Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Author Interview: Lauren Oliver

As promised, the interview with Lauren Oliver!
Lauren Oliver's debut book titled Before I Fall is going to come out on March 2, 2010. Many people have read ARCs of this book and they all believe it is a very good one. Visit her website HERE. Read about Before I Fall HERE.

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
March 2, 2010
Published by Harper Collins


What if you only had one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?

Samantha Kingston has it all: the world’s most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High—from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life.

Instead, it turns out to be her last. Then she gets a second chance. Seven chances, in fact. Reliving her last day during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death—and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.


1. When was it that you realized you had to be a writer and nothing else?
Hmmm. I don’t think I ever realized I had to be “a writer,” per se. Writing is just something I’ve always done; it’s my way of understanding and making sense of the world. I’ve written every day since I was five. I actually never really expected to be able to make a career out of it, but I’m super excited that I am!

2. Where did the inspiration for Before I Fall come from?
Inspiration came from a bunch of different places, actually. When I was younger, I used to try and visualize, in as much detail as possible, a perfect moment or day. It was a kind of game or relaxation technique, I guess; I often did it just as I was falling asleep. I would try to imagine the kind of day I would be content to relive forever. So that question—what makes a day worth living, or reliving—has always been bouncing around in my brain.
Plus, I’ve also always been interested in the mean-girl phenomena. I think a lot of people in high school are cruel without necessarily even intending to be; they’re just selfish and self-absorbed and don’t often think about the ramifications of their actions. I thought it would be interesting to know what would happen if a character could really trace the ramifications of her actions, and was suddenly confronted with all of the effects of her behavior. So from those two elements—and a few others—came the idea for the book.

3. What was the hardest part about writing Before I Fall? The easiest?
Before I Fall came easily to me, which is slightly uncharacteristic. The hardest part was making Sam so unlikeable at the start of the book; I was terrified most people would not continue reading, and see how she evolved. The easiest part was probably writing about her relationship with her three best friends. I, too, have three best friends from high school, so I know all about the fierce love and loyalty that characterizes their relationship.

4. What book are you reading right now?
I am reading several books right now (I usually am): A Little History of the World by E.H. Gombrich, The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundara, and a PD James mystery called The Private Patient.

5. Do you have any favorite authors or books at the moment?
I always have a billion favorite books and authors. I am still geeking out about a nonfiction book called Proust Was A Neuroscientist, by Jonah Lehrer, which is all about the relationship of art and science.

6.While you’re writing a book, what do you do when you get writer’s block (if at all)?
I get writer’s block every day! Writing is really, really hard for me, and it never really gets any easier. If I’m having a really difficult time of it, I write in 250 word-increments all throughout the day. The only way to get past writer’s block is to push through it, I think.

7. Are any of your characters based off of people you know? Is Samantha’s character supposed to be you?
Definitely not! Eeek! I’m not that mean. The characters in the book aren’t based off of real people, per se, although I’ve certainly incorporated real-life details into my character’s lives, outlooks, and personalities.

8. Favorites’ time!
Book-Too many to pick, and it constantly evolves. But 100 Years of Solitude always blows me away, as does The Great Gatsby.

Movie-Pride and Prejudice, the BBC edition or The Usual Suspects. I know, very different selections.

Fictional Character-Matilda, in Matilda, by Roald Dahl.

Candy (chocolate)-I like chocolate, not candy. I’m a dark chocolate fiend.

Singer-Oh, man. Britney Spears? Kidding, kidding. I can’t pick.

9. What is one thing no one knows about you?
I’ll never tell. ;)

10. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Thanks for having me! And everybody—please pick up a copy of Before I Fall on March 2! If you hate it you can always tell me so at @OliverBooks on twitter.

Thanks Lauren for the great interview. I hope everyone will read her book Before I Fall, because I know I will!


  1. Interesting. I really want to read this,....

  2. Great interview. I just finished the book

  3. Nice interview. I can't wait to read this!

    Here is an award for your blog.

  4. Wow what a wonderful interview! I really can't wait to read Before I Fall, I've heard amazing things about it :)

  5. Before I Fall really is such a great book. What a great interview :)

  6. I thought Before I fall was a great book (and good job Lauren, I disliked Sam at the beginning :P) nice interview!