Alexa Young--YA author, power blogger, and friend (author's note: couldn't find a link to prove this one, so you're just gonna have to believe that we're friends) just posted an interview with me on her website that made my Mom LOL.  And I think that's awesome. 

I'm gonna post the interview here, but I recommend you check out the version on Alexa's website to see some neat pictures of me, and read Alexa's extra funny commentary. 

Also, I'm giving away three copies of Sophomore Undercover on there, so if you want an extra copy to make sure that the one you just bought doesn't get lonely, be sure to leave a comment on her website to be entered in the drawing. 


Before we get into all the personal questions, please tell us about your book(s), what you're working on now, and anything else you'd like to say about the professional you.

Well, I only have one book and it just came out on Tuesday, so to be perfectly honest, I kinda feel like a bit of a tool getting interviewed here. But I'm just gonna work through those negative emotions and try to be charming. Let's start this again. Professional stuff: My debut YA novel Sophomore Undercover (Disney-Hyperion) came out on 2/24. Please buy it. My mom really likes it, and Adam Rex (yes, THE Adam "Frankenstein makes a freakin' Sandwich" Rex) said that my book is like "getting kicked in the nuts by Mark Twain." And I'm almost positive that's supposed to be a good thing.

Can you tell us a bit more about your background—where you’re from, how you got started as a writer, that kind of thing (this wasn’t one of the questions in the original FAKETASTIC week interview, but I feel like prying because having a male on my…never happens)?

I grew up in a small town in Northern California that is famous for A) being where they shot the old west scenes in Back to the Future 3 and B) meth. True story: Back when I was a kid, me and my family used to drive around to try and find where Michael J. Fox was staying. Now that I'm older, I understand that this wasn't technically "family bonding" so much as "stalking," but I really think it brought everybody together. I started writing after I got out of college because it seemed like a much better option than getting a real job, and by some miracle, eventually somebody started paying me to do it (I still don't exactly understand how this last part happened). But if this writing thing should ever fall through, I'm pretty sure that I'm qualified for the following career paths: 1. Security guard. 2. Telemarketer. 3. Guy who wrangles shopping carts at the Costco. And in case you're wondering, yes, I was an English major.

How many best friends have you had in your life—and how did you meet them?

I've had two BFFs in my life. The first is my older brother, because he was around when I showed up, and the other...well, to be perfectly honest, I don't really remember how I met Nick. He just started hanging around at my house all the time in high school and eating all of our frozen pizzas. But I guess that's just as good a basis for BFFness as anything.

Are they still in your life—and if so, how are the relationships today?

Well, my brother is my roommate here in LA, so here's more than just my BWIABFF (brother who is also best friend forever). He's my BWIABFF who I go shopping at the Costco with. And that's a really special bond. And I still talk to my other BFF, but seeing as we don't regularly go halvesies on any of those 100 packs of Kirkland toilet paper, our relationship has kinda been dimming a bit lately. So, that's kinda sad, but I guess it's just part of growing up.

Have you ever lied to protect your best friend? Details, please…

Well, I never told my brother that I accidentally knocked his toothbrush into the toilet, so that's kind of a lie. But I guess that was really more to protect me from having to buy him another toothbrush, so I don't know if that technically counts.

What would you do if you had a crush on your friend's crush or—yikes!—her boyfriend? (I was going to change this to "his girlfriend"—but, you know, I thought it might be more interesting to leave it as-is.)

Whoa...tough question. When I was in high school, me and my buddy Nick used to handle any simultaneous crush type situations with a "dibsies" system. So, basically the first person to shout "dibs!" had all rights to future romance. Considering that between us we had approximately zero girlfriends during the four years of high school, I think our system might have needed a bit of refinement. But what if I had a crush on my BFF's boyfriend? Wow. That would be an interesting day. I mean, to the best of my knowledge, neither me nor my BFF's embrace that particular lifestyle, so unless this hypothetical "boyfriend" is Colin Farrell or somebody equally handsome with brooding eyes (brooding eyes are essential) then I think we would all be in the clear. If, hypothetically speaking, one of my BFF's was actually dating Colin Farrell, I would lie, cheat and neck punch until I stole him. I mean, have you seen "In Bruges?" You could get lost in those eyes.

