[Audio] Interview with Mitch Albom – 2014-02-20

As I promised in a previous post, here’s the audio of my interview (almost in its entirety) with Mitch Albom last February 20th.

I was in a panel with 2 reporters from other websites. We were the last batch of interviewers, scheduled just before Mitch had to leave for a live appearance in a TV program, so we didn’t have a lot of time. And I had a very different set of questions for the article that I conceptualized compared to the other ladies, so the topics are noticeably…all over the place (and so fluffeh!) ^_^

At times like these, though, you just roll with the punches. We did get some good answers from Mitch, who was very accommodating and open. This was during the second straight day of his media blitz, and he must have been tired and jetlagged, but he never really showed it.


  • His charity project for typhoon-devastated school libraries.
  • The book that resonated with him when he was young: “The Royal Road to Romance (1925)” by Richard Halliburton
  • A glimpse into his creative process
  • Anecdotes about his travels around the world
  • The inspiration for “The First Phone Call From Heaven”
  • How his uncle inspired “The Five People You Meet In Heaven”
  • A glimpse into his “Happy” playlist…and he actually whipped out his tablet to let us listen to some songs!
  • His next project.

The article I eventually wrote about Mitch Albom has been published here —
Mitch Albom: ‘Giving is living’ and the healing power of stories

Snapshots: Meeting Mina

A wee break from all the The Hunger Games re-read posts.

I’m still transcribing my interview with author Mina V. Esguerra, which will appear in the form of a profile on GMA News Online – Lifestyle sometime this week or early next week. In the interim :P, here’s a snapshot of what she wrote on my copy of Interim Goddess of Love:

I enjoyed finally meeting Mina, who I’ve only ever corresponded with via e-mail and Twitter. She’s very passionate about her writing, and was very forthcoming when I asked her to share her thoughts and experiences about self-publishing independent publishing. I hope I will be able to capture that enthusiasm in the profile that I’m writing. 🙂

College sophomore Hannah Maquiling doesn’t know why everyone tells her their love problems. She’s never even had a boyfriend, but that doesn’t stop people from spilling their guts to her, and asking for advice. So maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise when the cutest guy in school tells her that she’s going to have to take on this responsibility — but for all humanity.

The Goddess of Love has gone AWOL. It’s a problem, because her job is to keep in check this world’s obsession with love (and lack of it). The God of the Sun, for now an impossibly handsome senior at an exclusive college just outside of Metro Manila, thinks Hannah has what it takes to (temporarily) do the job.

While she’s learning to do this goddess thing, she practices on the love troubles of shy Kathy, who’s got a secret admirer on campus. Hannah’s mission, should she choose to accept it, is to make sure that he’s not a creepy stalker and they find their happily ever after — or at least something that’ll last until next semester. (As if she could refuse! The Sun God asked so nicely. And he’s so, well, hot.)

Interim Goddess of Love is available via Amazon and Mina’s Multiply Store.

Samantha Sotto’s journey before Ever After

My profile story on Filipino author Samantha Sotto is now live at GMA News Online — Lifestyle Section.

There are so many things from the interview that I wasn’t able to include in the piece because we have to stick to a word count range.

Sam and I chatted for about 2 hours, and she had so many interesting stories to tell about her publishing experience and about Before Ever After. I’ll likely submit a review of the book as a companion piece to the profile, and I hope to be able to incorporate more tidbits from the interview there. The rest will likely just end up here. 🙂

I’m having internet issues, so I can’t blog properly. I hope I’ll be able to contribute something for the Readercon Filipino Friday Meme tomorrow! *crosses fingers*

Photo of Sam by Gary Joran Mayoralgo

Lauren Kate: On Rapture, writing, future projects, and fan fiction

This is the last installment of the transcript of my interview with Lauren Kate, New York Times Bestselling Author of the Fallen series.


Meann: I read on Twitter that you tried balut. How was that?

Lauren Kate: Oh my gosh. It was scary. But it actually tasted pretty good. I was not able to eat the serious parts, but I had the broth and the yolk. This one came with a little bowl of salt and a little bowl of vinegar with chopped onions. So that was good; that was a good compliment to it.

