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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Weekend Writer's Challenge

A lot of our conversation at the Writer's Retreat this week has related to how to generate and raise the stakes in fiction. In basic terms, giving a novel "stakes" means, simply, giving the reader reason to care: a goal that the main character is trying to achieve that the reader can invest and believe in. This is usually framed as "Character X needs to achieve Y or else Z". Below I've listed "stakes," from least to most interesting.

1. Casey needs to buy toilet paper, or else it will be really embarrassing next time she goes to the bathroom.

2. Casey needs a date to the prom, or else she will be all alone on the dance floor and everyone will know she's a loser.

3. Casey needs to figure out the mystery of the murder next door, or else she might be next.

4. Casey needs to find the Bermuda Triangle and the secret key located within it, or else the whole world will explode.

So THIS challenge will be slightly different. Rather than having you all attempt a paragraph/passage, please write 1 example of a BAD/LOW stakes premise, and 1 example of a good/HIGH stakes premise. As always, I will post responses on my blog!

Happy writing.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

July Liesl and Po Winners!

To make up for my inexcusable negligence of June (read: totally flaking on picking three winners to receive beautiful ARC's of LIESL AND PO), I've selected SIX winners, below! Congratulations, guys. I'll be writing you soon for addresses so I can pop those puppies in the mail. For the rest of you, please remember that I'll be giving away another three ARC's in both August and September as we gear up for the release date, so keep the faith alive, go on, and keep entering! And congrats again to our month's WINNERS:

I have gone through a lot of book phases, even as a kid, but there were a few that remained constant:
as a young kid, I was obsessed with The Velveteen Rabbit. I mean obsessed, too, that's not an exaggeration.
As I got a little older, they were almost all classics, especially Oliver Twist, Little Men and Anne of Green Gables, all of which still hold a special place in my heart (especially Anne).

: I didn't have a single favorite novel from when I was a child, but I was insanely in love with the Fear Street novels by R.L. Stine. Especially the Fear Street Saga, which told how everything began, basically. I still have some of those books and I will always remember cracking into a pile that I had just checked out from the library. Whether it was Goosebumps or Fear Street, R.L. Stine will forever be a part of my childhood and I only hope that someday my children will have an author like that for them.

Tiffany Drew:
The BFG by Roald Dahl was my favorite book as a little kid. To this day, it remains my all time favorite childrens book. I have since passed it down to my kids who also enjoy it :) [Ed note: Matilda's my fave, Tiffany, but I love BFG too!]

Julianna Helms:
I am going to be unoriginal, and say that my favorite book as a child is the Harry Potter series. :)

My favourite book would have to be the Magic Tree House by Mary Pope Osborne.

Molly (a dazzling distraction):
It's hard to choose a favorite book from childhood, because I read ALL the time...but I guess The Witches by Roald Dahl, Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell, and Witch Hunt by Wendi Corsi Staub are probably up there...they are certainly the most worn out from re-reading them!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Update from the Fire Island Writer's Workshop!

Hi all--

Hope everyone is staying cool in this brutal heat (at least those of you on the eastern seabord)! I've been hanging in Fire Island (aka re-reading Harry Potter while submerging my feet in the freezing ocean), and now we're kicking off a week-long YA writer's retreat! So far, the star players are moi, Courtney Sheinmel, author of the recently released All The Things You Are, as well as Positively and Sincerely; Leila Sales, author of Mostly Good Girls and the forthcoming PAST PERFECT, and Lexa Hillyer, my partner in the literary development company Paper Lantern Lit and poet extraordinaire.

One of the best things about being a writer is the opportunity to come into contact and befriend so many other like-minded and talented writers. So far, the conversation has ranged from: the distinction between telling and showing, and how to understand and evoke that in text; what makes a good guacamole; how to avoid a riptide; and generating characters with agency as opposed to dependency (i.e. I did this versus this happened to me!).

Stay tuned for a retreat-themed writing challenge later in the week!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

All Things L & P

Okay, guys:

This blog is going to be a little bit of bragging, a little bit of giving...

I got two wonderful reviews for my new middle-grade (pub date: October), Liesl and Po, and as this book is incredibly important to me--and, additionally, represents my first foray into writing for younger readers, I wanted to share them with you.

The first comes from Jenny Brown at Shelf Awareness, and the link is here. She even compares me to Dickens! :-O (That is roughly what I looked like when I read it).

The second, which you can find right here, is from the lovely blog Once Upon A Bookcase.

Okay, now that the bragging is out of the way, let's talk...SWAGGING! Last month was so crazy I COMPLETELY forgot to pick three readers to receive signed ARC's of Liesl and Po (missed the contest? Check it out here!), which means that this month I am going to pick six winners. Oh, yes, my friends. Six! So go ahead and enter now...because I promise that this month I won't flake!

Hope you all are staying cool...


Monday, July 18, 2011

Your Opinion--Required!!

