Interview with Lauren Oliver and DELIRIUM ARC giveaway

Let's start 2011 off with a bang with author Lauren Oliver. We met at last year's Teen Author Carnival in NYC, which was incredibly fun. I loved meeting so many awesome authors and hearing their thoughts about writing. Truly inspiring!

Lauren and I also crossed paths at ALA here in DC, where I was lucky enough to pick up a copy of her newest novel, Delirium, at the HarperCollins breakfast. (See the end of post for giveaway details.)  It's book one of a three book trilogy, and is a great read. I can't wait to see what happens to Lena!

What's your favorite flower and why?

Oooo. That’s a tough one! I think I like baby’s breath, actually. It’s so simple and delicate. Unpretentious.Baby's breath is for innocence in the language of flowers.

Is there a quotation you live by or have posted at your desk?

There are many quotations I live by; I keep an ever-rotating list of quotations that inspire me. One of them, which I found recently, is: “You only get to live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”—Mae West.

So true.  Which book do you wish you could live inside and why?P

ride and Prejudice—but only if I got to steal Mr. Darcy from Elizabeth!

Darcy is perfect.  Who's your favorite writer and what book of his/ hers would you recommend?

I have a ton of favorite writers, but I think everyone should read One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Are there any books about the craft of writing that you found especially helpful and would recommend to aspiring YA authors?

I love Stephen King’s book On Writing. That man can’t even write a craft book without making it a page-turner!

I’ve heard you talk about how much planning went into writing Before I Fall and making the structure work. Are you having a similar experience writing the Delirium trilogy? What do you think is the key to plotting structure?

Yes, absolutely. My writing became a lot stronger when I began focusing heavily on plot and structure, and now I outline every book before I write. I’m not sure there’s a single “key” to plotting structure; it’s something I work on and read about and struggle with all the time. I think it’s a continuous process of growth and learning; one of the best things to do is simply to read a lot of great books, and observe how other writers make plot function!

In Delirium, what was your favorite or least favorite scene to write and why?

I loved writing the scene where Alex and Lena go to the Wilds together; I loved imagining this other-world on the far side of the fence. But actually, I enjoyed writing quite a few scenes in the book. I think on the whole it was somewhat less painful than Before I Fall; in that book, I had to put my character through so many rough situations, and she was so unrepentantly superficial and selfish for so long. I will say that Lena sometimes irritated me at the start of the book, because of her timidity and blind obedience to the system. I couldn’t wait for her to grow some cojones!

I love how you created quotations from fictional manuals, famous scientists, playground chants, etc. to create the U.S. under the control of the Consortium.  What was your inspiration for that aspect of the novel?  Can we expect more in the next two in the trilogy?

Thank you! That was one of my favorite parts of writing the book as well. I’m not sure I’ll continue the device, just because it doesn’t seem to fit in Pandemonium, which is split between two time frames and two places already. I don’t want to clutter the book or confuse the reader. But I felt it was the nice way of establishing some of the tenets of the society in which Delirium takes place, without dragging the book down with too much exposition.

Just for the record, Grace was one of my favorite characters, and she does turn out to be pivotal.  I hope she’s coming back!  Thanks so much for stopping by, Lauren.  I can’t wait to read the next two books!!

You can find Lauren on Twitter here or Facebook here. Her website is here. And now for the giveaway!!The contest is open to anyone age 13 and over in the U.S. from Jan. 7th to Jan 15th. Here's how to enter to win a ARC ofDelirium.+3 entries for telling me which flowers you'd include in your amor deliria nervosa (love) bouquet and why. (See the language of flowers guide on my website.) +2 entries for linking to this post on your blog or posting a link on your Facebook page.+2 entries for tweeting this giveaway to your followers.+2 entries for following me or Lauren on Twitter+2 entries for friending me or Lauren on Facebook

Shamrocks and lavender for good luck!! Please have all entries to me by midnight on 1/15 EST. All entries will be assigned numbers, and the winner will be chosen randomly by random.com.

Interview by Amy Brecount White