Monday, January 26, 2009

Mondays with Micol: Two Questions for the Price of One

So, to celebrate the Bradford Blog Bash, we're hosting a little sit-down with Bradford author Micol Ostow every Monday. She'll answer a question or two about the books, and then ask you, the readers, for your opinions.

And the best part is that you'll be entered to win a prize, just for commenting! On Thursdays at midnight EST, we'll randomly select a winner for the week's Mondays with Micol giveaway, and will announce the lucky recipient in Friday's post.

Share your thoughts and possibly win a prize! It's that easy.

To start this blog bash off right, we're asking Micol not one, but two questions today. If your comment discusses BOTH of the questions, you get TWO entries in the giveaway drawing. That's double the chance to win. So, without further ado . . .

Philadelphia's Main Line is practically a character unto itself in the Bradford books. What makes the Philadelphia Main Line unique as a setting? As a die-hard New Yorker, for me it's fun to research the history and culture of another major city. We folks in NYC tend to forget that other cities even exist. I didn't realize that the legacy of the Main Line was as old and storied as it is. I also love the idea of an idyllic suburban-style enclave just outside a major metropolis—the best of both world for my characters.

Which Bradford character is the most like you?
They all have a little bit of me in them: I'm an overachiever like Spencer, while Mads and I are both bold, creative types. Regan is earthy, spiritual, and grounded (I would totally go to yogilates class with her if she asked), and Paige and I are equally snarky and straightforward.
(Full disclosure: Paige is probably the most fun to write, because she says all of the horrible thoughts that we all have, but would NEVER say out loud. It's extremely cathartic and a wickedly guilty pleasure.)

So, friendlies:

1. What are some of YOUR favorite settings for books? Were you excited to learn about a series that features the Main Line? Did you know anything about Philadelphia before you read (or read about) Bradford? Please to share.


2. Who is YOUR Bradford alter ego? Inquiring minds, and all.

27 comments:

  1. I'm another one of those New Yorker's who sometimes forgets that other cities exist. I no absolutely nothing about Philadelphia except that they are supposed to have the best cheese stakes.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Okay, deeply random to comment on my own post but I wanted to give a shout-out to some of my favorite setting-books: Scott Westerfeld's post-apocalyptic NYC in PEEPS, and KL Going's New York indie underworld in FAT KID RULES THE WORLD. Other authors who know how to set the scene: Kathi Appelt, THE UNDERNEATH, and Cynthia Leitich Smith, TANTALIZE.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sharonanne--we're all guilty of it! But I actually have a few good friends who live in Philly so I do get there from time to time. The Pretty Little Liars books by Sara Shepherd also take place in Philadelphia, so obviously there's a zeitgeist thing happening!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Well, we ARE the 6th borough, now. At least according to the media.

    And we do have the best cheesesteaks. Really not worth eating outside of Philly.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I went to boarding school so I not so secretly LOVE the "underground" private school settings... though Ive never written one...hmmm.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Liz, I thought that was Hoboken....

    To bring this back to topic and honor the day in my own special way, I'd like to choose the London of Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman, as the setting I most favor!

    The Main Line: I had never heard of it, perhaps until today! All I know about Philly is Dr. J and Charles Barkley.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I honestly do not know that much about Philly. Except that the Fresh Prince was born and raised there (haha).

    There are so many settings that I love. Private schools (because I never went there), spy settings are always good, and foreign countries.

    I think that based on the interview and descriptions from Micol, I would be most like Mads. Very creative at times.

    ~Meredith F.
    rosesaremyfavorite at hotmail dot com

    P.S. Congrats on the release!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Nice Neil shout-out, Steve-O! I gave that book to Brother Dave for Chanukkah and need to get it back, stat!

    Oh, and as for boarding school settings, we MUST mention Miss E Lockhart's Prinz Honor, Frankie Landau Banks. Another need-to-read.

    ReplyDelete
  9. For those who aren't familiar with the Main Line, it's very much like a suburban version of the Upper East Side. Lots of heirs and heiresses, private schools, mansions, and top-notch liberal arts colleges. But close enough to Center City to pop in for dinner or a show. It was named after the main regional rail line (used by a large percentage of the working population there, at least the ones without a personal driver), hence the name.

