Saturday, 16 August 2014


I had the amazing opportunity to talk to Lauren Oliver recently. Lauren is currently in the UK promoting the release of her newest novel Panic which has just been published by Hodder Books in paperback. However, she is has also written other young adult books such as the Delirium trilogy and Before I fall. Her first adult novel is Rooms and for younger readers she has written The Spindlers and Lisel and Po. Lauren is a New York Times best seller and has sold millions of books worldwide that have been translated in to more than 30 languages.


* Give me a brief synopsis of Panic and why you think people should read it.
Panic is about a group of teens in a town called Carp, they have invented a dangerous game that they play every summer, they collect money throughout the year and then the seniors play the game. They have to take on crazy, dangerous tasks and as a result the people who complete without fear win and win a large amount of money. The two protagonists Heather and Doge play for different reasons but they are both after the same thing, everyone has something they want to play for. People should read Panic because it is fast paced and real, it also has romance and there is tigers as well!

* How do you prepare yourself to write? Is there a specific location that you get the best inspiration for writing?
I don't have a specific preparation, I'm pretty flexible about where and how I write and I often write on my phone. I travel so much these days that if I wasn't flexible I would never find the time to write. I suppose it has just become a habit by this point and actually my father, who is a non-fiction writer, would encourage me to write wherever and whenever, even stopping on the side of a road if an idea came in to either of our heads, he encouraged the ideas to just float to our consciousness. 

* What has been your favourite book to write so far?
I actually don't enjoy any of them when I am writing but I do enjoy the challenge. It doesn't really get any easier to write a book despite how long I have been writing but it is rewarding in the end! My most pleasurable moment when writing a book is getting the pure unadulterated idea in my head before I have a chance to screw it up! *laughs*

* Have you used anyone in real life as inspiration for any of your characters?
Yeah, of course! I haven't directly used anyone and just completely smushed them exactly the same on the page, they are more distorted versions of themselves. Actually, Raven (from Pandemonium), is a distorted version of my sister, even though they are not physically similar, Raven's badass personality is a reflection of her. I also used to have a friend who inspired Hana from Delirium, whose name was also Hana, again not physically inspired, but she was rich and super interesting (which was very annoying! *laughs*) and that definitely shows up in some of the tensions between Hana and Lena in the books. 

* Have you had any real life experiences that have kick started the idea for one of your books?
Yes. Although not specific experiences I feel like everything that happens helps with the ideas for my books and this helps to make the plot feel more real and allows the reader to feel more connected. Some of the inspiration for Delirium was from a long term, on and off, very passionate relationship I had with a man who was an alcoholic and died as a result of that, and I think if I had been offered the Cure at the moment in time, I would have definitely taken it as a way to cut out the pain that comes along with love. Subconsciously I was dealing with my grief as Lena was dealing with hers.  

* What age group do you find the easiest and most enjoyable to write for?
I think if I didn't find writing for any of the age groups that I have very interesting then I wouldn't have done it, I enjoy that they allow you to write for different reasons and opens up the door for different experiences.

* If you had to live in the world of one of your books, which would it be and why?
I don't know... it wouldn't be Delirium! The world of Before I Fall, is probably the most similar to ours but I certainly wouldn't want to go back to high school! I was actually asked this a while ago and it made me realise that I haven't written a world that would be particularly enjoyable! I haven't written a Hogwarts type world so I think I will chose that instead! *laughs* 

* What are your favourite books? What are your most anticipated releases?
Oh my gosh. I just finished reading an imaginative story called The Glass Sentence by S E Grove, which has a very epic feeling. Obviously Harry Potter, I also really enjoyed We Were Liars by E Lockhart, Middlesex by Jeffery Eugenides and One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I really enjoy reading magical realism books, so books like Harry Potter are fantastic for me. Weirdly enough because I am so busy I never really know about new releases until maybe a week or so before or even if I just stumble upon it in the bookstore!

* Is there a book that you wish you had come up with the idea for?
Harry Potter!! Are you noticing a theme here? *laughs*

* What did you think of the Delirium Pilot episode? And are you disappointed that it won't be continuing on?
I am disappointed but it doesn't mean there wont be any hope for a film release, I get the rights back in the not so distant future and the producers want to carry on its journey, so who knows? I did enjoy it I thought it was fun. I think its the best of both worlds because just because it didn't get picked up for TV who knows what the future holds and theres always the books!


Thank you very much Lauren and Hodder books for making this interview possible! PANIC is available in all good booksellers across the UK!

Want to find out more about Lauren Oliver? Reach her at...
Twitter: @OliverBooks 
Website: laurenoliverbooks
Facebook: Lauren Oliver
Tumblr: Lauren-Oliver
Goodreads: Lauren Oliver

*Sentences may have been slightly changed as this interview was done over the phone and Lauren's answers were originally jotted down in note form*

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