Monday, May 10, 2010

Interview: Lauren Baratz-Logsted

It's my pleasure to welcome author Lauren Baratz-Logsted to my blog today! Lauren writes adult, children's and YA novels and has 4, count 'em, 4 books being released this year!

Welcome Lauren!

Tell us a little about yourself.

I've been writing seriously since 1994, published since 2003. By the end of this year I will have had 19 books published. I love what I do. I also love spending time with my daughter, shooting pool, and General Hospital.

You have four books being released this year. Can you give us a brief description of each one?

The Sisters 8 Book 5: Marcia's Madness (May 3) and The Sisters 8 Book 6: Petal's Problems (Oct 4) are the fifth and sixth books in the projected nine-book series for young readers I created with my novelist husband Greg Logsted and our 10-year-old daughter Jackie. It's about octuplets whose parents go missing and readers can learn more about it at

The Education of Bet (July 12) is a YA novel set in Victorian England about a 16-year-old girl who impersonates a boy in order to get a proper education.

The Twin's Daughter (Aug 31) is a YA novel set in Victorian England about a teen who discovers that her gorgeous society mother has an identical twin who was raised in the poorhouse.

What appeals to you about writing for children and young adults and how is it different than writing for adults?

I love it all. Generally speaking, YA books are shorter than adult books and children's books are even shorter. As a rule, the shorter the word count and the younger the audience, the tighter the writing needs to be because attention spans are also shorter and kids today have more distractions than any previous generation. Also, when writing for teens and younger children, there's also a greater responsibility in terms of being careful about what one says - not to sugarcoat things, but rather so that you don't send the wrong messages.

How much research is involved in your writing?

It depends on the book. Some books require zero research - just whatever crazy ideas enter my crazy head! Others require more, particularly for books set in earlier time periods. For The Education of Bet, I re-read Tom Brown's Schooldays and looked into how a teenage boy at that time might enter the military without his family knowing. For The Twin's Daughter, I researched where a young man might be sent to fight and what sort of circumstances he might find there. Also, because the heroine is a big reader, I researched what sorts of things she might be reading in the latter part of the 1800s.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Why confine myself to just one method? I'm both!

What is your writing schedule like?

If I'm working on a novel, I start as soon as I see my daughter off to school at seven a.m. and then work pretty much straight through until three p.m. when I break for General Hospital. If I haven't met my goal for the day or if the writing is good, I may go back to it later in the day or evening.

Can you tell us what you're working on now?

I recently completed two books: The Middle March, a YA novel already under contract and due out I believe next year, about a contemporary teen who finds herself literally sucked into Little Women, becoming the fifth March sister; and The Bro-Magnet, a comedic adult novel not under contract and that I just delivered to my agent, about a man's man whose secret wish is to find the right woman.

Do you have a website or blog?

I do! My website is I'm in rotation as one of a large group of bloggers who take turns at Teen Fiction Cafe: I also write the Writer-in-Residence column at BiblioBuffet:

What good books have you read recently that you'd like to recommend?

The book I most recently loved is the adult novel Happy Now? by Katherine Shonk. On the surface, it doesn't sound like the kind of book to inspire love - it's about a woman whose husband has committed suicide - but the writing is simply amazing.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

An easy question! I always advise the same two things: 1) read, read, read - read widely and read everything you can get your hands on because you can't be a good writer without first being a good reader; and 2) always remember, the only person who can ever really take you out of the game is you.

Thanks for stopping by, Lauren! Click here to check out all of Lauren's books!

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