As you guys may know, I just reviewed CANDOR by Pam Bachorz (Click here to read the review!). She was nice enough to let me interview her (first ARC and first Author Interview!).
Briana: The idea for CANDOR is pretty different than any other YA books I’ve read. What or who inspired you to write about subliminal messages?
Pam Bachorz: I think the greatest horror is to lose control of your own thoughts. They are your most private thing in the world--the thing you own above all else. So I've always been fascinated by things like brainwashing and subliminal messages. For this story, I was actually inspired by a mosquito truck, of all things! We were living in a Florida town that hired a truck to drive around twice a day and spray for mosquitoes. Supposedly the spray was harmless to people (and given how many bug bites we still got, I wonder whether it worked on mosquitoes!). One night I was out walking the dog and the truck passed us, with a big white plume of spray coming off the back. We were coated in it. What if, I wondered, the spray was filled with Prozac? And if it was, would anybody even object--or would they pay extra for "happy spray"? From there I went to brainwashing with something else hidden: not medicine, but subliminal Messages that are hidden in music.
Briana: What was the first book that really got you into reading?
Pam Bachorz: My parents read to me, and my sister, without fail every night from the time we were infants. And then they rewarded us with new books when we got good report cards (I still remember standing in the B. Dalton aisle, debating whether I wanted Book 7 or Book 8 of Sweet Valley High!, after I got a good report card!). Probably the most influential book for me, as a kid, was ANNE OF GREEN GABLES. My Mom read it out loud to me and we went through the entire set. From there, I explored L.M. Montgomery's other works. I loved reading about a smart, spunky girl who made a million mistakes but still somehow came out OK in the end.
Briana: If you had to pick one character from CANDOR that you are most like, who would it be?
Pam Bachorz: There's a little bit of me in every character I write, I think (a little embarassing to admit, given how obnoxious some of them are). I think I identify with my main character, Oscar, the most. Probably a psychologist could explain WHY better than I can. I just really understand how isolated he feels, presenting one "perfect" self to the world but feeling very different inside. Probably we can all identify with that: the difference between our public and inner selves.
Briana: Are you planning on writing a sequel to CANDOR or a different novel? If so, can you tell us about it?
Pam Bachorz: I'm not writing a CANDOR sequel right now, but never say never! I'm writing another Young Adult novel for Egmont USA and it should be released in 2010 or 2011. It's about another community with a dark secret, and a main character who has to find a way to free herself of that secret. But beyond that... it's pretty different from CANDOR!
Briana: If your book was turned into a movie (which I totally think it has the power to), who would you want to play Oscar and Nia?
Pam Bachorz: Wouldn't that be amazing? I couldn't point to one actor who could play either of them, but I'm sure they're out there--smart, unafraid to be a sometimes imperfect character, and pretty darn good looking.
Briana: I read on your website that your mother isn’t happy that you’re not using your four degrees that you got in college (a BS in Journalism, a BA in Environmental Science, a Masters in Library Science and an MBA), what does she think now that you’re book is about to come out?
Pam Bachorz: She's ecstatic for me, and actually will be coming to visit at the time my book comes out--we're going to prowl around DC-area bookstores and pet the pretty CANDOR book! My parents were my earliest and probably my biggest fans, in everything that I do (they just wish I'd slow down and savor my achievements sometimes, I think!). I'm very lucky to be surrounded by friends and family who are entirely excited and supportive of my writing. And in fact... you can spot my Mom in one of the candorfl.com testimonials (Or, "Linda", as we call her now...)
Briana: What’s your favorite YA book that you’ve ever read?
Pam Bachorz: Oh no, don't make me pick! No way do I have a single favorite. But my sentimental favorite, I guess, is DOWN A DARK HALL by Lois Duncan. I am not ashamed to admit that I still think about those poor girls, trapped in a school that wants to take over their brains (see a theme here?).
Thank you so much for the interview Pam! I'm so happy that I got to read your book and interview you!