Monday, December 21, 2009

Author Uncovered: Lauren Kate (Author Interview)

Hey guys! So I'm really sorry for being so MIA this week, but to cheer you up, I've got an interview with Lauren Kate! She's the author of my new fave book Fallen! It's great to have you here, Lauren!

Why did you choose to become a YA author?
I started writing stories when I was high school, and I even though I moved on from there, I guess you could say my characters never really did. Almost all the protagonists in my books are seventeen-year-old girls. I love to read books for all ages, but when it comes to writing, the teen voice comes most naturally for me. Those years between girlhood and womanhood are so thrilling and tumultuous. Anything is possible. The challenge of conveying that sense of wonder is what I love most about writing teen books.

What do you see as your strengths and weaknesses as an author?
I’d love to think that character and voice are my strengths, because those are the things that are most important to me as a reader. I have the most fun when I’m writing snappy dialogue. I really love working on scenes with the wild and crazy characters, like Arriane and Cam.

As for weaknesses…I’m sure there are many! But one I know I have to work on is keeping up with my characters’ emotions. This might seem easy or obvious, but I find it challenging, especially in the Fallen books, where Luce could be feeling one of ten really strong emotions at any given moment—and it’s up to me to figure out which one matters most. This is what I change the most during my revisions. I’ll write a whole scene and then realize: no, she wouldn’t be happy about x, she would be frustrated about y! And then I have to go back and reconfigure everything.

Why did you particularly choose to write about fallen angels?
I’ve been writing love stories forever. I came up with the idea for Fallen when I came across a line in Genesis about a group of angels who were cast out of heaven for falling in love with mortal women. Instantly, it seemed to me like the ultimate love story—an everyday girl and an angel??—and I knew I wanted to write it. I started thinking about things like what kind of baggage a fallen angel would have, and what the girl’s seriously overprotective father would think. From there, a whole world unfurled in my mind—only it wasn’t just angels anymore. Demons, secret sects, reincarnations, and the End of Days were also all battling for a piece of the action.

What's the most interesting thing a reader has ever said to you?
More and more I’m realizing that the coolest part of writing a series is that I can take reader’s reactions into considerations as I write the later books in the series. Recently, I was talking to a reader who was visibly shaken when she talked about what became of one of her favorite characters in Fallen, Luce’s friend Penn. Without saying too much about the outcome of the book, this reader made me think a lot about Penn’s place in the book and whether there might be something I could do about her in the future…

How does it feel being an author?
So far, I think it suits me! I’ve wanted to write novels for a very long time, and I’m getting a lot out of it. Everyone says that writing it tedious and challenging and lonely—and it is sometimes. But when I’m on a roll with a chapter, it’s also so much fun. And in between writing and writing and more writing, having the chance to do things to connect with readers—like this interview—makes the isolating aspects of writing so worth it.

Book you've faked reading:
Ohhh, I’m nervous to even admit this…I haven’t read all the Harry Potter books. Just the first two. I loved them, but I never got around to reading the rest. *ducks under desk*

Book you've bought for the cover:
A Great and Terrible Beauty. Luckily the interior is just as breathtakingly beautiful!

Book you're an evangelist for:
Fly by Night by Frances Hardinge. Brilliance!

And lastly, the question that I've been dying to ask: Can you reveal anything to us about Torment?
I’m having so much fun writing Torment that it’s hard for me not to spill everything right now so I can say, “Aren’t you excited? Won’t this be great?” But my publisher would probably have my head. So in lieu of that, I’ll reveal just three things:

1. As Luce learns more about her past, she comes into a host of powers she never knew she had—and they might involve the shadows.
2. After the second book comes out, a prequel (which will span thousands of years!) will follow before the final book in the series.
3. Even though, of course, Daniel is Luce’s one-and-only, a new character is introduced in Torment that offers him some stiff competition.

WOW! I can't wait to see what happens next in Torment! And I'm also guilty of only reading the last three books in the Harry Potter series because I already watched the movies *ducks under desk with Lauren* =)

Peace, Love, and Fallen Angels,
my signature


Emma December 21, 2009 at 9:18 AM  

I want to read this one so badly! Great interview.

Stephanie December 21, 2009 at 10:16 AM  

Great interview! She sounds like an intelligent, down-to-earth author. I love the way she drew inspiration from a little-known line in Genesis.

Jenn (Books At Midnight) December 22, 2009 at 12:40 AM  

Awesome review! I totally understand the Harry Potter thing (love them, read all of them... but only once each), and Lauren Kate sounds really receptive to readers' opinions. I've already ordered Fallen and it should get here soon, so I'm even more excited to read it now! :)

A Passion For Books December 22, 2009 at 2:33 AM  

Fantastic Interview! I loved Fallen and now I'm dying to read Torment even more!!! I love the idea of a prequel to Fallen too.

Mighty December 23, 2009 at 7:39 AM  

Hey Reggie,

great interview. I'm going to start checking books by Lauren Kate. gotta finish Day Watch first. :D


skyla11377 January 1, 2010 at 3:35 AM  

Really Great Interview. This Book Sounds Really Good. Look Forward To Reading It.

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