M: How is your Asian Tour so far?

LK: It’s pretty wild to be over here. And actually, coming to the Philippines…coming back here kinda feels like a really nice homecoming. I’m still very familiar with it here, and the people are so warm. And meeting the people last year, I have kept up with so many of them on Twitter and Facebook, so it feels like familiar territory.

Whereas Singapore and KL, I’ve never been there.  It’s all new experiences, but I love it. The people are wonderful, the food is so good, and it just feels really crazy to talk about your books on the other side of the world.

In Malaysia, they actually sell the books in a number of languages: Chinese, German, and French, I think, and Japanese. There was a couple of Chinese girls, and I got to sign their books, which were in Chinese…

M: What has kept you busy these past few months?

LK: I’ve just finished the 1st draft of Rapture. I’ve been working on that the whole winter and spring. After this tour, when I get home in August, I will do the revisions—probably two or three more rounds of revisions.

M: Can you tell us anything more about what to expect in Rapture?

LK: We have this main threat that all of the angels have to band together to prevent from happening; it’s something that both sides would hate to see happen. Their entire existence is being called into question. Everything is threatened. So we’ll see all the characters together again, which I missed a little bit in Passion.

For the first time, we see Luce and Daniel together in the present and in a good relationship for the whole book. That was fun to explore because, for all sorts of different reasons, we never saw that in any of the other books. Rapture is the first time…when I was writing it, it’s the first that I’ve ever been sitting at the keyboard and actually cried during the writing of a scene. It’s going to be a very powerful book.

M: Will there be more Shelby and Miles?

LK: Yeah, definitely. I really like their dynamic.

M: When Rapture is released, do you plan to go back here (to the Philippines)?

LK: I would love to. Next time, when I come back, I’ve got to spend more time here, and I’ve got to go and see some of the islands, have a vacation. I need to do it right.

M: I wasn’t able to ask about this before, but do you have any particular reason for choosing the titles of the books? Because we just keep joking about how Rapture is going to be released in 2012.

LK: Right, right. I always knew that Fallen was gonna be the title of Fallen, and that Rapture was gonna be called Rapture. I didn’t know what the two middle ones were gonna be; my publisher helped me find those titles. We had brainstorming sessions. Between my editor, my agent, my publisher, we probably came out with 300 titles and then chose the best ones for the books.

I wasn’t sure about the title for Passion or Torment at the time; now they seem very fitting. I think I was too close to the story during the time we were thinking about the titles to think that they were right. But I trusted that my team at Random House knew what they were talking about. I think titles are often very hard on writers for that reason, because you can be too close to the story to see what it’s about.

M: Did you have a working title or like a pet name for Passion?

LK: Passion, I was calling it Chaos for a long time. But Passion’s better, it’s a lot better.

M: We’ve seen your Passion playlist online, but some fans are asking if there’s a particular song that you associate with Fallen or Torment. Were there playlists for those?

LK: I didn’t do playlists for those. I should go back and do that, maybe.

I think for Fallen, the song by The Jayhawks called “You Look So Young”. I listened to that a lot when I was writing Fallen.

For Torment, I think a lot about the Bridezilla album. One of the songs, “Beaches”, I think, is on the Passion playlist, but the whole album… I’d just gotten it from my Australian publisher when I was working on revising Torment, so I listened to that a lot.

M: What’s your daily writing routine like?

LK: Usually, when I get up in the morning, I go for a run. I take my dog for a run. In the fall, I was training for a marathon, and so I was running a lot to do that. I’m done with the race now, but I’m still running; I’ve found that it’s really helpful to clear my head, and to focus myself.

By the time I’m finished running, usually I have the first paragraph of what I’m gonna write that day mapped out—that’s usually the hardest part for me, to get a little bit of momentum. So that way, when I sit down, I’m ready to go.  I turn off my phone, I turn off my e-mail alerts, I turn off everything, and I just write for about 6 hours and then I’m totally brain dead.

Usually, to unwind, on an average night, I love to cook. It’s very hands-on and also mindless. I don’t have to think—I can just zone out, watch TV, do something with my hands—it’s very different from writing. Then I wake up the next day, and do it all over again.

