Skip to main content

An Evening With Lauren Oliver

I do enjoy a good author event, and last night I was treated to a very good one indeed. Lauren Oliver was at Waterstones Piccadilly, doing her first public event in the UK. It was obviously something that many people had been waiting for, as it was very well attended. Lauren's visit coincides with the publication of the final part in her Delirium trilogy - Requiem.

Delirium - Delirium Trilogy 1Pandemonium - Delirium Trilogy 2Requiem - Delirium Trilogy 3

How gorgeous do those cover look all together?

Lauren's talk ranged much more widely, and the insight into her writing process was fascinating and a little inspiring. She talked about growing up in a house filled with books, with writer parents who encouraged and validated creativity and a deep and abiding love of reading. Her own writing started at a very young age when she would write to sequels to stories she had read and loved, and was therefore reluctant to let go of the characters. Lauren was writing fan-fiction before the term was invented!

Having parents who wrote helped with the discipline of writing - and it does take discipline and practice. Lauren told us she is inspired by her father, who has written at least one page a day every day for decades now. Writing is hard work, but persistence is key. Although I don't think many of us were convinced when Lauren tried to assure us she had no natural talent for writing, just a whole lot of perseverance! 

I was so interested to hear about how she learnt to plot a novel. Despite having written a full-length one and getting an agent after University, her first and second books were rejected by publishers for not having enough plot to them. The quality of the writing was there, but the narrative drive was missing. A Master's in Creative Writing helped with things such as knowing when to accept and when to reject criticism - but not with the slippery plot problem. It was actually working at Penguin in the YA section that solved it. Working as an Editor on a whole host of amazing, weird, and innovative stories was revelatory stuff.

I also loved hearing about how Lauren needs to keep herself engaged as a writer, and needs to write different things. This is reflected in the different books she written - Liesl and Po and Spindlers are both for a younger age group than the Delirium books - and also in the different structure of each of the Delirium triology. Delirium itself is Lena's story; Pandemonium is told in two different time frames; Requiem is told from two narrators' perspective. Right now, she feels that she has finished Lena's story, but that doesn't mean the door has been closed on those characters. They continue to live on in our imaginations...

Lauren is an amazing speaker, effortless and engaging. She fielded lots of questions from the audience, and chatted with each person individually when they got their books signed. She has so much energy and enthusiasm - she completely bowled me over!

The lovely Lauren Oliver keeping us entertained
The Delirium books are brilliant, if you haven't read them yet, then do. I also want to recommend Lisel and Po, it is completely different but equally brilliant. Oh, and keep your eyes peeled for the Delirium TV series...  

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Interview With The Vampire: Claudia's Story by Anne Rice and Ashley Marie Witter

How to Stuff Up Christmas by Rosie Blake

'Tis the season to be jolly. Unless you've found an intimate picture of another woman on your fiance's phone... Eve is heartbroken after discovering her fiance is cheating on her. Being surrounded by the joys of Christmas is more than Eve can bear, so she chooses to avoid the festivities by spending Christmas alone on a houseboat in Pangbourne. Eve gets gets an unexpected seasonal surprise when handsome local vet Greg comes to her rescue one day, and continues to visit Eve's boat on a mission to transform her from Kitchen Disaster Zone to Culinary Queen.But where does Greg keep disappearing to? What does Eve's best friend Daisy know that she isn't telling? And why is there an angry goose stalking Eve's boat?
This book illustrates how special a thing it is to have people send you books out of the blue; it's a privilege and a pleasure. I wouldn't have known about this book, let alone read and loved it, if it hadn't landed in my letterbox. I'm …

Reading Resolutions

Happy New Year!
That's 2015 done and dusted, here's to 2016 and let's hope it's filled with love and laughter, friends and fun, books and cake. And really, that's about as far as my resolutions go but I do have a few projects in mind for the coming year and beyond.

This year there are two anniversaries I want to celebrate. The first is the two hundredth anniversary of Charlotte Bronte's birth on 21st April.
Jane Eyre is one of my most favourite stories of all and I've lost count of the number of times I've read it over the years. I'll be re-reading it yet again come April, but before then I plan to read the other three novels Charlotte wrote starting with Shirley this month. I'm quite keen to read the new Claire Harman biography of Charlotte Bronte too at some point.

The other anniversary is that of Shakespeare's death 400 years ago on 23rd April. I've finally admitted to myself that reading the same half dozen plays over and over isn'…