For my final author interview of Dystopian August, I have the very lovely Lauren Oliver on deck. Even though DELIRIUM is not out until next year, I was able to snag an early copy at BEA and I loved it. Look for my review later today. I am also dying to read book 2 of this series, and of course that one is not due until 2012. Now, let's welcome Lauren! (applause)
What is about the dystopian genre that drew you in and made you want to write a whole series? Any favorites or influences you’d like to share?
Well, utopias are no fun, are they? No, but seriously—I didn’t exactly set out to write a dystopia, but I have always liked to imagine alternate societies, and alternate ways and patterns of living. That’s part of the fun of being a writer! This concept—the idea of love as a disease—necessitated a kind of dystopia because it required me to build a mythos for the kind of social, political, and religious order that would enable this idea to take root. But I do love the classic dystopia’s: Brave New World, A Handmaid’s Tale, The Giver. I love worlds that are so different from our own, and yet so completely imagined they seem totally plausible.
So. I must say, your romance scenes are HOT! What’s your secret for writing such authentic and steamy love?
Hmmm. You’d have to ask my ex-boyfriends. ;)
DELIRUM is set in Portland, Maine and you even spent some time there while writing as research. What about Portland specifically spoke to you as a setting for this particular story?
That’s a great question, and honestly, it’s one I never really thought about. Portland just felt right, even though I hadn’t spent a tremendous amount of time there before writing Delirium. I think something spoke to me about the bay, and Portland’s proximity to the ocean; it is a place both bounded and unbounded, circumscribed by the water and by a series of off-shore islands, and yet very, very close to open ocean. I liked that as a metaphor for Lena’s growing ambivalence over the society in which she lives.
Do you know the song Resistance by Muse? I swear when I heard it, I thought it could totally be the theme song for DELIRIUM. Is it something you could picture Lena connecting with?
I had never heard of it before you interviewed me, but now I’m obsessed! I could definitely picture this being one of the forbidden songs Lena connects to; through much of the book, she hears nothing but “approved” (and boring) music, and one of her epiphanies about the resistance occurs when she hears real, live, unregulated music for the first time.
And my last question is: WHY ARE YOU CONSTANTLY BREAKING MY HEART?!!
Because, my darling, as you should have learned from Delirium: If you’re not getting your heart broken, you’re not feeling enough. And if you’re not feeling enough, you’re not living enough. And if you’re not living enough…well, then you’re only waiting to die.
Oh, I learned that lesson well, Lauren. Thanks for stopping by!
Find out more about Lauren and her books at her website.