Interview With Author Lauren Oliver

11:14:00 AM

Author Lauren Oliver
Most of you may already know who Lauren Oliver is and for those of you who don't, you must remedy your mistake. She is the author of the latest young adult series called Delirium, Lisel & Po, Before I Fall, The Spindlers, etc. There are three books in the series thus far and though their size may seem daunting to young adult readers, they are a swift and exciting read with a twist on the modern love story. I spoke with Lauren a few weeks ago, when I discovered the book through a friend, about allowing me to do a preliminary interview about her writing process and fiction in general. She graciously agreed to let 'Ello Honey Bee pick up two interviews following our late completion of the series. So, this first interview is all about how she orchestrates her magical pen to do her fictional bidding. 

Cover of Book 1 Delirium Series

If you would like to read along with us, the series is available here.

'Ello Honey Bee: Studying fiction in college, professors have often told us
to write what we know. How much of that do you believe is literal? Do
you think it's possible to write about experiences we have never had
but make them as real as we see them in a world we create?

Lauren Oliver: I mean, if people only wrote about experiences they'd had personally, there would be no science fiction, no fantasy, and hardly any works of regular fiction published. But I think the deeper meaning of that sentence is "write what you be true."  Every successful book deals with human emotions such as loss, desire, grief, or fulfillment. Fantasy novels can portray human ambition and folly in a deeply realistic way. Ultimately, books are about people, and people are the same everywhere and have always been the same.

'EHB: What are some writers that have influenced you growing up? Were you
into short fiction or novels mainly?

LO: I read a lot of novels. When I was very young I loved books like The Wind in the Willows and the books of Roald Dahl. Then in high school I fell in love with the Harry Potter books and Pride and Prejudice. I still read avidly!

'EHB: Considering the recent economy and job market, do you think it's
necessary for students who are passionate about writing to take the
plunge and get their MFA? Considering you received yours, would you
say it changed your writing and outlook on the process?

LO: I definitely don't think an MFA is necessary. It's fun and helpful to the craft, but not necessary. At the same time, I worked a full-time and a part-time job while pursuing my MFA, so it doesn't necessarily mean a person needs to set his/her "career" aside. 

'EHB: What sort of writing exercises do you do to keep yourself writing
on a constant basis? Do you have a writing routine? And if so what is it?

LO: I don't do any exercises, but I do write 1,500 words a day. I think discipline is very important to a writer.

'EHB: What do you do to pull yourself out of that detested feeling of
writer's block?

LO: I don't really believe in writer's block. I think if you force yourself to write everyday you'll continue to write everyday, and it gets easier and easier.

'EHB: What kind of music, if any, do you listen to as you write?

LO: I don't listen to music while I'm writing!

'EHB: Some writers are atmosphere writers. What kind of environment do
you need to be in to write, if any?

LO: I can, and have, written everywhere, but my favorite place is in my kitchen by my coffee. :)

'EHB: I hear you are going to be attending the Los Angeles Times Book
Festival this year, what will you be doing there?

LO: I will be speaking on a fabulous panel with some amazing authors, including Veronica Roth, the author of Divergent. And I will be signing books!

Writers out there, now you know that consistency is key. If you're not writing everyday already then you should take some notes from Lauren Oliver and get started.

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