Today on the blog I have the honor of hosting the lovely New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver, who's newest novel Pandemonium came out on February 28th. Lauren's answers are in regular font due to some crazy computer thing.
Hi Lauren, thank you so much for agreeing to do an interview with me, your books are amazing.
Thanks so much for having me!
First, you’ve written four (five, I’m not sure if you’re actually done with Requiem yet) books, which one was your favorite and why?
Actually, I've written six! (I have a new MG book, THE SPINDLERS, coming out in Fall 2012; and yes, I am done with REQUIEM.) They've all been favorites in different ways. That sounds hokey to say, but it's true. I think in some ways Liesl and Po is the most meaningful to me, because of where I was and who I was when I wrote it. But books are like children, and I love them all in different ways.
Hmmm. A secret about me? I hate fruit. Okay, that's not really a secret, but I like to keep my secrets secret! :) Let's see. . .a secret about one of my books is that I had to change a lot of the names in Before I Fall at the very last second; I had named a lot of the characters after people in my high school (often unintentionally).
Seeing as Pandemonium is your next release what was your favorite part of it to write? Was there a part that was hard to write?
I had difficulty with some of the fight scenes. They don't come as naturally to me. I enjoyed writing the descriptions of the Wilds, though. I felt as though I was exploring alongside Lena.
You’ve written one Middle Grade novel, what was that like? Was it harder or easier then writing Young Adult? Do you plan on writing another MG novel?
I think all books are difficult in different ways. I do have another MG novel coming out; it's called THE SPINDLERS, and it releases in Fall 2012. It tells the story of a girl, Liza, who must rescue her brother Patrick's soul from the underworld after it is stolen by spider-people.
When the summary for Pandemonium came out there was quite the uproar, and having read Pandemonium the ending will probably create even a bigger one, was it fully your idea to write it the way you did?
Once people have read Pandemonium I’m sure they will all be eagerly awaiting Requiem just as much as I am, can you give us a small sneak peak?
I will only say that Requiem takes place from two different points of view, and I'm very excited about it!
Your other two books have been stand alones, is it harder to write a trilogy/series then it is to write a stand alone?
I think it's challenging in a different way. There's something comforting about writing a series; you have more time to tell your story. But it is hard to live with the same characters for such an extended period of time.
Your writing is so beautiful, how do you accomplish that? Do you try to write like that or is that just naturally how it comes out?
Thank you!! Well, I've been writing my whole life, and I've also been an avid reader. I've definitely tried very hard in my life to become a better writer, to work on the flow and the rhythm of the words. So I guess now it does kind of come "naturally," but I'm always honing my voice and working to better my prose.
Out of all your books do you have a favorite character to write? One that most closely resembles you in demeanor?
I think I had the most fun writing Po, the ghost from Liesl and Po, because it was such an exercise in imagination for me! Of all my characters, I'm probably the closest to Sam from Before I Fall, although I like to think I'm substantially nicer than she is. :)
If you could live in one of your books which one would you live in? What about if you lived in Lena’s world? Would you be a zombie or a rebel?
Well, I pretty much DID live in the world of Before I Fall, so I'd probably just re-choose that! If I lived in Lena's world, I'd of course like to say that I would rebel. But it's incredibly, incredibly difficult to turn your back on your education, your values, your religion; very few people manage to do it. So I'd probably submit.
Do you have a favorite line out of all of your books?
Oh, I have a few favorites here and there! I also reread a lot of my sentences and think: oh, dear. what was I thinking? That's far more common.
You can’t always be an author, what do you do in your spare time? What’s on your TBR pile as of right now? Any books that you’re dying to get your hands on?
Oh, man. My TBR pile is ridiculous. I'm really eager to read A Fault In Our Stars, by John Green; I've heard such amazing things. In my free time, I do read a lot. I also cook, do a lot of running and pilates
Let’s talk about covers. I know authors really have no say in covers but what do you think about your covers? What about the new covers for theDelirium trilogy?
I'm kind of obsessed with the new Delirium trilogy covers, and I love how they kind of reference the look of Before I Fall. I've been lucky that Harper is incredibly accommodating and always asks for my approval and input on covers--but I'm also lucky that because of their wonderful design team, I rarely give anything but my total approval.
And speaking of covers, do you have any covers you just love that aren’t yours? Maybe some that you wish were yours but are someone else’s?
I love the cover of Wither, by Lauren DeStefano, and I loved all of the Fallen covers.
What about books? Are there any books/ideas that you wish you had written/come up with?
Um, yeah. Harry Potter!! But seriously, every time I read a new book that I love, I get author-envy.
Your books (the teen ones at least) have some pretty sexy heart-throbs, who is your literary crush? (Don’t worry, I won’t tell your fiancé.)
Oh, Mr. Darcy. Always Mr. Darcy. (From Pride and Prejudice.)
Last but not least (actually the most important question), Team Jacob or Team Edward?
Ha. I don't know! If you can believe it, I only read the first Twilight.
Thank you so much for answering all of my silly questions, and thanks to your books I can’t decide between your guys, they’re all great.
Lauren has been nice enough to donate a signed finished copy of Pandemonium and four signed book plates for me to give away. Due to postage the book can only be sent inside the US/Canada but the bookplates are open to anyone anywhere! Since my computer is broken and I've been using my mom's all you have to do is fill out the form HERE, no questions to answer. The contest will run until March 31st at 12:00 midnight and the winner will be notified...hopefully soon after that.