Ok, guys, time for some serious book love! hehe Lauren McLaughlin in the author of two of my favorite books; Cycler and Re-Cycler! You can read about my mad love for Cycler here, and you WILL be able to read all about my love of Re-Cycler in my review tomorrow! In the meantime, check out this exclusive interview with Lauren! Enjoy!
How are you finding New York during this wonderful winter-y season?
I love this time of year because I tend to divide my time between New York, which is often frigid but bright; London, which is a bit warmer but also gray; and Florida, which is full of sunshine. It gets confusing, but I like the variety. And I make sure to listen to plenty of Bing Crosby to remind myself that, wherever I am, it's still Christmas.
Did you ask for any books this Christmas? If so, which ones?
I always ask for books for Christmas and books are what I give people too. This year I've asked for The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan and Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan. I'm both frightened and excited by both of them and have heard lots of great things about them. I'm in the mood for a good scare.
What were some of your favorite books of '09?
I've read some really great ones. The ones that stand out, however, are Liar by Justine Larbalestier, Skinned by Robin Wasserman, and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz. All quite different and all compulsively readable. I love books that teach me something and keep me guessing. These three books all did that, plus they played with morality in fascinating ways. I love that. I like to be challenged.
Any we should look out for in 2010? Maybe a little book about a
certain boy/girl that we all adore? *___* (For serious-- Jack and Jill
need one of those couple names that gives them one name! Jackill?
I have no doubt that 2010 will be full of fantastic books. Sadly, they will not be sharing space with any new Jill/Jack adventures, however. I'm putting the McTeague twins on ice for now. I think they need some breathing room. I do have another book coming out, however, called Steal the Future. It's about ubiquitous surveillance combined with high stakes testing and will introduce readers to a tasty new romantic couple.
How long do you envision the series going?
For now, I only envision Cycler and (Re)Cycler but I won't rule out another one. I just had this other book burbling away inside my brain and I had to write it.
What was the sparking idea that got you on the path to writing about
body snatching? (Not really the right word but you know what I mean.
xD I hope! e_e;;)
I think body snatching is a great term for it. I've always been intrigued by the idea of body snatching and mind control. The scariest movies I can remember as a kid were Invasion of the Body Snatchers and The Stepford Wives. Both involve some kind of mind/body swap. It's possible that seeing those films as a teenager planted a seed somehow. Of course, I'm not consciously aware of the precise spark that gave rise to Cycler. Like most stories, it burbled away for a while until it was so big I had to do something about it. At that point, Jack basically sprang from my head fully formed and it was on.
Was Cycler the first story you'd written?
Cycler is actually the third novel I've written. I've also written about a dozen short stories and several screenplays. Sometimes things get published out of order. Truth be told, it took me two novels to learn how to write a novel properly because I had to unlearn all of my habits as a screenwriter.
What's the writing process like for you -- writing a series that you
stick to for a long period of time and delving more and more into the
world you've created with every book?
When I wrote Cycler, I envisioned it as a stand-alone novel. The characters got richer and more nuanced with every draft, but I didn't feel as if I'd finished with them by the end. The story felt complete, but the characters were only beginning to flex their muscles and come out of their shells. Writing a sequel was a wonderful opportunity to let them breathe. But in some ways it was more difficult. I couldn't revise their personalities to suit the plot because their deep characters had already been established. That put a lot of restrictions on what I could do but also it forced me to go deeper. I loved that.
Do you have any advice for aspiring/ beginning writers?
There's so much I've learned over the years that it would be difficult to boil it down. I think the most important thing for a writer, however, is dogged commitment. If you're not insanely passionate about telling your story, you'll never have the stamina to get through the rough patches. It's all rough patches. It never goes smoothly. Not for anyone. It's a slog, a battle, a creep through the underbrush, an out of control freight train, and many other metaphors. Only those writers with a blind, stupid determination to see it through, no matter what, succeed.
What's your one gottahaveit present for '09?
A new piano. I'm treating myself. I've wanted it for a long time and this year I'm finally going for it.
Thanks so much Lauren, it was so great chatting with you!
You can find out more about Lauren via her blog/website here!
Look out for Re-Cycler review tomorrow!