Friday, 19 April 2013

Friday Feature: Interview With Lauren Oliver

Lauren Oliver's Requiem was a stunning conclusion to her excellent Delirium trilogy. I jumped at the chance to interview her - huge thanks to The Bookbag for arranging it! (This interview originally ran there.)

1. When you close your eyes and imagine your readers, who do you see?

Lauren Oliver: An adorably enthusiastic teen girl...and her mom. :)

2. Readers of my reviews will know that ever since Delirium, Lena has been one of my favourite lead characters. Which lead characters in other authors' books are your own favourites?
LO: I love Elizabeth Bennet in Pride & Prejudice; I'm still resentful of the fact that my sister is named after her. I love Matilda in Matilda, Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter series, and Lyra in the His Dark Materials Trilogy. And plenty, plenty more.

3. As well as the Delirium trilogy and your debut Before I Fall, you've written two acclaimed books for younger readers, Liesl & Po and The Spindlers. Do you approach writing for younger readers differently than writing for teens, and if so, how?
LO: Not really. Much of writing is unconscious, intuitive, and fluid. When a young narrator starts speaking to me, I try and listen, as I do when an older narrator begins to speak.

4. As well as writing, you're a co-founder of Paper Lantern Lit, a literary development company. How much day-to-day involvement do you have with Paper Lantern, and what's the best thing about working with authors who write for Paper Lantern?
LO: I'm definitely involved day-to-day; editing and developing stories for Paper Lantern Lit takes up sixty percent of my daily work time at least. And the best part of working with the authors is watching their skill sets grow over time. It's extremely gratifying.

5. If you could host a literary dinner party, which six authors or characters would you invite?
LO: That's so hard! I'll pick authors, living and dead: Agatha Christie, Ian McEwan, JK Rowling, Henry James, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Dr. Seuss.

6. I thought the ending to the trilogy was absolutely amazing, but it seems to have split reviewers somewhat so far - many loving it like I did, with others being not so keen. Did you always plan on ending it like that, or did you ever consider tying up more loose ends?
LO: I always intended for the book to end exactly as it did. I don't really think that there are very many loose ends. The Delirium trilogy is simply a window into a world; I like the idea that the world exists beyond what is written on the page.

7. A pilot for the Delirium TV series has been announced - I can't wait! How excited are you, and how involved have you been in creating it?
LO: I am extremely excited. I wasn't responsible for the script, and of course generating enough material for a TV series from a 3-book trilogy necessitates a lot of changes. But I'm in touch with the producers, the writer, and even the actors. I'm thrilled.

8. You've written several novellas set in the world of Delirium, letting us see other characters as well as Lena and Hana. Can we expect to see some non-Delirium related novellas from you in the future?
LO: It's possible! I loved writing the short story spin-offs; it was such a fun way to explore ancillary characters.

9. What are you reading at the moment?
LO: Doll Bones, by Holly Black; the Madman's Daughter, by Megan Shepherd; and Half a Life, by Darin Strauss.

10. What's next for Lauren Oliver?
LO: Next up, I have a standalone YA called Panic. It's a realistic book about a very small town and a very dangerous game that is played there every summer.

Really looking forward to that, Lauren! Thanks so much for agreeing to this interview. 

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