OK, I'm posting this up in November, so I honestly don't know what day I had the baby. (Edited by Rhonda--as you know, she had the baby last week. YAY!)
Anyway, I'm on "maternity leave" from Fictionistas, as you probably know by now, so please welcome the fabulous Lauren Baratz-Logsted, multi-published author of books for adults, teens, and kids.
AB: Welcome, Lauren, and thanks for doing this interview.
LBL: I'm just happy if I can help out. Congratulations!
AB: Thanks! So, tell us something about yourself.
LBL: Hmm, that's rather a vague question... I'm short, I like to shoot pool, and I spend most of my life either writing or reading. Do I sound interesting yet?
AB: LOL. Tell us about CRAZY BEAUTIFUL, your most recent YA release.
LBL: The YA novel CRAZY BEAUTIFUL is a contemporary re-visioning of Beauty & the Beast, told in he-said/she-said fashion, about a boy with hooks for hands and a gorgeous girl who meet on their first day at a new school.
AB: How did you get the inspiration for it?
LBL: I'd just seen Beauty & the Beast on Broadway and I got to thinking about how of all the Disney-fied fairy tales it's the one that translates best to stage and screen. I wondered why that should be and decided it's because it's the only one where the male is more than mere window dressing, there to make the female look good. So I set out to tell my own story about a male who, like the Beast, is the architect of his own tragic condition and is now in need of redemption.
AB: Sounds cool. And now that I'm keeping crazy hours with a newborn, I'm on the search for new material for my to-be-read pile. I'll be sure to add it! What authors do you read?
LBL: So many! It's easier to talk about some of my favorite books of the past year. Favorite adult literary fiction: LITTLE BEE, Chris Cleave. Favorite commercial adult fiction: THE CASTAWAYS, Elin Hilderbrand. Favorite YA fiction: FREEZE FRAME, Heidi Ayarbe.
AB: Who is your favorite character (from your own books or any other books out there)?
LBL: It's impossible to pick just one. I've always loved Phineas from A SEPARATE PIECE, Gatsby from that book with his name in the title, Jane Eyre from you-know-what. If I had to pick a favorite from my own books, right now it'd probably be Lucius Wolfe from CRAZY BEAUTIFUL.
AB: What five things are always in your purse?
LBL: Wallet, keys, bank slips (I never remember to throw them out), movie stubs (I usually go with my daughter and can't bear to throw them out - they're memories!), lipstick (my lips get so chapped in the winter, I'd look like Linda Blair in "The Exorcist" if I didn't occasionally remember to slap some on).
AB: What music are you currently listening to?
LBL: None. It's earlly in the morning and I live in a condo. My neighbors would hate me if I started blaring music right now.
AB: Tell us about your pets (if any).
LBL: Awwww! One item of makeup you can't live without.
LBL: See last item in answer to question 6. No, wait a second! Eyebrow pencil! Without eyebrow pencil I'd have no eyebrows which would be even worse than having lips like Linda Blair in "The Exorcist."
AB: Worst high school memory.
LBL: Oh, you're not going to trap me with *that* one!
AB: If you could go back in time and take to TeenLauren, what would you tell her?
LBL: Finally! An easy question! I'd tell mini-me: "Don't hurry Time. Don't always be rushing to grow older so you can hit the next landmark: driver's license, legal drinking etc. Enjoy where you are now and be present in the moment. You'll be old soon enough."
AB: What are you working on next?
LBL: THE EDUCATION OF BET is my next YA novel, due out next July. This one's set in Victorian England and is about a 16-year-old girl who impersonates a boy in order to get a proper education. Oh, and the fifth volume in THE SISTERS 8 series for young readers, which I created with my novelist husband Greg Logsted and our nine-year-old daughter Jackie, is due out in the spring. The new one's called MARCIA'S MADNESS.