2 March 2010

Interview: LAUREN OLIVER + Win a copy of BEFORE I FALL!

Today is a big day: March 2nd in the official publication day for BEFORE I FALL, an incredible YA debut by Lauren Oliver. The blogoshere has been gushing about it for months so if you haven't heard about it, you must've been living under a rock and you really need to get with a program - trust me, you do not want to miss this amazing book - scroll down to see how YOU can win a brand new copy of BEFORE I FALL along with some signed bookmarks!

Here's a quick plot summary:
"Sam Kingston is dead. Except she isn’t.
On a rainy February night, Sam is killed in a horrific car crash. But instead of seeing a tunnel of light, she wakes up in her own bed, on the morning of the same day. Forced to live through the same events – the drive to school, skipping class, the fateful party – she struggles to alter the outcome, but wakes up again on the day of the crash.
What follows is the story of a girl who comes of age in a matter of days. Who discovers, through heartbreaking insights, the consequences of her every action. Of a girl who dies young, but in the process learns how to live
. And who falls in love . . . a little too late."
I got a chance to read it online (legally) on a HarperCollins site a few months ago. I wasn't supposed to review it, but the book affected me so much that I just could not resist, I had to get it all out of my system. I described it as a book with "NICELY COMPLEX PLOT, WELL STRUCTURED, WONDERFUL CHARACTERS, BEAUTIFUL WRITING, THOUGHT PROVOKING, EMOTIONAL - ALL IN ALL, AN OUTSTANDING DEBUT!" You can read the whole review here and this book honestly moved me so much that it ended up being my second favourite book of 2009 and virtually *everyone* who has read the book so far has been amazed by it - it's just the kind of a novel that really makes you think and stays with you forever.

Oh and guess what - the foreign rights for this book have already been sold to FOURTEEN countries even before this book was officially published. Yes, that's how good it is! :)

Both the UK and the US trailers have been released - they're both great so click here to watch them!

The woman we have to thank for this incredibly powerful book is LAUREN OLIVER (visit her official site), who is not only so very talented but also unbelievably nice! I was lucky enough to interview her and please find her answers below!

Let's start with the standard question: What was the inspiration for Before I Fall? It's such an original book so I do wonder how you came up with the idea for it!
Thanks! The idea for Before I Fall came from a bunch of different places. I used to spend a lot of time trying to imagine, in as much detail as possible, a “perfect” day: the kind of day I wouldn’t mind reliving forever. So I’ve always had that question in my mind. Additionally, I’ve always been interested in the mean girl phenomena and in themes of change and redemption—and ultimately, even though Before I Fall has a very strong narrative structure, I do see it as a character-driven book about change.

How long did it take to write the book? I imagine it must've taken a while since the story is so complex. Were there any particular scenes you were struggling with? How did you get published in the end?
You know, I was working from an extremely solid and intricate outline, and generating the outline was certainly the most difficult and time-consuming part of the process, I would say. The actual writing of the book only took about five-six months. It was surprisingly easy, actually, as was the publishing process; I believe my agent managed to get us a deal within a few days.
However, before people start throwing shoes at me, I will say this was not my first attempt at publication. I had previously completed two adult novels, neither of which was ever sold.

Can you tell us more about this "universe" (for the lack of a better word) where Sam finds herself reliving the last day of her life seven more times?
Hmm. I mean, in some ways I envisioned it as kind of a limbo. She is able to effect changes in the lives of the people around her, and so alter the legacy she will be leaving behind, but ultimately she is still penned in by the ultimate circumstances of her death. I guess you could say that that—that event, that death—is the concrete limit, the axiom on which her other actions must be based. That’s why, for me, there was never a question of allowing her to live on at the end.

Which five words would you use to describe Before I Fall?
Redemptive; realistic; hopeful; sad. That’s only four but I think they are sufficient.

How did you decide on the title? Did you have any alternative titles in mind?
Originally we called the book IF I SHOULD FALL, but we felt it was somewhat too ephemeral and also very similar to IF I STAY, a book that was being released at the time. But it took us about 500 titles to get from IF I SHOULD FALL to BEFORE I FALL, if you can believe it! I'm terrible at titling. :)

Would you change anything about the book now if you could go back? Is there anything you wish you could've written differently?
There is much I would change on a line-by-line level. I feel I've already grown and developed as a writer, and there are certain phrases in the book that don't feel quite right to me anymore. But on the whole, no; I'm happy with the book's overall structure and content. I'm not one for regret, in any context!

