photo credit: Andre Vippolis
So I’ll be honest, I sent a request for a blog interview for W.O.W. to the immensely successful and talented Lauren Kate thinking there was no way I would get a reply. But I’m a shoot for the stars kind of girl and thought “What’s the worst that can happen?” No response, right? Oh well, nothing ventured – nothing gained (yes, I’m full of clichés today).
Well imagine my surprise when not a week later, I received a very gracious email from Ms. Kate herself! Her note to me was lovely but said she was on such a tight deadline with her next book, she couldn’t really do a full interview – but she did offer up some small tidbits about her writing life that I’m excited to share…
Amy: When did you start writing?
Lauren: I wanted to be a ballerina until I was about 15 and was told I didn’t have the right feet, ever since then, I’ve wanted to be a writer. When I was younger, I wrote often and across a lot of genres—poetry, songs, stories, lots and lots of diary writing. I started focusing mainly on fiction by the time I was in high school, and longer stories came more naturally to me than short stories. I majored in creative writing in college, and went on to get a masters degree in fiction—but I don’t think those things are necessary to being a good writer. Practice, curiosity, voracious reading, and diligence are more important than any degree. I finished writing my first novel right when I graduated college—but nothing ever happened with it. It look another six years before I had a book accepted for publication.
Amy: Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Lauren: Be fearless. Be glib. Be enigmatic. Read everything you can. Always finish your stories. Find a writing friend who can give you comments and help you get perspective. Remember, it only takes one person to say “yes” and open a door. Never give up.
To those of you who are working on a novel or have finished one and are sending out your work: Stick with it. I don’t think you can ever be too young (or too old) to start sending out your work. I recently found a shoebox with 67 rejection letters I’d saved over the years. What kept me writing was the support of other friends who are writers. An English or a Writing program is a great way to read widely and meet other writers—but it’s absolutely not necessary to become a writer. If you’re looking for an agent, Writers Marketplace (the book) is a great place to start. There are also tons of publishing blogs out there with suggestions for agents. It’s mostly about finding someone whose tastes and sensibilities match yours, kind of like falling in love.
Amy: What drew you to the idea of fallen angels?
Lauren: I came to angels through the backdoor. What interested me initially about this idea was love. Genesis (6:1-4) describes a group of angels who fell in love with mortal women. Putting this reference together with a mention in Isaiah and another in Psalm 82, biblical scholars conclude that these angels were actually cast out of Heaven for putting something above God—Love! I was already interested in love stories, but this idea felt different to me. It felt big. An angel who would sacrifice everything about himself for love? I wanted to explore his story, and the story of the girl for whom he fell.
Amy: Is there any music that inspired the FALLEN novels?
Thirteen by Bigstar
You Look So Young by the Jayhawks
I Envy the Wind by Lucinda Williams
The Book of Love by The Magnetic Fields
Marvelous Things by Eisley
One by Harry Nilsson
Strangers by the Kinks
A Thousand Kisses Deep by Leonard Cohen
Beaches by Bridezilla
I Know Goodbye by Jason Morphew
I love playlist suggestions, so feel free to pass them along.
Amy: What can you tell us about your gorgeous cover art?
Lauren: Working with my publisher’s design department to choose the perfect image for each book gave me a very specific kind of perspective. Often after writing the books, I still don’t really know what they’re about. Matching a visual concept to the text helps to connect the mystical gap between the writing of a story and the essence that story evokes when it’s complete. We were very lucky to have enlisted the help of the phenomenally talented Fernanda Brussi Goncalves from Brazil. Her images were the perfect fit for Luce and Daniel’s story.
Amy: What are you working on now?
Lauren: I’m working on something exciting and new. Like the Fallen novels, this next series takes an old, familiar story and injects an impossible love into its backbones. It’s been invigorating and challenging to move away from the world I was so comfortable with: new rules, new voices, new obstacles to overcome. My lips are forcibly sealed from giving away more details at the moment, but I’m excited to share the news as soon as I can.
I am beyond elated to share Lauren Kate’s thoughts on writing with you. She is an amazing author who truly appreciates all her readers.
If you have not read the FALLEN series, I highly encourage you to check them out. Daniel and Luce’s story will grip you from page one and won’t let you go until you have finished the final chapter in their journey.
Check out my blog tomorrow because I will be revealing details on my next giveaway for all four books in the FALLEN series!