Today we wrap up the Q & A with author Joan Bauer. I hope you have enjoyed this series and will use this insight into the characters and the creative process used by Ms. Bauer to write her wonderful young adult novels. Virtually all of Ms. Bauer’s novels are applicable to the FACS classroom. I hope you’ll check them out. Remember that Close to Famous and Hope Was Here are featured in our FACS literacy resource, A Novel Approach to FACS, Fiction in the FACS Classroom. That means that I have already created lots of classroom activities based on these novels. Just thought you’d like to know.
Q #11: G.T. Stoop represents qualities that we would all like to see in our politicians–honesty, compassion and commitment to the common good. Did you hope to inspire political awareness in young people through the story line of Hope Was Here?
Ms. Bauer: Yes, I did. I’d read an article before I wrote the story about how young people could care less about politics and that bothered me, so I created what I thought might be the kind of candidate that young people would get behind and learn from.
Q #12: Addie expresses her love and creativity through the foods that she prepares. The recipes she develops produce the ultimate comfort foods. What are your comfort foods?
Ms. Bauer: I gave lots of them to Addie — apple pie, meat loaf, veal stew, butterscotch cream pie. And I would never turn down a piece of coconut layer cake with too much frosting.
Q #13: In your newest novel, Close To Famous, Foster is inspired by a chef on the Food Network. Are you a fan of television cooking shows? If so, who’s your favorite Food Network star?
Ms. Bauer: You know, I really do love the Food Network and there isn’t one chef who is my most favorite, but I enjoy watching Paula Dean, and the Barefoot Contessa, Rachael Ray, and along with my husband we watch Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.
Q #14: The original cupcake and muffin recipes that Foster creates in Close to Famous are a big hit with the residents of Culpepper, West Virginia. Are these recipes real or are they a figment of your culinary imagination?
Ms. Bauer: Some of each. Right now I’m creating some of those recipes to be used when the book comes out. I’ve never run my own test kitchen before. Wow. I’m learning so much about baking! It’s fun and challenging.
Q #15: Food and food preparation are a recurring themes in many of your novels. Do you enjoy cooking and baking? Were you ever enrolled in a cooking class in school?
Ms. Bauer: I adore cooking and have always been a baker. There’s a photo of me when I was teeny (not even two), standing by a little table with my baking pans. The Easy Bake Oven was an important gift for me. As far as classes, I did enjoy the cooking part of Home Ec — I was not too swift when it came to making my apron, however. My husband and I took a class at a culinary institute in New York and just loved it. We plan to do more.
Many thanks to Joan Bauer for taking the time to thoughtfully respond to all of my questions. Be sure to check out her website at http://www.joanbauer.com/.