1. On your website, you have three blurbs from New York Times Bestselling Authors for Crazy Beautiful, which I will take to mean you will soon find yourself on the same list. But seriously, what would it be like for you to find out you did make it? Does this at all signify success to you?
I was simply amazed that Ellen Hopkins, Lisa McMann and Alyson Noel all had such nice things to say about my book. It's a bit of a pinch-myself moment: Can they really be talking about something I wrote??? Surely they've mistaken me for someone else! I can't say that it would signify success for me, making the list - that way madness lies, and I'd prefer to think that it's a success simply to have ideas for books that I see through to completion and that readers seem to enjoy. But would you hear me in the next county squeeing if I was ever lucky enough to make the list? Yes. Yes, you would.
2. Crazy Beautiful is a newer version of the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast. What made you want to do a contemporary version of this story? If you could re-tell another fairy tale in modern times, what would you choose?
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. As for the second part of your question, I have played around some with classic novels - The Great Gatsby; Little Women - but another fairy tale, who knows? Oh, great. Now you've got me thinking which fairy tale I'd like to tackle next. Plus I see my answers to these questions are loooong - sorry! I hope I don't bore your readers!
3. Do you make playlists for you novels? If so, what sort of songs would fit Crazy Beautiful (I haven't read it, but to me, I'd see some pretty and haunting songs...)
I do not make playlists, but once again, you've got me thinking. Ooh, I've got one! I love Rob Thomas's "Lonely No More," but here's the funny part. There's a line in the middle where I used to think he said, "Open up to me, and let me do your girlfriends." So there I'm thinking for months - years, even! - "You're going to win the girl back by doing her girlfriends???" Then of course I learned that it's "like you do your girlfriends." Finally, it made sense!
4. Speaking of blurbs, one of the things that Lisa McMann (Wake, Fade) says about CB is that "Lauren Baratz-Logsted doesn't write icky, gooey love. She writes stark, broken, gorgeous love." Did you set out to write about real love instead of the fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast version?
I set out to write a contemporary version in he-said/she-said fashion with twin narrators. That said, I do think the book has a certain otherwordly tone to it more commonly found in - oh, I don't know, maybe some romantic/vampire stories? Or maybe you could read it and then tell me? I also think Beauty & the Beast has been successfully adapted in so many forms because it is more than the usual fairy tale. I think we often recognize ourselves in the Beast: doing things that lead to our own tragedies and then hopefully finding ways to redeem ourselves.
5. You're an author, as well as your husband, and now your own daughter helps with the new Sisters 8 series. What's it like to have a family full of writers? How does the rest of the family or your friends react to the idea?
It's insane and we have a good time. I work on my computer down in what I call my basement cave. Greg works two floors up in our bedroom. We IM each other and daughter Jackie alternately hits each of us up to use our computers. People - family, friends, strangers - seem to like the idea of what we do. I've even had adults whose relationships with their kids are bad say they've started trying to do what we do - have a writing project together - as a way to get closer, and that they've met with success. By the way, I'd be remiss here if I didn't point out that my husband Greg Logsted is the author of the amazing YA novel Something Happened and the forthcoming Alibi Junior High (Jun 23).
6. You write for adults, teens, and kids. What's the difference? Do you prefer one audience over another in certain circumstances?
I love writing for all audiences and I'm grateful that I've managed to build my career to the point that I can do that; each has its own challenges and rewards. You'd think the younger the audience, the easier the book is to write, because they're shorter, right? But the younger the audience, the shorter the attention span and the more competitive for their time new technology is, so every word has to count in a way it doesn't necessarily with adults. You also have to, or at least I feel I have to have a sense of responsibility toward the audience in that you sure don't want to send the wrong messages. As for which I prefer, how can I not love writing The Sisters 8 books? I get to work on them with my nine-year-old kid! But I have to say, writing YA is just so wonderful. The area is just wide open these days and it seems that the styles and themes an author can explore are endless.
7. I absolutely love the cover for Crazy Beautiful. Is there any significance to the smoke that comes down from Lucius' jacket?
I never thought of it until you just mentioned it. At first I was going to say no, but then I realized: Why, yes; yes, there is. But of course I can't tell you what.
8. And finally, names are always interesting to me. How did you come up with the main characters' names in CB? Did you mean for them to give off a certain vibe or meaning?
Although the novel is contemporary, I did want the names to have a slightly unusual, fairy tale tone. Aurora is Sleeping Beauty's real name and Belle is of course Beauty, so that's where I got Aurora Belle. As for Lucius Wolfe's name, well, it's like he's so dangerous and hungry and intense in his own way, he's like a double helping of wolf.
Enter: Leave a comment about the interview with Lauren
Open to: International (thanks for Lauren, isn't she awesome?? And no, not me Lauren...the author Lauren!!)
Ends: June 29th
Prize: A signed copy of Angel's Choice (I know, you'd need New Release...Crazy Beautiful...but Lauren doesn't have available copies so I decided Angel's Choice would be a similar, nice substitute)
+1 if you are a follower or become one. Let me know in a NEW comment.