My special guest today is Lauren Kate, author of Fallen. Kate grew up in Dallas, sent to school in Atlanta, and started writing in New York. She's also the author of The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove. She's currently working on the sequel to Fallen, Torment. Kate was kind enough to take time out of her busy schedule to answer my questions.
Thanks so much for the interview, Lauren! Tell us, what was your inspiration for Fallen?
I got the idea for Fallen from a line in Genesis that describes a group of angels who were cast out of heaven for falling in love with mortal women. I started thinking about what it would be like to be a normal girl — suddenly the object of an angel's affection. What kind of baggage would an angel have? What would her very over-protective parents think? From there, this whole world unfurled in my head. Fallen angels, demons, reincarnation, and the war in heaven were all battling for a piece of the action.
I found the atmosphere in the book deliciously dark. How conscious do you have to be of language to create such an effect?
Thank you! It took me until the second draft of Fallen to realize that the setting was really another character in the story. At times, I struggled with those descriptions — like, how many times can I use the word “humid?” — but then, once I started to see how integral Savannah and Sword and Cross were to Luce’s storyline, I started to have more fun with it. Torment is set in an entirely different place, but I like to think the setting is just as relevant and important, and just as much fun.
Did you plot the story in advance or did the story and characters develop as you wrote?
I surprised myself by meticulously plotting out Fallen before I wrote it. Character descriptions, paragraph-long synopses for each chapter, “big” endings, the whole deal. The outline (along with a few chapters) was shared with writer-friends, agents and/or editors at very early stages. And because the story was larger and more complicated than I’d first realized, I actually did revisions on the outline. Way more plotting than I’d ever done before.