Friday, March 8, 2013

Interview with Lauren Oliver, Author of the Delirium Trilogy and Before I Fall, and International Giveaway

That said, I am soooo thrilled to introduce Lauren Oliver, one of my all time favorite YA authors. One of my new favorite indie authors, Andrea Colt, is giving away Before I Fall as part of her current giveaway.

Goodreads Book Description: What if you only had one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?

Samantha Kingston has it all: looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last.

The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. Living the last day of her life seven times during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death--and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Lauren Oliver captivated readers with her first novel, the New York Times bestseller Before I Fall, a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year. She followed that up with Delirium and Pandemonium, the first two books in her bestselling trilogy, which concludes with Requiem. Delirium has been optioned for film by Fox 2000 Pictures. 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. A graduate of the University of Chicago and NYU's MFA program, Lauren Oliver lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Author Interview
Lauren, first of all, thank you so much for joining us on my blog, Ensconced in YA. It is such an honor to have you here!

1. I was hoping that you could tell my readers a little about how you started writing and who you drew inspiration from (perhaps, your father? ;-)).

My father has certainly been a role model and taught me a lot about
work ethic; I still like to bounce ideas off of him, and he’s one of
the people I share early drafts with. But I primarily started writing
because I loved reading so much. When I finished a book I loved, I’d
start writing its sequel so I could stay in the world a little longer.

2. I am always struck by how wonderfully drawn your characters are. You now have several books out now. Do you have any favorite characters? Did any of your characters surprise you?

I love writing about people. I’m a super character-based author, if
that makes sense. It’s really hard for me to pick a favorite character,
but I do like writing about the “supporting” characters, like Hana
in Delirium and Lindsay, Elody, and Ally in Before I Fall. Maybe it’s
because I’ve always had such a strong network of friends, and I think
my identity has truly been shaped by the people I’m close to.

3. What is the craziest thing a fan has ever said? What was the most moving?

The craziest thing a fan has ever said…is that he was looking at my
house on google earth during a fan chat. Creepy! I hear many moving
things from my readers—I certainly can’t pick only one! But I love it
when my readers tell me that my books helped them get through a
difficult time. That’s the best thing about books—they’re a shelter and
a safe place.

4. How do you come up with your characters' names? Do they have any special significance?

It depends! I keep lists of names I like—but my main character’s
names tend to just “occur” to me. And I named Magdalena, in the
Delirium trilogy, after a close friend.

5. For our aspiring writers-- I believe that having a good critique partner is essential to writing a book. Can you tell us a little about your experience with peers who have edited/critiqued your work?

I participated in the master’s program at NYU University, where over
two years I intensively workshopped a variety of my pieces. I think
one of the most valuable things the experience taught me was how to
take criticism, period—how to sit with it, and incorporate it, and learn
from it. It’s not easy to submit to criticism about work that feels so
personal, but it’s necessary; no writer gets it right the first, or even
the fifth, time.

6. I recall when you came to visit Saint Louis, that you said one of your first books was full of 500+ pages of gorgeous description... without a plot. Can you tell us a little about how you structure your books now? Do you outline or do you start with some great characters and go for it?

I usually write between 10K-15K words and then I pull back and
definitely try and draw up an outline; otherwise, I’ll get lost in a maze
of words. I usually start by identifying a “three-act,” and trying to pin
down how the major climactic tensions will manifest. Then I break it
down even further into a chapter-by-chapter outline. But of course, as
I go, the outline often gets revised.

7. What is your favorite YA book of all time? What is your favorite YA read of the past year?

All time—Harry Potter (it started as children’s but I consider the
series as a whole YA).
Last year—oof. Hard to say! But I really liked Cinder, by Marissa

8. Delirium is your only current trilogy. How was the experience different for you, going from a stand alone book to a trilogy? What was better and what was harder about it?

It’s totally different, and I would probably approach it differently if
I had to do it again. It’s a very different scope, plot-wise; you have
to think about how your decisions in one book will affect your
imaginative landscape several years, and books, down the line.
But it’s also comforting to live with a set of characters, and within
a certain world, for so long. I was really upset when the trilogy was
finished—for a long time, I thought I would never have another idea!

9. Now that your Delirium trilogy is almost over (so sad!!!), what else do you have on the horizon?

I have a realistic YA novel called PANIC coming out in 2014; I’m super
excited about it. I’m also writing a book for grown-ups for ROOMS
and I’m working on a super secret middle-grade series, too.

10. I have to ask, do you still write chapters on your Blackberry on the subway? I'm still so floored by how you wrote most of BEFORE I FALL like that!

I do! Although I’m so furious with my cell phone service I may be
forced to switch to an iphone soon…I don’t know what I will do then. I
can’t type on an iphone! 

What an awesome interview! Now, enter to win BEFORE I FALL or a signed copy of TORCHED by Andrea Colt!

As long as TBD ships to your country, you are eligible for this giveaway!
Which countries does The Book Depository ship to? Click here.

Enter the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. oh god so excited for PANIC!. Thanks for the giveaway.

  2. Awesome interview! Bonus for St Louis folks: Lauren will be appearing on a panel at the St. Louis County Library on April 30th, along with Lenore Appelhans (LEVEL 2), Tamara Ireland Stone (TIME BETWEEN US), and, uh, me. Please come!

    1. You're killin' me. I'm on service and on call. BOO! I may just come to the signing part of it...

  3. Thank you so much for the giveaway, and for making it international! I had the chance to meet Lauren a couple of years ago... it was fantastic. She's a wonderful person and an awesome author. Requiem comes out next week in France and I just can't wait to read it... this series is one of my favorites ♥
    And Torched looks great, your review makes me wanna read it :) Thanks!

  4. I'm extremely excited for PANIC! This was a really good interview. I liked what she said about books being shelters and a safe place for people to run and hide to when need be. I know I definitely do it all the time, and it's nice to have that safety blanket to go to whenever I feel pressured to :)
    Shae @ Understanding Shae's Story

  5. I love the interview! Lauren Oliver is such a great writer :)

  6. Love the interview! Lauren Oliver has to be one of my top three fave authors :)
    I'm so excited for my copy of Requiem to come in the mail!

    Torched looks like a wonderful read as too!

  7. I REALLY WANNA READ THIS BOOK, I've heard great things about it! thanks for the giveaway!

  8. thanks for the lovely giveaway! I've been wanting to read this book for a while, heard great things about it!

  9. Cool Giveaway! I want to win. Pretty please. I wish this time I would be lucky.

  10. Wow, I loved Before I Fall, but I've never heard of Torched - cool title!

  11. Awesome Giveaway! I'd love to read Torched and Before I Fall. That's why I love book bloggers, to keep up with all the awesome books that come out. I work 12-14 per day, so I have to know these things! Lol! Thanks for this giveaway!

  12. Awesome giveaway! I'd love win and read Before I fall, cause seems so interesting|

  13. I finally see what everyone is talking about it. It's a wonderful yet painful love story. You could say the Delirium has taken over me and now that it's over it hurts. Upon finishing Delirium, I immediately bought the second book in the series and 20 minutes later I listening to Pandemonium. It ends on such a cliffhanger that I couldn't wait to find what happened next.

  14. Watching this aggravating girl realize how wrong she has been is satisfying. Seeing her struggle to become a better person with only one day is fascinating. Wondering how (and if) she is going to succeed makes you not want to put this book down. Great read!