Interview with Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Please help me welcome Lauren Baratz-Logsted to my blog today. Lauren is giving away a $10 Amazon gift certificate to one lucky commentor so be sure and leave her a comment.

LaurenBaratz-Logsted_PursuingTimesThe_200px_2Have you had other careers before becoming a writer?

I was an independent bookseller for 11 years, before leaving that job to start writing. While trying to get my books published, I worked as a Publishers Weekly reviewer, a freelance editor, a sort-of librarian and a window washer.

Are you a full time writer or do you have a “day job”?

I’m a full-time writer who still does freelance editing.

What genre(s) do you write in and why?

I’ve had books published for adults, teens and children. Those books have included contemporary, historical, comedy, drama, romance, mystery, suspense, adventure – probably the only things I haven’t done is Westerns and SF/fantasy. I’m an eclectic reader, so I’m an eclectic writer too.

How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite?

I’m not sure how many I’ve written altogether, but 31 have been published. Twenty-three of those have been with traditional publishers; 8 have been self-published. For adults, since it was my first, I have to say The Thin Pink Line is still my favorite. For teens, The Twin’s Daughter, which has been popular with adults too. But I don’t think anything has given me more joy than the nine-book series for young readers, The Sisters 8, because I got to create that with my husband and daughter.

All self-pubbed books are rumored to be shoddily edited. What do you say to that?

It seems to me that the entire world is less well-edited than it used to be. As a habitual New York Times reader, I’ve noticed a sharp increase in typos in recent years, so I think the charge can be made that the printed word all over the place is going south in a grammatically flawed basket. That said, I see a lot of self-pubbed authors taking that matter seriously. If not already possessed of superior spelling/grammar skills themselves, many hire freelance editors who do have those attributes.

What advice can you offer readers of self-pubbed books in making a decision on what to read?

Now that’s an easy question. The search-inside feature at most online e-tail bookstores makes it possible for readers to sample a fair chunk of the book for free while deciding whether or not to purchase. I believe for my own full-length fiction readers can sample the first 30+ pages. I’d say the average reader should be able to tell in 30 pages whether or not I can hold their interest and if I can spell and punctuate satisfactorily.

Do you have critique partners?

For about a dozen years, I had a group that met every Friday evening in my home. It was a marvelous experience. Sadly, last fall, we needed to go on hiatus for a time, but I still have them in my writing corner to tell me what works and what doesn’t.

How likely are people you meet to end up in your next book?

I don’t care for the idea of being sued, so not likely at all. That said, the stray anecdote involving a family member or friend does have a tendency to wander onto the page from time to time.

Give us an elevator pitch for your book.

For the book we’re featuring today, Pursuing the Times: A contemporary romcom with a nod toward Pride and Prejudice in which a successful author of Chick Lit crosses swords and hearts with the Editor-in-Chief of the New York Times Book Review.

Do you have a view in your writing space? What does your space look like?

The only view in the basement cave I call my office is of the television so I can watch General Hospital every afternoon while working.

Has your muse always known what genre you would write and be published in?

No. My muse thought I was going to write the Great American Novel. Thirty+ books into my writing career, I’m still laughing at her.

Do you have any words of inspiration for aspiring authors?

Read, read, read everything you can get your hands on, because you can’t be a good writer unless you’re a great reader first. And always remember, the only person who can ever really take you out of the game is you.


It is a publishing truth, universally acknowledged, that anyone professionally involved in the pursuit of “Lit-e-ra-ture,” must, by definition, despise Chick-Lit.

I first met Frank D’Arcangelo, Editor-in-Chief of the New York Times Book Review, at the annual National Book Awards ceremony and while it was definitely not the best of times for me, it was a close runner-up for the worst.

Of course, being the kind of person I am and writing the kinds of books I do, I didn’t actually receive anything so mundane as a printed invitation to the ceremony. Rather, my agent, perennially dateless, said I could be her guest.

Plus, I begged her.

“Please take me! Please take me! Please take me!” I all but groveled at her feet. I mean, if we weren’t talking on the phone and therefore not in the same room, I definitely would have thrown myself at her ankles and groveled.

“Ohhh…allllllllll right,” Angel graciously conceded.


Lauren Baratz-Logsted is the author of 30+ book for adults, teens and children. You can read more about her life and work at or follow her on Twitter at @LaurenBaratzL





10 thoughts on “Interview with Lauren Baratz-Logsted

  1. Thank you so much for this interview! You hit the nail on the head about poor grammar running wild everywhere – for all kinds of published works. I am adding your book to my TBR shelf on Goodreads right now.

  2. Lauren, ‘Pursuing the Times’ sounds really clever and fast-paced. I am a fan of well-written chick lit and Jane Austen, so I think this will be a great read! I’m fascinated that you’ve written in such varied genres. That seems like it would be very hard to do. Then again, as a book reviewer for PW, you probably got to read very widely. Something I like to do, though I’m not sure I could write as widely as I read!

    Thanks for bringing Lauren to us, Cindy. Fun interview!

  3. Enjoyed reading the interview. I am always looking for new authors to read. It looks like you write the kinds of books I like to read.

  4. Enjoyed reading the blog interview. It has introduced me to a new author and that’s always a plus. I’ve added Lauren’s book to my list of books to read.

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