Book Nerd Interview
Lauren Kate grew up in Dallas, went to school in Atlanta, and started writing in New York. She is the author of Fallen, Torment, the forthcoming Passion, and The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove. Her books have been translated into over thirty languages. She lives in Laurel Canyon with her husband and hopes to work in a restaurant kitchen and learn how to surf. She is currently at work on the final book in the Fallen series,Rapture.
Have you based any of your characters on someone you know, or real events in your own life?
A million little things are inspired by real details of my life and the world around me. My friends and family love to read my books, call me up and say, “I know where this part came from!” Luce is physically based on my oldest friend; Cam is loosely based on my husband; my friend Amy is afraid of cacti (like Penn), etc. There’s probably something on every page that’s more or less true about my life, but it’s all jumbled together with a bunch of fiction. The big stuff—the setting at Sword and Cross, for example, and the trajectory of Luce’s storyline—is all the magic that happens at the keyboard.
Tell me a bit about yourself. Where were you born and where do you call home?
I was born in Ohio, raised in Texas, went to college in Georgia, and used to work at a publishing house in New York. Travel and new beginnings are a big part of my identity. I currently live in Los Angeles, the so-called “City of Angels,” it suits me (and Luce) I think. I love California, but my husband and I fantasize all the time about all the other places we’d like to live.
How long have you been writing?
I wanted to be a ballerina until I was about 15 and was told I didn’t have the right feet, ever since then, I’ve wanted to be a writer. When I was younger, I wrote often and across a lot of genres—poetry, songs, stories, lots and lots of diary writing. I started focusing mainly on fiction by the time I was in high school, and longer stories came more naturally to me than short stories. I majored in creative writing in college, and went on to get a masters degree in fiction—but I don’t think those things are necessary to being a good writer. Practice, curiosity, voracious reading, and diligence are more important than any degree. I finished writing my first novel right when I graduated college—but nothing ever happened with it. It look another six years before I had a book accepted for publication.
How do you deal with rejection letters, if any.
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. My advice to those grappling with rejection letters? Find a writing-buddy, share your work, revise it over and over again, read it aloud, stay true to yourself and your voice, and never give up.
What inspired you to write Passion? Is there a story about the writing of this novel that begs to be told?
I wanted to write a love story that involved more than just the two lovers. When I found the line in Genesis that talked about angels falling in love with mortal women—the implication is that they were kicked out of Heaven for this love—I found it to be such a beautiful and complicated sacrifice that they made for love. I knew this could be a BIG love story. So Luce’s character came first, and I spent a lot of time thinking about who she had to be in order to attract an angel’s attention. Daniel’s character grew out of hers, and the rest of the story developed from their love. The saga was supposed to be a trilogy--and Passion is the book I never intended to write--a travelogue of all of Luce’s past lives and histories. I thought it would be a prequel, but it became so much more than that. Now I can’t imagine the series without Passion.
Which author would you love to co-author a book with?
Well I’d need a time machine, but I've always thought it would be a blast to write with Dickens. He worked at such a feverish rate and I think his writing is hilarious. I’m in awe of Nabokov, Faulkner, and Marquez too.
Where can your readers stalk you/find you on a leisurely day out?
When I'm not writing, I'm often cooking, browsing through recipes, or planning my next dinner party. I love food blogs.
I also love to run and hike the canyons around my house in LA.
If you don’t feel like literally stalking me (though I don’t know why you wouldn’t!), you can cyber stalk me: on various Facebook platorms, @laurenkatebooks on Twitter, and on my blog at laurenkatebooks.net.
Tell us your latest news!
I just spent the last 6 months or so whirling around the globe on my Passion tour, meeting fans from Malaysia to Brazil, Great Britain to Australia, - and it was just one amazing and heartwarming moment after another; I’m so lucky to have such wonderful fans! Now I’m working on Rapture, and, to hold you all over til it’s released this May, I’m releasing a new book, “Fallen in Love.” It comes out on January 24th in the US and February 2nd in the UK.
What were your feelings when your first novel was accepted/when you first saw the cover of the finished product?
