Welcome to #14Debuts! Today I’m featuring:
Bethany Crandell and Summer on the Short BusPublication Date: April 1st, 2014 Publisher: Running Press Kids Cricket Montgomery has been thrown under the short bus. Shipped off to a summer camp by her father, Cricket is forced to play babysitter to a bunch of whiny kids—or so she thinks. When she realizes this camp is actually for teens with special needs, Cricket doubts she has what it takes to endure twenty-four hours, let alone two weeks.
Thanks to her dangerously cute co-counselor, Quinn, there may be a slim chance for survival. However, between the campers’ unpredictability and disregard for personal space, Cricket’s limits get pushed. She will have to decide if suffering through her own handicapped hell is worth a summer romance—and losing her sanity.
Reading this book was awesome, and I have loved working with Bethany over the past few months. #SHORTBUSSERSFOREVER
Interview with Bethany Crandell
1) Describe SUMMER ON THE SHORT BUS in five words.
I can do it in four: Irreverent. Honest. Funny. Heartwarming.
2) What inspired you to write SUMMER?
I’m not sure that this would qualify as true “inspiration”, but I have a special needs daughter (she’s 8), and am often perplexed by the responses people give when seeing us together. It varies between admiration, pity, confusion, disgust, delight and sometimes…nothing at all. I thought it would be fun/interesting to dive into that seldom-discussed world of disabled kids and how the world really views them and their families.
3) Do you see yourself in any of your characters?
Oh yes! There’s a lot of me in the main character, Cricket. She sees life through black and white lenses. I think I have a few more hues than she does, but I’m pretty cut & dry. Besides Cricket, I think parts of me are infused in every character—and I think readers will feel the same way about themselves. I think that’s why the characters work so well in this book. They’re all relatable.
4) Do you have a cycle you usually go through when you write?
I don’t have a “real” first draft. I tend to edit as I go—which means it takes me longer to complete a book, but I’ve come to learn that’s just the way I roll so I’ve stopped fighting it.
5) Which character do you feel you’re closest to?
Cricket. The m/c. Why? From an outsider’s perspective, she isn’t worried what the world thinks about her. But the truth is she’s a big softy who feels everything and definitely does care what people think.
6) What has the publishing process been like for you?
This has been a pretty incredible ride so far. Thankfully, I have a lot of writer pals who have been through the process before me so I wasn’t completely clueless as to what to expect. Still, everybody’s journey is unique and mine has definitely been that. Is there anything that stuck out to you or surprised you? The waiting. I thought I’d mastered the art of patience while agent-hunting, then again while on submission. But…no. From start to finish, the entire publishing process is an exercise in patience—ironically, I’ve never met a writer who has an abundance of that.
7) What do you think readers will enjoy most about SUMMER ON THE SHORT BUS?
I think it’s relatability will surprise people. The m/c is unlikeable at first. She may say and do things that some people find offensive, but I would venture to say that most people, if they are honest, will see a lot of them in her. Besides that, I think people will get a good laugh out of this book. And in the end, that’s all I really hoped to achieve.
8) Anything special you could tell us about SUMMER or any upcoming books you’re writing?
I can tell you that the original title (like…way back when) was The Short Bus Follies. My original thought was to have the entire story be about a talent show for disabled kids. Obviously it evolved since then.