Interview by Haley & Olivia, Teen Press Corps~
Haley, TPC: What your favorite thing about Austin so far?
Lauren Oliver: Oh well, you know, this trip I haven’t been able to see Austin very much because I got in last night, but I love Austin. I’ve been here several times. I don’t know – I just love the whole city. There’s great food, great music, obviously, really cool people, like kind of a hipster-alternative place, which appeals to me. So basically, yeah, all of it! I would move to Austin.
TPC: What is the first story you remember writing?
LO: I actually very specifically remember writing a story about my cat, Extra, explaining how my cat Extra was so named, because he had an extra-long tail and extra-long ears. I don’t remember anything else about the story itself, but I was very proud of it.
TPC: That’s adorable! What is your favorite book of all time?
LO: I don’t think I can answer that. I mean, it’s too hard! I’ve been a reader my whole life; I read every day. That’s like asking you what your favorite time you breathed was. It’s like, you can’t.
TPC: What inspired you to write Panic?
LO: Well, Panic was kind of based on a fairy tale, which is really weird because the tonality is totally different. The fairy tale is actually a really funny fairy tale. It’s like risks. It’s called The Boy Who Went Forth to Learn About the Shivers, and it’s literally about a guy who’s so dumb that he doesn’t know how to feel fear. It’s like, whatever, he goes off to find, you know, to make his own fortune, and he has to stay in a haunted house for three days and no one else survives. But he’s so stupid that he survives and goes off to marry a princess. But it got me thinking about fear itself, and what makes people brave, and what bravery really isn’t, and that’s where it came from.
TPC: Is that how you got the haunted house idea in Panic?
LO: Kind of. Exactly, yeah!
TPC: What was your favorite part of the Delirium series to write?
LO: Hmm, that’s a good question. I really enjoyed writing Hana’s perspective in book three because that – I didn’t know I was going to do that – because I started writing book three, and something wasn’t working, and it didn’t appeal to me. I knew something wasn’t working. And coming to that idea of having her perspective was a breakthrough. And the other parts about it were writing about the Wilds. It’s just, the whole thing was really fun.
TPC: I really liked the Hana part!
LO: Thank you!
TPC: What does your writing space look like?
LO: Anywhere. I’m going to go upstairs and write when we’re in the [TTBF] Author Hospitality Room. Pretty much, I’ll write anywhere. I’ll write in the back of a car, or I’ll write on my phone.
TPC: What are you writing right now?
LO: I am writing, right now, another teen book, which is tentatively titled Broken Things. In March, I have a teen book called Vanishing Girls coming out. Both of them are contemporary, and they’re both stand-alones. They are both mysterious and hopefully good!
TPC: Okay, I’m excited! What are you reading right now?
LO: Right now, I’m reading Marie Lu’s series, The Young Elites, which is really great. I’m really enjoying it. And also, I’m a huge Agatha Christie nerd. So there’s a guy who wrote an Agatha Christie book, like forty years after her death, has written another one whose been approved after her estate, so I’m reading it. It’s called The Monogram Murders. It’s very good.
TPC: I love And Then There Were None! We read it for school.
LO: It’s so good! It’s creepy. That’s one of the few books that she’s written that’s actually creepy. Like mostly, even when people are getting murdered, it’s kind of feel good which is mostly why I like it. It’s like, “Oh! The butler shot him with the tea cozy!” But that book is like, you’re freaked out.
TPC: Yeah, I read it in sixth grade. I remember I couldn’t sleep in my room alone!
LO: Yeah, I’ve read it recently again. I always forget who did it. It’s really brilliantly constructed, too.
TPC: Thank you so much for your time!
LO: You’re welcome!