Thursday, December 5, 2013

Author Interview: Beth Bauman

Today, I am pleased to welcome Beth Bauman, author of Jersey Angel, to Wholly Books! Beth was kind enough to do an interview with me! Check out what she had to say below and be sure to find out more about Beth and her book, Jersey Angel.

First, tell us something about Jersey Angel we should know before reading it that we won’t get from the description.

This is a serious book in many ways.  The bikini butt cover belies that fact, maybe.  It’s also a funny book.   At least I think so. 

Angel isn’t your typical YA female protagonist. How exactly did she come to be and why?

She first appeared, in a slightly different form, in a short story I wrote (the title story of my first book Beautiful Girls).  I’d always wanted to make the story into a novel, because I liked the characters, and the more I mulled over the possibility I realized it was perfect material for YA, in that Angel is a character you don’t often find in teen fiction.  It was fertile territory to explore a sexually unapologetic girl, a girl who behaves more like a boy when it comes to dating, romance, and sex.

Avid readers’ books tend to change quite frequently (at least mine do!) What’s your favorite book right now?

My three favorite recent reads are The Great Man by Kate Christensen, The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls by Anton DiSclafani, and Don’t Cry by Mary Gaitskill.

I believe all writers have something they want readers to take away from their books. What do you want 
readers to take away from yours?

I want readers to learn about a girl who may be very different from them.  I also want readers to enjoy the ride.
What’s the most challenging part of being a writer for you?

Not writing.  When I’m not writing and want to be, I feel out of whack and it’s very hard to get going.  It’s much easier to write once I have momentum on my side.  It’s also hard to keep my butt in the chair.  I often want to flit away, probably because writing well is so demanding.  It’s a love/hate relationship.

Coke or Pepsi Diet Coke
Chocolate or Vanilla (both!)
Night Owl or Early Bird Night Owl, mostly.
Harry Potter or Twilight (I may be the only person on the planet who hasn’t read Harry Potter, though I want to!  I don’t understand the Twilight craze)
Vampires or Werewolves Vampires
Zombies or Unicorns Zombies
Twitter or Facebook Facebook
MAC or PC PC (I want a MAC!)
Ebook or Print Print


Goodreads Description:

It’s the summer before senior year and the alluring Angel is ready to have fun. She’s not like her best friend, Inggy, who has a steady boyfriend, good grades, and college plans. Angel isn’t sure what she wants to do yet, but she has confidence and experience beyond her years. Still, her summer doesn’t start out as planned. Her good friend Joey doesn’t want to fool around anymore, he wants to be her boyfriend, while Angel doesn’t want to be tied down. As Joey pulls away, and Inggy tours colleges, Angel finds herself spending more time with Inggy’s boyfriend, Cork. With its cast of vivid and memorable characters, this tale from the Jersey shore is sure to make some waves.


I’m the author of three books—a short story collection Beautiful Girls (MacAdam/Cage), and the young adult novels Rosie and Skate(Random House), which was selected for the New York Times Editors’ Choice list and Booklist’s Top 10 First Novels for Youth, andJersey Angel (Random House) forthcoming in May 2012.  I’ve been awarded fellowships from the Jerome Foundation and the New York Foundation for the Arts.  I live in New York City but will always be a Jersey girl at heart.
What’s the upside of being a writer?
Staying in my pajamas until 3:00 PM
What’s the downside of being a writer?
Not getting out of my pajamas until 3:00 PM
What does all this mean?
I need better pjs, I think.
My lofty (forgive me) thoughts on writing:
Writing is hard. Writing well is harder.  To give voice to someone’s experience is a big and daunting challenge.  Sometimes I don’t like writing at all.  When it’s going badly it’s frustrating, boring, lonely.  Sometimes I love it.  I love how I can get lost in it, how it enlivens me.  I think it’s good for my soul.  Any work, not only creative work, that uses us, demands from us, is good for us.  It’s what we’re here to do—spend ourselves.
Some of the coolest places I’ve been:
Kenya, Madagascar, Zanzibar, Tangier, Denali National Park, Mumbai
Some of my favorite things:
Dogs (big dogs), meatballs, swing dancing/lindy hop, the Jersey shore
Some of my favorite novels:
Jane Eyre
The Member of the Wedding
Some of my favorite YA novels:
Weetzie Bat
Catcher in the Rye
Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You
Some of my favorite children’s books:
Harriet the Spy
Bridge to Terabithia
Anything by Kate DiCamillo


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