When I saw Lauren Miller's name on the list of authors participating in this awesome event, I just knew I had to pick her. I mean she is this amazing debut author that just came out of nowhere. I absolutely loved her book, PARALLEL!! In fact, you can read all of my gushing in my review here. I just loved how decisions from her past kept irrevocably kept changing her future. It just made me think about how my life would be different if certain events had of been different. Life is funny that way, and I loved how this book showed that. Simply put, the book was AWESOME, and that is why Lauren Miller is my Author Rockstar!
*Where did you get the inspiration for Parallel?
The inspiration came in fits and starts. The moment I remember most clearly was sitting in my law firm office in a high-rise office building in L.A., overlooking a fancy golf course and Aaron Spelling’s ridiculous mansion, staring at my new business cards. “Lauren Miller,” they read. “Attorney.” I’d been married just a few weeks, living in a brand new city with a brand new name and a brand new job and brand new husband. My life felt foreign to me. Not foreign bad, just foreign. And so I asked myself, how did I get here?!? Was it the moment I said, “I do” at my wedding? Was it when my husband proposed? Was it years earlier, when I decided to intern at Entertainment Weekly, the decision that ultimately led me to law school (long story)? Was my life fated to end up like this, or could I have ended up in a different city, with a different guy and a different job? Which parts of my life were “meant to be”? These questions were swirling around in my mind as a story began to take shape. PARALLEL was my answer to those questions!
*Wow, that's one heck of an inspiration! I've been dying to ask this since I read the book, what was it like juggling the two storylines in Parallel?
It was so much fun! My brain really appreciated the challenge of keeping all the details straight. But, honestly, it wasn’t all that difficult because in my mind, it was never really two storylines – I viewed it as a past and a present, and that made it easier for me to keep straight, even though in reality it is two presents (Parallel Abby’s and Abby’s).
*Huh, I never really thought of it as one storyline, but it makes sense. Any chance at a sequel?? If not can you tell us what's in store for you next?
Nope, probably no sequel on the horizon. I feel like I told Abby’s story in Parallel and want to leave the future up to her and her readers! My next novel, FREE TO FALL (another standalone) will be out next spring. It’s very different from PARALLEL in tone, but it has some similar themes and of course some sci-fi elements. I don’t want to say too much yet, but I’ll tell you that it’s a mystery and that it involves the future of technology.
*Major bummer to the no sequel. I would have loved to have seen more from Abby! If your book were to be made into a movie, who would be your top picks for the cast?
Oooh, I’ve been waiting for someone to ask me this. As I was writing PARALLEL, I pictured Lucy Hale as Abby and Ashley Benson as Caitlin (can you tell I’m a big Pretty Little Liars fan?!?). Now I sort of see Alexandra Chando as Abby (the girl from Lying Game). The guys were more vague in my head, but I guess I’d pick Miles Heizer for Josh (dorky, but adorable) and Robbie Amell for Michael. Oh, and my good friend Alan Ritchson (next seen as Gloss in Catching Fire) as Bret!
*Very awesome picks! Could you tell us a little about the ups and downs you have experienced in publishing?
So far, there have been no downs! I am waiting for them to happen, as I’m sure they will. My story was really amazing. I wrote PARALLEL while on maternity leave from my law firm job and blogged about the process of writing with a newborn in the house. An agent at ICM read my blog and asked to read my book when it was done. She liked it, she became my agent, and we sold it to HarperTeen – it happened so seamlessly, and so much faster than I expected. Working on both PARALLEL and FREE TO FALL with the folks at HarperTeen has been a dream so far. I think I must be in the honeymoon phase.
*Wow, I can't imagine writing an entire novel with a newborn!! What are some of your favorite books in the paranormal genre?
I actually don’t read a lot of paranormal… ok, none. (Should I not admit that?) In my mind, PARALLEL is more of a contemporary novel with some sci-fi elements (which I know has irritated some readers who wanted hardcore sci fi). Some of my favorite books have this same combo of contemporary-feeling narratives with sci-fi or supernatural aspects, like Lauren Oliver’s BEFORE I FALL.
*I'm a fan of blending the genres myself. If you could tell readers one thing about yourself or your books, what would that be?
The details are important (that goes for me AND my books!)
*Very good advice. What is the craziest or at least most interesting thing you have ever done?
When I was 19 I flew to Italy on a whim to see a boy I barely knew. I don’t recommend this – it was two very long weeks once I got there.
*OOoo that could get tricky for sure. Finish this statement: "You'll like Parallel if...
…you believe life is meaningful and magical, and you don’t mind thinking while you read!
I was born in NYC and raised in Atlanta. I went to college at Yale and law school at Berkeley, then I got married and moved to Los Angeles to practice law.
I liked it. But after about a year, I got the itch to be doing something more creative. The itch got stronger. I found myself typing out random bits of dialogue on my Blackberry (remember those?) and pitching story ideas to my co-workers. One of those ideas became a script for a TV pilot. When it didn’t sell, I wrote another one and another one. Soon, I was ducking out of work to go to pitch meetings at studios and networks. It felt like I was getting somewhere.
Then I got pregnant. Unexpectedly. This freaked me out. Not because I didn’t want kids (I did), but because I was afraid (ok, convinced) that motherhood would zap my creative potential.
To prove myself wrong, I resolved to write a novel in the first 100 days of my child’s life and blog about it, an experiment I called “embracing the detour” (if you’re looking for an embrace the detour fridge magnet, I’m your girl. If you’re looking for old embrace the detour blog posts, click HERE). At the time, it seemed like a brilliant idea. Looking back, it makes me laugh at the childless version of me.
Then again, she’s the reason the current version of me ended up with a two-book deal at HarperTeen. And my very first script sale (but that’s a whole other story).
Thanks to to Kristyn Keene at ICM and Sarah Landis at HarperTeen, my debut novel, entitled Parallel, will hit bookstores (and your e-readers!) on May 14th in the US and June 6th in the UK. Meanwhile, I’m working on my second novel (not a sequel to Parallel), which should be out in May of 2014.
Embrace the detour was my foray into blogging. Over time that morphed into this. Whatever this is. Not a blog exactly. A life log. A place to remember and reflect. And, yes, a place to update readers about my novels. So if that’s what you’re looking for, you’re in the right place! Please follow me on Twitter or friend me on Facebook or do whatever it is one does to connect with someone on Google+. Or email directly, which you can do HERE.
Oh - and if you’re wondering: yes, my first baby helped me write my first book, but no, the help of a second baby is not in the game plan for the second one. Yet.
Abby Barnes had a plan. The Plan. She'd go to Northwestern, major in journalism, and land a job at a national newspaper, all before she turned twenty-two. But one tiny choice—taking a drama class her senior year of high school—changed all that. Now, on the eve of her eighteenth birthday, Abby is stuck on a Hollywood movie set, miles from where she wants to be, wishing she could rewind her life. The next morning, she's in a dorm room at Yale, with no memory of how she got there. Overnight, it's as if her past has been rewritten.
With the help of Caitlin, her science-savvy BFF, Abby discovers that this new reality is the result of a cosmic collision of parallel universes that has Abby living an alternate version of her life. And not only that: Abby's life changes every time her parallel self makes a new choice. Meanwhile, her parallel is living out Abby's senior year of high school and falling for someone Abby's never even met.
As she struggles to navigate her ever-shifting existence, forced to live out the consequences of a path she didn't choose, Abby must let go of the Plan and learn to focus on the present, without losing sight of who she is, the boy who might just be her soul mate, and the destiny that's finally within reach.