Interview with Bestselling Author Lauren Oliver

Before-I-Fall-by-Lauren-OliverGet to know Lauren…

Lauren Oliver is the author of Before I Fall, which ALA Booklist called a “compelling book with a powerful message [that] should not be missed.” A graduate of the University of Chicago and the MFA program at New York University, Lauren is now a full-time writer and lives in Brooklyn, New York. Delirium is her second novel. For more info, visit her website.

Let the conversation begin!

What initially drew you to writing?

I think it was really my love of reading that first drew me to writing. I know that when I was young, I often would write the sequels to or companion novels for books I loved to read. It was an early version of fan fiction!

What was your favorite book to write?

Hmmm. I really love all my books differently—they’re like my children! But I am quite proud of my forthcoming middle-grade book, Liesl & Po. In many ways, it’s the most personal book I’ve written.

Who is your favorite author?

Again, I don’t have a single favorite. But some of my favorites are: JK Rowling, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Harper Lee, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Roald Dahl.

Where do you get your ideas?

From all over the place! I get plenty of ideas from the news, or from science journals and magazines. I get ideas from things I read and from things people tell me.

Tell us about the book you’re working on.

I’m currently working on REQUIEM, which will be the last book in the DELIRIUM trilogy. Delirium just hit shelves, and is about a society that has deemed love to be a contagious (and curable) disease.

What advice would you give young writers?

Write every day, and read as much as you can. Try and learn from the people you think are skilled in your craft.

What is the most valuable advice you’ve ever received?
It’s important not to listen to people who try and discourage you from pursuing your dreams. You must know when to take criticism and when to ignore it.

When are you the most productive? 

In the morning, probably, even though I am NOT a morning person. I need about six cups of coffee just to wake up.

Are your characters completely fictional? Or do you base them off real people?

My characters are definitely based off my understanding of real people, and so they can’t be completely fictional. I weave in details from my real-life observations. But I wouldn’t say any one character is modeled on any real person.

What book was the easiest to write? Hardest?
They’re all hard! That’s the strangest thing about writing, I think. It really is always a challenge.

What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?

Write every single day, even if you only write a little bit.

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