Meeting Lauren Oliver

Okay, stuff before I say anything about the actual event, advice I have to say two things:

One thing is that…meeting authors is always an awesome thing for me. Authors are such rock stars to me. I mean, patient don’t get me wrong: I love me some actual rock stars and I love my actors and actresses and stuff but authors…authors are the most underrated rock stars out there. Books are the most amazing gift that anyone can give and authors are the people that give us those gifts. When I read a good book, and I set it down and I feel like I’ve been transported to a different world, or become a different person, or if I feel like my life has been changed…that’s the mark of a good author. So meeting authors…its an honor for me.

Secondly, young adult literature truly is an amazing thing. The outpour of young adult literature these days is just astonishing and if there’s one good thing (and I think there are several) that has come out of this outpouring, it is that it has encouraged more and more teens to read. The amount of young girls that were in that room…I was amazed and seriously happy about it. There were girls around my age, but there were also girls in high school, middle school…maybe even younger. (I’m really bad with guessing ages…like, really really bad). I reveled in that awesomeness for a bit.

But moving on…

Today I met Lauren Oliver!

It was an awesome, awesome thing to do. I have to send a lot of props to the Mission Viejo library and their teen services librarian, Allison. I’ve gone to two events put on by her before…I met Meg Cabot there about three or four years ago, and I met Cassandra Clare a couple years ago. Now she’s put on this awesome Lauren Oliver event, and another Cassandra Clare event in a couple weeks (and you know I’ll be there!) Also, much thanks needs to go out to A Whale of a Tale Bookstore in Irvine for sponsoring these events as well. If you’re around Southern California at all, definitely check this place out. Its exactly what a bookstore should be, and its run by a fantastic lady, and they help to put on these awesome events.

First off…the room that the event was in? Super awesome.

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And I know its super random to even remark upon the room but the room was really neat! Most events I go to are in big ‘ol rooms to accomodate a ton of people (which is probably what is going to occur when I attend the Cassandra Clare in about a week) but this one was in this cute little storytime room that is probably used for children’s events at the library and it was adorable. I kept finding new things to look at. I love libraries that have these kind of rooms because it just plays into the imaginations of kids and its just wonderful. So yeah, A+ on the room choice, guys. Plus it made the event super intimate. Lauren Oliver is already well known, and a best seller, but once her book becomes a hit TV show (more on that later), she’s going to blow up even more so it was nice to meet her in this capacity.

And she was soooo incredibly nice and awesome!

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She was really sweet and really personable. She mostly talked about the sort of journey she had gone through as a writer. She’s the daughter of two literature professors so she grew up with a love of books and proclaims herself a book addict (now where have I heard that term before…). She said she really began writing when she wrote fan fiction for the novels she liked, though ‘fan fiction’ wasn’t really a term yet. As she grew older, she began to write more and more, especially cheesy stories for her best friend, Jackie, which usually involved outlandish stories that involved them and cute boys that they were crushing on.

Then she talked about novels and how difficult it was in the beginning, because she felt like she just wasn’t really understanding how to write a novel. And that really hit home for a writer like me, because sometimes I feel like I’m the most awesome writer in the world, and sometimes I’m like, “I have no idea what I’m doing…”

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Yeah, like that. No, really, its nice to hear authors that you admire and worship talking about the difficulty of writing, because it IS difficult. Its difficult to figure out plot structure and character and setting and even just proper grammar. And it was nice to know that she didn’t just write Before I Fall, and that was that. It was her fourth or fifth novel that she’d actually ever even written and that gives me hope that I can write a novel that touches people and reaches out to people the way her books have to me.

I think that the best part of her presentation was that she talked about writing and her journey through writing and getting published and how it was difficult but well worth the effort. She talked about agents, and creative writing classes and all of that. She talked about books that influenced her (Roald Dahl, A Wrinkle in Time, J.K. Rowling, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, to name a few). She was funny, and witty and relatable. She was accessible to her fans.

It was also really awesome hearing about how she came up with the idea for Delirium, such a combination of things. First off, she said that Gabriel Garcia Marquez said all books are about love or death. Before I Fall is all about death so she thought she should write a book about love, not a romance novel, but love, itself. Combined with the fact that there was the swine flu outbreak at the time, she thought of love as a disease and a possible cure. She also briefly talked about how her fiancé/boyfriend of four years died in 2009, and how she would’ve said yes to something like the cure. Thus the Delirium idea was born. Its always really interesting how a story can come about; both from things going on around you and also things that are happening directly to you.

And of course, Lauren talked about the Delirium TV show on FOX! She sounds really excited about it; and that makes me really excited about it. Right now, casting is going on and hopefully they’ll film a pilot soon. As I’ve said before, Emma Roberts is playing Lena, Daren Kagasoff as Alex, Gregg Sulkin as Julian and Jeanine Mason as Hana. She’s read the script and has definitely approved of it and now I’m just hoping that they film it, that people love it and it gets optioned for an entire season. I think Delirium is a great book for television.

