But seriously folks, Jay is probably one of the funniest people I've ever emailed to and he really knows how to perk up an interview. You'll want to read this one, I promise!
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Bookaholic: "Can you share with us a few words you would use to describe each main character in The Edumacation of Jay Baker?"
Jay: "Jay Baker: Snarky-but-lovable man-boy whose heart is usually in the right place at the wrong time.
Cameo Appearance Parnell: Beautiful disaster who’d rather keep things fresh-‘n-flirty than drab-‘n-Debbie-Downerish.
Caroline Richardson: Mysterious, super-focused tennis goddess whose past is about to play mind games with her.
Abby Baker: Frighteningly popular homecoming queen who’d take a bad outfit to the chest for her brother, Jay.
Ms. Lambert: Earth-motherly, heavy-meddling history teacher whose bark is bigger than her “Bite me.”
Mike Hibbard: Half-teen/half-barn-animal (?) with a surplus of “Bullying for Dummies” put-downs to mask self-esteem shortage. "
Bookaholic: "How much of this book is based upon your own experiences?"
Jay: "I thieved quite a bit of the plot from my very own walk-in skeleton closet. A few guilty bystanders will have a bone to pick with me, but I’ll be sure to write them all an apology email from my computer in hell. P.S. This makes me seem like I’m too lazy to reinvent the literary wheel, and that would be accurate. Lately, however, I’ve been thinking of writing about a magical land where a bespectacled orphan becomes a wizard and … $%#!, that’s already been done, hasn’t it?"
Bookaholic: "Do you think hell has free wi-fi? And, could you provide an example of the individuals you may enrage or offend with your book (names can be changed to protect the guilty)."
Jay: "Hell hath no fury like me if it doesn’t! No, I’m gonna go out on a limb and say Sa-to-the-tan has kept up with the technological times. How else would #cometosatanbaby be trending on Twitter right now? Weird, my index finger just burned up in flames."
Well, okay: The character Rene Rotrovich’s nickname, “Rene Rottencrotch,” was inspired by an old friend who was called that particular surname all throughout school. Not that I ever said it myself, or even thought she had a rotten crotch (yet to be proven in court, I might add). I just thought it captured the vibe of my class to perfection and had to include it." *Ducks*
Bookaholic: Tell us 5 funny facts/events from your life.
Jay: "Dude, I tried out for American Idol. Twice. The first time I sang “Your Song” and Elton John called to ask for it back. The second time I sang “Flake” and very nearly made it my own. But then the bored-looking prelim judge asked me to sing something else, and I was like, “Huh?” I bombed that one like there was no tomorrow."
Bookaholic: "So apparently you do NOT work well under pressure huh? Go ahead, sing for us, right now!" *sits back in her chair, sipping on her Coke*.
(Photo: Close..but not Jay)
Jay: "I always accuse my sister of being a choker during board games and flip-cup and such, but maybe it’s been me all along. Nothing like a little healthy projection to give oneself a false sense of confidence. Anyway, sis and I do a great rendition of “Summer Nights,” from Grease. It gets kind of weird when I sing, “Well, she got friendly, down in the sa-ha-haaand,” and then bend my knees like John Travolta, but there’s something to be admired about that kind of commitment—just not sure what it is.
(Photo: Again, totally not Jay)I’m a longtime basement dweller who’s basically lived underground since graduating college. In other words, tornadoes haven’t stood a chance since ’05 (booyah). Besides, who needs fresh air when you have Glade PlugIns and a decent supply of snacks?"
Bookaholic: "That depends. What sort of snacks? Are we talking chocolate?"
Jay: "Chocolate schmocolate. I discovered this great vanilla yogurt/raspberry sorbet combo made by Haagen-Dazs (had to look up that spelling and didn’t feel like adding the accent mark) a few months ago and have been killing pint after pint ever since. It’s annoying when I have to go upstairs to get it from the freezer, though. I need a little ice box or something. And an unlikely endorsement deal, because that crap’s expensive!"
Barf alert: I was born with simple syndactyly of the second and third toes, on both feet. I had a complex about it—cue: groans—until seventh grade, when a podiatrist took a scalpel and…why am I talking about this? My fiancé tries to touch the scars sometimes, which I am not a fan of. She’s welcome to go to town on my corpse, though."
Bookaholic: EEK *runs away hiding eyes* I am not a foot fan.
Jay: "Everyone’s a critic!
I come from a family of gamblers. None of us know when to hold ’em, fold ’em, or walk away, but we have a blast in Vegas every year—not to mention our drinks are totally free!"
Bookaholic: *slowly re-enters the room* "Okay okay, so are you any good when you gamble? Or, do you end up broke on the street begging for change?"
Jay: "Lady luck and I have our intimate moments, for sure. She can also be a real wildebeest—especially when her hormones kick in and start blanking out the slot machine. Not that I don’t deserve it."
I have a drinking problem that starts and ends with Mountain Dew. I’m intentionally trying to lower my sperm count, because I hate children.
