19 Feb 2013

WW4BB Presents: My Time with Lauren DeStefano!

Posted by Unknown on 2:19:00 pm

Lauren DeStefano was born in New Haven, Connecticut and has never traveled far from the east coast. She received a BA in English from Albertus Magnus College recently, and has been writing since childhood. She made her authorial debut by writing on the back of children's menus at restaurants and filling up the notepads in her mom's purse. Her very first manuscript was written on a yellow legal pad with red pen, and it was about a haunted shed that ate small children.

Now that she is all grown up (for the most part), she writes fiction for young adults. Her failed career aspirations include: world's worst receptionist, coffee house barista, sympathetic tax collector, and English tutor. When she isn't writing, she's screaming obscenities at her Nintendo DS, freaking her cats out with the laser pen, or rescuing thrift store finds and reconstructing them into killer new outfits." 

Lauren DeStefano on the Birth of a Bestselling Series

By Lauren DeStefano

 Lauren DeStefano stepped onto the young adult lit scene in 2011 with her dystopian debut, "Wither." The book's heroine, Rhine, lives in a world where genetic experiments have left the world's populations with shortened life spans (women die at age 20, men at age 25). When she is kidnapped and forced to marry the wealthy Linden Ashby, Rhine discovers she is not alone--two others, Jenna and Cecily, are also to be married to the same man. A sequel, "Fever," followed the story of the sister-wives in 2012, and the author found herself with a New York Times bestselling series. The Chemical Garden trilogy comes to a close this month with the publication of "Sever." DeStefano reveals how she sparked the series.

The Chemical Garden trilogy began one afternoon while I was sick with the flu. I wasn’t feeling well enough to leave my bed, and so I opened my laptop and did what I often do: read through my archive of abandoned story ideas.

One such idea was for a short story about a world in which a dwindling population forces mankind to take desperate action. The few sentences I had written told of a household in which a man had taken three reluctant brides. I had outlined brief features and personality traits for the three brides, and something about a tragic death. I expected that the story would be 3,000 words at most, and that I could finish it while I was recovering.

A few days and 20,000 words later, I realized that this short story was turning into a full-on novel. And not only that, I began to suspect that one book wouldn’t be enough to tell the entire tale. So I kept writing, uncertain of where my efforts would take me, as the world grew and took shape around me.

Within a few days, I was feeling much better, but I couldn’t drag myself away from the keyboard. Every time I sat before it, more of the story appeared. I became obsessed. I called in sick to work day after day. I silenced my phone. If not for the persistent meowing, I’d have forgotten to feed my cats.

Even as I wrote the first draft, the characters and the story surprised me. Within a month’s time, I had completed the first course of the journey.

It was several months before I was contracted to write the second book ["Fever,"], and more than a year before I sat down to write the third and final installment ["Sever."]. But, while each book is its own separate piece of the journey, one thing they all have in common is the magnetic pull that held me to my keyboard. For all three books, time disappeared around me. My cats clawed the furniture for attention. A friend threatened to stage an intervention. Dust accumulated on my shelves.

That feeling of timelessness is my favorite aspect of writing. The Chemical Garden Trilogy is written and will be published in its entirety. I’ve received letters from readers who have told me that my books accompanied them on long drives and in hospital waiting rooms, and that it provided for them an escape from time, in which the world around them faded away. That is a key thing that writers and readers will always have in common. That’s what stories are for.

 Lauren DeStefano is the author of The Chemical Garden Trilogy, which includes "Wither." "Fever," and "Sever." . Visit her at LaurenDeStefano.com.

I got to ask the wonderful and Talented author of the Chemical Garden series - Lauren DeStefano some questions on the 19th  it was such an honor to be chosen to ask such a talented author questions!

Lauren paints a truly vivid dystopian world were chaos rains superior and the meek are definitely not going to win any awards, that is unless they are genetically made like Rhine and Rowan...lol

I was sad to see this series end but it ended so gracefully that I was left feeling content in the end. Lauren is a true marvel and I can't wait for her to unravel her next masterpiece!

Amanda wrote: "I would like to know if you base your characters off of real people in some way or not? and if so who? 

What kind of message do you hope your books send to readers?
If you could be one of the characters in your book which one would you choose?

If your own life was a subject of a book what type of fiction would it be: humor, horror, love story?"

Lauren wrote: I don't base my characters off real people; nobody in real life has ever been as interesting as a fictional character. Except, maybe, for my agent, who is easily the most fascinating person I've ever met. But I wouldn't even know how to begin to write her into a book.

One of the most surprising things about being published is that I get so many questions from readers about my ethics, my sense of right and wrong, my intentions in writing this story. I get asked what kind of message I was trying to put out there, what kind of example I mean to set. My answer to this: Does it matter what I think or how I feel? I could tell you all about my ethics and what I think of my story. But that isn't my place. I wrote this story, sure, but then I gave it to you.

I wouldn't want to be any of my characters, for sure. They don't have it easy.

And I would hope my own life is a dark comedy.


Great article. Lauren is impressive!

yes she is I was so excited for this interview as I love her books so much! she is a wonderful writer and I can't wait for what she writes next.

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