Hey guys! I'm here to share an interview with Lauren Kate. This is kind of a weird interview though. When I emailed her, she said she didn't have time to do a personal interview, but she sent along answers to questions that people had been asking her that very week. Enjoy!
Q: Who is Luce based on? Which character are you most like?
A: Luce’s physical traits are based on my oldest, closest friend—the dark wavy hair, hazel eyes, tiny teeth, etc. When I first started writing her, I pulled some personality traits from this friend, but as I continued with her story, Luce veered away from my friend into an identity of her own. I share some traits with her—like her stubbornness and tendency to get swept away by romance. But if I had to which one I’m most like (though this is hard to imagine), I might be a crazy combination of Arriane and Penn.
Q: Did you struggle in coming up with any of the characters?
A: 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 coming...it 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 and 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), and has her best interest at heart.
Q: How did you come up with Cam?
A: Believe it or not, Cam is inspired (but of course not entirely based) on my husband. When I first met Jason, he was this intriguing combination of very intimidating and very approachable. The perfect model for Fallen’s bad boy.
Q: Can you give us a hint about what will happen in Torment?
A: I’m having so much fun writing Torment right now. I think I’m more proud of it than any book I’ve written so far. Really, it’s going to be GOOD. It’s hard for me not to spill everything right now so I can say, “Aren’t you excited? Won’t this be great?” But my publisher would probably have my head. So in lieu of that, I’ll reveal just three things:
1. As Luce learns more about her past, she comes into a host of powers she never knew she had—and they might involve the shadows.
2. After the second book comes out, a prequel (which will span thousands of years!) will follow before the final book in the series.
3. Even though, of course, Daniel is Luce’s one-and-only, a new character is introduced in Torment that offers him some stiff competition.
Q: What's the publishing plan for the series? When is the next book coming out?
A: Fallen is the first book in the series—though I will be writing a prequel to explain some of the things that have happened before the narrative of Fallen began. Torment picks up right where Fallen left off and will be published in September 2010 (I don’t know the exact date yet). Sounds far away, doesn't it? But it'll be here before any of us can believe it. There will be two more books after that, one in the summer of 2011(this will be the prequel), and a final book in December 2011.
Q: What countries will publish Fallen?
A: So far, Fallen has sold in these countries:
• US: RH/Delacorte
• UK: RHUK (Doubleday)
• Germany: Bertelsmann
• Spain: RH/Mondadori
• Portugal: Planeta Portugal
• Catalan language: Grup Editorial 62
• Brazil: Editora Record
• Italy: Rizzoli
• Taiwan (Chinese Complex Character): Sun Color Culture
• Russia: Eksmo
• Korea: Random House Korea
• Greece: Psichogios Publications
• Netherlands/Dutch language: Uitgeverij Van Goor
• Indonesia: PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama
• Bulgaria: Intense/Locus Books
• France: Bayard
• Turkey: Epsilon
• Estonia: Pegasus
• Serbia: Evro-Giunti
• Hungary: Könyvmoly
• Poland: MAG Publishers
Q: What can you tell us about the cover art?
A: Many people have asked about my involvement in the cover art. I actually had nothing to do with it (which is a lucky thing for all of us)—and no, I am not the girl on the cover! She’s a model from Brazil, the artist’s name is Fernanda Brusi Goncalves, and the cover was designed by a very talented team of designers at Random House. I did a little grateful grovel when I finally got to meet them a few months ago. I’m sorry I don’t know who designed the dress, though I’ve been told Morgan LaFaye makes a very similar one.
When my editor first emailed me a jpeg of this art, it took me about thirty seconds to wrap my mind around someone else’s image of the world and Luce’s character, but quickly after that, I fell in love with it. I think it’s perfect for the book. I don’t know what the cover for TORMENT will look like yet, but I know they are working on it at Random House!
Q: Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
A: I've been writing stories since I was in middle school, so I love talking to people who are interesting in writing. One question this week was about how to write description, and the clearest advice I can give about that would be to take your time. Say I'm trying to describe a sunset and can't figure out how to make it interesting or fresh. Sometimes, when it takes me a while to get warmed up, I'll imagine how someone else--my husband, my best friend, someone I recently argued with--might see the same sunset. What would they notice about it that I wouldn't, or vice versa? Write a whole paragraph about the sunset instead of just a sentence. Then go back and look at what is strongest image you came up with. Which image reflects something new about your characters? Save that image, cut the rest. Eventually, those strong images will pop out first in your mind.
To those of you who are sending out your work (or plan to in the future), stick with it! I couldn’t even begin to count how many rejection letters I’ve received over the years from agents, publishers, editors, and contest judges. What kept me writing was the support of other friends who are writers—and a dogged determination to someday get my writing published. There were times when I never thought it would happen, but now I’m so glad I kept writing. Find a writing-buddy, share your work, revise it over and over again, read it aloud, stay true to yourself and your voice, and don’t give up. An English or a Writing program are great ways to read widely and meet other writers. If you’re looking for an agent, Writers Marketplace (the book) is a great place to start. There are also tons of publishing blogs out there with suggestions for agents. It’s mostly about finding someone whose tastes and sensibilities match yours.