Author: Lauren Farley
Hardcover: 98 pages
Books And Bites: Congratulations on the publication of “Eternity”! Tell me a little about it-what’s your pitch?
Lauren Farley: My pitch? Apparently it wasn’t good enough for the literary agents I queried last year; I got like 3 rejections in one week. But I’ll share it anyways. “If you think teenage years are bad, try being a teenage vampire. For Sadie Harris, it’s a reality that has haunted her for a century, something she can’t hide from, something she hates.” That’s all I can remember off the top of my head. I’ve forgotten where I wrote my pitch, somewhere in my hard drive probably. Can’t find it, probably never will.
BAB: No two authors seem to take the same route to publication, but almost every author has an interesting story about their journey. Care to share yours?
LF: I think I’ve travelled on more then one road when it comes to publication. I tried querying the old fashioned way, finding nine agents that would take a novel that wasn’t over 50,000 words, but that led me nowhere. I even thought about going through PublishAmerica, then I wised up after a few research attempts proved that I would just be setting myself up for disappointment with them. I tried two POD companies, Lulu and CreateSpace. I pulled out of both after finding out that for every edit I made on a manuscript I would have to buy another book. So that was a no go for me. Then I started wondering about e-books, which aren’t that hard to create and thought “What the heck! I’ll try my hand at that.” E-books led me to Smashwords.com, where I’m currently published, and I’ve been happily writing and publishing ever since.
BAB: How did you get the idea for your novel?
LF: I came up for the idea after having read several young adult novels and not exactly liking many of the characters and subplots. I’m a bit finicky like that, though I am a tad too old to be reading YA books. The main idea for Eternity came to me while I was sitting front row in a lecture for psychology at the local Community College and when the teacher wasn’t looking, I would start doodling out names for characters yet to be created. The first that came to me was Sadie Harris, which I thought was interesting since I usually stink at naming characters. She was supposed to be a wizard, but I couldn’t find the guts to tread in JK Rowling’s territory with the whole orphaned wizard thing. So I decided on vampires, another realm that I was interested in, having read Anne Rice’s “Pandora” a week before. I decided to keep Sadie at 15, since I can sympathize with teens a bit more than the average adult and from there it took off, though I never really thought it would take on the shape of a full fledged novel.
BAB: Do you have another book in the works?
LF: A few, but not all of them are like Eternity. I have written a shorter novel called Circle of Nine from the view points of nine girls, each from a historical point in American History who, one by one, are turned into vampires against their will. Other then that I have a random Dystopian short fiction piece called After Earth, a short vampire story called Alana’s Story and a drama called Camp Troubles. All these are published on Smashwords.com.
BAB: Your current novel, Eternity, is marketed as a young adult novel. Did
you originally set out to write a YA novel?
LF: Yes, to an extent. I started writing it as something that I wouldn’t mind my 17 year old sister reading if she found it, or my parents. I have fond memories of reading YA novels when I was her age, especially about vampires, and I thought it’d be great to write something that other teens (and possibly adults) could enjoy besides my sister.
BAB: How did you get the inspiration for Sadie/Gwen/Jason/Brady/etc?
LF: To be honest, I haven’t the faintest clue about how I thought up Sadie and her personality. I guess I could say she’s me in a different body, but she has more guts then I do, and definitely a bit more wit. Gwen (full name: Gwendolyn Price), on the other hand, is just someone I thought up on the fly, the exact opposite of Sadie, both mind and body. Jason, lets just say that he’s a parody off a character in another novel I read some time ago, it starts with a T and also has vampires, though they’re a different breed altogether. And Brady is based off partially on Brady Quinn from the Cleveland Browns and just some of my guy friends in general. He’s the kind of guy friend I would love to have around, though I wouldn’t date the guy.
BAB: Who is your favorite character? Why?
LF: Oh God. I don’t know. I really don’t have a favorite. But if I had to pick, it would have to be Sadie. I’m not biased at all, I swear. It’s just funnier to write from a teenager’s point of view, especially one that has a bit of a cynic in her.
BAB: When did you know you wanted to become a writer?
LF: When I wrote my first story for.I think it was third grade. I could be wrong. I have a hard time recounting things like that. After third grade, my parents would find half written stories lying all around the house. I never could get past a page, maybe two, before I really got bored. Eternity was the first that went over two pages and that makes me ridiculously proud.
BAB: In writing, Eternity, what was your most surprising discovery?
LF: The most surprising thing was that I could write more then two pages, and that I could make it all up within a matter of minutes, grammar mistakes not withstanding. And my writing had gone from redundant to semi-redundant; I’m
still working on word overuse.
BAB: What’s your writing routine? Do you write in the mornings, nights, daily, or when the mood strikes you?
LF: My brain is constantly flooded with stories and ideas, so I’d say when the mood strikes me. I’m always at my computer. But I do also write in the morning, mostly because I have classes at 7 at night. It’s a bit of both, now that I think about it.
BAB: What experience did you have with your publisher? Good? Bad?
LF: It’s all been uphill for me, Smashwords has been a breeze to use and the help that I’ve received, indirect or direct, has been awesome.
BAB: If you had to pick one author as your favorite, who would it be?
LF: Oh gee, there’s so many authors that I like. But my all time favorite would be Amy Tan. I first started reading her books when I was 12. Loved Joy Luck Club, The Hundred Secret Senses, The Kitchen God’s Wife, and The Bonesetters Daughter. Currently trying to finish Saving Fish from Drowning.
BAB: Finally, thank you for taking part in this interview. Before you go, what message would you like to send to your fans?
LF: If you love writing, do it, doing something that you love is really rewarding in the end. And if you think that you have the next big thing in book publishing, chances are you are right, so go for it. There’s a author in all of us, we just have to realize it and strive to be one. Oh, and thanks for taking the time out to read my novel. I really appreciate that, and hope I didn’t disappoint. Cheers!
*Editor’s note: Lauren has written another story entitled “Zombie Friend” and to check out that along with her other books, just go here or check on her link in the author links.