Lauren Kate grew up in Dallas, went to school in Atlanta, and started writing in New York. She is the author of Fallen, Torment, the forthcoming Passion, and The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove. Her books have been translated into over thirty languages. She lives in Laurel Canyon with her husband and hopes to work in a restaurant kitchen and learn how to surf. She is currently at work on the final book in the Fallen series, Rapture. To learn more about Lauren and her books, visit her website.
Let the conversation begin!
If you could only write one more book, what would it be about?
What a scary thought! I imagine it’d be about the origins of love.
Do you begin with character or plot?
Always character. I have to force myself to figure out plots. I think my characters are just as bad at coming up with plot twists as I am. At this point in my writing, plot and character are two separate processes–one is intuitive, like dancing to a great song, and one is something I really have to work at, like reading music or training for a marathon.
What is your favorite quote?
I think often about the ending of The Great Gatsby–the way that hope and defeat are symbiotic, the way that everything is determined by our past.
“It eluded us then, but that’s no matter—tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . And then one fine morning— So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
What was the best thing that happened to you this weekend?
Hosting a BBQ at my house to celebrate the publication of a book of poems by my husband. I love cooking, celebrations with friends, and of course, the beautiful poems in this new collection.
What was the weirdest food you’ve ever eaten?
When I was in the Philippines last summer I tried a small portion of balut, which is a fertilized duck egg…half embryonic duck, half over-easy egg. It was thrilling and scary and mildly traumatic and I had a whole audience of eager Filipinos watching me (with cameras) so I had to smile as I glugged down the vile stuff.
What do you consider to the most valuable thing you own?
I am fairly protective of my computer, for reasons that are easy to understand, but if and when something happens to it, I’ll survive. Everything I own I’m sure I could do without, though I’d be very upset to part with my wedding ring, which is a family heirloom from my husband’s great aunt.
What one word describes you?
Evolving. I hope to always be growing by challenging the things I hold to be true.
What’s the first item on your bucket list?
I want to work in a restaurant kitchen.
Do you let anyone read your work-in-progress? Or do you keep it a secret?
I keep it a secret until I have a first draft, at which point my husband and my agent are the first eyes on it. I talk about my writing problems with friends and family and work out a lot of things about characters during those conversations, but I don’t show specific passages to anyone until I have a full draft.