It’s pretty boring when I’m working on a draft. I see friends sometimes, but I’m sort of hard to reach, and I’m just like in a little cave with my computer. So I’m happy when the first draft is over and I can go out, see friends again, and be a real person.

M: You don’t go to any special place?

LK: I like to write in my office—it’s quiet, there’s a window that looks out on this canyon where I live. I don’t like to go to coffee shops because I like it to be very quiet, and you never know what kind of distractions there’s gonna be.

I have a lot of writing friends in LA who go to coffee shops. It’s a big scene: everybody has their computers up, and you sort of look around and everybody’s writing. I can’t deal with that. I just have to be alone. It takes me so long to get into that place mentally that I would just be too distracted.

M: How much of Luce is based on you?

LK: Just very very little things. Probably on every page, there are little tiny details that have something to do with me. Something like her relationship with her grandmother. A very small detail—things that she remembers, or some kind of food that she likes or doesn’t like. Those things are sometimes based on me, sometimes they’re based on other people I know or no one at all. But the core of her character is not at all based on me. I can relate to her, I feel like we’ll be very good friends, but it’s a completely different… a separate entity for me.

M: You mentioned when I spoke to you last year that Luce is not initially how you envisioned her in Fallen. Now, has she developed more into what you envisioned?

LK: Yeah, definitely. And now I really care about her a lot, I think she’s wonderful. And actually, now, when I go back and read Fallen, I feel very differently about her. I went back and read the whole series to prepare for writing Rapture and I see her as something very different than I did before. I think that having different perspectives of her character changed everything.

I think that when we talked last time about some issues I have with Luce, it’s probably just issues I was having with my writing and with the story; it wasn’t her. So I can see her now as her own entity, and I enjoy her very much. I love the way she’s grown over the series. I’m really very proud of her right now.

M: Are there any developments with the movie?

LK: They are very close to finishing the script. They had written one script and it wasn’t good enough, I think, so they found a new writer.  So they’re just finishing a new script, and everyone’s really excited about it.

M: Also you mentioned the idea for the new series? Can you tell us more about that?

LK: I can’t share anything about it yet ‘cause I’m still working on it with my publisher. But it’ll be a trilogy–there’ll be a new world, new characters. It’ll still have some otherworldly elements.

M: Have any of your fans sent you fan fiction?

LK: Yeah, I got one the other day, actually, when I was in Kuala Lumpur. I don’t go to the websites where they are posted, but I see every once in a while on Facebook, like a new one has been added.

M: Are you okay with that?

LK: Yeah, definitely. I think it’s very flattering, yeah, I think it’s really cool.

M: Some authors are very protective about their characters, and—

LK: Really?

M: Yeah, I think Anne Rice doesn’t approve of it.

LK: I think it’s amazing, actually, that people can imagine your characters well enough that they can see them in scenes that you haven’t written about. That means you’re successful in writing something that’s real and vibrant, so I think it’s really flattering.


Thank you to National Book Store, esp. to Karla and Chad, for giving me the chance to be able to talk to Lauren again.  Thanks to my talented photographer, Gary Mayoralgo. 😛  And thank you, Lauren, for being such an accommodating and funny and non-frightening interviewee. 😀

Image Credits:
– Lauren Kate: The Passion Tour photos by Gary Mayoralgo
– Front page feature image: lib-art.com

Related Articles:
– Previous excerpt — Lauren Kate: On the WSJ debacle and writing for teens
– Previous excerpt — Lauren Kate: On visual inspirations and angel wings
– Previous excerpt — Lauren Kate: On Luce’s lifetimes and writing bad guys
An epic, romantic journey with Lauren Kate (on GMA News Online)


Lauren Kate: On Luce’s lifetimes and writing bad guys

This is the penultimate installment of the transcript of my interview with New York Times Bestselling Author Lauren Kate last July 15th. Here, she talks about Luce’s past lives, free will vs. destiny, and Bill. (Muwahaha!)

Spoiler Warning: Some plot lines and outcomes in Passion were discussed here.


Meann: In Passion, how did you go about choosing which time and place you would like to include in the book?

