Hi everyone. Today I’m talking to Babette from Dreamland Social Club. Welcome to the blog, Babette!
Sure, sure. Hit me.
You are a very interesting character, Babette. You call yourself a “Goth dwarf”, you are friends with a boy who is tattooed all over the place, a girl who has a beard, and even a guy with no legs. So, I’m wondering, when you saw Jane her first day at school with all her normalcy, why did you decide to become her friend?
Well, for the record I don’t think I have ever referred to myself as a Goth dwarf. That’s what other people choose to call me and I guess I can’t stop them or squelch their need to define me in such basic terms. As for Jane, there was something sort of funny in her eyes, like she was somehow trapped in the wrong body or something. I sort of sympathized with that.
I’m curious about your crush on Marcus, Jane’s brother. Why do you want to date him so badly? I mean, what do you feel makes him more special than all the other boys around?
Something’s up with that family for sure, you can tell just looking at them. Marcus had this sort of edge to him—almost like he was some kind of undercover government operator—and when he looked at me he seemed to see ME and not think “Goth dwarf” like everybody else.
Your family seems to be on the brinks of disaster! How do you hold everything together? What sorts of things do you do to get your mind off the problems at home and just enjoy life?
I am not certain divorce equals disaster but my parents’ marriage is sure a shambles. I hold it together by repeating in my head, not-my-problem, not-my-problem. As for “enjoying life,” I like long walks on the beach and fairies and butterflies and give me a break.
Can you tell us a little secret about yourself? Any secret at all. Big or small.
There are no small secrets. Actually, maybe there are but that’s a sort of quotable quote, isn’t it?
“There are no small secrets.”—Babette
My deepest darkest secret of the moment is that I’m actually quite fond of The Fresh Beat Band.
Why is a raven like a writing desk?
They are both black.
Let’s play a game. I’ll list a few things and you tell me which one you’d choose if you had the choice:
pop, rock, hip hop, or alternative—alternative. Duh.
chips or chocolate—dark chocolate
tilt-a-whirl, shoot the clown, or roller coaster—roller coaster, because I like a good excuse to scream
red, blue, black, or white—another duh.
a mermaid or a medusa—medusa would be awesome. I want to know how to get my hair to do that
a teleporter, a space ship, or a time travelling machine—time travelling machine so I could go back to the Midget City at Dreamland in the early 1900s and start an uprising
One last question. What is your favourite thing about living on Coney Island?
Being near the water. I like to look into the far distance and fantasize about the places I’ll go when I’m older.
That’s it. Thank you for sharing with us today, Babette!
Jane has traveled the world with her father and brother, but it's not until her fractured family-still silently suffering from the loss of Jane's mother many years before-inherits a house and a history in Coney Island that she finally begins to find a home. With the help of a new community of friends, a mermaid's secrets, and a tattooed love interest with traffic-stopping good looks, the once plain Jane begins to blossom and gains the courage to explore the secrets of her mother's past.
Colorful characters, beautiful writing, and a vibrant, embattled beachfront backdrop make this the perfect summer read for anyone who has ever tried to find true love or a place to call home.
Dreamland Social Club is available from Dutton Juvenile from Amazon, The Book Depository, Chapters, and more. You can also find it on Goodreads.
Tara Altebrando is the author of three novels for young adults, most recently DREAMLAND SOCIAL CLUB (Dutton). She lives in Queens, New York, with her husband and two young daughters.
Find more from Tara on her website, Twitter, YouTube, and Goodreads