    Character-wise, I think I'm probably most like a cross between Spencer and Regan. Like Spence, I like to believe the best about people, I'm extremely loyal, and overly concerned with good manners and what others will think. But I've also got a little of the Regan rebel inside me, going against the grain and staying down-to-earth.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I recently read a book set in an amusement park and I thought it was really cool. I knew absolutely nothing about Philadelphia before this book. I think I'm most like Spencer.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Katie--an amusement park is a great setting! What was the name of the book?

    --Micol

    ReplyDelete
  12. I learned of Philly's Main Line through another series: Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard (which I recommend to Bradford readers and vice-versa!)

    I don't think I'm similar to any of the Bradford main characters.

    ReplyDelete
  13. But LW, you're a thespian! So you're kinda like Regan with her Hollywood actressy types!

    ReplyDelete
  14. My favorite settings are places I've been. I love comparing the author's (or narrator's) view of the place to my own. And you earlier mentioned Cynthia Leitich Smith's TANTALIZE, which is one of my favorites. I love comparing her Austin with the one I live in.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Obvious connection is how NYC is the "5th lady" in Sex and the City - the book and the TV show. As a NY'er, that was a fun way of being in the know.... Since I know zilch about Philly, it's fun to get the inside scoop on the city from the Bradford peeps.

    ReplyDelete
  16. So true about SATC and NYC--New York is such a larger than life place that it is almost always a character when it's used as a setting!

    And Liviana--Cyn gave an AWESOME lecture on setting and used TANTALIZE as an example. She's just brilliant. I can't wait for ETERNAL.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I love reading about New York. I've never been there. The only big city I have been to is Atlanta and Tulsa. Not that those are big, compared to NY or PA. Hm. I need to travel!

    ReplyDelete
  18. We'll be posting a map of Philly with lots of Brad-centric locales called out later on during our party!

    ReplyDelete
  19. My favorite settings are places authors make up. Which means a LOT of description. That's probably the best part of the book. It let's my mind run wild. Sometimes, when it is a known place, the author doesn't take the time to write about it to people who have never been there. I don't like it when authors overgeneralize. Like this one book I read, Total Constant Order, they say that Kendall(FL) is full of houses with green lawns and pools. Which is totally wrong. Sure there are houses like that, if you mean half a million homes. And not all of these homes have green lawns and clean pools.
    It is exciting that it is in the Main Line. The fact that it's one of those *coughsrichcoughs* places, there is for sure a lot of gossip, something that I find hard to resist. Oh...and I can't forget the scandals.
    Philadelphia has a lot of history. It's where the Declaration of Independence was signed, where the first and second Constitutional Congress was held, and where the Continental Congress was held. If you wonder why I know so much, blame taking history this year....

    I think I am most like Spencer. I'm a big overachiever. I think it's somehow in the blood, since all of my family members are overachievers. And a little bit of Paige (My friends call me that. Blame Facebook.). I sometimes do think of all of the horrible things. And I don't say them out loud either. I slap on a smile and lie. I know it's bad, but I don't want to hurt others.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Micol: Hee hee. Regan would be utterly bored by my lack of social life, but I'd try to keep her sober and safe!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I like reading about Southern California, just to see how accurate people write about it. xD

    ReplyDelete
  22. I've only been to LA twice, so if I write about California, it's purely from a celebrity-gossip POV.

    LaLaLand, I'm interested in what you said about TCO, since I'm pretty sure Chrissa (who is soooo cool) actually grew up in FL. But maybe it's like you say--we make assumptions about the places that we know well.
    And btw, I think it's probably a GOOD thing that you keep your Paige-like asides on the INside! :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. I am into realistic settings, not all that outer space or other world stuff. I also like big cities, since I've never lived in one. So books that take place in NYC, LA, Miami, that kind of thing. I do like the Philly setting. I've only ever read about it before in the Pretty Little Liars series.

    And I think I'm like Spencer--definitely an over achiever. Plus she seems genuine!

    ReplyDelete
  24. I used to think that I preferred realistic settings to fantastic ones, but the truth is that as long as the writing is good I will TOTALLY read it.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Eternal rocks. ^_^ My review of it should go up soon.

    ReplyDelete
  26. You read it already? I'm JEALOUS!

    ReplyDelete