I recently got a change to interview Lauren Bird Horowitz . It was really great experience for me and I thank her for taking out time for this interview.
1. When did you write your first story? How old were you then?
I cannot even remember. I have stories that are written in toddler scrawl that is barely decipherable—it’s like trying to read a secret language! My mom was a big supporter of mine and bound all my little stories into ‘books’ that we still have. I just ran across some of my first poems the other day—one is called “Frustration Poem” and has a line “it bugs me when everyone yells at me cause I’m the youngest! It really bugs me!” It makes me laugh. Many of my childhood stories featured sea otters, all named Milk Dud for some reason. It’s fitting then that otters show up in my first published novel, Shattered Blue!
2. “An author writes a book he wants to read.” Do you believe in this?
I think it would be very hard to write something you didn’t want to read yourself… why would you want to share it with others unless it meant something to you? For me, I relate mostly to works I experience as true and sincere (even if in a metaphorical sense, in terms of fiction), and so I have a difficult time imagining that I would want to write something I couldn’t feel myself.
3. After publishing your own book, do you think your genre preferences have changed?
I don’t think they have changed—maybe just grown! I’ve always been an omnivorous reader. I like it all, at different times—fiction and poetry, non-fiction and journalism, biographies, plays, screenplays… I often find it useful, however, to be reading a different genre for pleasure than whatever I am currently ‘working’ on. This helps to keep reading as a nice break from my work life, and lets my mind relax a little while I shift gears.
4. Do any of your characters resembled a real life friend or relative of yours?
Of course! Writers tend to write what they know, and I definitely do. Every character I create draws on people I know in real life; that’s what helps to make characters live and breathe. Some are big amalgamations of people (like Miles in Shattered Blue, who is a blend of my eight guy roommates from Harvard!) and some are very closely tied to a particular person (like Olivia, who is very, very similar to my real life BFF Janet). My family gets used (and abused) the most of course. They have been in every single one of my pieces in some form or other. It’s lucky they have to love me because I don’t always paint the most flattering portraits! Flaws and limits fascinate me. They also make characters real.
5. Which role do you like more : author or reader?
Definitely author. I am an avid reader, don’t get me wrong, and there is nothing quite like connecting with something you’re reading in a soul-moving way, but for me there is such catharsis in writing. It can be painful or joyous or wretched or exciting—but it is always vibrant and immediate and visceral. I tried to show a little of that in Shattered Blue by making Noa a poet herself: “Noa’s writing was messy, words bursting wetly from inside. Sometimes it was painful, bloody; sometimes not like words at all. But it was always true.” And now, as a published author, I get to experience the connection with readers from the other side—and wow, it is pretty amazing.
Lauren – or ‘Bird’ as she is often known – is a screenwriter and novelist lucky enough to call both Los Angeles and Kauai home. Bird also counts herself lucky that writing exists as a profession—how else could she share the crazy, fantastic worlds in her head? Bird studied writing at Harvard University with novelist Jamaica Kincaid, where she won several prizes including the Edward Eager Memorial Prize for fiction. She’s a proud member of the Writers Guild of America.
THE BOOK :
For Noa and Callum, being together is dangerous, even deadly. From the start, sixteen-year-old Noa senses that the mysterious transfer student to her Monterey boarding school is different. Callum unnerves and intrigues her, and even as she struggles through family tragedy, she’s irresistibly drawn to him. Soon they are bound by his deepest secret: Callum is Fae, banished from another world after a loss hauntingly similar to her own.
But in Noa’s world, Callum needs a special human energy, Light, to survive; his body steals it through touch—or a kiss. And Callum’s not the only Fae on the hunt. When Callum is taken, Noa must decide: Will she sacrifice everything to save him? Even if it means learning their love may not be what she thought?