Interview: Lauren Baratz-Logsted
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Current Song: Touch score music
In 2007, I crossed paths online with author Lauren Baratz-Logsted after reading her first YA novel, Angel's Choice. Six years later, she's published over a dozen books, including THE SISTERS EIGHT, a nine-book MG series co-written by three Logsteds!
Your series THE SISTERS EIGHT was a family affair. What was it like to write with your husband and your daughter?
Writing a series with my husband and daughter was the most amazing experience of my writing career. We originally came up with the idea for the series when we were stranded by a blizzard in Colorado in December 2006. We needed something to occupy ourselves and that became brainstorming The Sisters 8. When we finally got home, it seemed the idea was too good to let go, so I just started writing.
How did you split up the writing duties?
The way it would work was I would write a chapter, then, at the end of the day, when Greg got home from work and Jackie from school, I'd read the chapter. They'd say what was working and what wasn't and we'd all brainstorm what needed to happen next. That cycle carried us through nine books.
Which of the octuplets is the most like each of the writers?
I'm probably most like Annie - a control freak!
My husband Greg's not really like any of the sisters; rather, he's more like Will Simms, the boy in the Eights' class at school they all have a crush on.
Jackie is most like Jackie.
Thankfully, none of us complain as much as Georgia, hide under the bed like Petal, or are as sinister as Rebecca.
What's the premise of your new series, THE HAT CITY MIDDLE SCHOOL SERIES GIRLS?
I got the idea for Book 1, GUYS AGAINST THE GIRLS, from something that happened in my daughter's class a few years back. They had a substitute teacher who so heavily favored the boys, she never called on the girls when they raised their hands and then triumphantly said at the end of class, "This just proves what I always knew - boys are better than girls at math!" My daughter and her best friend were outraged, and from that sprang the idea for a book that starts with that same event, only it snowballs into a vast competition between the guys and girls to see who is better at just about everything.
Book 2 in the series is called ROBBIE KNIGHTLEY and the idea for that came when a boy who read the first book was so entranced with the character of Robbie, I realized he needed his own book. In the first book there are 12 kids and, ultimately, I'd like to do one book for each character.
You have published novels for children, for teens, and for adults. Which audience do you feel the most comfortable writing for - what feels like it's the most natural voice for you?
I'm a very weird writer in that, not only do I write for nearly every age group imaginable but I also write in a vast variety of genres: historical, contemporary, comedy, drama, romance, mystery - you name it. And the bizarre thing is, all those voices feel natural to me. The Sisters 8 and a large part of Book 1 in the new series are written in first person plural ("We did this"; "We did that") - you don't see that in fiction too often! Honestly, with all the different voices floating around in my head, if I wasn't a writer, I'd probably be locked away in a padded cell somewhere, so I'm very lucky I'm a writer.
In our previous interview, you said you'd cast Hilary Duff in the lead role of your first Young Adult novel, ANGEL'S CHOICE. Who would you select to star in your latest YA novel, LITTLE WOMEN & ME?
Hmm...let's see... I'm going to go with Ariel Winter from Modern Family. The age is right, the attitude is right.
I could totally see Ariel in that role... What do you think, readers? Leave a comment below and let us know!
Visit Lauren's official website.