Today I’m doing a blog tour with a difference. The fabulous Lauren Baratz-Logsted, fellow TFCer and awesome writer is doing THE ONE-QUESTION INTERVIEW BLOG TOUR which involves touring from blog to blog answering one question on each. So, I came up with a two in one question for Lauren….. and we really got value for money.
But first the books Lauren’s touring:
THE EDUCATION OF BET published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and coming out in July, is about a 16-year-old girl in Victorian England who impersonates a boy in order to get a proper education.
Volume 5 of the Sisters 8, co-written with Greg Logsted and Jackie Logsted, also published by Houghton Mifflin, MARCIA’S MADNESS which came out on May 3rd and is about Marcia – the fifth-born sister, Marcia, the sensible one; Marcia, the reasonable one; Marcia, the one who would never do anything crazy, begins to act in a most unusual way.
And now for the question:
What I find incredible is the way you move, seemingly effortlessly, from one genre to another. How do you manage to do this and what tips would you give anyone wanting to do the same?
I’m glad it looks effortless, but it isn’t always! Basically what it boils down to is that like a lot of people, I’m an eclectic reader. There are books I love in nearly every area of literature. I’m the same in terns of writing. I can no more see myself sticking to writing in one area than I can picture myself saying I’ll only read adult comedies for the rest of my life or only YA vampire novels. Obviously if I have a multibook contract with a publisher, I have to write the type of book they hired me to write in terms of what I deliver to them, but for things not under contract, I simply move where the whim takes me. In fact, that’s how I wrote my first YA novel, Angel’s Choice. I’d started it thinking I was writing yet another novel for the adult market but somewhere in the process realized that the voice of the narrator was authentically a teen and that I’d stumbled into writing YA.
I’ve loved writing YA ever since. One of the fabulous things about it is that a writer is less likely to get pigeonholed by YA readers. When you write for the adult market, people try very hard to keep you in the box you first were published in. If you start out in light comedy, they get perplexed if you published a book classified as literary Victorian suspense – ahem. Not so with YA. Perhaps that’s because readers of YA are as eclectic as I am: as likely to read a contemporary problem novel, a seriocomic sort-of mystery, a fairy tale re-visioning, or a novel set in the Victorian era about a girl impersonating a boy in order to get a proper education.
As for tips for people who want to do what I do – well, hopefully they’ll do it better! – I would say simply to begin thinking as early as possible about what would make you happiest in terms of a writing career and also examine why you write in the first place: Do you do it primarily because you love to write, or because you want to be published? You can have both goals simultaneously but they are separate things. If you’re more security-oriented, you may want to stick to one area so you have a better chance of branding yourself as the marketing gurus like to call it these days. But if you’re more task-oriented, like me, you might want to try writing what you love, whatever that might be on any given project, and hoping the money will follow. If, like me, you’re not a branded author, the money will not follow all that heavily, but it may just be enough. And in my case, writing as I do means I’m never bored as a writer, which is important to me since life is short. I hope my readers are never bored either.
And now this is, officially, the longest answer I have given on The One-Question Interview Blog Tour!
Before becoming a published author, Lauren was an independent bookseller, a Publishers Weekly reviewer, a freelance editor, a sort-of librarian and a window washer. You can read more about her life and work at www.laurenbaratzlogsted.com.