Where did the idea of Before I Fall come from?
The idea for Before I Fall came from a lot of different places. I was thinking a lot both about the mean-girl phenomena and ideas of change and redemption; plus, I wanted to explore the idea of a single day repeating through time. So those elements eventually kind of merged in my brain and gave me the basis for the plot.
Are you anything like you main character, Sam?
Yes, I am (but don’t hate me). I think you have to relate to your characters on some fundamental in order to make them believable and sympathetic. Sam is someone who is kind of lost and confused without really knowing it; she doesn’t really understand herself, or understand the things that will make her happy. I was very much like that at her age.
What are a few of your favorite books and authors?
So many! I’m a huge fan of classic children’s books, like Matilda and The Witches, by Roald Dahl, and the Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis; recently, I’ve loved the His Dark Materials trilogy by Phillip Pullman, and like everybody else I was a huge Harry Potter fan. In terms of YA, I love Carrie Ryan and Neil Gaiman, among many, many others. And for adult stuff…I love Henry James, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Marilynne Robinson.
Before I Fall is your debut novel, congratulations! Was Before I Fall your first finished novel?
No, definitely not! I finished my first “novel” when I was nine…although granted, it was only 30 handwritten pages. But I’d actually completed two full adult novels—neither of which was ever, or will ever be, published—before selling Before I Fall.
What are you working on now?
I’m just finishing up my second book, DELIRIUM. It’s a Romeo-and-Juliet story set in a kind of alternate vision of the United States, in which love has been diagnosed as a contagious and very virulent disease. I’m excited about it! It’s very different from Before I Fall, but that was intentional. And it still definitely bears my voice and sensibility, so hopefully people will like it!
Thanks again for the interview Lauren! I know that I, for one, cannot wait for your next book, it sounds fantastic!!