The book will undoubtedly be a massive hit and I wouldn't be surprised at all if it were turned into a film. Should that happen, who would you like to see starring in it?
Oof. I don’t know! I can only hope your predictions for the book’s success are correct. I actually can see Kristen Stewart playing Sam, and I’m not just saying that because she starred in Twilight! And I could completely see Dakota Fanning playing Lindsay; she looks just like the way I envisioned Lindsay in my hed.

What was the best and the worst thing you've heard/read about Before I Fall so far (in terms of reviews etc.)?
The best thing I’ve heard was that the book has caused a girl to reconcile with her mother, from whom she was semi-estranged; also, a blogger told me that the book helped her grieve the loss of a younger family member. People have been generous so far in terms of criticism, but probably what most aggravates me is when people think that I’ve included a superfluous quantity of drinking and drugs. We really did drink that much in high school! I was just trying to depict my experiences realistically. And besides, the whole point of the book is how unfulfilling those moments can be, and how what really brings happiness are moments of true connection and sharing.

What you working on now?
I am editing my second book, DELIRIUM, which will be released in early 2011. It’s very different from Before I Fall, a kind of dystopian Romeo-and-Juliet story, and I am very, very excited about it.
* * * * *
To celebrate this awesome day, I'm also hosting a CONTEST!
One lucky winner will win a hardcover copy of BEFORE I FALL and some *signed* swag! Here's what you have to do in order to be entered into this contest:
  • you have to leave a comment telling me WHY you'd like to win/read this book (+1)
  • you have to be a follower of my blog through Google Friend Connect (+1)

Those who are more determined and want to have more chance of winning can get more entries by:
  • following Lauren on Twitter: @OliverBooks (+1)
  • tweeting about this contes (provide link) OR simply re-tweeting my tweet (+2)
  • posting about this contest on your blog sidebar (+2)
  • dedicating a whole post to this contest (+3) along with one of the trailers (+5)

The contest is open WORLDWIDE and closes on March 10th at midnight your time.

ps: If you don't win, you can always get your own copy at Amazon US/UK or at Book Depository (free worldwide delivery, woo)!


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Book Addict Girl said...

YAY! Great contest! I've been dying to read this book.

To answer your question, I read the synopsis and knew instantly that it was something I wanted/needed to read. Everyone keeps giving it such great reviews which makes me want to read it even more. Needless to say, I'm dying here! lol.

+1 following Lauren on Twitter (@Lena1xoxo)
+2 tweeted about the contest:
+2 on blog sidebar :

Thank you so much for hosting this contest!


Kirsty said...

Really great interview questions. I also think it will be turned into a film:) xx

Raíla said...

I would LOVE if The Book Depository shipped to Brazil! :(

- Why do I want to read this book? I really don't know WHY. I've been reading many, many reviews on this book and I fall in love with its cover in the first sight! (+1)

- Already a follower of the blog (+1)

- Already a follower of Lauren on Twitter (+1)

- Tweeted about this contest: http://twitter.com/railasoares/status/9847129890 (+2)

- Sidebar: http://booksoutofthebookshelves.blogspot.com/ (+2)

THANK YOU! I am kind of crazy, entering every contest to win Before I Fall! I am so crazy about this book and can't wait for Delirium!


elizabeth said...

Great contest!
I want to read this book because I've heard so many good things about it! I've read great reviews about it! It's been on my to buy list forever because people have recommended it way before it was released!

+1 comment
+1 follower
+1 following Lauren on Twitter: @OliverBooks (@_elizabethjoy)
+2 tweeting about this contest http://twitter.com/_elizabethjoy/status/9847654881
+2 posting about this contest on my blog sidebar http://swordsforfighting.blogspot.com/

email: pirate_pony2 at yahoo dot com

Queen N said...

Hejhej! It's late and I'm really really tired, so the only reason I can think of right now is that today is my birthday and I really really want to read this book! I haven't read a book in ages (too broke) so I'm getting really anxious here :)

I'm one of your followers,I'm a follower of Lauren on twitter and I've tweeted about it http://twitter.com/nuedeli
Not sure about the whole sidebar-thing though..maybe I am...I'll check it out in the morning..after some coffe :)

//QueeN N (http://queennreading.blogspot.com

Ah Yuan // wingstodust said...

I'm mostly interested in Before I Fall because I love the concept of a time loop, and I am curious to see how our protag gets out of that situation.

