schuster) In December 2013, Entertainment Weekly ran an excerpt of Five, Six, Seven, Nate!, Federle's follow-up to Better Nate Than Ever.[32] The sequel charts Nate's continued adventures in New York City as he navigates his role in the creation of a major Broadway musical.[33] A Kirkus Reviews starred review called the novel an "Encore performance that will leave them standing in the aisles."[34] Five, Six, Seven, Nate! was chosen as a Junior Library Guild selection,[35] an Amazon Best Book of 2014, and an American Booksellers Association Best Book for Children.[36] Federle won his second Odyssey Honor Book award[31] for the audio book edition. Five, Six, Seven, Nate! is a 2015 LGBT Children's/Young Adult LAMBDA Literary Award Winner.[37]

Summer Days and Summer Nights (2016, St. Martin's Press) On March 3, 2015 young adult fiction author Stephanie Perkins announced on Twitter[38] that she will be editing a forthcoming YA anthology, Summer Days and Summer Nights, featuring twelve new stories from bestselling authors Leigh Bardugo, Francesca Lia Block, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Brandy Colbert, Tim Federle, Lev Grossman, Nina LaCour, Stephanie Perkins, Veronica Roth, Jon Skovron, and Jennifer E. Smith. According to a Publishers Weekly announcement,[39] St. Martins Press is set to release the collection in summer 2016. The anthology is a follow-up to Perkins’ My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories, published to acclaim[40] in 2014.

The Great American Whatever (2016, Simon & Schuster) In June 2015 Huffington Post revealed the cover of Federle's forthcoming novel, The Great American Whatever.[41] Federle's first title for young adults is about Quinn Roberts, "a sixteen-year-old smart aleck",[42] who dreams of Hollywood and becoming a professional screenwriter. The novel is receiving advance praise from authors and critics alike, with Veronica Mars' Rob Thomas calling it "original, authentic, engaging".[43] It has also received starred reviews from the publishing trade journals School Library Journal, Booklist,[44] and Kirkus Reviews, who called it "a Holden Caulfield for a new generation."[45] A Huffington Post article about the creation of the book stated that "Federle had a mature audience in mind when he began writing the book, originally titled Quinn, Victorious, five years ago, basing the plot on his personal experiences as seen through characters in their mid-20s."[41] Following the novel's publishing, the Huffington Post called The Great American Whatever "The gay young adult novel you've been waiting for."[46] In November 2016, The Great American Whatever was named a New York Times Notable Children's Book of 2016.[47] The Great American Whatever is one of Kirkus' Best Teen Books of 2016.[48]

Nate Expectations (2018, Simon & Schuster) On January 11, 2018, the Huffington Post exclusively revealed the title and cover of the third novel in Federle's "Nate" series, Nate Expectations .[49] The latest installment follows teenage Nate after he moves back to his Pennsylvania hometown following his Broadway debut, wrapping up the trilogy with what Federle calls the third step in a Broadway journey, "Dealing with life when the show closes or gets crappy reviews."[49] Nate Expectations features a cover designed by Rex Bonomelli; the previous two entries in the series, Better Nate Than Ever and Five, Six, Seven, Nate! will also receive Bonomelli cover refreshes once Nate Expectations hits shelves on September 18, 2018.

Cocktail books[edit]

Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist (Perseus Books, 2013) [50] Federle's first novelty cocktail recipe book, Tequila Mockingbird won the Goodreads Best Cookbook of 2013 Award,[51] and was featured as a clue on Jeopardy! in October 2014.[52] Federle has said the inspiration for the book was his own mother's book club, which "would dissolve into opening wine".[53] In an April 2014 interview with School Library Journal, Federle was quoted as saying, "Tequila Mockingbird came out of a silly one line email to my agent, Brenda Bowen—‘Hey, do you think the Urban Outfitters crowd would go for a literary cocktail guide?’ I truly wrote the proposal on a whim."[54] The book went on to be sold at Urban Outfitters[55] and ModCloth,[56] among other specialty retailers, and was cited as one of Perseus Book Publisher’s leading titles, along with Friday Night Lights and Black Mass, in a September 2015 Wall Street Journal article.[57] According to a December 2014 article in The Atlantic, Tequila Mockingbird has thus far sold over 100,000 copies.[23]

