Lauren Devora is not new to the writing scene but she has released her first book this past year, first in e-book and then in print, and is enjoying her new status as an author. Children of Lilith is the latest addition to the vampire genre and Lauren does not disappoint. Her characters are relatable and her style of writing is engageable. I found it difficult to put the book down and couldn’t wait to find out what was going to happen next. I wanted to be able to interview her and highlight her talents to the world. I know quite a few authors and love to share the world their expertise. Here is what Lauren had to say:
With the saturation of Vampires in movies and books, why did you choose to write about Vampires?
I wish I could say I chose Vampires… haha. I actually tried to make my “monsters” something totally different. Tried giving them a different name, different look, different everything, but it felt disingenuous. And then finally a friend just said “Why are you trying to call them something different? They’re obviously Vampires.” So I just owned it.
Vampires are also one of those creatures that, while yeah, they spike in popularity and then dip back down, they withstand the test of time. Dracula was published in 1897- that’s over a hundred years ago! But people still buy the book today. It’s a classic. Vampires are an amazing metaphor in literature. They can represent whatever you need them to. Repressed sexuality or sexual liberation? Check. The darker aspects of humanity, like greed, abuse of power, desire for control? Check. Feeling like the outsider, or not belonging to the “rest of the world”? Double check. They’ve gotten a bad rap recently because everyone got sick of Twilight, but really I think Vampires are fascinating and people still enjoying reading about them. Everything in the book market ebbs and flows, but some things circle back around.
How long did it take you to write this book and why so long?
Technically it took me 10 years, from the first idea to publication. But in that time it went through a complete overhaul, 3 draft rewrites, and numerous edits. I was in high school when I started, so school work, jobs, traveling took up a lot of my time. Not to mention I was a child still learning how to write haha.
Are your characters based on people you know in real life?
I think writers can’t help but draw from the people they know, but in my case, a more accurate statement is that all of my characters are pieces of myself. They all have parts of my personality- the good, the bad, the ugly, the deranged.
Do you do any special routines or rituals to your writing process?
Oh gosh… I guess the closest thing to a ritual I do would be listening to specific music to get my day started and my mind on writing. And coffee. I always have to have coffee when I write.
All writers experience writing blocks, have you experienced a reading block?
Oh yes. It’s sometimes hard for me to read and write at the same time, so I tend to put off reading. And finding books that I can stick with is difficult too because I usually read the same genres I write, so I almost always get inspired and start writing half way through.
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
Nope! Haha. It’s probably an ego thing, but I always thought “when my book is finished, I want to be able to see *my* name on the cover. Not a name I made up.” I did the work, so I want my name on it.
Does your writing energize or exhaust you?
A little of both. I get these huge bursts of energy when I’m riding a creative wave. I don’t need as much sleep as I normally would. But after I’ve written all day, my brain is fried. I’m pretty much a Zombie after a long writing day. It’s a nice exhaustion though! Like how you feel after a great workout or after doing something you love all day. You’re tired but you’re happy.
Do you write for yourself or for your readers?
For myself, but with the understanding that people will read it too, and want a good story. It’s easy to be self-indulgent with your writing when you’re only writing for yourself when you don’t think anyone will see it. I make sure I’m writing a story I’d want to read- keep it authentic and my own voice- and most of all, make sure it’s something I’d be content with. I just also write knowing that (hopefully) other people will read it, so I want to do justice to them.
How did the publishing process alter your view of becoming an author?
It made it real! Haha. Suddenly I wasn’t just plugging away at a word count, alone in my kitchen, or emailing chapters to friends and beta readers, hoping they didn’t hate it. I was putting it out there for people to read. There’s a sense of security in writing without publishing. It’s hidden, safe, it’s all yours. When you publish, you’re making the decision to be transparent, to let others see your work. You can’t hide anymore. It’s scary! You start thinking “oh boy, I’m really doing this. No going back now.”
What does literary success look like to you?
I’ve always said I want to entertain people. My favorite books aren’t huge literary masterpieces that get taught in college Lit classes. They’re entertaining, fun novels that kept me company on trips, or during rough parts of my life. Novels that let me check out of reality for a little bit. So if someone says that my book did that for them, that’s a success in my opinion. It isn’t about the money, it’s about meaning something to readers. Giving them a way to “vacation” from reality for a bit. Repaying the favor, I suppose.
Do you find any difficulties writing from the perspective of the opposite sex?
I’ve been asked this before, and it always makes me wonder if men get the same question, haha. For me, writing a person of a different gender isn’t an issue. Anyone of any gender can go through a whole gambit of emotions and stressful circumstances. They can all feel joy, jealousy, anger, enthusiasm, love… The list goes on and on. It’s about portraying that accurately, for the character, regardless of gender. Human beings are complex, and I would be doing a disservice as an author if I said: “well, he’s a guy so he can only react to this one way.” People aren’t that cut and dry. And I won’t even get into gender roles and what society says a man and woman should be… That’s a whole article in and of itself haha.
Have you encountered anything negative said about you or your book and how did you handle it?
Thankfully not yet! The response has been extremely positive, which was surprising. I was waiting for the one-star reviews or the harsh criticisms. I’ve received rejections and critiques of my work before I published, and yeah, that stings. But once the hurt went away, I was able to look at what those people were saying with a clearer perspective and mostly they were right. So I took it as a learning experience to better myself and my writing. Just because something hurts to hear doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t need to hear it.
You have mentioned you are creating a series around Children of Lilith, do you have plans to write books outside that genre?
If you mean Vampire genre, yes absolutely! I currently have 3 other projects that I write on when I’m feeling stuck with the Children of Lilith series. I’m still a pretty steady urban fantasy genre writer but I like branching out. I write screenplays, I have an idea for a graphic novel that I’m trying to wrangle my head around haha. I just let the characters tell their story, and if that involves Werewolves, Gargoyles, or a woman talking to ghosts, then that’s their story and I’m gonna do as much justice to it as I can.
If you would like to check out Lauren’s writing, I highly recommend you read her Tumblr
first. After you fall in love with her, you can get her book at; Amazon
, Barnes & Nobles
, and Lulu
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