I was thrilled and speechless when Fallen was accepted for publication. But that moment--that phone call from my agent--was as far as my fantasies had allowed me to go, and everything after that came as a great surprise. For example, it took me 30 (long) seconds to fall in love with the cover (at first, I was like: “you think that’s what her arm looks like! What??). I think it’s bizarre for any author to see his or her mind’s infinite creation nailed down to one image. The scariest part for me, I think, was the week or two leading up to Fallen’s publication. My faith in my story wavered greatly then and I was in a bit of a panic: What if no one reads it? What if everyone who does read it hates it? It’s both easy and hard to imagine those feelings at this point, nearly four books in, when I look forward to each book’s publication with near unbounded excitement. That excitement is wholly generated by the support I’ve felt from my readers.
Favorite places to travel?
Paris is my first great love. I studied there while in college and delighted in becoming fluent in another language. I’d love to live in New York, Santa Fe, and New Orleans. I could only eat in Italy for the rest of my life and be happy. I definitely want to go back to Turkey. Most recently, on my book tours, I’ve loved hanging out with readers in Malaysia, Australia, and Brazil.
What is your favorite Quote?
I have no fixed answer to this question. My favorite quotes rotate with rotating interests. But recently, I’ve been musing on this one:
It is such a secret place, the land of tears.
~Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince
What are 4 things you never leave home without?
Chapstick, cell phone, a novel, and (as often as possible) my dog.
What is a movie or TV show that you watched recently and really enjoyed?
My most recent obsession is “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. I watched it on a plane coming home from my UK book tour and then rented it to watch twice more when I got home. When I love something--a book, a song, a movie, etc.--I tend to gorge on it.
Luce would die for Daniel.
And she has. Over and over again. Throughout time, Luce and Daniel have found each other, only to be painfully torn apart: Luce dead, Daniel left broken and alone. But perhaps it doesn’t need to be that way. . . .
Luce is certain that something—or someone—in a past life can help her in her present one. So she begins the most important journey of this lifetime . . . going back eternities to witness firsthand her romances with Daniel . . . and finally unlock the key to making their love last.
Cam and the legions of angels and Outcasts are desperate to catch Luce, but none are as frantic as Daniel. He chases Luce through their shared pasts, terrified of what might happen if she rewrites history.
Because their romance for the ages could go up in flames . . . forever.
Sweeping across centuries, PASSION is the third novel in the unforgettably epic FALLEN series.
Like so many readers, I have been following this series from the very beginning. Passion, the 3rd book in the Fallen Series by Lauren Kate, was just as amazing as the first two. If you read Fallen and Torment, you are fully aware of how Luce’s past lives play into her relationship with Daniel. The continuation of their faithful love with each other within Passion was not a disappointment. Kate guides the reader with a unique style of story-telling through the different romances and you get entwined into the emotional feelings between Luce and Daniel.
Kate gives us a more in-depth detail of Daniel’s thoughts this time around. The chapters alternate between the two main characters’ perspectives which offer more insight on the mysterious Daniel. It was amazing going back and learning Luce and Daniel’s past lives. Kate has really fashioned some stunning descriptions and Daniel’s pain sometimes broke my heart.
The side stories of the other angels and their fall from heaven were a great addition. Many questions are answered in this installment. Kate’s research was outstanding and made everything authentic. She has an amazing talent on bringing the characters to life. The series is instantly addicting from the beginning and the addiction grows bigger with this book. Kate expertly provides her readers the fulfillment that they yearn for. It was edgy, fun, exciting, and romantic and she still managed to keep the element of surprise alive and well. Kate’s preparations for the grand finale are laid out on the table and I can’t wait to dive into it.
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What makes your heart race a little faster? Just in time for Valentine's Day, it's FALLEN IN LOVE, four wholly original new stories collected in a new novel set in the Middle Ages by Lauren Kate. FALLEN IN LOVE gives fans the much-talked about but never-revealed stories of FALLEN characters as they intertwine with the epic love story of Luce and Daniel. The stories include: Love Where You Least Expect It: The Valentine of Shelby and Miles , Love Lessons: The Valentine of Roland; Burning Love: The Valentine of Arriane; and Endless Love: The Valentine of Daniel and Lucinda.
Charleston beauty Natalie Hargrove has been dreaming for years of being crowned senior class prom queen. When her ex threatens to ruin her flawless plan, Natalie sets into motion a chain of events meant to regain control. But she's made one fatal mistake . . .
Published shortly before Lauren Kate's international bestseller Fallen, The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove is her memorable debut - reissued now for the first time with a dazzling new cover look! A contemporary story based on the enduring classic Macbeth, this grounded, realistic novel has what it takes to backlist forever.
And now, The Giveaway.
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