Lauren Kate: There were different reasons. Some of them are vacation spots that really affected me, like her life in Chichén Itzá. I went there 2 or 3 years ago, I think. I always thought the culture is so startlingly different from anything I know—it’s so fascinating how violent they were, but how much they value their lives. That strange juxtaposition of those 2 things really startled me.

I remember thinking at the time, I’d love to write about those, but I’m not gonna write a whole book about a character who lives there. So it’s really cool to just drop her [Luce] in for a chapter, let her sit there and deal with it, and then take her somewhere else.

A lot of them actually were based on novels that I really liked and settings that I had read about and wanted to explore, like when she’s in Milan, that’s A Farewell to Arms. So I reread that, and pulled a lot of those images and little bits of the story there into the book. Same thing with the Halston, England chapters; I’ve always loved Victorian novels. Further back, some of them are just fantasy, settings that I’ve always been intrigued by and wanted to learn more about.

M: I really love the Egyptian one.

LK: Do you? I like that one, too.

lauren reads

M: Which one was the hardest to write?

LK: The earliest ones—the ones that appear latest in the books, or earliest in time—those are just so foreign to me. It’s a lot easier for me to write about the 1920’s, the 1940’s, or even Shakespeare’s time because we’re so familiar…or I guess American culture is so obsessed with Shakespeare’s time that we see it a lot in movies, we read about them all the time in school.  But yeah, like the Egypt chapter, and the Shang dynasty chapter—I had to take a different approach to ground the reader and myself in the scenes.

M:  In the China chapter, I kinda envisioned her looking like Mulan.

LK: [laughs] Yeah, me too, me too! I don’t know… That’s funny, but yeah, me too.

M: I like the Mayan one, too. It was kinda scary. And there’s an actual pit where they throw in their human sacrifices?

LK: Yeah, it’s like this very green, acid green water, and you can still see the skeletons there.

M: Did you have any discarded ideas for places or time periods?

LK: Yeah. Yeah, I have a scrap pile that has little bits and pieces from here and there. I’ve gotta figure out what to do with them. Someday, I’ll figure out a format, whether it’s online or something in print.

M: What do you think Luce and Daniel would have been like in a Philippine setting?

LK: [laughs] They would’ve eaten a lot of balut. I can picture them on a little deserted island, one of the 7,000 islands here.

M: Bill. Is he really who we think he is… you know…

LK:  Yeah! He really is. Bill is going to be a force to be reckoned with in Rapture.

M:  He was fun, though, when he was a gargoyle.

LK:  Yeah. He was a very interesting character to write. Obviously, I knew exactly what was going to happen to him, I knew exactly who the readers are going to find out he was in the end.  But I had to make him… I think most readers are suspicious of him, at least in the beginning.  But those characters, there’s always a fine line between how much evil should I show, how much darkness should I show.  We still gotta stick around with this guy for several thousand more years, so you have to make him enjoyable, but also the foreshadowing has to be done just right.

M: And he’s also the guy in the Prologue.

LK: Yeah, he is. Yeah.

It’s hard for me to write bad guys; a truly vicious bad guy is no fun to read about.  You’ve got to give them some sort of charm. And then when I do that, I start to like them and I start to not want them to be quite so bad. I had to figure out how to do that.

Passion Tour Manila

M:  In Passion, we go back to The Very Beginning. I had a sort of Hermione Granger Time-Turner thing going on in my head when Daniel went back to the very start and realized that it was his intervention that changed everything. Can you explain a bit more about how that works?

LK:  I don’t think I should; that’s going to be in Rapture. The first meeting [with Luce] that he thinks he’s going to, he doesn’t end up there. He ends up further back—he ends up in Heaven before he ever met Luce. That moment, that is like the Elusive Mystery Moment of the whole series: when did they actually meet, why did they fall in love originally? And I’ve been teasing and teasing and teasing it, and I gave a little bit in Passion, but still, I’m backing away from it. But we’ll get there in Rapture.

M:  There’s also the element of Luce’s choice alluded to in The Ethereal Monarch’s judgment. Can you also explain that a bit, or is that going to be in Rapture as well?

