Today we're excited to chat with Lauren Miller, author of All Things New. Read on for more about Lauren and her book, plus a giveaway!
Meet Lauren Miller!
Lauren Miller grew up in Atlanta, went to college at Yale and law school at Berkeley. She is currently a
business affairs executive at Studio 8, a film and television studio in Los Angeles, where she lives with her husband and three children. Miller’s debut was the critically acclaimed novel, Parallel. Her second novel, Free to Fall, appeared on YALSA's Best Fiction for Young Adults reading list in 2015 and is currently being developed into an episodic series for StyleHaul. Visit www.laurenmillerwrites.com and follow her on Twitter: @lmillerwrites, Instagram: @lmillerwrites, and Facebook: @laurenmillerwrites.
Fleeing from her old life in Los Angeles, Jessa moves to Colorado to live with her dad, but her anxiety only gets worse in the wake of the accident. That is, until she meets Marshall, a boy with a heart defect whose kindness and generous spirit slowly draw Jessa out of her walled-off shell and into the broken, beautiful, real world--a place where souls get hurt just as badly as bodies, and we all need each other to heal.
ALL THINGS NEW is a love story about perception and truth, physical and emotional pain, and the messy, complicated people we are behind the masks we put on for the world, perfect for fans of ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES and THE FAULT IN OUR STARS.
1.)What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
All Things New started as a story about inner beauty. I wanted to explore what makes a person truly beautiful, and why we so often can’t see it. But as I started writing, I found myself questioning the whole premise. Is inner beauty really that hard to make out? Sure, that’s the narrative we’re used to—a lovely person is stuck in an unattractive body and thus completely overlooked until the main character learns how to look past appearances to the truth within. It’s a familiar story, but in the real world, I think most of us already know how to do that. We’re pretty good at perceiving how kind and generous and honest the people around us are. It’s not beauty, I realized, but brokenness that stays hidden. The invisible wounds we’re all wearing on the inside. The hurt we don’t want anyone else to see. That idea was the seed that grew into All Things New.
2.) Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
When I first started writing, I didn’t know how to let my characters take control of the story. When other authors would talk about how their characters took on lives of their own, I’d roll my eyes and think “um, you’re the writer, you get to decide what they do!” But as a matured as a writer, I realized those other writers were right! Characters CAN become ‘living’ creatures that dictate how our stories turn out, if we learn how to let them. In ALL THINGS NEW, once I’d fully developed Jessa as a character, I didn’t have to “decide” how she would respond to Marshall, for example – I just knew.
3.)What do you like most about the cover of the book?
The colors! There is something about the combination that feels both intriguing and uplifting, which is exactly what I hope my story is for readers.
4.) What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2017?
The River of Consciousness by Oliver Sacks – it’s not a YA novel (or a novel at all!) but I have always been a tremendous Oliver Sacks fan and this book is a collection of his essays. Sacks was a writer and neurologist whose books explore scientific ideas that somehow reveal truths about the human soul. I’ve read everything he’s written and can’t wait for this one! He passed away last year from cancer so these essays will be especially poignant, since he was working on this book in the months leading up to his deal.
5.) What was your favorite book in 2016?
Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone. It was such a beautiful, powerful, and necessary story about identify and healing and hope.
6.) Which was the most difficult or emotional scene to narrate?
Spoiler alert! There is a scene in the book when a character has a medical crisis. Capturing Jessa’s thoughts during that scene while also moving the plot along was a challenge for sure. I didn’t want to sacrifice one for the other. It was a delicate balancing act, trying to be in her head and in the room at the same time.
7.) Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
Definitely revising. Writing a first draft is TOUGH. Once the bones of the story are there – and the characters have taken shape in my mind – I can focus on really crafting the tale I want to tell.
8.) What would you say is your superpower?
I can look at a menu and know what every person in my group should order, and I’m always right!
9.) Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?
There are many! One is The Invisibles Campaign (www.invisibles.la) which exists to bring awareness to and get people involved in the foster care crisis in Los Angeles, my city. Check it out!
All Things New
By: Lauren Miller
Release Date: August 1, 2017