Tanya Lee Stone is my friend. We went on book tour together for two weeks and we still like each other after!
Also we're gonna be on an NCTE panel (hello, English teachers!) in November to talk about sex in YA novels! Which is something I know lots about. And so does she. And so do Laurie Halse Anderson, Lara Zeises and Brent Hartinger know lots about it, and we are all going to talk TOGETHER. So that will be fantastico.
More importantly, Stone's novel A BAD BOY CAN BE GOOD FOR A GIRL is a really fun and easy read that is also extremely thought-provoking and librarians tell me it won't stay on the shelves. (Well, the one librarian at ALA who thought I was Tanya and not myself said that -- but she was VERY excited to meet me/Tanya!)
Also, just becauase I know some people are scared-off by the title: this is a deeply moral, nonjudgemental and well-considered book. It's about three very different girls who date the same player guy and how the choices they make shape who they want to be. About empowerment.
Anyway, BAD BOY is now out in paperback, with a cool new cover. You can buy it here from Books Inc, home of Not Your Mother's Book Club.
(A digression: By the way, I am traveling and my rental car has Satellite Radio. Did you know there is such a thing as an ALL BROADWAY STATION? Lordy me. I just discovered it. It is channel 77, at least over here on the east coast where I am. I am late to the party, I am sure -- but it is so fun! The announcers are VERY campy. At least the main one I have heard. He says things like, "Fab-uh-lus, fab-uh-lus, Bernadette Peters sounds just Ah-mAH-zing, doesn't she?" Anyway. If you've got the satellite radio and you like Dramarama, show tunes and all that jazz, go listen up!)
Okay. Back to Tanya. She was all over the Musical Theater Interview, and she was Eliza in My Fair Lady! And she has very interesting things to say about Idina Menzel, which I think you all should read.
The Dramarama Musical Theater Interview -- with Tanya Lee Stone
1. You were in a play in high school, weren't you? Tell me all about it.
Oh yeah! Liza Doolittle in My Fair Lady. My brother told me it was best when he kept his eyes closed, though, because I sounded awesome but I look petrified. Sad, but true.
2. Give me song lyric that makes you laugh. Preferably from a show, but I'll cut you some slack if whatever you quote is funny.
For anyone who actually has a B.A. in English (Like Me!)--From Avenue Q:
What do you do with a B.A. in English,
What is my life going to be?
Four years of college and plenty of knowledge,
Have earned me this useless degree.
Now of course, I'm happy to add that working writers are living proof that this ain't true--but it still makes me laugh!
3. If you've seen a show on Broadway, what was your first one? Whom did you go with, who was the star, what did you think of it?
Oh my god, the horrors. I was 12 years old and the show was Piaf. PIAF! My stepmother took me and I'll never forget the scene where one prostitute was checking Edith Piaf for a item that could only be described as a mistaken member of the crustacean family, and I turned to my stepmother to find out what the heck was going on. Um, that show was for mature audiences, which I was not.
4. What's your showbiz fantasy?
Performing opposite Mandy Patinkin in...anything.
5. Which Broadway diva are you, deep inside? And why? Ethel Merman, Carol Burnett, Nell Carter, Kristin Chenoweth, Bernadette Peters, Julie Andrews, Bebe Neuwirth, Audra McDonald, Carol Channing, Mary Martin, Barbra Streisand? Or someone else?
Idina Menzel. I'll stop everything to watch or listen to her.
I love Idina because she is so just who she is. Growing up doing theater and being of Russian Jewish descent as well, a piece of me always felt a tiny bit self-conscious that I would never be the perky blonde with the perfect nose. I adore Idina in part because if she ever felt that for a second in her life, it never comes through on stage. She is all that, and then some, and all of her emotion comes flying out of her mouth. She sort of epitomizes the whole "take me as I am" motif. And the voice says it all. I mean, wowza. If I could sing like that...I'd never stop.
6. Write me a nice little song lyric for the book you're promoting right now. Please.
to the tune of Wicked's I'm Not that Girl (first part hardly changed at all--sorry, it's just such a good fit!)
Hands touch, eyes meet
Sudden silence, sudden heat
My heart leaps in a giddy whirl
But he's a bad boy
And I'm a good girl
Don't dream too far
Don't lose sight of who you are
Don't remember that rush of joy
Cause he's a bad boy
And I'm a good girl
Ev'ry so often we long to steal
To the land of what-might-have-been
But that doesn't soften the ache we feel
When reality sets back in
Shark smile, pulls me in
But she who's easy, she wins him
Turns his head with a sexy grin
Now that's the girl he chose
And Heaven knows
I'm not that girl
Don't cry, stand strong
Don't you let him string you along
You need a boy who can see your light
This is not your fight
You're not that girl.
P.S. from E: Here is a really unattractive picture of (from left to right) Tanya, me, Simon Cheshire and Jen Bryant. I feel compelled to tell you we are all much better looking than that, and that my boobs are not really that big, either.