And meeting her was just fantastic. The line was kind of long and it was a warm day, but you barely even noticed. Everyone in line was talking books, either Lauren Oliver’s or Cassandra Clare‘s, as most of the people at this event are going to the Cassie event in a couple weeks. And when you did get to the front, it was totally worth the wait, and the bit of sweat. Ew.

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She was SO nice. The best part about this Lauren Oliver event is the time that she takes out of her day, and her life to meet with her fans. I’ve been to plenty of autograph signings and meet and greets where the celebrity signs your little thing, slides it across the table to you, and that’s that. Meg Cabot was not like that. Cassandra Clare and Holly Black were not like that…and Lauren Oliver is not like that. She takes the time to sit and talk to each and every person that comes through her line, and it really shows her appreciation for her fans. We show our appreciation by coming to this events, buying her books and all of that and she shows hers back by taking the time to talk to us. Its such a little thing but such a great one.

First thing she asked was if I was from around the area, and I said yes because I basically am. Everything in Southern California is basically just one big blob. But anyway, she remarked on how awesome our weather is, and how she has to go to yucky Texas tomorrow (though I’m sure she’s gonna love you all, Texans!!! And you guys have great food, or so I’ve heard!). Then she noticed my books.

Well, book. My copies of Delirium, Pandemonium, and Requiem are brand new. Requiem just released a few days ago, and I just bought Delirium and Pandemonium because I previously bought them on my Kindle and I couldn’t exactly have her sign my kindle….though I did think about it for a moment. No, the book I’m talking about is Before I Fall. It looks like one of MY books. What I mean by that is, it wouldn’t look out of place at a used bookstore but no one would buy it if it was sitting on the shelf of a Barnes and Noble. I show my books a lot of love; there’s always food stains, and creased pages, folded covers…sometimes just truly beat up covers. I show the books I love some seriously tough love and she noticed. Of course she did. Other readers will know what I’m talking about…and they notice it too.

Except you weird people who keep their books in perfect pristine condition and don’t fold the pages and all that. Weird people. (That was for my sister, who finds my book beatings astonishing haha).

But so we started talking about Before I Fall, which I think she liked. I think most people know of her Delirium trilogy and that she is proud of her Before I Fall novel. And its definitely my favorite. I remember reading it and absolutely hating Samantha Kingston. However, as you read the novel, your opinion changes. Samantha is forced to relive the last day of her life seven times and you’re just glued to the pages. Its a wonderful novel…and I knew that it had been optioned for a film but I hadn’t heard anything else.

Well, nerd girls (and guys, if you’re reading this), you heard it right here, from me, from Lauren: Before I Fall is still in the process of becoming a movie! It has a screenplay and it has a director. Right now, there are two actresses in mind for the role of Samantha, but according to Lauren, there’s a particular actress that they “need” to play her. Very intriguing. Of course, she couldn’t tell me, don’t be silly, dear readers, but I was really excited to hear that this movie was still a possibility because I truly believe that Before I Fall is Lauren’s greatest hit.

She also talked briefly of her middle grade books, Liesl and Po, and The Spindlers. Liesl and Po is about a girl and a ghost and a box of magic, in the words of Lauren, and The Spindlers is about a girl who has to go to this subterranean world to recover her brother’s soul, stolen by these spider creatures called the splinders. Apparently she meets some crazy creatures, and it has a very Alice in Wonderland feel to it. I’ve never had the pleasure to read these books yet; in fact, I didn’t even know they existed. Now that I do, however, I’ll be checking them out soon. I may be way too old for them according to the age group on the back cover but reading knows no age.

Great news as well! Even though the Delirium trilogy is over (much sad face), we have a lot to look forward to in the future. She has another young adult novel coming out soon, called Panic, a realistic instead of dystopian, and also an adult novel planned as well, and unfortunately, I can’t remember the title. Forgive me :( But lots of things to look forward to!

So meeting Lauren Oliver was a super fun time, and an enjoyable one at that. I’m definitely going to be tracking her down again at next month’s Los Angeles Festival of Books to say hi to her again. If you haven’t had the chance to read her books, definitely do so, and try to catch her while she’s on tour. You can check out the dates here.

And before you leave, check out this video of Lauren reading a spoiler-free excerpt from her newest novel, Requiem.

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Check out my signed books!!!!!

4 thoughts on “Meeting Lauren Oliver”

  1. This is so BADASS, and I wish I could have gone with you. Being tied down to the house and/or the area has been a huge downer for my social life I gotta tell you. But man oh man, this article is SO AMAZING!!! WOuld you cross post this to my blog, sweetie? This is just….AWESOME.

    1. If you can make it to the Cassandra Clare event in a couple weeks, you’re more than welcome to come. That one isn’t free however. Also, next month I’m hitting up the Festival of Books at USC and there’s going to be a TON of authors there!

      Also I would love to post this on your blog :)

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