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Interview with Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Almost a year ago I read a sweet, contemporary Beauty & the Beast retelling by the name of Crazy Beautiful. It was my first Lauren Baratz-Logsted book and I concluded it definitely wanting to check out more of her work. Her latest release, The Education of Bet, is a young adult historical fiction novel featuring a few of my favorite things: cross-dressing, switching places, girls thirsty for education and all manner of such fun things. Today I'm excited to be part of Lauren's unique celebration tour. I got to ask her one question. Any question. And she promised to answer truthfully. I hope you smile and enjoy her response as much as I did!
If you could spend 24 hours with one fictional character, which character would you pick and what would you do?


Well, I'm a little obsessed with Little Women these days, because I have a YA novel coming out next year that involves that book and, you know, time travel. But now that I've settled on the book, I need to choose a specific character, don't I? There's Beth. I could spend the day with her, keeping her from visiting the Hummels because visiting the Hummels eventually leads to her death. But no, that's not right. It's Beth's nature to be charitable, and let the scarlet-fever chips fall where they may. Laurie, then? To talk him out of marrying Amy, because that marriage will frustrate generations of readers to come? But no, that's not right either. Trying to talk a male out of doing something he's set his mind to is like... I don't know; I'm at a loss for a simile here. I know! Jo. I'll spend 24 hours with Jo March. I'll talk her out of being a silly goose where Laurie is concerned - just being called a silly goose should raise her hackles. I'll tell her Laurie has always been the right guy for her, that everyone knows it except her. Then I'll teach her how to shoot pool so she can play with Laurie on that table he's got in his house. And then I'll ask for her advice on my latest book. It's because of her that I and so many other women in the last 100+ years have taken to the pen. I think she owes it to me to help me out.  


***


Great, huh? And so fitting, as we were talking about the March sisters just the other day. Lauren, you can also chalk me up as being very much in favor of the pool table idea. Thanks again for stopping in!


The One Question Interview Tour continues on. Be sure to stop in Monday, July 19th at Heidi Ayarbe's.

Comments

  1. I love Lauren's books.

    However, I also have to put in an argument for Laurie and Amy. I actually think they are great together. I used to REALLY hate it, but then I watched the recent LW movie and honestly, the ONLY part I liked (HATED Claire Danes as Beth) was how great Samantha Mathis was as grown Amy and how much she kicked ass in Europe when Christian Bale's Laurie was being a you-know-what.

    So I went back to the book and discovered, to my vast surprise, that all that stuff is in the book, too. I think my hatred for Amy was based a lot on the fact that she was always in fights with Jo when they were very young. But Amy grew out of that and she grew into a very fine young woman. As an older reader, I could see Jo's temper tantrum over not going to Europe for what it was. I could see that Amy was much better suited to the aunt as a companion, and that she was much better suited to LAURIE, too.

    She was every bit a daughter of the March clan, with all that her parents had raised her to be, but she had her own flavor of that strength and fortitude, and it was one that was really actually perfect for Laurie and who he was and what he needed and the lifestyle that they'd live.

    I think Jo was right not to marry Laurie -- I do think they'd have made each other miserable, just as Jo and Amy, being so different, would have driven each other crazy. But Amy and Laurie were actually perfect for each other. I think a lot of my earlier animosity was just from the idea that the heroine should always get "the guy" and also because I STILL to this day don't get the love story with the professor so it feels like Jo gets stiffed on the romance front -- but Jo was right about Laurie, and Amy was right for him.

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  2. I was sad that Jo turned Laurie down, both in the book AND the movie. In the end I accepted what happened though. This talking the characters out of doing things TICKLES me though. Heheh.

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  3. I think it's great that she'd like to talk to Jo about Laurie! I really felt bad when Jo turned down Laurie and I never felt that Laurie and Amy were good for each other. I learned to accept it though because that's what happened.

    I'm already interested in Crazy Beutiful and this post made me want it even more.

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  4. Anonymous10:11 AM

    I am hoping to read The Education of Bet soon because I enjoy when girls play men (like in that movie "She is the man")
    I personally never accepted what happened between Jo and Laurie, I remember being mad for weeks after reading Little Women, it was even worse after the movie considering how much I like Christian Bale and how badly I wanted him with Jo.
    I suspect Alcott wanted to disappoint readers on purpose, something like "things don't always turn as expected", "life is not a fairytale"

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  5. I just read this and enjoyed it - laughed quite a bit. There were some unrealistic parts, particularly the ending. It was SOOO pat. And it really could have been fleshed out more - at least Will's story could have been told. But it was such a cute story and something I'm sure I'll reread when I find myself in the mood for something abit more adventure romance. :)
    Great question - fabulous answer.
    Although I love that Jo got the professor. He's so wonderful. If only he didn't have red hair...

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  6. Diana, hehe. I should have known you'd have something to say on the subject of Jo/Laurie/Amy. I have to agree on Samantha Mathis as grown-up Amy in the most recent movie. She went so far to redeeming Amy for me. And I did love how she manhandled Laurie. Awesome. But, then, I liked quite a few things about that version. I think I've gained perspective on a lot of novels, like you say, going back and reading them with different eyes. But somehow I've never been able to get over the loss of Jo+Laurie. I'm not sure why except that my righteously indignant heart was so much with Jo when Amy was little. Probably I need to read it now, though, and see if I feel differently. I'd like to think I will, but I wouldn't put it past me...which is why Lauren's comments had me nodding and laughing.

    Janice, isn't it a brilliant notion? I can think of several others I'd like to have a little heart to heart with before the fact...

    Chachic, CRAZY BEAUTIFUL is very sweet and I think you'd enjoy it. I'm glad to hear others have made their peace eventually with Jo/Laurie. I need to do that.

    Emily, *sigh* they really did make it impossible for us to get over it casting Christian Bale as Laurie, didn't they?

    Raspberry, oh, I'm glad to hear you say you'll want to re-read it. Very good sign.

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  7. Loved Lauren's comments--and CRAZY, BEATIFUL (just read it a couple of months ago). Looking forward to picking up BET!

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