What do you consider to be the ultimate friendship betrayal?

A: Eating all of my good peanut butter. B: Renting any movie with Jodie Foster. C: Unequal distribution of frozen pizza.

Under what circumstances would you actually break up with a best friend (and have those circumstances ever occurred?)?

See the above list. And no, there haven't been any breakups as of yet. My BFFs know better than to mess with my stash of Adam's extra chunky.

What does the word FAKETASTIC mean to you?

Uhh...fantastically fake? Like, this imitation bacon has a "faketastic" smoky flavor. Also, a very cool book by Alexa Young. Though I really think I'm onto something with that bacon answer.

Anything you'd like to add?

Yes, please visit my website. There's neat stuff there. Oh, and would it be too desperate if I asked people to buy my book again? Because I'd really appreciate it if some of you guys would do that.

2/28/2009 11:36:48 am

That was a hilarious interview, loved the pics, too! Your mom must be so happy her boys are BFFs!

Nick DB
3/2/2009 02:17:44 am

Besch, thanks for calling me your BFF. Though I'm disturbed by your distortion of the facts. Zero girlfriends? Zero? Did Amanda Jolley mean nothing to you? She was the light of my life for those three weeks we dated until she stood me up at Deep Impact. It's a slippery slope to James Freydom, Ben, a slippery slope indeed.

3/2/2009 04:49:58 am

My favorite part of this interview, by far:

But if this writing thing should ever fall through, I'm pretty sure that I'm qualified for the following career paths: 1. Security guard. 2. Telemarketer. 3. Guy who wrangles shopping carts at the Costco. And in case you're wondering, yes, I was an English major.

Can you say, "Ben Esch: Mall Cop."

Funny stuff, Esch!

3/2/2009 04:59:03 am

Way to go, Ben Esch. You interview like a dream (nightmare? Hallucination? not sure)

Does this stuff just flow out of you, or do you think up clever stuff in advance?

3/2/2009 05:00:14 am

By far my favorite part:

But if this writing thing should ever fall through, I'm pretty sure that I'm qualified for the following career paths: 1. Security guard. 2. Telemarketer. 3. Guy who wrangles shopping carts at the Costco. And in case you're wondering, yes, I was an English major.

Can you say, "Ben Esch: Mall Cop"

Kevin James has nothin on Ben Esch!

Doyle Denton-Brown
3/2/2009 08:26:05 am

Please keep this blog family friendly. Deep Impacts and slippery slopes are things that are alright for adults to speak about in their bedrooms, but the internet?

Jamie D
3/3/2009 02:45:21 pm

Wow you drove around and stalked Micheal J Fox also? I thought it was just my crazy family who did that! We also sat on the side of the road and took pictures while they filmed........hmmm.....I still have those.....I keep them under my pillow. Anyhoo.....I find it hard to believe that you AND nick never had a girlfriend in High School, what were those crazy girls thinking? sheesh! :)

Jamie D
3/3/2009 02:46:46 pm

Oh P.S.
I would love to work at Costco!! I mean I only pay for the membership because of all those awesome samples and the hot dog deal!!

3/4/2009 02:32:03 pm

Dude. I will totally confirm that we are not just friends...we are BF-effin-Fs! And you know y'all want a BFF like Benjamin Mordecai Esch. Yes, I enjoy changing his middle name. It's one of our little BFF inside jokes. Oh, and in case I don't say it enough, word to your mother. XO

3/4/2009 02:34:50 pm

PS: I just bestowed upon you the FABULOUS BLOG AWARD (I think that's what it's called). So now you have to name-check me again. Or whatever. I think those are the rules...but, as ever, just do what feels right to you. xo

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