Sunday, November 15, 2009

Author Interview: Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Lauren Baratz-Logsted is the author of Crazy Beautiful, a modern retelling of the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast, which I reviewed recently. It has a unique approach on the retelling, and of course, it's terribly romantic!

Now, we get to know Lauren a little bit more! ^-^

1. Your book, Crazy Beautiful, is a sort of retelling of the Beauty and the Beast. What made you decide to write a fairy tale retelling?

Thank you for having me! I'd recently seen Beauty & the Beast on Broadway and I got to thinking about why of all the Disneyfied fairy tales, that'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 more than just pretty window dressing for the far more interesting female. I decided I wanted to do my own contemporary version, addressing themes that are important to me: like how much of the way we treat people is based on physical appearance.

2. Do you foresee yourself writing more fairy tale retellings in the future?

Absolutely. I love talking fairy tales and classic stories and trying to find a way to make them fresh and different.

3. Your books all belong to the realistic genre. Would you ever consider writing something with a touch of fantasy/paranormal?

Actually, The Sisters 8 series for young readers aged 6-10, which I created with my novelist husband Greg Logsted ( and our nine-year-old daughter Jackie, does have fantasy elements in it, but I'd certainly be open to writing books like that for the teen audience as well. I thrive on trying different things all the time.

4. Ok, let's get to know more about you... aside from writing, what are your other hobbies/interests?

You mean there's something to life other than writing and reading??? Let's see... I love to shoot pool when I get the chance and I'm something of a TV-head. I know a lot of people who like to proudly proclaim, "I never watch TV," as though that will earn them some sort of seat on the Nobel committee or possibly automatic acceptance in Mensa. But I love TV. Some of my favorite shows are "One Tree Hill," "Smallville," "House" and "Glee," and, of course, "General Hospital."

5. Can you tell us some of your favorite books?

Some of my favorite YA authors are Lisa McMann, Alyson Noel, A.S. King, Laurie Halse Anderson, Sarah Dessen and Ellen Hopkins. I also love the classics, particularly those written by Austen and the Brontes. For 2009, my favorite YA book: Freeze Frame, by Heidi Ayarbe; favorite adult novel: Little Bee, by Chris Cleave. All-time favorite book by a dead author: The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald. All-time favorite book by a living author: Love in the Time of Cholera, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Me: Yay! Another Austen fan! I'm a fan of the Bronte sisters too. :) LOVED The Great Gatsby.

6. I am totally crushing on a lot of fictional crushes. Can you tell us some of your favorites? (inspired by the post The Hot Ones Are Always Fictional)

Jay Gatsby from The Great Gatsby and Phineas from A Separate Peace, both of which are problematic because both, you know - well, I don't want to spoil the endings for anyone who hasn't read the books yet. Oh, and for about 20 years I've been in love with Richard Jury from Martha Grimes' mystery series. Richard Jury is smart and funny but there's also a sadness to him - I'd like to take that pain away.

7. Are you currently working on anything? Do you have something to say to the readers out there? :)

My next YA novel, The Education of Bet, is due out in July 2010. It's about a 16-year-old girl in Victorian England who impersonates a boy in order to get a proper education. As for what I'd like to say to readers out there: Thank you for reading my books! I can't promise to give you the same reading experience over and over again - since I don't confine myself to a particular genre or type of book or even style of storytelling - but I can promise to always do my best to write stories that don't waste your time, that say something about the world we live in and that are hopefully entertaining.

Oooh... The Education of Bet sounds good. I'm always up for anything set in the Victorian era! :)

Thank you Lauren for stopping by here at Reality Bites... Fiction Does It Better! I had a great a time reading your answers!


Don't forget to check out my review of Crazy Beautiful! And if you want to know more about Lauren and her books, go check out her site! ^-^

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