Am a follower
Following @OliverBooks - @wingstodust (+1)
tweet - http://twitter.com/wingstodust/status/9847957165(+2)
sidebar - http://galnovelty.blogspot.com (+2)

Sara said...

Yay for BEFORE I FALL! I read an arc copy of the novel and LOVED it! It is definitely one of my favorite books now as well!! I'd love to have my own hardcover copy though, to loan and to friends. And hug and stuff! :D (+1)

+1 I follow your blog
+1 I follow @Oliver Books - @thehidingspot
+2 I tweeted the contest (and included @astrid_fiona in the tweet)
+2 linked to sidebar @ http://thehidingspot.blogspot.com

Sara @ The Hiding Spot

Christina/Book Addict said...

Great interview and contest! I want to read this book b/c I've heard such awesome things about it; plus, I know my students would love it.

+1 comment
+1 follower (Chris327)
+1 following @oliverbooks I'm @beachbum2199
+2 retweet http://twitter.com/beachbum2199/status/9849159173


Sharli said...

I'm a follower!
Why I want to read this? I've only heard really amazing reviews of Before I Fall and some of my friends really recommended it so... :P

following Lauren on Twitter: @OliverBooks (+1): @Entre_Libros
# tweet (+2) http://twitter.com/Entre_Libros/status/9849656705
blog sidebar (+2): http://blogentrelibros.blogspot.com/
dedicating a whole post to this contest (+3) along with one of the trailers (+5)


StephTheBookworm said...

I've been really wanting to read this book because the concept is fascinating! She dies and then gets to go back and relive that day. WOW. That's crazy. I'd love to read this story and find out what happens.

I'm a Google follower.


Llehn said...

+1 I'd love to read this book because I'm so intrigued by the premise!
+1 I'm already a follower.


Precious said...

+1 Why do want to read this book? I've read lots of good reviews about it! Plus, I can really sense that Before I Fall is a book that I will enjoy! And I also want to win this book because...my country is a little late when it comes to books. Not all titles are sod here.

+1 I follow your cute blog!

+1 i follow Lauren! @precious_shusky

+2 I tweeted: http://twitter.com/precious_shusky/status/9862582223

+2 sidebar link in my blog: Fragments of Life


Thank you!

Allan said...

The book sounds very interesting, it would be a great present for my girlfriend.
1 entry

Following with Google connect
1 entry

Following on twitter @alsmonster
1 entry

I retweeted your entry
2 entries

Total: 5 entries

Sarah said...

I'm a follower

I'd love to win this book as I've heard so much about it from blogs and twitter that I want to see what all the fuss is about.

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Great interview questions doll :)
(not an entry)

Shy said...

+1 Why do I want to read this books?

What if you had only one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?

The first time I read that very line, I got this chill sensation down to my spine. That rarely happen to me and surely indicates something. I love reading book that is able to shake me emotionally. The book that can make me feel various emotions. The book that give me something strong to ponder about. From the premise of the book, I know that "Before I Fall" is one of the kind that could give me all these satisfactions.

+1 Follow your blog

+1 Follow Lauren on Twitter (@shy8629)

+2 Tweeted: http://twitter.com/shy8629/status/9876241089

+2 Sidebar: http://bibliophiles-journal.blogspot.com/ (Click on Int'l Contests)

Total Entries: 7

Thank you so much!

shy8629 at gmail dot com

bookaholic said...

+1 Follow your blog
+1 Who wouldn't be interested in a book with such an opening line? Besides,the whole coming-of-age theme intermingled with emotion,love and passion makes it a complete book for me. And living on after death..the concept though has been used,I don't think it has ever been blended with such strong emotions! So ya,I am totally in for the book! Please count me in!

Extra entries:
+2 Retweeted: http://twitter.com/Debasmitadhar
+1 Following @OliverBooks (@Debasmitadhar)
+5 Posted the contest with links to the trailers: http://bookaholicsoye.blogspot.com/2010/03/before-i-fall-giveaway.html

Total entries:10

Thank you so much for the opportunity!!Praying that I win.. :)


InABox said...

+1 I would love to read this book because I've heard great things about it and the cover really captures my attention.
+1 Blog follower
+1 I follow Lauren on Twitter (@whatinabox)
+2 Re-tweet
+2 Sidebar: http://bookishinabox.blogspot.com/
+8 Contest/Trailer: http://bookishinabox.blogspot.com/2010/03/before-i-fall-trailer.html

whatinabox at gmail dot com

Total entries = 15

Leah said...

