Since Tanya Lee Stone's novel, A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl, is written in verse, we actually thought about writing this introduction in verse...but we don't have much rhythm, so we didn't. Instead we'll just say that this debut novel is a very frank look at the love life of teens, and a great story too...we asked Tanya to take our pop quiz, and here are her very frank answers...
Who is your favorite writer that most people have never heard of?
My Dad, A. Harris Stone. He published a bunch of great science books for kids in the 60 and 70s, including a beautiful environmental picture book called The Last Free Bird.
What kid or teen books rocked your world growing up?
As a little kid, there were two: Where the Wild Things Are and Harold and the Purple Crayon. A little later, Amelia Bedelia!
In middle school: Forever and a collection of short stories called The Diamond Bird and Other Tales.
As a teen: Confederacy of Dunces. Still Life with Woodpecker. Valley of the Dolls. (Um, that last one wasn't on any reading lists, and I pretty much had to hide it. Lots of dogeared pages.)
Describe your ideal place to write.
I grew up on the beach and now I'm landlocked, so I'm constantly craving an open expanse of water. I'd love a bright airy ocean view with an uncluttered desk and no interruptions. Anybody?
Your life is a TV series. Name the theme song, one event that would be
on the "best of" episode, and one that would be on the blooper reel.
It might be a bit slow for a theme song, but the lyrics blast. Carly Simon's Give Me All Night.
I have no need of half of anything.
No half time, no half a man's attention.
Give me all the earth and sky
And at the same time, add a new dimension....
Don't give me fountains, I need waterfalls
And when I cry, my tears'll fill an ocean
The pain of love I'll accept it all
As long as you'll join me in that emotion...
For the "Best Of" episode: Verklempt writer is recuperating--okay, hiding--under the covers after grueling visit from [close relative who shall not be named] and ignoring the phone, which keeps ringing and ringing and ringing. I finally pick up, in case of emergency. It's my agent, telling me Wendy Lamb loves A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl and wants to talk to me!
Blooper? I can do blooper. My friend Sarah Aronson (fab writer) and I went out the wrong gate of a hotel pool, and found ourselves on a ledge 15 feet above the sidewalk with the gate locked behind us. The only choice (other then risking limbs and jumping) was to climb back over the tall, spikily topped fence--in our bathing suits. It was NOT graceful. By the time we got down on the other side we were laughing so hard it's a miracle we didn't wet our pants. Just at that major Lucy and Ethel moment, Norton Juster sauntered over and asked us what was so funny. You'd think two writers could have mustered something clever to say in the presence of greatness; instead we just looked at each other and burst out laughing all over again. Knuckleheads!
Burger-flippers want to know: have you ever had a job that required you to wear a geeky uniform? Details, please!
It wasn't exactly a uniform, since I didn't have to wear it every day. But when I worked at an aquarium, and it was time to clean the harbor seal tank or help the veterinarian handle those cute (wild, sharp-toothed) creatures, on went the thigh-high rubber boots and rubber gloves that went up past the elbow. Attractive!
We'd like to name a burger in your honor. What kind of fixins should it have?
Medium rare. With cheddar cheese, barbecue sauce, and an onion ring. Overdone thick-cut fries on the side, please. Mmmm, Potato-ey. Thanks, BookBurger!