We had the extreme pleasure of interviewing Lauren Oliver about PANIC as part of the books blog tour! We voraciously consumed the series in a day (review coming soon!) and if you haven’t picked it up yet, you’re missing out on an amazing read! Order it now!
Anyway, on to the interview!
PANIC is all about facing fear by completely dangerous stunts. What’s the most daring stunt you’ve ever achieved?
In order to prepare for Panic I went skydiving and… even scarier… I FACED MY FEAR OF BANANAS. There’s actually a video of it.
How would you fare in a competition like PANIC, where the main goals are to do terrifying things without showing fear?
I actually think I’d do pretty well. I’m definitely adventurous and I think I’m pretty good at faking confidence even when I’m totally freaking out. Although if bananas were on the list of challenges I’d be out right away (see video above).
What inspired you to write the story from two different points of view? Did one character come to you before the other or did you always plan to write the book this way?
I was really interested in what would motivate the players to compete and also in what, psychologically, enables some people to confront fear while others get kind of paralyzed by it. So initially I spent time writing from all of the players’ points of view: I wanted to know and understand everyone’s stories. Ultimately, my interested began to concentrate around Dodge and Heather, which is why they remained the two POV characters. I also thought I could build suspense by ping-ponging back and forth between two competitors, both of whom the reader (hopefully) likes.
Carp is a bit of a dead-end town. Is there a certain place or experience in your life that inspired that setting?
Well, I’ve traveled pretty extensively so I’ve certainly seen a lot of impoverished rural communities. But I can definitely relate emotionally to the kids of Carp, even if I never personally experienced their particular challenges. Everyone, I think, has at some point felt trapped by their lives and their identities, their families and their limitations. Everyone dreams of escape.
Thanks so much for the interview, Lauren!
Check out Day 1 of the Blog Tour at Fangirlish