Hickory Daiquiri Dock: Cocktails with a Nursery Rhyme Twist (Perseus Books, 2014) The second installment in Federle’s cocktail book series, Hickory Daiquiri Dock features twists on popular nursery rhymes, such as "Jack and Coke (and Jill)," "Baa, Baa, Black Russian," and "Old MacDonald Had a Flask." The Tampa Bay Times called it "More fun at a baby shower than a Diaper Genie"[53] and The Atlantic called it "naughty, but never crass," and compared its irreverent take on parenting to the viral phenomenon Go the Fuck to Sleep.[23]

Gone with the Gin: Cocktails with a Hollywood Twist (Perseus Books, November 2015) Gone with the Gin, published in October 2015, features drinks including "A Sidecar Named Desire," "No Country for Old Fashioneds," and "Bonnie and Mudslide." Like Tequila Mockingbird, Gone with the Gin includes recipes for bar bites and ideas for drinking games.[58][59][60]


Life is Like a Musical: How to Live, Love, and Lead Like a Star (Hachette Book Group, October 2017) In May 2017, Entertainment Weekly announced and revealed the cover for Federle's first self-help book for adults, based on his experiences as a performer prior to becoming a professional writer.[61] Due in October 2017, Federle confirmed the book via his Twitter, describing it as "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff with jazz hands."[62]


Federle makes his debut as a musical theater co-librettist in 2016 with the Broadway adaptation of Natalie Babbitt’s Tuck Everlasting, titled Tuck Everlasting. Following a pre-Broadway tryout at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, the musical began its Broadway engagement at the Broadhurst Theatre in March 2016. The Broadway iteration was nominated for two Drama League Awards, and three Outer Critics Circle Awards, including Outstanding Musical for both.[63][64]

The book and the musical version tell the story of Winnie Foster, an 11-year old who stumbles upon a family that has discovered the secret to immortality. Andrew Keenan-Bolger and Sarah Charles Lewis star as Jesse Tuck and Winnie Foster, respectively. The artistic team is led by director-choreographer Casey Nicholaw, with music and lyrics by Chris Miller and Nathan Tysen. Federle is co-writing the musical's libretto with Claudia Shear.[65]


Federle is the writer and executive producer of the Disney+ series and High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. The series' first season became available on the streaming service in the winter of 2019-2020 and announced that the series has been renewed for a second season.[66][67]


