Lauren Kate is best known for her “Fallen” young adult fiction series. She grew up in Dallas, Texas and went to school in Atlanta, Georgia. Fallen, the first book in her YA series, was released in 2009 and reached #3 on the New York Times Best Seller List. Rapture the final book in the “Fallen” series is set to be released in June of this year! Check out our interview with Lauren below, and if you haven’t read the “Fallen” series yet, do yourself a favor and go buy the first three installments ASAP!
You can visit Lauren’s official website here.
How did you become an author?
“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! It’s a tough process.
To those of you who are working on a novel or have finished one and are sending out your work: stick with it! I don’t think you can ever be too young (or too old!) to start sending out your work. In addition to Fallen, I have another novel I have been working on for eight years now and I know that someday I’m going to finish it! 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. If you’re looking for an agent, Writers Marketplace (the book) is a great place to start. There are also tons of publishing blogs out there with suggestions for agent.”
When did you realize writing was something you wanted to do professionally?
“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.”
How did you come up with the concept for “Fallen”?
“I’ve been writing love stories for as long as I’ve been writing. To me, the most complicated romances make the most interesting narratives, so I’m always looking for new obstacles to throw in my lovers’ paths. When I was getting my masters degree in fiction, I was studying biblical narratives and came across a line in Genesis (6:1-4), which describes a group of angels who fell in love with mortal women. Putting this reference together with a mention in Isaiah and another in Palsm 82, biblical scholars conclude that these angels were actually cast out of Heaven for their lust. Which means—you could say—that these angels chose love over Heaven. Isn’t that a great set up for an incredibly complicated romance? I started thinking about what kind of mortal girl it would take to attract an angel’s attention. And what it would be like for her to find herself in this position. What kind of baggage would an angel have? What would her very over-protective parents think? From there, this whole world unfurled in my head with fallen angels, demons, reincarnation, and the war between good and evil all battling for a piece of the action.”
Which character is the easiest to write for? And which is the hardest?
“Arriane is my favorite character to write. Her scenes are the ones that come the easiest when I’m sitting at the computer. She’s important to me because so much of Luce’s story is difficult, even wrenching at times—and I like the levity that Arriane provides. She’s a breath of fresh air, and always good for a joke, like most of my closest friends are.
Daniel was the most challenging to develop in general – mainly because the full truth of his character has to come to light very slowly over the course of the entire series in order for the books to work. By now, I’ve really come to love Daniel and I can understand why he’s been the way he’s been with Luce. But I like to think of him as a work in progress, a developing story, and someone who, above all, knows Luce better than anyone else (including herself), and has her best interest at heart.”
The Fallen series has been translated into over 30 languages – have you tried reading it any other language? If so which one?
“The only other language I speak fluently is French, so I loved reading Damnes, but usually after I go on tour to a country that speaks a foreign language, I’m able to spin through the book in that language and absorb much more after spending some time with my Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, and Spanish (for example) speaking readers.”
What made you want to write “Fallen in Love”?
“There were just so many untold stories that didn’t really fit into any of the other books, but which I really wanted to share with all my Fallen Fans. What’s so amazing about writing a series is that there is a whole world that exists beyond the books, things the characters have seen and said and done that we don’t see.
I really wanted to give my readers some insight into some if these stories that fell through the cracks of the series – to help them understand their favorite characters a little better.”
Do you have a favorite out of “Fallen”, “Torment” “Fallen in Love” or “Rapture”?
“It’s hard to pick a favorite! But I must say that I’ve loved where the characters have gone and what the story has grown into. I love each book more than the next because the world has grown brighter and fuller with each page.”
Who is your favorite author? Favorite books?
“Favorite authors? Way too many to count! Growing up, my favorite author was Roald Dahl, and I think I read each of his books ten times. My favorite children’s/YA writers are Lois Lowry, Frances Hardinge, Meg Rosoff, Maureen Johnson, Phillip Pullman, Suzanne Collins, and John Green. A few of my favorite adult books are To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The Hunger Games is the most primal book I’ve read in ages. I love The Golden Compass because we should all aspire to be a little more like Lyra, White Noise because it’s brilliant and funny and the book that made me want to be a writer, and Lolita because it’s naughty.”
Any little hints about “Rapture” that you can share? June is too far away!
“All I can say is that I’m really happy where the whole saga ended up – though I must admit I surprised even myself with some of the twists and turns, but when you create a world the characters take on a life of their own, it’s almost as if they’re out of your control – they do what they must!”
You can watch the Rapture book trailer here: