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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Author Interview: Pam Bachorz

I'm thrilled to be featuring author Pam Bachorz today, her debut novel, Candor is in stores today! Pam Bachorz’s debut novel Candor was inspired by the six years she lived in Celebration, Florida–a “model” small town–when she thought, What if . . . ? She now lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, with her husband and son.

You have 3 FAVE questions that you ask other authors, can you tell us what they are and how would you answer them?
I love this, I have to face my very own questions! OK here they are, with my answers:

I think teen books can, and should, be read by grown-ups. Tell my grandma Grace why she should read your book.
CANDOR is a great read for adults, too. What adult hasn't wished that they could think differently, act different, eat differently--or even more darkly, control the behavior of their children?

What would your 16-year-old self say if she read your book?
She'd say, "Cool! It's about time you did this! Now. Have you met Lois Duncan yet? How about Vivian Schurfranz?" Those were two of my favorite authors, when I was a teen. I don't even know if Vivian Schurfranz was a pen name or a real person!

I am fascinated by writers' inspirations. Tell me about a real-life setting that found its way into your book.
CANDOR was inspired by the six years I lived in Celebration, a planned community in central Florida, just south of Orlando. It was beautiful, but its perfection could be eerie: white picket fences lining the streets, with gorgeous flowers, shady front porches and never, ever any graffiti. (I finally got to graffiti my town in CANDOR--several times over...). So the book is full of settings inspired by Celebration. I think my favorite is my main character's secret hideout, the tricked-out garden shed behind the gorgeous Candor model homes. Oscar's got forbidden foods, drinks and games hidden behind the pegboard walls. I love thinking that it could actually be true: somewhere in Celebration, hidden in a fancy garden shed, is a stash of Devil Dogs and M&Ms. (Do you hear that sound? Everybody in Celebration is running out to check their garden sheds...). You can see some pictures of settings that inspired CANDOR on my website at

Would you say that your book is intended for both audiences, or is it a surprise to find out how strongly adults feel about them?
I wrote a story that entertained me, about teen characters, without worrying too much about the audience. I hope that both teens and adults read and enjoy CANDOR.

Do you find that your characters are shaped by the towns they live in?
For me, setting is always another character in my stories. It interacts with my characters and influences their mood, their behavior, and their actions. Of course when the setting includes brainwashing Messages that are hidden in ever-present music, the setting is DEFINITELY shaping the characters! There's no escaping the setting in CANDOR. It makes my story possible.

What’s your favorite Brainwash movie?
I am going to cheat a little and go with a TV show: LOST. They've hinted at brainwashing but backed right off. Remember how they showed a room where people are forced to sit in chairs and wear weird goggles and watch TV until... well, I'm not sure... maybe their ears bleed? It was only in one episode. When I saw it, I was both fascinated and horrified. Fascinated because it was cool, and horrified because I already had a kind-of similar brainwashing area ("The Listening Room") in CANDOR. But in my room, it's a very fancy spa-like place with music (and Messages) constantly playing. You go in with problems and come out days later with your brain "wiped clean". Of course there are a few little side effects... what fun would it be if there weren't?

Do you have any more books in the works at the moment?

I am working on another dark YA for Egmont USA. It's too soon for me to share details but suffice to say that again I'll be writing about a place that COULD exist today where very bad things are happening... and my main character has to fight her way out of it.

Would you like to share any additional info with the readers?
You can read the first chapter of CANDOR for free on my website at, as well as listen to a playlist of songs that helped to inspire CANDOR (I swear there aren't any Messages in them!) and read my blog. Come visit!

Thanks Pam!

For more information about Pam Bachorz and Candor, please visit her website here.


  1. Wonderful interview! I was in an urban planning course in graduate school (in...where else? Gainesville, FL), and we talked about the concept and the practical application for what happened in Celebration. It's a typical late 1980's urban planning dream...but like they've learned elsewhere, planned cities never function the way you think they will. Another interesting example of that is Brazil's capital city, Brasilia, which was built in the 60s. Right now the most popular concept city is Portland, which has its own problems (don't get me wrong, it's gorgeous...they've just got a huge unemployment issue due in part to the kinds of industry building they allow). Anyway, what I meant to say was, it's kind of creepy how someone's philosophy or even the layout of the streets can change living conditions, people's attitudes, crime levels, and so on.
    I'm really looking forward to reading the novel for just that aspect. Again, awesome interview. Thanks!

  2. Awesome interview! Great questions. I really want to read Candor!

  3. Even at my age, I enjoy reading YA titles. I am glad to hear this will be enjoyed by all ages.

  4. Can't wait to give it a try. I'm more into Sci-fi, but it sounds interesting enough. Great interview by the way!

  5. Great interview! But now I'm curious is Lois Duncan is a pen name. I went through an LD phase in 6th grade.

  6. This book looks so good! Now that I read the interview I want it even more! Great interview!

  7. Wonderful interview! I have been to Celebration, Florida just this past summer. Nice little community. We love to eat at the Columbia restaurant. I had to laugh about the stuff hidden in the garden shed. Now I am imagining it.

  8. Such an interesting interview! I'm even more intrigued to read this book now! And I think it odd that there is such a place that is "perfect". It gives me the creeps.

  9. I like what she said about setting being another character in her books. I work hard to get my students to understand how important setting can be!

  10. Nice interview, I'm so interested in reading this book and cant wait for her next release.

  11. I loved this interview. I haven't bought this book yet, but ever since it came out this week I have been hearing nothing but good things about it so I am sure I will crack soon.

    I follow you on your blog and twitter and I am heading over to your review next. Which I am looking forward to. Thanks for the great contest!

  12. I have always enjoyed YA books the most, though I have no problem with reading books intended for older or younger books. In fact, one of my favorite series happens to be a series intended for younger children.

  13. I wonder what her next book is going to be about? I'm headed over to her website to read the first chapter of Candor and check out the playlist. Thanks for the interview!
    ~~Natalie (Mindful Musings)

  14. Celebration, Florida looks nice! The perfection is a bit odd I'll admit though. Candor sounds like such an interesting story!

  15. Great interview! I find it really interesting that the town was based off of FL, of all places.

  16. Awesome Interview :)
    Can't wait to read the book!

  17. I've been to Celebration, FL so I know exactly how Pam Bachorz could use it as inspiration for a brain-washing society.

    Awesome interview. I love Pam's take on adults reading YA novels.

  18. So much of this interview that I could talk about! Having been to Celebration quite a few times, I completely understand where the author is coming from. The place is built specifically to be perfect. Kind of a Stepford-wives thing going on lol. And LOST...well, anything related to that show is just great. The brainwashing sounds so interesting and I can't wait to see more from this writer!

  19. Shawna L

    Thanks for this interview I always love them & i get a small peek into the Authors lives. This book sounds wonderful I hope to pick it up soon!!

  20. Great interview, i agree everyone should read YA books! I happen to enjoy YA books more than "adult" books anyways

  21. This book saound A-MAZE-ing!!!! Can't wait to read it!


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