Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Guest blog: Lauren Baratz-Logsted

I'm so thrilled today because we've got the super-talented Lauren Baratz-Logsted here doing a guest blog!  In honor of today's release of her latest book for teens, LITTLE WOMEN AND ME, Lauren's here talking about inspiration for the book.

So, without further ado, take it away, Lauren!

My latest novel, LITTLE WOMEN AND ME, is about a contemporary teen who time-travels into the classic Louisa May Alcott novel, only to discover that in order to get back out again she's going to have to change something pretty major about the book.

I originally got the idea for the book when my daughter and her BFF both read Alcott's original Little Women. They both loved the book - as I did when I was younger - and they also had the same two problems I remember having with it: That Thing That Happens To Beth (so there won't be any spoilers, I put it like that in case there's one person left who doesn't know what That Thing is); and the fact that The Wrong Girl Winds Up Getting The Best Guy. So I decided to write a book in which I set right at least one of those two things.

Re-reading the original in preparation for writing my own twisted version reminded me about all the reasons I loved it as a young girl. There are sisters! Being the only girl of my generation in my family, I always wanted sisters. And those sisters mostly get along! Well, except for that unspeakably evil thing Amy does to Jo and then the intentional-neglect thing Jo does in return that almost kills Amy. And Jo herself! How many female writers are writers because they fell in love with the picture of Jo March, chomping on apples in the garret while penning her stories? Oh, wait a second. It's Jo March's fault I have a career that comes with no guaranteed paycheck or medical benefits. Blast you, Jo March!

Oops, sorry about that little detour there.

Anyway, in addition to finding so much I once loved about the book, there were some surprises. For one thing, LW is a very episodic book - teens today would say that so much in it is random! Then too, there are characters who I loved unreservedly decades ago that now, well, let's just say they can be a bit annoying. But that's part of what made writing LITTLE WOMEN AND ME so much fun: getting to see the book all over again through the eyes of my main character, Emily, who herself is encountering the book more up close and personal than she ever imagined after a few years away from it.

I hope readers will like what I've done.
You can read more about Lauren at www.laurenbaratzlogsted.com.

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