Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Author Interview: Lauren Baratz-Logsted

I'm thrilled to be featuring Lauren Baratz-Logsted, author of numerous books for YA, adults and children. Today we will be discussing her current novel Crazy Beautiful, a modern day retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Crazy Beautiful was released September 7th 2009.



Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?
It's a bit of a cop-out, perhaps, but I read - I read a lot! - and I feel that every book I've ever read, good or bad, has informed my own writing.

What was your inspiration behind Crazy Beautiful?
I've always felt that Beauty & the Beast is one of the most compelling of the Disney-fied fairy tales. Certainly it's the one that's been best translated to stage and screen. I think this has a lot to do with the fact that it's the only one where the male lead is more than a glorified Ken doll, there simply to make the girl look good. So one day I decided to do my own contemporary version, where the boy has done something beastly, resulting in him having hooks for hands, while the girl is, well, beautiful.

How did you come up with the title?
In the way that high school kids can sometimes label other kids based on mere surface things, Lucius Wolfe with his hooks is immediately labeled crazy in his new school, while everyone considers Aurora Belle to be beautiful. Together they're crazy beautiful.

What did you enjoy most about writing Crazy Beautiful?
So many things, but probably the greatest was writing Lucius's voice in first person. I was amazed at how fun I found it to channel a teenage boy.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
That no matter what you think you've written, there are readers who will read something entirely different into your creation, usually something you never intended them to do. In the end, you can only write what you write, but you can't control how others perceive it.

What was the hardest part of writing your books any why?
I honestly can't think of one. I feel so fortunate to have the career I do - that I've been able to write books on a variety of subjects and for nearly every age group imaginable, and see those books published - that to complain feels wrong somehow.

You have written for Adults, YAs, and Kids, which is your favorite genre to write for and why?
I love it all. Each has its own challenges and rewards. I have to say, though, that I've really enjoyed writing for YAs. There's just so much you can do in the field today, in terms of style and theme - the possibilities seem endless! - and of course the audience is amazing.

What projects are you currently working on?
I'm working on Book 6 of The Sisters 8 series for young readers, that I'm cowriting with my novelist husband Greg Logsted (Something Happened; Alibi Junior High) and our nine-year-old daughter Jackie. Like the books I write for YAs those books are dear to my heart and the first four books in the nine-book series have already been published. I'm also looking forward to the publication of my next YA in spring 2010, The Education of Bet, set in the Victorian era, about a 16-year-old girl who impersonates a boy in order to get a proper education.

Thanks for having me!

Thanks Lauren!

For more information on Lauren and her books, please visit her website here.

27 comments:

  1. I can't wait to read her book.
    It looks A-M-A-ZING! :)

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  2. There's an award for you on my blog! http://rhiannon-hart.blogspot.com/2009/09/feeling-love-and-vote.html

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  3. I read a review for this on another blog and it sounded kind of creepy. I loved Beauty & the Beast and this is a creative way to rewrite it but the hooks for hands idea is sort of creepy. Thanks for the review.

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  4. I really like Beauty and the Beast so with it being the inspiration for this book its got me curious in this book.

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  5. Nice review. It's great to hear that Lauren is working on so many things ^^

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  6. Oh, I love Beauty and the Beast retellings. I'm an absolute sucker for them!

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  7. Good interview! I laughed at the comparison of Disney heros to "glorified Ken dolls." Now that I think about it, she's totally right! Weird! As always, I love your interview questions. Great post!

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  8. Great interview.

    Glorified Ken dolls... lol

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  9. Great interview-- I've got to say, I can't wait to read this one. Really, who wouldn't? It's a modern day Beauty and the Beast! :D

    Enjoy,
    TBQ

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  10. What an awesome family activity! It would be so cool to write a book with the who family. Just think of all the dynamic characters!

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  11. A modern day retelling of Beauty and the Beast sounds wonderful, Lauren. What a great idea for a book!
    wandanamgreb(at)gmail(dot)com

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  12. awww :D i love this interview! That is so cool that she's writing with her husband and daughter :D

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  13. Great interview. :) I really liked what she had to say about how people all get something different from a book, seeing how differently people can percieve a story is one of the things that makes blogging so interesting to me.

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  14. that's so cool that she's co-authoring with her husband!!

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  15. Love how she titled it Crazy Beautiful. I was wondering that myself. I understand completely now. :) Can't wait to read this one!

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  16. That's neat that your daughter helps you write your children's books! Loved the interview!

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  17. The Beauty and the Beast thing is really cool. I love it when books are inspired by older stories. And Beauty and the Beast is an excellent choice.

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  18. Beauty and the Beast if my favorite Disney movie and I can't wait to read a modern day retelling of it!

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  19. Beautiful cover, beautiful titel and seems like an amazing book! Can't wait to read it!

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  20. A book set in the Victorian era sounds great. Those are quite popular, it seems!

    Valorie
    morbidromantic@gmail.com

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  21. Crazy Beautiful sounds great. Nice interview! Her new YA book sounds amazing...

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  22. Aw! I love that she is cowriting with her husband and daughter! She seems awesome. :)

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  23. Hi Lauren~
    I think that Crazy Beautiful sounds really interesting and I am curious why you decided to have the main character have hooks for hands. I just find this so intriguing (not sure this is the correct spelling). I really like Beauty and the Beast stories.

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  24. I hope she tells more fairy tales.

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  25. I love how she came up with the title for Crazy Beautiful. And of course she enjoys writing for YAs. We are the best after all. :P Great interview.

    ~Briana

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  26. I'm always interested in new retellings of fairy tales and a boy with hooks should definitely be interesting.

    Deidre

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