  1. ^ "Lambda Awards" Los Angeles Times, June 2, 2015
  2. ^ https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3411444/fullcredits?ref_=tt_cl_sm#cast
  3. ^ http://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Better-Nate-Than-Ever/Tim-Federle/Nate/9781442446915
  4. ^ https://www.amazon.com/Tequila-Mockingbird-Cocktails-Literary-Twist/dp/0762448652
  5. ^ https://www.goldenglobes.com/articles/nominations-75th-golden-globe-awards-have-been-announced
  6. ^ a b https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2018/01/oscar-nominations-2018-full-list
  7. ^ "Best Novels and Children's Books of 2013" Slate, December 2013
  8. ^ Tequilla Mockingbird Huffington Post, May 9, 2013
  9. ^ Tuck Everlasting ibdb.com
  10. ^ Viagas, Riobert. "Best-Selling Author Tim Federle Will Co-Write Libretto for Broadway's 'Tuck Everlasting'" Playbill, January 4, 2016
  11. ^ https://www.ibdb.com/broadway-cast-staff/tim-federle-107657
  12. ^ "Tim Federle" Great River Shakespeare Festival, July 2015
  13. ^ Zuchowski, Dave. "‘Better Nate’ author returning to city for book tour" Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 16, 2014
  14. ^ "Tim Federle Broadway" Playbill (vault)
  15. ^ https://variety.com/2018/film/news/pasek-paul-fox-animation-film-1202692133/
  16. ^ https://www.imdb.com/name/nm8758198/?ref_=ttfc_fc_wr7
  17. ^ https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/lists/golden-globe-nominations-2018-full-list-nominees-1063937
  18. ^ "Tim Federle" simonandschuster.com
  19. ^ "Kids From 'Newsies' Talk Dream Roles With "Better Nate Than Ever" Author Tim Federle" Playbill
  20. ^ Sagnella, Lauren. "QA With 'Better Nate Than Ever' Author Tom Federle" Archived February 19, 2016, at the Wayback Machine stagenotes.net, February 19, 2013
  21. ^ DuChateau, Christian. "'Idol' fans will love 'Better Nate Than Ever'" cnn.com, February 8, 2013
  22. ^ Better Nate Than Ever' publishersweekly.com
  23. ^ a b c O'Keefe, Kevin. "The Pun-Slinging Guru of 'Drinking Through Parenthood'" The Atlantic, December 2, 2014
  24. ^ "Tim Federle 'Better Nate Than Ever'" Huffington Post, March 12, 2013
  25. ^ Balaban, Bob. "Sunday Book Review. Rising Stars" New York Times, March 8, 2013
  26. ^ Healy, Patrick. "A Boy Finds His Love for Theater" New York Times, February 22, 2013
  27. ^ [1] amazon.com
  28. ^ "Notable Books of 2013" New York Times
  29. ^ Award ala.org
  30. ^ Annual Lambda Literary Award Finalists Announced" lambdaliterary.org
  31. ^ a b "Awards" ala.org
  32. ^ Walker, Jodi. "'Five, Six, Seven, Nate!': read an exclusive excerpt from Tim Federle's kid-gone-Broadway sequel" ew.com, December 5, 2013
  33. ^ DuChateau, Christian. "5 questions for 'Five, Six, Seven, Nate!' author Tim Federle" cnn.com, January 21, 2014
  34. ^ "Kirkus Review" kirkusreviews.com, January 28, 2014
  35. ^ Five, Six, Seven, Nate! juniorlibraryguild.com
  36. ^ "ALA 2014 Awards" juniorlibraryguild.com
  37. ^ https://latimes.com/books/jacketcopy/la-et-jc-lambda-literary-awards-20150602-story.html
  38. ^ Perkins, Stephanie. Summer Days and Summer Nights twitter.com, March 3, 2015
  39. ^ "Rights Report: Week of March 2, 2015" publishersweekly.com, March 3, 2015
  40. ^ My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories publishersweekly.com
  41. ^ a b Wong, Curtis. "Tim Federle Reveals Cover For ‘The Great American Whatever,’ His New Young Adult Novel" Huffington Post, June 4, 2015
  42. ^ Federle amazon.com
  43. ^ The Great American Whatever simonandschuster.com
  44. ^ Tim Federle booklistonline
  45. ^ "Book Reviews" kirkusreviews.com
  46. ^ Wong, Curtis. "The Gay Young Adult Novel You’ve Been Waiting For Is Finally Here" Huffington Post, March 30, 2016
  47. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/23/books/review/notable-childrens-books-of-2016.html?_r=0
  48. ^ https://www.kirkusreviews.com/issue/best-of-2016/section/teen/?page=2
  49. ^ a b https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/tim-federle-nate-expectations_us_5a50008ee4b01e1a4b151bbe?section=us_queer-voices
  50. ^ "Tim Federle" perseusbooksgroup.com
  51. ^ "Results for Best Food & Cookbooks. 2013" goodreads.com
  52. ^ [2] archive.com
  53. ^ a b Reiley, Laura. "Tim Federle's 'Tequila Mockingbird' cookbook mixes literature, cocktails" The Tampa Bay Times, January 27, 2014
  54. ^ Interviews slj.com, April 2014
  55. ^ Catalog urbanoutfitters.com
  56. ^ Books modcloth.com
  57. ^ Article Wall Street Journal
  58. ^ "Gone With the Gin"Parade, October 30, 2015
  59. ^ Goodman, Jessica. "See the cover and first recipe from 'Gone With The Gin'" ew.com, June 29, 2015
  60. ^ Mondry, Sydney. "This Gone with the Wind-Inspired Cocktail Will Make You, Frankly Our Dears, Not Give a Damn" Instyle, November 18, 2015
  61. ^ https://ew.com/books/2017/05/03/tim-federle-life-is-like-a-musical/
  62. ^ Tim Federle [@TimFederle] (May 3, 2017). "Ahhhh! It's the exclusive cover reveal of my next book, which is basically "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff" with jazz…" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  63. ^ http://dramaleague.org/events/awards/nominees
  64. ^ http://www.playbill.com/article/2016-outer-critics-circle-nominees-announced-com-347165
  65. ^ Viagas, Robert. "Full Cast Announced for Broadway's 'Tuck Everlasting'" Playbill, January 15, 2016
  66. ^ "'HSM: TM: TS' Boss on Finale, Ricky & Nini Cliffhanger and Season 2". Entertainment Tonight. Retrieved January 28, 2020.
  67. ^ "'High School Musical: The Musical: The Series' Creator Dishes On Season 2". J-14. January 13, 2020. Retrieved January 28, 2020.

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