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Interview: Lauren Myracle

May 22nd, 2009 (07:17 am)

Current Mood: thirsty
Current Song: Ace Reject by Sugababes

Lauren Myracle cracks me up. Considering the title of her newest book, Peace, Love & Baby Ducks, perhaps I should say she quacks me up. Last year, after we finally met face-to-face, she dubbed me "Li'l Dub." (Note: She is the only person permitted to call me this.) We get along famously - or at least I'd like to think so! - and, due to her writing versatility, I recommend her vast variety of books to various audiences and ages.

Rub a dub dub, three ducks in a tub - rather, two ducks, many books, and a whole lot of questions.

You've said that it took a good ten years from the time you really focused on writing to the time your first novel was published.

Yes, but not by choice. Just sayin'...

What do you know now about the publishing industry that you wish you knew then?

That editors really *are* just people. That they don't always wear black, a la hip and intimidating New Yorkers, but that some of them should break out the pastels more than they do. That wishing and hoping won't make it so, but it's not a bad strategy in terms of keeping yourself focused. That yes, books are products (blech, hate "products"!), but that the fab editors -- meaning the ones I'm lucky enough to work with -- do what they do because books are made not for money, but for love.

What do you know now about your own writing style that you wish you knew then?

That "parents" are easier to write once you become one. That setting still sucks. That my brain has gotten more nimble, which I say that not to be braggy, but as a way of rejoicing in the fact that using the same circuits again and again and firing the same set of neurons again and again does strengthen all of those passage ways. I mean, that's so cool, right? That you do something and do it and do it some more...and you do get better? I guess what I'm saying is that writing, at least for me, is NOT about the gift from the sky of plain raw talent. It's about work. And oddly, that makes me so happy! It's lovely to be a human and to have the potential to GET BETTER at whatever it is you do, that's all.

You have written for various audiences and genres, ranging from elementary and middle school readers to teens, from realistic fiction to horror, from story stories to collaborative novels. What, if anything, do you think all of your stories have in common?

I know exactly what they have in common: a focus on friendship. I didn't set out to have friendship be my thing, but whaddaya know? It is.

Have you experienced any resistance to publication or attempts at censorship when you've dared to have girls kiss girls (Kissing Kate) or talk frankly about their bodies and lives (the Winnie series for kids, the TTYL series for teens) or commit horrible acts (Bliss)?

"Commit horrible acts." Oh, you slay me. (Heh heh heh, little jokey there, eh? You slay me?)

But as for resistance and censorship, that would be a big fat (and often slitty-eyed) YES. In 2007, my ttyl series ranked #7 on the American Library Association's top 10 list of most frequently challenged books. This past year, they jumped to #3. Uh...wh-hoo? I cannot think of one single book I've written that hasn't made some grown-up or other upset/uncomfortable/afraid. It kind of sucks, but I'm not going to let that resistance push me down. The thing is? Really? The characters in my books (well, not counting the ones that, ya know, commit horrible acts) have strong moral compasses; it's just that the situations they put themselves in are "real" and un-prettied-up by fake adult perspective. The girls I write about make bad decisions sometimes, sure, but for the most part, they learn from them.

Read more...Collapse )

You're welcome, and thank you, mighty Myracle!

Visit Lauren's website.
Drop by her blog.
Check out the Peace, Love, & Baby Ducks Ning network.

Related Posts at Bildungsroman:
Book Review: Peace, Love & Baby Ducks by Lauren Myracle
Book Reviews: The Winnie Books (Eleven, Twelve, and Thirteen) by Lauren Myracle
Book Review: How to Be Bad by Lauren Myracle, E. Lockhart, and Sarah Mlynowski
Author Interview: Lauren Myracle, E. Lockhart, and Sarah Mlynowski

Today's Schedule
Jenny Davidson at Chasing Ray
Rebecca Stead at Fuse #8
Ryan Mecum at Writing and Ruminating
Lauren Myracle at Bildungsroman
Kristin Cashore at HipWriterMama
Rachel Caine at The YA YA YAs

Help get books into the hands of teen boys who really need them. Learn more about the GuysLitWire Book Fair for Boys.


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Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: May 24th, 2009 03:57 am (UTC)

OK, I'm playing. The artistes for the songs are :

"Sunshine and Summertime" Faith Hill
"Midnight Train to Georgia" Gladys knight
"You're All Grown Up Now" The Plot To Blow Up The Eiffel Tower
"Trouble" by Ray LaMontagne
"Detours" Sheryl Crow
"The Good Times Are Killing Me" Modest Mouse
"Prayer Without Words" Mary Gauthier
"Good-Bye Little Rock and Roller" Marshall Chapman
"Such Great Heights" Iron and Wine
"Where Is the Love" Black Eyed Peas
"Sleeping Diagonally" Iron and Wine
"I'll Stand by You" Carrie Underwood
"Rubber Duckie" Ernie from Sesame Street aka the late Jim Henson
"Bridge Over Troubled Water" Simon and Garfunkel
"Anyway" Martina McBride
"What a Wonderful World" Louis Armstrong

Did I miss anything out?


Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: May 24th, 2009 07:08 am (UTC)

Thanks for playing, Llehn!

Posted by: paradoxrevealed.blogspot.com (ext_135469)
Posted at: May 24th, 2009 05:32 am (UTC)


I know absolutely nothing about music, so I'm not going to embarrass myself by an attempt at guessing... But I enjoyed the interview!


paradoxrevealed (at) aim (dot) com

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: May 24th, 2009 06:41 am (UTC)

Thanks for reading the interview!

Posted by: Vivian Lee Mahoney (hipwritermama)
Posted at: May 24th, 2009 01:42 pm (UTC)

Fun interview! I love how Lauren threw down the gauntlet with the songs. Sounds like a good book!

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: May 24th, 2009 02:43 pm (UTC)

She's such fun.

Posted by: naggy8 (naggy8)
Posted at: May 24th, 2009 11:38 pm (UTC)

Here are my answers. I don't know if they're all right, but I gave them my best guesses.

"Sunshine and Summertime" by Faith Hill
"Midnight Train to Georgia" by Gladys Knight
"You're All Grown Up Now" by Soul Food
"Trouble" by Cold Play
"Detours" by Sheryl crow
"The Good Times Are Killing Me" by modest mouse
"Prayer Without Words" by Mary Gauthier
"Good-Bye Little Rock and Roller" by Marshall Chapman
"Such Great Heights" by The Postal Service
"Where Is the Love" by black eyed peas
"Sleeping Diagonally" by iron and wine
"I'll Stand by You" by Carrie Underwood
"Rubber Duckie" by Ernie from Sesame Street!
"Bridge Over Troubled Water" by Simon and Garfunkel
"Anyway" by Martina McBride
"What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong


Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: May 25th, 2009 12:14 am (UTC)

Thanks, Alexa!

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: May 27th, 2009 12:22 am (UTC)

Excellent! Enjoy the books - and the music. :)

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: September 19th, 2009 07:29 pm (UTC)

omg!!! i cant wait for fourteen to come out i love all these books they r so lovely and the part in 13 when winnie asks lars if they are gonns brake up or no and then she looks at him and she sees tears in his eyes is so beautiful i had 2 finish it in 2 days i so just wanted to get to the ending hope ur new book 14 comes out soon love yaaaa!!!!!! lauren.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: September 19th, 2009 08:06 pm (UTC)


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