Thursday, November 05, 2009
Interview with Pam Bachorz
You may recall that I recently attended the KidLit Con, a fabulous conference that brings together bloggers, writers, and editors in the YA world. While I was there, I met a lot of cool people, including today's guest, Pam Bachorz.
Pam is one of the "2009 Debutantes" along with our very own Rhonda. You can read their group blog here: http://community.livejournal.com/debut2009/
Pam lives outside Washington, DC, in the same Maryland neighborhood that previous Fictionistas guest, Diana Peterfreund, lives in. Freakazoid factoid of the day...we discovered over dinner at the conference that Pam and Diana had been in the housing market at the same time and actually almost bought each other's homes. Weird, huh? (Cue Twilight Zone music.)
Pam's debut novel, CANDOR about brainwashed teens in a planned community, was released by Egmont USA in September.
Please give a warm Fictionistas welcome to Pam Bachorz!
AB: Tell us something about yourself.
PB: I like cupcakes, writing and people who tell the truth.
AB: I like people who are straight to the point. LOL! Tell us about CANDOR.
PB: CANDOR is a story for ages 12 and up about a boy, Oscar, who lives in a town where everyone is brainwashed--everyone, that is, except Oscar. he's secretly found a way around the Messages that turn all the other kids into Stepford clones. But when rebel Nia moves to town, he must choose between love and safety.
AB: How did you get the inspiration for it?
PB: I was living in a planned community in central Florida, and took the dog for a walk one late night. The mosquito truck drove by and we were coated in the white spray that the town swore was harmless. What if, I wondered, it had Prozac in it? That would explain why everyone in the town was so happy and friendly. From there I developed my idea of a town where everyone pays a premium to be brainwashed (but neglects to clue their kids into the plan).
AB: Sounds intriguing! What authors do you read?
PB: I read YA and Middle Grade books, mostly. I try to read widely, spanning genres, though lately I have mostly been focusing on books pubbed in the last 2 years. Right now I'm reading RUINMARKS by Joanne Harris. Some of my favorites include Scott Westerfeld, Jeanne DuPrau, Pete Hautman, Neal Shusterman, Gail Giles and Nancy Werlin.
AB: Who is your favorite character (from your own books or any others out there)?
PB: My very favorite literary character is Anne Shirley, from L.M. Montgomery's ANNE OF GREEN GABLES series. She's a redheaded writer with spunk and a genius for getting into trouble (I can't imagine why I like her...)
AB: LOL! What five things are always in your purse?
PB: My Blackberries (yes, plural, one for play and one for work). A notebook to scribble down ideas. Hopefully a pen to go with the notebook but does that always happen? Nooooo. And I have this little wool wallet/change purse that my friend Viv gave me... I stuff both cash and my CANDOR business cards in there, so when I'm trying to give people a CANDOR card they probably get really excited for a second and think I'm going to bribe them to read my book!
AB: What music are you currently listening to?
PB: Right now I'm loving Brandi Carlile's new album, GIVE UP THE GHOST. I love any song with a ton of energy (like, say, anything by the Fratellis or Lady Gaga!), passion (thus Brandi) or with beautiful harmonies (like The Story or The Indigo Girls).
AB: Tell us about your pets, if any.
PB: No pets, sadly. We know our lives are too busy right now for a dog. But I really miss having one. (No cats in this house, we're all super allergic!)
AB: One item of makeup you can't live without.
PB: Colorstay lipstick.
AB: Worst high school memory.
PB: Seriously, I tend to block the bad stuff. I ought to get myself "unblocked" so I have more material for my writing, huh? Well, probably it was when I failed my driving test. I am a self-admitted overachiever and I could not BELIEVE that I had failed. OK, sure, I made a left on red but nobody was coming! Yeah, the driving examiner didn't buy that either. I was so spooked that I didn't take the test again for nearly a year.
AB: Ouch! Tell us your best prom story, and you get bonus points if you let us post your prom picture. (Oh, come on, we had to ask!)
PB: I skipped senior prom! I did go to junior prom but there was no big eventful story there, unless you count one of my guy friends showing up in a powder-blue suit WITH cane and somehow pulling it off. I wish I could share my sister's horrid prom story but she'd kill me. I would just like to say to her prom date that dude, I know what happened and don't ever cross this big sister's path.
I, um, don't know what I did with my prom picture? Too bad. I actually still really like my dress.
AB: If you could go back in time and talk to TeenPam, what would you tell her?
PB: I would tell her to chill out and smell the roses a little bit. Have some more fun and don't worry so much about being perfect all the time!
AB: What are you working on next?
PB: I just turned in my second YA to my editor at Egmont USA, so now I'm mulling. I'll get revisions soon so it's hard to start on the next one but I've got some ideas, so I'm just playing with characters at this point. Plus I'm writing podcast scripts (http://www.pambachorz.com/candor-podcast/) for CANDOR still!