Friday, January 9, 2015

Interview with Lauren Sabel Author of Vivian Divine is Dead + Giveaway

Vivian Divine is Dead
Author: Lauren Sabel
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: June 3, 2014

Filled with surprising twists and poignant moments, Lauren Sabel brings a fresh new voice to contemporary fiction with Vivian Divine Is Dead. Creepy, clever, funny, and romantic.
When a death threat arrives with teen celebrity Vivian Divine's fan mail, Vivian has no choice but to go on the run to Mexico. She soon discovers, though, that her Oscar-nominated performance killing villains on-screen did nothing to prepare her for escaping a madman in real life. Some people say he's a hero, others tremble in his presence, but one thing is clear: he won't stop until Vivian is in his grasp. Why didn't she pay more attention during those judo lessons for her role in Zombie Killer?
Vivian finds an ally in the mysterious and charming Nick. He is everything Hollywood boys are not-genuine, kind, and determined to see Vivian for who she really is. But even he seems like he can't be trusted-what could he be hiding?
Beat up, hungry, and more confused than ever about who she's running from, Vivian is living in a real-life blockbuster horror flick. But there's no option to yell "cut" like there is on set....
Lauren Sabel's Vivian Divine Is Dead is a creepy, witty, fast-paced adventure about family, fame, and having the courage to save yourself.

How did you come up with the idea for Vivian Divine is Dead?
When I worked at the Hamptons International Film Festival in New York, I watched over a child star while his film was being screened. This 10 year old fascinated me. He didn’t act like a child, but like a miniature adult. He had been famous for a few years by that time, and he must have had pressures on him in his young years that I can’t even imagine handling as a kid. I started thinking then about what fame does to children.

Years later, I wrote a short story at graduate school about a girl named Izzy who murders her nanny, and then I pasted it into an Emily the Strange book for a school project. The darkness of Emily and the creepiness of the writing sort of blended together, and it slowly evolved that the young girl was the victim, not the murderer. 

At the same time, a friend of mine became suddenly famous in the entertainment industry, and I watched what it did to her in a half-envious, half concerned way. It was disturbing to see what life became when the pressure of fame was put on her, and the thought of children and teenagers handling all that pressure… and Vivian Divine was born. 

What did you find most challenging about being a debut author?
I didn’t know many writers* when Vivian Divine Is Dead came out, so I couldn’t understand what I was feeling when all of the ‘first book things’ happened: my first negative review (ouch), my first failed attempt at publicity, my first recognition that not all books were NYT bestsellers. For me, publishing my first book was like being invited to the prom by a sexy guy and then not knowing how to dance and tripping all over my own feet. 

(*see below) 

If Vivian Divine is Dead had a theme song what would it be? 
Perfect by Pink. 

What was the last book you read and loved?
I was totally sucked in by The Diviners by Libba Bray. I love The Diviner’s mix of the fantastical and the concrete, because in life, we’re always walking on the edge of the real and the fictional. All these very strange things happen everyday; and sometimes we tip over the edge of reality and peer into the strange, twisted, fantastic beauty of life. 

Do you have anything you are currently working on? Are you allowed to share a quote/anything with us?
I’m really excited about my next book. As opposed to Vivian Divine Is Dead, which took several years to write, OUT OF MY MIND came spinning out of me in a few months like a fever. (Unfortunately, the editing was not as easy.) 

OUT OF MY MIND is about a teenage psychic who works undercover for the government. It’s based on research about the work of the U.S. government’s remote viewers during the Cold War, with a lot of embellishment, of course. While writing it, I read hundreds of stories about these ‘psychic spies’, and it was absolutely riveting. Callie Sinclair, the heroine, emerged out of the true stories of these spies. As of now, the publishing date is Summer 2016. 

(*A big shout out to Tara Dairman, Laura Resau, and Jenny Goebel for catching me before I fell flat on my face at the prom.)

About The Author
Originally from the Rocky Mountains, Lauren Sabel has returned to the cool mountain air of Boulder, Colorado after living in several wonderful cities that she will always love and continue to visit year after year.

Lauren loves her husband, her family, her friends, and stories that end happily. (Unfortunately, hers never do.) She also loves digging into her mind and revealing tiny gems she didn’t know were there.

Lauren learned to mind dig while getting her MFA in Creative Writing from Naropa, a Buddhist college in Boulder, Colorado. Before Naropa, Lauren studied film in Rome, where she developed her love of crypts and other beautiful creepy things. She also worked in the film industry in New York and San Francisco, focusing mainly on film festivals, as she can never pass up a good party. In San Francisco she worked for Chronicle Books, where she was inducted into the fascinating world of book publishing.

For the past eight years, Lauren has been teaching college students the joys of creative writing, whether they like it or not.

In 2008, Lauren was published in Undiscovered Voices, an anthology of the best new writers for children in the U.K., where she was living at the time. Then life got very exciting very quickly. She signed with Jodi Reamer Esq. at The Writer’s House Agency in New York, and they made magic happen, and that magic is named Katherine Tegen. (aka: Katherine Tegen Publishing, Harper Collins)

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  1. I've wanted to read this book! I hope I win. (Every time I say that, I think of Mr. Bean (Rowan Atkinson) in the movie Rat Race.

  2. Lauren I can't wait to read this!

  3. This book has been on my radar for quite some time now it looks and sounds awesome! Thanks for the great giveaway!

  4. This looks like a great read! It is new to me but I'll be adding it to my list! Thanks!

  5. Thanks for your support, ladies. I really appreciate it! :)

  6. I've had my eye on this book for awhile. I love the name, Vivian Divine. How fabulous! Thanks for the chance!

  7. This sounds like a pretty cool book! I like the song Perfect as well <3