The Book Pixie: Could you tell us a little bit about yourself.
Lauren Baratz-Logsted: I'm probably older than you think, shorter than you think, and not as nice as you think. Is that what you had in mind?
TBP: What inspired the idea of writing a book, Crazy Beautiful, about a character with hooks for hands?
LBL: I'd just seen "Beauty & the Beast" on Broadway and got to wondering why of all the Disneyfied fairy tales it's the one that's translated best to stage and screen. I decided it's because it's the only one where the male is as compelling, even more so than the female. That's when it hit me to do a contemporary story where the male main character is judged by most of the world based on his surface appearance and how that in turn affects how he behaves, which in turn affects how he's treated. And of course I wanted it to be romantic too.
TBP: What inspired the idea for The Education of Bet?
LBL: I have a history of writing books where characters do over-the-top things, going to extremes to get a chance to experience something life would not necessarily afford them. In this instance, I wanted to do a story - sometimes dramatic, sometimes much lighter - about a 16-year-old girl in the 1800s, denied a proper education because of her class and gender. So, of course she has to impersonate a boy to get what she wants.
TBP: What has been your reaction to the cover for Crazy Beautiful? The Education of Bet?
LBL: Crazy Beautiful - I instantly loved it. The Education of Bet - you have to understand, I had a specific idea in my mind for that cover, so seeing the one that it has, it was kind of like if I'd given birth to a gorgeous child who looked nothing like what I'd been imagining. So I'd say it's stunning...and surprising!
TBP: What do you consider to be the most rewarding aspect of being a published author?
LBL: Honestly, it's tough to pick a single thing to label "the most." I adore the actual writing. I even adore the opportunity revision affords to make something that was already (hopefully) good as good as I can make it. And I'd be lying if I claimed it didn't make me feel special to receive fan mail from those people who, for whatever insane reason, like my writing.
TBP: What are some of your favorite YA books?
LBL: My favorite YA of 2009 was Freeze Frame, by Heidi Ayarbe, but mostly it's easier for me to name authors rather than specific books: Lisa McMann, A.S. King, Ellen Hopkins, Sarah Dessen, Laurie Halse Anderson, Barry Lyga, Greg Logsted (of course!), and all my sister authors at Teen Fiction Cafe.
TBP: Out of all your characters, who is your favorite?
LBL: Now that is an impossible question, but I can name a few: Lucius (Crazy Beautiful), Bet (The Education of Bet, forthcoming), Kit Tyler (The Twin's Daughter, forthcoming).
TBP: Are you currently working on anything else?
LBL: I'm always working on something else! In addition to the two YAs and the next two volumes of The Sisters 8 series for young readers that I have coming out in 2010, I'm currently working on a comedic adult novel called... Actually, I'm keeping mum about that at the moment.
TBP: What do you like to do just for fun in your spare time? Any hobbies?
LBL: I shoot pool, watch "General Hospital" and hang with cool people like you on Twitter.
TBP: Anything else you'd like to add?
LBL: Thank you? Really, thank you. You rock.
I would like to give a huge thanks to Lauren for being here, it was such a pleasure to interview you for my blog. Also I'd like to thank you readers for stopping by. :D