Great interview! Can't wait for Delirium!!

Heather said...

I would love to read this book! I want to win it because I know it's the kind of book I'll want to own, not just check out from the library. It's hard to hear about a book for months and not be able to get my hands on it!

I'm a blog follower and a Lauren follower, and this contest is in my sidebar.

Total entries: 5.


Sa Toya said...

This is officially attempt 2...my laptop turned off when I was trying to do this 10 minutes ago. Grr!

I really want this book because it appeals to me...I honestly wouldn't bother had it not struck a chord of my appeal guitar.... okay now I'm rambling utter nonsense but I do that sometimes.

I also want to read it because it's Lauren's debut novels I love reading debuts as I'm a wannabe author, currently working on my won book and reading debuts, gives me hope (lol) and just that extra motivation to do what I love and to fulfil my dream.

I'm also VERY new to blogging and this whole giveaways/contest business so here's hoping for beginner's luck!

I'm hoping I WIN...I never WIN things :)

+1 I follow Lauren
+1 I'm already your follower!
+2 I've re- tweeted.
+8 Post and Trailer.
+2 Sidebar


I think that's 15 entries...I'm now off to inject some positive energy my way...that's HOW much I want this booky wook!


robby (once upon a book blog) said...

I have my own copy of Before I Fall so you don't have to enter me. I just wanted to let you know that I loved this interview! I'm loving this book as well.
I could definately see Kristen Stewart playing Sam, and the same for Dakota playing Lindsay.
Lauren seems so sweet! :D

Rebecca :) said...

What a fantastic interview! I loved hearing about how her book has helped others. What an amazing feeling that must be! I have been wanting to read this book since I first heard about it, but have not had the opportunity. I would LOVE to win a copy!

+1 I want to read this book for 2 distinct reasons: One, because I, too, have thought about what it would be like to relive one day over and over again a la Groundhog Day. Two, because I have lost a lot of people in my life from friends in car wrecks to my dad this past year and I always wonder about what is on the other side.

+1 I am a follower with Google Connect

+1 I am a follower of Lauren Oliver on Twitter

+1 I tweet about this giveaway (my twitter name is @imlostinbooks)

Thank you so much for this contest. And please tell Ms. Oliver that I can't wait to read Before I Fall, and that Delirious sounds enticing as well. Best of luck to her!

mariska said...

+1 I like to win and read this book, coz i heard so many GREAT reviews about this book !

+1 And old follower through GFC

+1 following Lauren on Twitter: @becunique

+2 tweet'd : http://twitter.com/becunique/status/9909081227

uniquas at ymail dot com

Stella said...

+1: Yay, great giveaway! I would like to win a copy of Before I Fall and read the novel because the plot is simply thrilling: I love this twist in novels and movies when the characters relive their day over and over and see how even the most minuscule detail and decision can alter the outcome of everything.

I would like to win a copy of Before I Fall and read the novel because for the past couple of weeks and months my favourite book bloggers all posted their raving reviews of this novel, saying what an extraordinary and fantastic novel it is, and how it blew their minds and exceeded all their expectations. I would like to see for myself, after reading so many uniform praising reviews I'm curious! I find the premise exciting and am very intrigued to see what Lauren Oliver will make of it!

+1: I am and have been a follower :-)
+1: I'm a afollower of Lauren over at Twitter
+2: I tweeted about the contest here: http://twitter.com/Stella_ExLibris/status/9916981742

Thank you for this giveaway!

stella.exlibris (at) gmail DOT com

Lakien said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lakien said...

Commenting +1
I've been reading nothing but good reviews about this book for months now, and can't wait to read it myself. It just sounds so amazing!

And I just wanted to comment on something... Kristen Stewart as Sam? I haven't read the book yet, but I am a Kristen fan... So, guess I'll be picturing her as Sam as I read. ;D

Follow you on the Google blog thingy +1
Following @OliverBooks (since before this contest, actually) +1
Tweeted here: http://twitter.com/Lakien/statuses/9925382438 +2

email: anacarlapn@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

I want to read it cause I've heard so many good things about it.

geekyreads at gmail dot com

miss cindy :) said...

Great post!

+ I want to win this because it sounds amazing and I've heard fantastic things about it. And even if I don't win it, I'll still purchase it :)
+ I am a follower
+ I follow Lauren on Twitter--Username: cynblah
+ I retweeted this post: http://twitter.com/cynblah

miss cindy :) said...

forgot my email: oodlesofbooks[at]yahoo[dot]com

Rogrady - Book Lover! said...

