About SUMMER ON THE SHORT BUS:
Seventeen-year-old Cricket Montgomery was born with a silver spoon in her mouth (though Tiffany Platinum would have been preferred). So she is pissed when her father ships her off to a rural-Michigan summer camp. And when the short busses pull up, she is shocked to see that she will be counseling children with special needs.
What puzzles Cricket more than just a world without Louis Vuitton and four-star restaurants, is how these “strange-faced” kids are so comfortable with themselves. But when she connects with another counselor named Quinn, and when she becomes involved with the end-of-the-summer talent show, Cricket begins to see that she may have been the one with the problem all along.
SUMMER ON THE SHORT BUS is 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. It will be released in April 1, 2014, by Running Press Teens (The Perseus Group).
MC: Thank you for agreeing to this interview, Bethany! Can you tell us a little bit about what drew you into the young adult genre?
BC: Writing YA wasn’t a conscious choice—it just sort of happened. I’ve always been a sucker for the “feels” that come with life’s first experiences (I blame John Hughes for this), so I think it was just a natural fit.
MC: Is there anything in particular that gets you in the writing zone?
BC: Some quality time under my hairdryer. I do my best plotting under all that white noise.
MC: What inspired you to write SUMMER ON THE SHORT BUS?
BC: We live in a very politically correct world–sometimes to the detriment of being true to ourselves and building honest relationships with each other. I wanted to see what would happen when an honest character threw PC out the window and tackled a sometimes-taboo topic without any reservations.
MC: SUMMER ON THE SHORT BUS takes an honest, uncensored approach to prejudices and stereotypes. Did you have any reservations about tackling these sensitive topics with such frankness?
BC: Not at all. I knew that to convey the story I wanted to tell, I had to allow my characters to be honest—and that meant not worrying about how they might be perceived or that people might be offended by their honesty.
MC: Cricket is such a witty, sarcastic protagonist. Is there a little bit of you in her characterization?
BC: Yup. There’s a lot of me in Cricket. But I think, if readers are honest with themselves, they’ll find some of themselves in her, too.
MC: Your characters are so adorably quirky and full of personality. Who was your favorite character to write?
BC: Hands down, Claire. She owns every inch of herself.
MC: As this community is fearless, we’d like to know something you are afraid of and something you are not afraid of.
BC: Ironically, I’m afraid of crickets. I know they’re meant to be good luck, but their unpredictable movements and crazy-bent legs freak me out. I am also terrified of lighting propane grills. There’s a story behind that, but let’s just say I’m grateful my eyebrows are still intact.
I am not afraid of failing. I don’t like it—but I’m not scared of it.
Thank you for the fantastic interview, Bethany! And congratulations on SUMMER ON THE SHORT BUS!
About Bethany Crandell:
Bethany lives in San Diego with her husband, two kiddos, (one of whom is differently-abled) and a chocolate lab who has no regard for personal space. She thinks that laughter is the best medicine, that avocados make the world go round, and that Jake Ryan is going to show up at her door any minute now…
|Marci Curtis grew up in Northern California, where she went to college, met an amazing guy in a military uniform, and then proceeded to follow him around the United States until he married her. Two college-aged kids and one dachshund later, she lives in Maryland, where she laughs too loudly and eats peanut butter off spoons. Her YA contemporary debut, THE ONE THING, comes out in 2015 via Disney-Hyperion. Learn more about her at Marcilyncurtis.com.|