Author Spotlight: Lauren Oliver

Having just released her seventh YA title, Vanishing Girls, Lauren Oliver shows no signs of losing her touch. In her newest release, Oliver follows the story of Nick attempting to restore her relationship with her sister, Dara, when she goes missing the day before her birthday, forcing Nick to pursue her and the mystery surrounding her disappearance. Compelling and spirited, and woven with lyrical language, Oliver proves she is still at the top of her game.

In fact, we think our favourite YA author could teach us a thing or two. Have a look some tips for life we have found in investigating Lauren Oliver’s biography.

Live imaginatively.

Born in Queens to two literature professors and raised in Westchester, New York, Oliver was encouraged to think creatively from a young age. She danced, and painted, and played pretend in costumes with her sister, cultivating a brain perfect for writing best-selling titles.
Get creative. Spend your time doing things that will get those imaginative juices flowing, like drawing or writing or dancing around to your favourite song. It’ll make you a better artist.

Learn from the Greats.

Oliver, being an avid reader first and foremost, drew inspiration from the books she loved. After finishing a novel she adored, she took to her own notebook and penned a sequel of her own devising – a fan fiction, of sorts.
If you love something and want to get better at it, learn about it. If you’re into writing, read – read all the time. Read YA articles, articles on grammar, read novels and poetry and short stories – read all you can and learn from the writers who have come before you.

Don't be afraid to go after something you love.

Oliver didn’t go into accountancy because it was safe, or teaching because it was practical – she studied Literature and Philosophy at the University of Chicago, because she was passionate about those things. Don’t waste your time on things you don’t really care about, when you would really rather be dancing, or reading, or writing. Get a plan together, and go for what you want.

Take risks.

She had a stable job at Penguin Books as an assistant editor, but she gave it up to write full-time.
Life is scary and full of the unknown, but take a few risks every now and again. Choose the unfamiliar dish at the restaurant, go somewhere you’ve been to before on your next holiday, pick up a YA title you thought you would never enjoy, or start that book blog you didn’t think would get off the ground.
Enjoy the risk, and relish in what scares you.

For more on Lauren Oliver and all of her amazing books, check out her website,