After reading The Twin's Daughter by Lauren Baratz-Logsted I was smitten. It had a lot of things that I love in a novel and it didn't disappoint me in any way. However, there was one thing that I needed to do. Interview Lauren Baratz-Logsted.
It's with great pleasure that I'd like to welcome Lauren..
Hello Lauren, thanks again for doing this!
My pleasure, Pdbkwm!
What made you decide to become a writer and do you have any advice to aspiring writers?
I was 12 years old when I first got the idea, from my 8th grade English teacher, that I might have some writing talent. But it was 20 years before I walked out on my day job to take a chance on myself as a writer and nearly eight years and seven novels passed after that before I made my first sale. I've since sold a total of 23 books. The advice I give aspiring writers is twofold: 1) read, read, read everything you can get your hands on, because you can't be a good writer without being a good reader first; and 2) always remember, the only person who can ever really take you out of the game is you.
Not only are you a teen author, but you write books for children and adult as well. What is the most challenging aspect of writing for such a huge audience?
I think the most challenging is deciding whether a new idea would work best as an adult novel or a teen novel; it's always obvious if something is a children's novel. The adult and teen audiences are so much closer these days than they've ever been before. So while teen novels like Crazy Beautiful and The Education of Bet are clearly teen novels, The Twin's Daughter could work just as easily as an adult novel without changing anything while the concept behind Little Women and Me could be adapted for an older audience simply by changing the age and attitude of the main character.
With Crazy Beautiful you wrote a retelling of Beauty and the Beast and with Little Women, Emily is transported into the world of Little Women. Do you see yourself continuing with this trend of retellings in the future? If so, what retelling would you want to do?
I love writing all kinds of different things - well, I guess you knew that! - but in terms of a retelling, the next one I'd be interested in doing would be A Separate Peace. I'd like to set it in a contemporary all-girls boarding school, exploring the topic of female jealousy and using the Iraq war as a backdrop.
As a reader, there are times when I want to go into a book and give my own brand of advice to the characters. So, if you could visit any of your characters and give them some words of wisdom, who would you visit, and why?
I'd visit Angel Hansen, the main character of Angel's Choice, my first teen novel. I'd tell her not to get so drunk at that end-of-summer party in August. True, if she didn't, I'd have no novel, but she'd be saved a ton of grief - it's important to help people whenever you can, even at cost to yourself.
Any last words?
I know I don't make it easy on readers in that I'm not your typical author: even with books that have some similarities, they're still vastly different - for example, The Education of Bet and The Twin's Daughter are both set in Victorian England but one is a light novel about a girl who decides to cross-dress to get a boy's education while the other is a dark novel of suspense and murder. So I hope that those readers who follow me from book to book know how incredibly grateful I am to them for doing so.
Thanks again for doing this. I really enjoyed The Twin’s Daughter and plan on reading more of your books in the future. I wish you the best of luck and success in all your projects!
Thank you so much, Pdbkwm, and especially for helping spread the word about The Twin's Daughter - I could always use more great readers like you!
For more information about Lauren and her books, please visit her website: Lauren Baratz-Logsted