+1, I'm a follower
+1, I want to win this as -from reading your interview- Lauren Oliver sounds like a great author, and Before I Fall sounds like something I would be interested in.
+1, I retweeted [rorotbh]
+1, I follow Lauren
+2, I posted this on my sidebar

Overall= 6

Great interview Suzana!
Ria x

Spav said...

I would like to read this book because I've heard so many great things about it and I would love to find out if they are right.
+1 I'm a follower
+1 Tweet: http://twitter.com/Sparima/status/9957376621
+1 Follor Lauren on twitter (@Sparima)
+2 Sidebar: http://fictionkingdom.blogspot.com/


✖Mizz Yasmin✖ said...

Great interview!
My entry:
- I am a follower
- I want to win this fabulous book because I read lots of positive reviews and it's in my wishlist. Plus, I've never read Lauren's books before. I want to see how talented she is.
- I am following Lauren @ Twitter
- I tweeted this contest http://twitter.com/MizzYasmin/status/9966979860
- I posted this contest on my sidebar.

Thank you so mush for this contest! :)


✖Mizz Yasmin✖ said...

Sidebar link: http://ireadnireview.blogspot.com/


Rhoda said...

I would love to win this, the reviews look amazing and I'm itching to read it!!

I am a follower
I follow Lauren on Twitter
I retweeted this @justforcomps

Sylvia said...

I really really want to read Before I Fall so so much, it's starting to scare me! I love what it's about and it doesn't help that every person who reads this loves it!! So I really hope I win! Thanks a lot for this contest!:)
I follow too!:)


Lucía said...

Thanks for this giveaway and for make it worldwide!

+2 I want to win this book because I've read very good reviews, and I love YA. I'm a follower :)

+2 Tweet: http://twitter.com/Luxdilune/status/9985848585

+1 I follow Lauren with @Luxdilune

+2 Sidebar: http://luxdilune.blogspot.com


MarceJ said...

Everyone has gave this book great reviews, I am excited to read this one. I enjoy reading emotional books.

I would love to win.


2 points Follwer and comment, I don't twitter

YA Vampire Books said...

Great interview! I would like to win this book cause it sounds great! Everywhere I look there's someone raving about it - so it must be amazing!

(+1) following Lauren on Twitter
(+2)posting about this contest on my blog sidebar (www.yavampirebooks.blogspot.com)


Justine said...

Ah! I'd love to win this because I've heard too many good things about it. Everyone has been praising it! It's all I hear about, actually. I don't think I've heard one single bad thing. So two thumbs up to Lauren Oliver!

+1 comment
+1 follower
+1 follower of Lauren on twitter
+2 tweeted: http://twitter.com/justeena/status/10102375186
+2 sidebar: http://abookfulofthoughts.blogspot.com/


donnas said...

I would love to win this because I have been hearing nothing but good things about it and it sounds like a good book.

+1 comment
+1 follower
+1 twitter follower (@donnas1)
+2 retweeted your tweet
+2 sidebar - http://donnasbloghome.blogspot.com

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Borostyán said...

+1 I'd like to read this because I liked Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray, and this seems also romantic. :)

+1 I'm a follower of your blog
+1 I follow Lauren on Twitter, too (@Szilvi79)
+2 I retweeted (@Szilvi79)

Thanks for this chance!

GABY said...

I want to read this book because I've read thousands of good reviews. Everyone says its amazing!! Besides, it seems very original the fact that she's dead, but have to live a couple of days more... (+1)

you have to be a follower of my blog through Google Friend Connect (+1)

following Lauren on Twitter: @OliverBooks (+1) --> @magabygc

re-tweeting (+2) --> @magabygc

sidebar (+2) http://historias-imaginarias.blogspot.com

magabygc AT gmail DOT com

Alexa said...

+1 I want to read this because I've heard a lot of great things about this book and I love the concept!
+1 follower
+1 follow Lauren on Twitter @ naggy8
+2 tweet: http://twitter.com/naggy8/status/10252391865
+2 sidebar: http://hookedonyabooks.blogspot.com/
+8 post and trailer: http://violeteyesroaming.blogspot.com/2010/03/win-before-i-fall.html


Nancye said...

+1 I would like to win this book because it sounds like a great book!
+1 Follower on Google Friend Connect
+1 I follow Lauren on Twitter: @OliverBooks
+2 Tweet! Tweet!
nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

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