Friday, March 7, 2014

Feature Friday: Lauren Oliver

#1 New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver dazzled readers with the spellbinding Delirium trilogy (Delirium, Pandemonium, Requiem), the conclusion of which was published in 2013. Oliver is also the author of two luminous novels for middle-grade readers, The Spindlers and Liesl & Po, which was named a Kirkus Best Book of the Year. Her first YA novel, Before I Fall, was honored as a Publisher Weekly’s Best Book of the Year. Lauren’s next contemporary YA novel, Panic, will be published on March 4th 2014 and has been optioned for film by Universal Studios. Oliver is also the co-founder of literary development company Paper Lantern Lit, where she cultivates the bourgeoning craft and careers of other YA/MG writers. A graduate of the University of Chicago and NYU's MFA program, Lauren Oliver lives in Brooklyn, New York. You can visit her online at www.laurenoliverbooks.com.

Interview:

A.L.:
What piece of advice would you give to a budding author?

Lauren: 
Read and write as much as you can!

A.L.:
What's your favorite book and why?

Lauren:
I could never choose a favorite book, there's too many amazing ones in the world!

A.L.:
Where did you get the idea for Panic?

Lauren:
The original kernel of inspiration comes from “The Story of the Boy Who Went Forth to Learn What Fear Was,” a little known fairy tale by Brothers Grimm. Not the catchiest of titles! But of course, like all source material, the story and its meaning for me and my book morphed and changed over time.

A.L.:
Did you hit any snags while writing Panic?  What were they and how did you fix them?

Lauren: 
Totally! I hated PANIC for a while. I couldn’t figure out how to move the plot forward, how to make the stories intersect, and how I would achieve resolution. I spent months complaining about the book, agonizing over it, talking it over with friends and family, trying different things and then cutting them. Eventually, I managed to find my way..

A.L.:
Which one of the characters in Panic is your favorite and why?

Lauren:
I really love Dodge. Maybe it’s his name, maybe it’s because he was my first POV guy character, or maybe it’s because of his deeply skewed sense of loyalty and desire to defend and protect the people he loves, but if I were an 18-year-old girl in Carp, I’d definitely be head over heels in love with Dodge.

A.L.:
Can you tell us a little bit about your journey as an author?

Lauren:
I’ve really been writing my whole life. That isn’t an exaggeration. I started writing stories when I was probably six or seven, and began seriously writing—i.e., working on something every day—when I was probably ten! So this career has been a loooong time in the making. I have my ups and downs, as every author does. I’ve had novels rejected by agents and publishers. I have my moments of doubt and self-pity. But that comes with the territory; part of the job of an author is learning how to work and create through all that.

A.L.:
What are you working on now?  Sequel?  Something new?

Lauren:
I’m working on something totally new. It’s another stand-alone, it’s realistic, and it’s the story of two sisters and their unraveling relationship, among other things. But that’s all I can say for now!

A.L.:
If you could be awesome at something other than writing, what would you be awesome at?

Lauren: 
Singing. Truly, mind-blowingly, ear-shatteringly awesome, Mariah-Carey-style.

A.L.:
What's your favorite thing to wear?

Lauren: 
Expensive jeans, cheap tank tops, and very high heels!

A.L.:
What kind of readers do you think will love Panic?

Lauren:
Hopefully all of them! I think this book will appeal equally to boys and girls, and I’m certainly hoping it will cross over to an adult readership too. Basically, it’s a great book for anyone who likes tension, romance, friendship, and stories of hope. And tigers. Yup, tigers.

No Giveaway?
No goodies from Lauren this week, but don't forget that this was a double feature week, so we have a giveaway from our Wednesday guest author: Kimber Leigh Weaton!

Panic:  Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.

Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.

Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn't know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.

For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most


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