I spent ten years sending out my manuscripts, stories, and novels to editors, publishers, and agents. I got over 67 rejection letters (I have the proof in a shoebox) and wrote two “apprentice” novels before I figured out how to construct a plot. I quit writing several times, but always found myself back at my computer in the middle of the night because a new character wouldn’t leave me alone. Finally, I found one agent who said “yes,” opened a door. A month later I had a publishing contract and six months later I held Fallen in my hands. It only takes one person to say “yes”–kind of like falling in love.
What part of being a writer do you love most?
The rare crescendos of writing–when your fingers can’t keep up with your mind and the world you’ve created seems so alive it’s like it is on fire. These feverish scenes happen only a handful of times per book, but I’m in rapture (pun intended?) when they do.
I also really love interacting with my fans. I find them extremely inspiring. And I love that I don’t have to set an alarm clock to wake up in the morning. I HATE waking up.
Which part do you hate most?
Slogging through a first draft can be really demoralizing. I always think I’ve lost my touch, that I’ll never finish, that if I do finish no one will want to read it. I make myself push forward until I finish, fretting the whole time. I need my friends and family to spur me on, to remind me that I always get like this.
But then, once the draft is exhumed, I get to revise–which I love. Revision makes the book into what it always wanted to be.
I’ve had a thing for mermaids since I was a young girl. They seem powerful, free, and romantic. And their hair always looks good underwater.
Vampires – scary monsters or romantic leads? Which do you prefer and why?
I don’t think I had a preference until Robert Pattinson was cast as Edward. Then I was hooked–he’s le stud.
If you had a time machine, what era would you like to visit and why?
First century Jerusalem. I would love to be there when the bible was canonized. I’m fascinated by the origins of its texts.
What life advice have you been given, that you wished someone had given you sooner?
Finish your stories, just so that you know you can do it. It’s easy to get inspired by an idea, much harder to see it to completion. You have to know how to write through your writers block to finish what you’ve started.
If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?
Who are your favourite authors and why?
Roald Dahl’s Matilda is the first book I ever read on my own and I remember the specific power of being able to absorb that story privately, escaping from the world. Don DeLillo’s White Noise is the book that made me want to be a writer. I could feel him having fun as he crafted that book. Faulkner’s The Sound and Fury is the hardest book I’ve ever loved. I had to read it four times before I began to grasp its beauty, and every time I read it I have an entirely new experience. Whenever I read Ann Patchett, I feel like I’m curled up with the most comforting and beautiful storyteller there is. My stories aspire toward hers.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’ve just turned in the revision for the second book in the Teardrop series. I’m so proud of this one. It’s the darkest and most intense story I’ve ever written. So now, very happily, I am taking a bit of a writing break to travel and promote Teardrop.
Where can fans find you online?
@laurenkatebooks on twitter and instagram and vine. You can like the Lauren Kate fan page on facebook. And my website is laurenkatebooks.net