Just a few days ago, I posted a review for Lauren Kate‘s brand new book, Teardrop. Teardrop is the first of a new series for Lauren, who is most known for her Fallen series, which tells the story of Luce and her epic love story with the fallen angel, Daniel.
I’ve read the Fallen series and adored it, and I was eager to jump into Lauren’s new series. I luckily acquired an ARC of the novel, and quickly devoured it this weekend. You can check out the spoiler free review here.
The story is of Eureka, who was told at a very young age, that she should never ever cry. She takes this to heart, and as she grows up, becomes a very distant and sort of hardened person, but she is still loving and funny and kind to her best friends and her younger siblings. After her mother dies in a freak natural accident, Eureka inherits some strange gifts from her mother, which leads her to this secret story of Atlantis, and a mysterious boy named Ander, who will do anything to protect her, and the strange powers that her tears have.
Now I am SO happy and excited to share this short, but amazing interview I was able to do with Lauren a few weeks ago, just in time for the release of Teardrop. She has some amazing answers and insight to share with you guys, so I hope you enjoy!
Sara: Can you tell us a little more about Teardrop, and how it is different from books you’ve written in the past?
Lauren: The main difference is in the voice, which is what always distinguishes novels for me. Eureka is a thrilling heroine to write–she’s strong, funny, sensitive, and she has a beautiful, strange imagination that she only shares with the reader. Her love story is very different from Lucinda’s–far darker–but it still has the epic grandness that I love to write about.
The Fallen novels were my first experience with series writing. Before that my projects were always stand-alone stories, so their narratives had clean(er) lines. Fallen was an unwieldy beast whose tail I couldn’t see the end of until I wrote it. I had to school myself in story mechanics with each new book. I stopped fighting “plot” and began to embrace outlining. Sometimes I’d still prefer to flit wherever inspiration wafts me–but Fallen taught me the importance of giving your story a skeleton around which to graft the tissue.
It also taught me to stay in a kissing scene for longer than it took me to get embarrassed–just beyond my blush seems to be the sweet spot.
Sara: Which book is easier to write: the first book or the second?
Lauren: The writing doesn’t get any easier. I still worry that every idea I have will be my last. Every time I start to plot a book, i fear the book will rebel and hatch a plot against me.
Sara: Where do you get your ideas or inspiration from?
Lauren: I began–as I think most writers begin-by sitting down to write only when I was on fire with inspiration. I never had writer’s block and was immensely proud of every scene I wrote. Writing was joyous! The only drawbacks were my stories had no plots, it took me five years to finish anything, and I had a shoebox full of rejection letters. When I finally decided to take an interest in story mechanics (i.e. outlining before I began to write), it was an adjustment to my method because there was less of that magical discovery every day. I already knew where my characters were going in every scene; I didn’t get to stumble upon that like one stumbles upon an arrowhead in a park. But the flip side was because I knew where my characters were going, I had no more excuses not to write every day. And in doing that I learned the most valuable lesson: that I could actively generate inspiration instead of passively waiting for it to strike.
Teardrop specifically was inspired from my time in rural northern California, where the nearby lake was a flooded valley that one had been the site of a small village. Imagined ghosts of this underwater town haunted me, leading to an obsession with flood narratives, from Noah’s Ark to Plato’s Atlantis to Mesopotamia’s Gilgamesh.
I was especially drawn to the legend of Atlantis: a glorious and advanced ancient civilization that disappeared so completely under the ocean, it slipped into the realm of myth. For several years I knew I wanted to write about Atlantis, but I didn’t know whose voice would tell this story–and isn’t that always the most important question?
Inspiration struck one day when I was crying. My husband was listening to my sob story, never mind what it was about. He couldn’t reach me; I was trapped under the flood of my emotions, as tear-shedders often are. But then, he extended his hand, touched the corner of my eye with his finger, and captured the tear welling up. I watched as he brought my tear to his face, as he blinked it into his own eye. Suddenly we were bound by this tear. Suddenly I wasn’t alone. And suddenly I had the first scene between my hero and the boy she loved.
The tear unlocked the story. Instead of an angry god, generating the deluge, a single tear incites Teardrop’s apocalypse. And in the tale I wanted to tell, I knew that a tear capable of flooding the world could only be shed over a mighty heart broken.
Sara: What advice do you give to aspiring novelists?
Lauren: Read–but you already know that.
Never push ideas away. Give them space and time to grow up into stories. Live curiously, ask questions, understand that writers can find even boredom fascinating. Hold onto your mystery. Make writing friends. Keep the good ones. Finish your stories. Finish your stories. Finish your stories.
Sara: What are some of your favorite activities outside of writing?
Lauren: I have dreams of working in a restaurant kitchen someday, so when I’m not writing, I’m often cooking, browsing through recipes, or planning my next dinner party. I love food blogs.
I also love to run and hike the canyons around my house in L.A. There’s a secret trail behind my neighborhood that is almost always empty. Every morning before I write, I take my dog–and now, my daughter–up for a hike in the hills. It requires some trespassing but that’s half the fun, and on a clear day, you can see snow in the mountains to the east and a shimmering ocean to the west. It’s LA at its finest.
Sara; Who is your fictional crush?
Lauren: Rhett Butler!
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I hope you all enjoyed learning a little more about Lauren, her writing and her stories. She had such beautiful answers to the questions I posed to her and I was so eager and happy to share them with you all!
Lauren’s book, Teardrop, is in bookstores now, so make sure to head out and buy a copy and learn more about Eureka and her adventures.
She is also on the road quite a bit in the next couple months, in celebration and in promotion for this new book, so click this link to see if she’s coming near you!