Friday, December 12, 2008

Presenting Lauren-Baratz Logsted!!!!!!!

Hey Everyone-

Searching for that perfect holiday gift for the adults, teens, and children on your list? Look no further, Lauren Baratz-Logsted writes amazing books for all three!  And I'm thrilled that the amazing (and I don't use that word lightly) Ms. Baratz-Logsted, (who, by the way, penned the novel, VERTIGO, that my mom and I both devoured), took some time away from what must be an insanely busy schedule (the woman is seriously prolific!) to talk about her new series for kids, THE SISTERS EIGHT.

If you haven't heard of these books yet, then please, stop whatever it is that you're doing (besides reading this blog) and visit the dedicated website by clicking HERE

Now would be a good time. 

Seriously. I'll wait.

Anyway, the site is adorable, the books are amazing, and, lucky for you, you can order them today!

So, without further ado, on with the same questions I always ask:

Tell us about your new book.

THE SISTERS EIGHT is a nine-book series of books, written with my YA novelist husband and our eight-year-old daughter Jackie, launching Dec 29 with Annie's Adventures and Durinda's Dangers, about that rarest of things: octuplets. On New Year's Eve, Mommy goes out to the kitchen for eggnog, Daddy goes out to the shed for firewood...and neither returns. Now the Eights, as they are known, must solve the mystery of what happened to their parents while keeping the wider world from realizing that eight little girls are living home alone. The books are geared toward ages 6 to 10 but with early reviewer comparisons to Lemony Snicket, Roald Dahl and Edward Gorey, hopefully readers of all ages will enjoy. The books are being published by Houghton Mifflin and the first two have been selected by the Junior Library Guild. Curious parties can read more about the series at the wonderful site Houghton Mifflin created,

Every story has a backstory, what's the backstory for your book?

In December 2006 we were stranded by a blizzard in Colorado with friends who had neither children nor a TV. We were there for 10 days. By the end, looking for things to do, it occurred to me I'd always wanted to write a book my daughter Jackie - six at the time - could read, because she's always been so proud of my career. So I asked her what she'd like; being an only child, she said a book about sisters. Me: How many sisters? Her: eight. Me: What ages? Her: 1-8. Me: What if we made them octuplets, all seven years old, who will be eight on 8/8/08? And we were off and running with my husband Greg providing yet more input, particularly about talking refrigerators and flyting watering cans.

What's your work environment like? Any rituals, totems, or must haves?

Sloppy. I call it my basement cave: small room, no windows, books and papers everywhere. It's not a pretty sight - maybe that's why it works for me? I do have a page torn on the wall torn from a calendar with a picture of Curious George that's captioned: "George sat down on the floor and began to write." There's my ritual in a nutshell - I sit down and I begin to write - well, except for the floor part. My must-have? Time. I always need more time. In terms of totems, does turning on "General Hospital" on the little TV in the corner every day at three count? I hope so, bec
ause I just did.

If you could live inside any book-- which would it be?

Oh, what a wonderful - and devilish! - question. It's a toss-up: Love in the Time of Cholera, my favorite book by a living author; or The Great Gatsby, my favorite book by an author now dead. If I could live in the latter, I'd find a way to get to that swimming pool in time to save Gatsby. They didn't nearly know then what people know now about emergency medical care and such. Of course I don't know anything about it either, and I'm a lousy swimmer, so maybe it wouldn't matter much my being there after all. OK, now I'm depressed.

What book rocked your world growing up?

So many! But since I'm guessing you don't want a whole list, for today at least I'll say A Separate Peace by John Knowles. Like Gatsby, it also has a young man, who is better than all the rest, dying tragically. Maybe I just love people who are better than all the rest? Or maybe I just have, you know, aspirations.

 If you could visit any time, place, or person- what, where, or who would it be?

Can I have something to eat before answering this one? Seriously, you do make a girl think! Back in 1921, my grandfather, looking to escape religious persecution, smuggled my grandmother - pregnant at the time with my father - and her sister out of their Russian village in the back of a hay cart. They're all dead now and I wish I could go back and ask them more about what it was like since by the time I was old enough to appreciate the story they we
re all gone.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Well, I love you and think you're grand. Is that an OK way to end this? Doesn't matter. I'm saying it anyway: You're a doll, Alyson, and a wonderful writer. (Oh, and if anyone wants to know anything else about my life and other books, they should go to .)

The story of Lauren:

Lauren grew up in Monroe, CT, where her father owned a drugstore at which her mother was the pharmacist. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut at Storrs, where she majored in psychology. She also has what she calls her “half-Masters” in English from Western Connecticut State University (five courses down, another five to go…someday!).

Throughout college, she worked semester breaks as a doughnut salesperson, a job that she swears gave her white lung disease from all the powdered sugar she breathed.

Upon graduation, she began work at the venerable independent bookseller, now sadly defunct as such, Klein’s of Westport. There, she bought and sold for the better part of 11 years.

In November 1994, Lauren left the bookstore to finally take a chance on herself as a writer. Success did not happen over night. Between 1994 and May 2002 – when Red Dress Ink called with an offer to buy THE THIN PINK LINE – Lauren worked as a book reviewer, a freelance editor and writer, and a window washer, making her arguably the only woman in the world who has ever both hosted a book signing party and washed the windows of the late best-selling novelist Robert Ludlum.

Since Red Dress Ink’s call in 2002, Lauren has been kept very busy with writing more novels and checking her Amazon ranking on a daily basis. She still lives in Danbury, with her husband and daughter, where she has lived since 1991.

In addition to writing, Lauren’s daughter keeps her busy, accounting for the rest of her time.

Lauren’s favorite color is green.

Lauren’s favorite non-cat animals are penguins.

Lauren wants you to know that, however you are pronouncing her last name, you are probably pronouncing it wrong.

Lauren is available to talk at schools, libraries, book fairs and conferences – really, anywhere! Depending on time and distance, a fee may be required.


Sara Hantz said...

Fab interview.... Lauren how can you work in a room with no windows? Don't you feel sunlight deprived?????

Anonymous said...

That sounds great. I haven't heard of that series before, but what a fun idea! Oh, and I love how you guys came up with it. Cute story. :-)

Lauren Baratz-Logsted said...

Sara, I used to have a room with sunlight for my workspace but have since found that the less sunlight I'm allowed, the more books I sell - go figure!

Thanks, Caryn!

Alyson Noel said...

Thanks for stopping by you guys--Lauren's books are amazing!

GreenBeanTeenQueen said...

I've got Annie's Adventures coming to me to review and I'm super excited to read it. The whole series looks great.

Fab interview, by the way!:)

Keri Mikulski said...

Great interview and unique questions. :) Love the one about living inside a book. Definitely, THE GREAT GATSBY :)