|Bethany Crandell, author of SUMMER ON THE SHORT BUS|
Hi Bethany! I'm so glad you agreed to a chat today. Hey JRo! Thanks for having me. Your book, Summer on the Short Bus, has intrigued me since I first read your title and description. Aw, yay! It sounds like a perfect mix of irreverence and heartfelt fun. It is! But it’s also very honest. To the point where one reader told me she felt uncomfortable at times because she was laughing along with the story but wasn’t sure she should be. Ha! BEST COMPLIMENT EVER! As far as I’m concerned, it’s those awkward/uncomfortable/will-I-go-to-hell-for-laughing-at-this? moments that make for a rich, authentic life. If I was able to capture any of those in this book, I will consider it a huge success!
How much of your personality is infused in the book? *pauses to chuckle*, Oh boy. The short answer is, a lot! Bethany is all over these pages. Are you as sassy as your MC seems to be? I’m not sure I’m as sassy as Cricket (I’m sure my family would beg to differ), but the irreverence is all me. The way I see it, life is too short to worry about fitting into someone else’s mold. And being irreverent, IMO, isn’t about being rude or disrespectful, it’s about marching to the beat of your own rhythm—not the world’s.
Okay so now I totally want to hang out with you for hours on end! Aw, that’s sweet. But trust me, after a few more questions you’ll be begging me to leave. Besides your own character, Cricket (great name, btw!), do you have any fictional favorites? You know…I think I’m kind of a hooker when it comes to fictional favorites. I tend to fall hard for whoever I’m reading at the time (currently Eleanor & Park), and then move on to the next and repeat the process. It’s sad, really. I don’t call the next day. Don’t leave any cash on the nightstand. If they really rocked my world, I’ll swing by GR and leave them some stars… anyway, back to the question. I’ll default to one of my all-time favorites: Ramona Quimby. Sassy, bold, unapologetic. She has entertained me, and now my own kids, for years. You can’t go wrong with a Quimby.
You are scandalous! So is it true what they say about preacher's kids? Depends on what you’ve heard. *glances at ankle tattoo* Maybe I should have answered your previous question with, Ariel, from Footloose. Ah, Footloose…Kevin Bacon…illegal dancing…Kevin Bacon…I’m sorry. What were we talking about?
Uh, books, right, that's what we were talking about. *snickers* Kevin Bacon has that effect on people. Okay. Debut year. What's been awesome? Hands down, hanging out with other debut authors. It’s sort of mind-blowing how supportive and encouraging everyone is to each other, especially when you consider we’re all “competing” for sales. I can honestly say that in the last year I’ve built some friendships that will last a lifetime. What's freaking you out? The whole world having access to what I wrote. It’s one thing to allow friends/betas/crit-partners access to your writing, but knowing that perfect strangers will have access to it is beyond scary. I compare this feeling to standing on the 50 yard line, totally nude, at the Super Bowl. Exposed much?!
And now Johnny's story continues:
Yesterday, at the asylum, Johnny got lost in a hole. One moment he was occupying stall #6 of the third floor boy's restroom, the next he was gone, nothing but a flush and a startled scream in his wake. Briefly, he wondered how he'd talk himself out of this mess when they found him...if they found him. But a howling sound suddenly echoed through the surrounding darkness and he knew; there wasn’t time to worry.
Check back next week when I'll be chatting with Anne Blankman, author of Prisoner of Night and Fog!