Monday, January 11, 2010

An Interview with Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Today, an interview with Lauren Baratz-Logsted, author of Crazy Beautiful.

Why did you choose to rewrite Beauty and the Beast versus, say, Cinderella or Snow White?

I'd just seen Beauty and the Beast on Broadway and I got to wondering why of all the Disneyfied fairy tales it's the one that's translated best to stage and screen - certainly, it's the one I've enjoyed the most! I decided it's because it's the only one where the male is actually a fully formed character too, more than just mere window dressing for the female. It struck me that it would be fun to try to do a contemorary re-visioning - not a strict re-telling, but rather using the classic as a springboard to say something hopefully fresh about the world we live in now.

What was the writing process for Crazy, Beautiful like?

A lot of fun! I'd never tried to write from the point of view of a boy before, which is what half of Crazy Beautiful is written from, the story told in alternating chapters by Lucius Wolfe and Aurora Belle. The first draft I wrote thinking it was for the middle grade market, with the characters a few years younger than they wound up being in the final version. But then an editor was resistant to the idea of Lucius having hooks for hands - she thought he should have mechanical hands - and while I was doing research that did validate that a double amputee would be more likely to wind up with hooks, it occurred to me that the story would be much more strong and interesting if I made the characters a few years older. Once I began rewriting the thing with the characters a few years older, I saw that it was a good decision: the stakes were so much higher for Lucius and Aurora.

Did you do any research prior to writing Crazy, Beautiful?

I re-watched the movie and read the classic version again - no great hardship as far as research goes!

What are you working on now?

My next novel for teens, and the growing ranks of adults who enjoy teen fiction, is called The Education of Bet, due out in July. It's about a 16-year-old girl in Victorian England who impersonates a boy in order to get a proper education.

Other than Beauty and the Beast, what is your favorite, favorite fairy tale?

I really like Rumpelstiltskin! That said, I'm not sure I do have a favorite. I just love the idea of taking classics or fairy tales and finding new things to say, taking beloved source material and discovering a new angle.

Hope you enjoyed! Thanks to Lauren for taking the time. :)

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