Hi lovelies--

Paper Lantern Lit is giving away some lovely t-shirts to help celebrate the August 30th launch of FURY, by my BFF Elizabeth Miles (check out the book's brand new website here.). And we need your help picking a design!

Check out the four t-shirt designs on Paper Lantern's blog and post a comment for a chance to win an ARC of FURY and a cutie petutie t-shirt!

And remember...revenge IS sweet. (And the best revenge is looking cute!) :)


Friday, July 15, 2011


Hi guys--

So, so sorry for those who were a little late on the ball, but please note that all fifty requests for the DELIRIUM special edition cover requests are now FILLED. I'll be collecting the fifty first mailing addresses and sending them along to Harper; I will send you an email only if you were one of the first fifty.

To everybody: thank you for your enthusiasm and excitement, and remember that if you did NOT win the re-jacket and have any cash to spare in August, the special edition will be available for purchase and includes a Q and A and the first chapter of PANDEMONIUM!


Thursday, July 14, 2011

DELIRIUM Special Edition Cover Giveaway!!

Hello, my pretties!

There has been lots of buzz about the new look of the Delirium series, and I know that some of you lovelies who bought the original hardcover are sad because you won't have pretty matching books for your shelves. Sooo...Harper has kindly agreed to print fifty special edition dust jackets, which you can use to RE-JACKET your very own, hopefully very loved, copies of Delirium! How cool is that? Just in case you haven't seen it, this is what the special edition cover looks like:

So here's the deal: the first fifty people who send an email to laurenoliverbooks@gmail.com with an address will receive one! Please put DELIRIUM SE COVER REQUEST in the subject. I'll post when we've hit the fifty mark!


P.S. Apparently it was NATIONAL PANDEMONIUM DAY yesterday!! Who new?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Better Late Than Never?

I know I'm a teensy bit late to the blogosophere party on this one, but hey...I've had some important things (er, blue-eyed boys) on my mind.

Actually, I had NO idea that I was allowed to even reveal the new cover of PANDEMONIUM, which will be a continuation the artistic direction of the special edition of Delirium (set to release in August, so mark your calendars, people!!) until I saw it pop up on various blogs yesterday. I guess this means my book has moved from babyhood to big-girl adolescence...she's sneaking around behind my back and I don't even know it!

Ain't she a beauty? I have to say, I loved the initial Delirium cover but I heart the direction of these covers SO MUCH MORE. They're just so fierce and expressive, and they're going to look so darn good sitting next to each other on the shelves.

Holla and let me know what you think!


Monday, July 11, 2011

A Picture (of an engagement ring) Is Worth A Thousand Words...

After my last post, in which I announced news of my engagement--thank you, by the way, for your words of encouragement, congratulations, and advice--I received many requests for pictorial evidence. Just so you know that I take your needs/wishes seriously, I am herewith presenting you with photos of my gorgeous ring and my even-more-gorgeous (inside and out) fiance:

I'm telling you, this man stepped straight out of a fairy tale...after pit-stopping at a few tattoo parlors, of course. :)

The Happiest Girl In The World

Friday, July 8, 2011

Real-Life Amor Deliria Nervosa

Hi all--

I've been extremely bad about blogging, and I apologize...but I also have a great excuse.


It has been a whirlwind romance...I met my fiance about a month ago and it was pretty much love at first sight (or, actually, love at first conversation). He's a wonderful guy and I'm so lucky I get to share a future with him.

And in honor of the fact that I'm pretty much living a real-life romance out of Delirium, I have a fabulous new trailer straight from the UK to share with you here.

Let me know what you think! (Of the trailer, not my engagement...although you can let me know what you think about THAT, too.)


Friday, July 1, 2011

Mega Contest from Paper Lantern Lit

Question: What goes perfect with summer?

Answer: Reading on the beach!

If you're like me, you love swag, and Paper Lantern Lit has some MEGA swag for you guys so I thought I would share (including the adorable totes you see above--yes, I'm obsessed!) Head over to Paper Lantern Lit's blog and enter to win one of 6 PLL tote bags stocked with a selection of new and upcoming titles. Or you could be one of 5 lucky winners of an empty tote for you to carry your books to the beach in style!

Grand Prize #1
Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn’t Have)
Amen, L.A.
The Day Before

Grand Prize #2
Die For Me

2nd Prize #1
Legend - Signed ARC
Glow - ARC
The Space Between - ARC

2nd Prize #2
Ashes - Signed ARC
Shattered Souls - ARC
The Probability of Miracles - ARC

3rd Prize #1
The Taker - ARC
Where It Began - ARC

3rd Prize #2
Shelter - ARC
Dark Eden - ARC

5 Runners Up will win an empty PLL Tote!

Hot, right?? Good luck!


Content by Lauren Oliver - Copyright 2011. Blog designed by Ella Press Studio - 2011.

Author Photo by Jonathan Alpeyrie - Copyright 2010. Original Font Idea by Erin Fitzsimmons - 2010.