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Interview: Julie Kraut

September 21st, 2008 (05:01 pm)
thirsty

Current Mood: thirsty
Current Song: Summer in the City by The Lovin' Spoonful

Every time that I see Hot Mess: Summer in the City by Julie Kraut and Shallon Lester on my bookshelf, I start singing Summer in the City by The Lovin' Spoonful. The book has nothing to do with the hit record. Instead, it takes two best friends named Emma and Rachel out of the suburbs and into the Big Apple. However, my mention of the song might get it stuck in your head or perhaps motivate you to look up the lyrics. Sorry about that.

Enjoy the music and the city traffic while you read this interview with Julie Kraut.

How did you and Shallon come to know one another? What led to this collaboration?

So, as creepy as this may sound, we met on the Internet. We were both writing for the same humor website and I always thought that she was hilarious from a virtual distance. Then the site suggested that we write together. There was an e-mail introduction and the rest is Hot Mess history.

How did you divvy up the writing and the work?

We created a barebones outline and then divided that into chapters, so we knew what was going to happen and when. One of us would write a chunk and e-mail it over to the other who would edit that first chunk and then add on a chapter or two of her own. We passed it back and forth like that for a few months until we had a first draft.

Are you more like Emma or Rachel?

Emma, no question.

Which character most resembles Shallon?

In addition to being a talented writer, Shallon is a fabulous, sparkly party girl who is all kinds of glamour and fun and drama. So, I'm going to have to say Jayla.

Did you ever have an internship?

I've had my share of internships, but they weren't when I was in high school. I did them during summers in college.

Would you encourage teens to be interns?
I guess I'd encourage teens to do what feels valuable to them at the time. But looking back, I certainly wouldn't trade any of my teen summer experiences for an internship.

Everyone seems to have "evil boss" or "evil roommate" anecdotes - but what about the good ones? Do you have any personal stories to share?

Ha! That's so true. I guess a story that ends in, "And that's how she helped me improve my presentation skills," just isn't as compelling as something nasty. But of course I've had good - no, scratch that, AMAZING boss experiences. Until recently, I worked in publishing and I was incredibly fortunate to have some superstar bosses during my career. Bosses who did so much more than manage me, they mentored me. And I'm even luckier with roommates. I've been living with my current roommate for four years and we haven't ever fought about who should take out the recycling. That has to be a world record. Someone call the Guinness folks.

The book takes place in the heart of NYC. What's your favorite part of the city?

The East Village. It's got some edge, great eating, and a ton of people with neck tattoos. What more could you want?

Your author bio says that you enjoy Law & Order. Which is your favorite series in the L&O franchise?

FAVORITE AUTHOR INTERVIEW QUESTION EVER! It's a toughie, though. I do love SVU, but I'm going to have to going with Law & Order CI. Detective Bobby Goren just does it for me.

I too think highly of Vincent D'onofrio. Here, have an icon:



What are your ten favorite books of all time?

Oh man, another toughie. Whenever I get asked a question like this, I kind of understand how my parents felt when I used to ask them to pick their favorite between my brother and me. So my gut reaction is to say, "I love you both equally." But, here's a stab at my top ten list (in no particular order):
1. The Turn of the Screw - Henry James
2. Blindness - Jose Saramago
3. Girlbomb - Janice Erlbaum
4. A Piece of Cake - Cupcake Brown
5. Jesus Land - Julia Scheeres
6. The Piano Teacher - Elfriede Jelinek
7. Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret - Judy Blume
8. Waiting for the Barbarians - J.M. Coetzee
9. Bridge to Terabithia - Katherine Paterson and Donna Diamond
10. I Love Everybody (and Other Atrocious Lies) - Laurie Notaro