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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Author Interview: Lauren Kate

Lauren Kate

grew up in Dallas, went to school in Atlanta, and started writing in New York. She is the author of Fallen and The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove. She lives in Laurel Canyon with her husband and hopes to work in a restaurant kitchen, get a dog, and learn how to surf. She is currently at work on the sequel to Fallen.

Last month or last year I had the pleasure of meeting the Lauren Kate in person at her book signing in Glendale. The Book Vixen and I met up and had our copies signed. For the details of that experience go to The Book Vixen's blog.

How did you celebrate the release of Fallen?

It was an extended celebration, the way some people celebrate birthweeks or birthmonths instead of birthdays. I spent the evening of the book's release in Glendale at a really fun reading at Barnes and Noble (where I met you!), then went to this great Armenian restaurant with my husband. A couple days later, we traveled to visit my family in Texas and my husband's family in Arkansas for the holidays and we celebrated all over again at each stop.

Why Fallen Angels?

The idea began when I came across a line in Genesis that talked about a group of fallen angels who were kicked out of heaven because they lusted after mortal women. I started thinking about what it would be like to be normal girl--suddenly the object of an angel's affection. All the excitement and the challenges that would naturally spring from that. As someone who's been writing love stories my whole life, this angel angle seemed like the perfect way for me to up the ante and tell a really BIG love story, one that brought in questions about trust and betrayal, and preconceived notions good and evil.

Where do you stand on your beliefs about them?

Most of us grow up with some sort of angel mythology--whether it comes from a religious upbringing, or a cultural context. We have an idea of what they're supposed to look like (flawless features, fluffy white wings), how they're supposed to behave (always perfectly benevolent), and what they're supposed to do (well, I suppose biblically, they're messengers of god, culturally there's the idea of a "guardian angel"). For readers, there's an almost built-in collective conscience about angels--which is great because it's comfortable/accessible. For me, the topic was exciting because there is so much room to play off these existing expectations, rewrite old stories, and experiment. I've never encountered an angel is my everyday life...but I'm open to the possibility.

In all your characters in Fallen, who is the character that you can mostly relate to?

Probably Luce, although she's very very different from me. Though we do share stubbornness as a defining trait, and a tendency to get swept up in a romance. Of all the characters, I had to go most deeply inside of Luce so I could examine how she'd react in the various situations she finds herself in. And how I wrote her changed a lot of the course of the book. Towards the end of the book, I'd often realize that the way I'd written her in an earlier scene was not at all the way she'd react, so I'd go back and rewrite her response until I got it right.

Who was the most complex to write?

Daniel was the most challenging, mainly because the full truth of his character has to come to light very slowly over the course of the entire series in order for the books to work. The reveal at the end of the first book was probably one that most readers saw is book about fallen angels after all! But there's a much bigger, game-changing reveal about Daniel to come later in the series. It's challenging for me to know what's coming, but only be able to show the reader so much at this point. Daniel's character is difficult enough as it is! But I like to think of him as a work in progress, a developing story, and someone who--above all--knows Luce better than anyone else (including herself) does.

What was your fear when you found out that your first book is going to get published?

I'm not sure I had a fear when I found out it would be published. It was something I'd always dreamed of and I was over the moon excited about it. No, the fear didn't strike until about a week before the book came out when I started to worry about it being a total flop. That was a good fear to have to force myself to get over. Promoting a book--doing interviews like this one, blog posts, and events--is so very different from writing a book, but personally, I love the chance to get out from behind the fictitious world of my computer and interact with real people. Real people! So novel to me after months spent hibernating!

Have you read any negative reaction about Fallen? How did you feel about it?

When the book first came out, I kinda shied away from all reviews, positive and negative. In a month, though, I think I've developed much thicker skin. It feels personal, but there's no reason to take it that way. If I read a negative review now, I realize not everyone can love every book out there. And no one (I should hope!) is forcing anyone to read my books, so they should be easy enough to put down if someone's not enjoying them. I love to talk to readers face to face about questions and concerns they have about Fallen. That's the beauty of writing a series. I really take to heart what people are concerned with and promise to tie up as many loose ends as humanly possible in Torment and the following two books.

Can you please tell us a little bit about your next book in the series - Torment?

Torment picks up right where Fallen left off, but it doesn't take place at Sword and Cross. Luce comes into this story much more equipped to deal with events and revelations than she did in Fallen. She finds a key to unlocking many of the secrets of her past and some really exciting details come to light. Most of the characters from Fallen resurface--and there are also several new (and really fun) characters introduced. Including...a possible new love interest/more competition for Daniel. Uh oh.

Any events lined up?

I have three SoCal signings coming up in January. One in L.A. on January 16th, one in Mission Viejo on January 19th, and one in Long Beach on January 30th. Check my website and blog for all the details:

Thanks so much for reading. Lauren Kate's second book of this series is entitled Torment to be released on September 2010.


Larissa said...

awesome interview!!! I really enjoyed it =)))

fallen is in my TBR hehe =)

Rex Robot Reviews said...

Great interview, I loved reading it! Excited that her next book comes out for the month of my biiiirthday! =)

Book Monster said...

Ahhh I adored Fallen :) So excited for Torment :) :) !!!!! Great interview :) A third love interest!!!

The Book Vixen said...

Great author interview!!

Netherland said...

Honestly I didn't love the first book immediately but I swear this series gets better with each book. The first book was good and by the 3rd book I was in love with this series. Kate is an awesome, hard working and (I feel slightly under appreciated hero. She kicks major butt with out being obnoxious. She's sassy, humble, and confident.

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