Interview: Bethany Crandell, YA Author

Crandell.HeadshotBethany Crandell and her husband Terry live in San Diego with their two daughters and a chocolate Labrador who has no consideration for personal space. She writes Young Adult novels because the feelings that come with life’s ‘first’ times are too good not to relive again and again. Bethany eats too much guacamole, thrives on tear-inducing laughter, and is still waiting for Jake Ryan to show up at her door.

Her current project is SUMMER ON THE SHORT BUS (Running Press Teens, Spring ’14), a sarcastic, charming, and laugh-out-loud look at what happens when your comfort zone disappears and all that’s left to protect you is the brutal truth.

Cricket Montgomery was born with a golden spoon in her mouth (though Tiffany platinum would have been preferred) and the narcissistic notion that the world revolves around her. After a botched party attempt at the country-club lands her in hot water with her rarely-present father, it’s bye-bye relaxing Hawaiian vacation, hello attitude-adjustment as a summer camp counselor.

As if being left for dead in Western Michigan with limited cell coverage isn’t punishment enough, Cricket’s horror increases when she realizes she’s working at a camp for disabled teens. Thankfully there’s one bright spot in handicapped hell; fellow counselor and Zac Efron lookalike Quinn, who Cricket falls head over heels for. Unfortunately for Cricket, Quinn is the one person who offers her the brutal truth about the kind of person she really is–and not even a platinum spoon can make ‘self-centered, bitch’ taste good.

As wheelchairs, lazy eyes, and slurred speech begin to threaten her sanity, Cricket finds herself relying on the unlikely friendships she makes with the campers, and the strange connection the camp’s director seems to have to her forgotten past.

Keep track of Bethany on her website.

Let’s see how Bethany answers the Proust Questionnaire!

What is your idea of happiness?
Chips, guacamole, margaritas and a John Hughes movie.

What is your favorite song? When do you first remember hearing it?
Jeepers!! This not an easy question–the answer changes with my mood. Here’s a quick list: (I’ll never change the station when these come on.)

More by Mathew West. This is my go-to reminder that I am taken care of and loved. First heard in the car.

All I Want by Toad the Wet Sprocket. *sigh* This brings me back to high school. Mostly good memories. I cannot recall where I heard it first.

No One Ever Is To Blame by Howard Jones. This song just ROCKS. The melody, the contradictions…beautiful. First heard in my sister’s bedroom.

Try by P!nk. I just dig this song. It’s tough enough without trying too hard. First heard in my…*gulps* *cringes* mini van!!

Which talent would you most like to have?
Hmm…talents are different than super powers… I wish I could sing. Or, let me clarify that. I wish I could sing WELL.

On what occasion do you lie?

To spare someone’s feelings. And it’s usually not a lie, but a softer version of the truth. I hate making people feel bad.

What is your present state of mind?
Unsettled.

What is your motto?
Just do the best I can today.

What character trait do you most value in your friends?
Authenticity.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
I say RIDICULOUS a lot. And RAD.

Your favorite painting?
A watercolor my daughter did in first grade.

What is your favorite journey?
The one I walk every day. Juggling parenthood, marriage, work, writing. It’s not always easy, but it’s a ride I’d take again and again.

What is your favorite time of day?
Breakfast. Every day it’s the same, and every day it makes me happy. A big bowl of oats with brown sugar and black and blueberries.

With which literary hero or heroine would you most like to share a coffee?
I don’t drink coffee, but I’m sure that Holden Caulfield would be down for a chat over a pint.

What do you need to achieve before you can die happy?
Nothing. I’m good to go right now.

Who or what is your first love?
I didn’t recognize this until I was older, but writing is my first love. Looking back, I can see how it was always a part of my life, even if it was structured. I’ve always savored the act of sitting down with a piece of paper, or a keyboard, and just letting go.

What’s the last dream you remember?
Two nights ago. A co-worker and I had an impromptu super bowl party at an unfamiliar house and ended up abandoning it because there was no alcohol. I don’t dare to uncover the true meaning of that dream.

What’s your madeleine?
A memory. As preacher’s kids, my sisters and I were expected to behave a certain way–to fit a certain mold. Well, let’s just say I didn’t comply. I was about six years-old, and we were eating Sunday dinner at the home of a wealthy, but very down-to-earth family. The table was set with fine china and crystal glasses. Since I’d already been scolded for capping my fingertips with black olives, I decided to fish around for ice cubs in my very fancy glass. Our hostess saw this, smiled, and said to my mom, “That one will keep you humble.” I’ve cherished that memory forever and it always takes me back to who I am–ME. I cannot be someone the world expects me or wants me to be. That olive just wouldn’t fit.

Without thinking, in one word: what is life?
Laughter.

14 thoughts on “Interview: Bethany Crandell, YA Author

  1. Thanks for all the lovin’, guys! It was great fun doing this interview. Thanks to Kristina for having me.
    Also, after reading this interview, my dear pal from high school informed me that the first time I heard that TOAD song was in my first car. An ’83 Prelude lovingly called, HOMEBOY. Thanks, Kel.

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