Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Blog Q&A with Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Here are a few questions I had for Lauren Baratz-Logsted author of The Twin's Daughter:

The Twin's Daughter1. The ARC cover and the finished cover are very different. Why the change? The publisher was not in love with the initial cover and I wasn't either. It was decided that we should all be in love. So they went through twenty some-odd versions - more than I've seen any publisher ever take on my behalf before - until we were all in love. I realize that's a lot of "in love" for one small paragraph, but it is accurate in terms of how I feel about that cover and the effort that went into it.

2. Unless I missed it, I didn't see a specific year that the book is set in. It's obviously not modern times, but what drew you to this particular time period? What kind of research did you do? You didn't miss a specific date. There's a play the characters go see, "Patience," a Gilbert and Sullivan play that opened the Savoy in 1881 if that helps. The novel begins less than a year before that and ends approximately five years later. What drew me? I love books set in Victorian England and this was my third time setting a book there, the other two being the adult novel Vertigo and the YA novel The Education of Bet. My research involved drawing on a life reading about and watching movies and films set in that time and place plus a few other details looked up: like what play someone might go see at the Savoy when the theatre opened.

3. Whom or what was your inspiration for Lucy? I wish I could say something profound here but the creation of characters doesn't go that way for me. I get an idea for a story and immediately a main character to drive the story appears. I've known more than my fair share of identical twins - in college one year, there was something like eight sets that lived in my dorm - but to the best of my knowledge I've never known anyone who was the offspring of an identical twin, which is Lucy's defining feature.

4. You write books for children, teens, and adults. What is it about this story that you felt would resonate with teens? Kit. Kidding. Kidding! I actually think the book would work fine as an adult novel too but teens are so exciting to write for right now. You can write about stories, themes, ideas that are just as mature as anything published for adults, but the audience is still so excited by the world and so willing to stretch their imaginations and entertain new ideas.
5. I was browsing through the bio on your website. Still have a "half-Masters?" Ever long for the days when you worked as a doughnut salesperson? What about your Amazon ranking? I'm sure it's going to go up with this one. Heh. I hope so. The best Amazon ranking I ever had was for one of my adult novels on Amazon France: 132, I believe it was. Here, let's do that in bold this time: 132. Now I realize in most areas of life being 132nd would not be impressive but there are several million titles to compete with. I can only hope one day the U.S. loves me as much as France has loved me. As for your other questions: I do not long for my days as a doughnut salesperson, but if you've got a chocolate creme-filled on you I will eat it; and I still have my half-Masters - you can't take my incompleteness away from me! - although some day I would like to finish if anyone will let me.

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