Bookaholic: Yumm, Mountain Dew is my favorite pop! But seriously, you hate children? How is that possible? Don’t you want a little mini-you someday?
Jay: "When you put it that way, how can I resist?! I do think kids would help round me out and make me less inclined to worry about dumb crap, but the fact that I just typed “me” twice is a bad sign."
(Photo: Jay's future child)Bookaholic: "If you were a superhero, what superpower would you have?"
Jay: "Introducing Paranoia Man! Paranoia Man is all anxiety, all the time, and one-hundred-percent evil. In fact, his sole purpose on Planet Earth is to transfer his nervous energy to the far-more-rational beings who walk among him. Beware the plethora of panic attacks at his disposal, and no matter what he says, don’t accept anything from his prescription bottle. Otherwise, you may find yourself asking the following questions to no one in particular:
Why hasn’t this person responded to my email yet?!
Is my dog mad at me, or what?!
Wow, the Starbucks barista is being hella-weird today, am I right?!"
Bookaholic: "Haha, that’s funny. But why are you staring at me like that? Do I have something on my shirt? OMG, you think I’m a horrible interviewer, don’t you??"
Jay: "It’s working! I’m feeling calmer already."
Bookaholic: "What are some of the major differences between the writer Jay, and the character Jay?"
Jay: "They laugh alike, they talk alike, sometimes they even have IBS alike. Differences? As much as it pains my fragile male ego to admit, I think Jay Baker has more of a way with the ladies than Jay Clark. He’s a baller in sheep’s clothing. I mean, Jay Clark is obviously better-looking, but in high school he couldn’t get the pole out of his b-hole long enough to let his freak-flag fly. Jay Baker is more of a come-what-whatever risk-taker, and that’s why he has his own book while Jay Clark remains chopped liver. "
(Photo: Could be Jay. I'll have to ask.)
Bookaholic: "Okay, here is a test. I want you to tell us some pick-up lines. Tell us one YOU would have used during your pick-up-line days (before you got old and settled down)...and then one from the character Jay (the youthful risk-taker).
Jay Clark: “Hey…you. Wanna come over to my house after school so I can make you some toast with my grandma’s strawberry jam on it?” (This actually happened and, shocker, was not followed by a hookup session.)
Jay Baker: “You have a thing for my man-bangs, don’t you?” *Points to hair* “’Cause there’s a lot more where that came from.”
Bookaholic: "I'm even more shocked that you have a fiancé! Now, tell us 3 things you wish you could go back to high school and do?"
Jay: "I say this without an ounce of sarcasm: Seek out my future fiancé, Caroline. I started shedding a lot of my unnecessary habits when I found her. Good stuff.
Spend even more time with my family. It’s a shame the measures people take to avoid their relatives, but maybe I’d feel differently if I had <insert your psycho-sibling here> snipping off locks of my hair in the middle of the night.
Tie myself to a tree until they build some freaking tennis courts on school grounds. That’s kind of an oxymoronic way of going about it, but the tree and I will cross that bridge when we come to it—unless we need to actually build a small bridge to the tennis courts, in which case I’ll turn to the tree and say, “Nice knowing you, sucker!”
Bookaholic: "You were wilder in college, right? Did you do anything insane then?"
Jay: "Not really…I’ve pretty much always been a snoozefest."
Bookaholic: *Yawns* "Since you are just a sweet, innocent, unaware-of-all-the-bad debut author, what scares you the most about the writing world? Be honest, are you most afraid of us angelic bloggers?" *whips out her halo*
Jay: "People on the internet are terrifying, yes. Especially bloggers hiding their true identities behind wide-eyed avatars or extreme close-up pics of their cat/dog (maybe I should double-check your website before mentioning that). But, really, it’s hard for me to complain. If someone’s taken the time to read my book, then they can say “He blew it!” all over the internets till the cows come home. Then they can go blow a cow, for all I care. Kidding! I blame this horrible answer on your question."
Bookaholic: "HEY, my avatar is offended by your comment. She does not have wide eyes! Okay...maybe she does."
Thank you Jay for being on my blog and for sharing such fascinating details of your crazy life. You are so much fun (I know, I can't believe I said that either!)."
The Edumacation of Jay Baker by Jay Clark
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co. (January 24th, 2011)
Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardback: 272 pages
A few “sexy” bullet points about Jay: • He is in love with a cheerleader named Cameo “Appearance” Parnell • He is forever losing “Love-15” to tennis-playing goddess Caroline Richardson • He rocks a touché array of pop-culture references, jokes, and puns • His family-life cookie is about to crumble. Live vicariously through Jay as he faces off against his mortal enemy, gets awkward around his dream girl(s), loses his marbles in a Bermudian love triangle, watches his parents’ relationship implode, and, finally, learns to get real and be himself(ish).
- 1 winner will receive an ARC of The Edumacation of Jay Baker.
- You must be at least 13 to enter.
- Name and email must be provided.
- Extra entries are possible and links must be provided.
- Contest is US only and ends February 10th.
- Once contacted, the winner will have 48 hours to respond.
- The form must be filled out to enter.