LK:  Those are probably the biggest issues in Rapture. Because she’s not aware of it yet in Passion, I don’t think I should disclose it to the reader yet.

M:  The choices that the angels and Daniel make, I like that part in the book because the choices themselves are not really black and white, or good and evil, and not exactly a bad choice or a good choice. Someone said before that “Free Will is an illusion,” but is it, in the context of the mythology of Fallen?

LK:  That’s a good question, because even the characters that are operating as if they have free will, it was given to them by God. But I think what Luce and Daniel are proving is that free will is a very very difficult thing to achieve, but they’re always in pursuit of it. Their choice to love each other is constantly being swatted away, and the forces of good and evil are always trying to suppress it. I think, if and when they succeed, they’ll prove something about free will—that it’s possible.

M:  So is it more free will or destiny for Luce and Daniel, again, in the context of Fallen?

LK:  It’s very hard to tell one from the other, I think, especially with regard to their relationship. At times, it seems a lot like destiny, but in the end, I’m leaning towards free will. This is what bothers Luce a lot—she’s frustrated by the fact that they love each other because they’re supposed to. That they love each other for the right reasons is something that she’s thinking about a lot.

M:  Which is also part of the reason why she went back.

LK:  Yeah.

M:  Why did Daniel go back to that time with Cam and Lilith?

LK:  Oh.  Ummm…we’ll see.  We’ll see more of that.

M:  Because it was a little different from the other times; Luce wasn’t there.

LK:  There are a couple moments when he sort of loses track of Luce, like in the Greenland one.  I like those scenes where she’s not in it.  I mean, her role is obviously the most important, but it’s fun to show the other characters talking without her there.  That Greenland scene is one of my favorite ones.


Next time:  What to expect in Rapture, random bits of Fallen Series trivia, playlists, the movie, future projects, and Lauren talks about writing.

Image Credits:
– Lauren Kate: The Passion Tour photo by Gary Mayoralgo
– Gargoyle front page featured image from travelpod.com

Related Articles:
–  Previous excerpt — Lauren Kate: On the WSJ debacle and writing for teens
–  Previous excerpt — Lauren Kate: On visual inspirations and angel wings
–  An epic, romantic journey with Lauren Kate (on GMA News Online)

Lauren Kate: On visual inspirations and angel wings

Here’s another excerpt from my July 15th interview with New York Times Bestselling Author Lauren Kate. As promised, we talk about Justin Bieber, Barack Obama, and Lady Gaga. 😛


Question: The angels are very vividly described in you books. Did you have any specific references or any inspiration for why they look the way they look?

Lauren Kate:   I think so. Like Luce is loosely based on my oldest best friend—the way that her hair is, the way that her face is shaped, the way that her body moved—I think I did that just because I’m very familiar with the way she looks… So it was easy for me to think of her and channel her when I was writing Luce in the beginning. But in terms of personality, she’s not like her.

I don’t know how it happened, but I think I started more with their personalities. Like I started with Arianne—the way that she’s so insane, and the things she says helped me understand what she looks like, how wraithlike she is, the way that her arms flail when she talks, things like that.

I think also that the better I got to know the characters, the easier it is to picture them. Especially with angels, their physical traits don’t really matter that much—they matter to the readers, they matter to me as a writer, to be able to visualize them—but literally, they don’t matter. Their bodies are sort of just shells—they can change it anytime and look like something different, like when we see Daniel in China, he’s Chinese. It’s really what their soul looks like, which is a hard thing to describe. And so I think that it manifests itself in their physical characteristics so that I can paint a picture for the readers and for myself. I think probably the closest that I get to who they really are is when I describe what they look like.  I think that’s how I get closest to what their souls look like, if that makes sense.

LaurenQ: Just for fun, if you were an angel, what would your wings be like?

LK: That’s a great question… They’ll be silvery-white, and probably very long and maybe iridescent like Arianne’s.

Q: Just for fun again, what about famous people like…Justin Bieber?

LK: Oh, what will their wings look like? That’s a really good question. I think Justin Bieber’s wings will be thick, fluffy, white, and not very long…kind of thick and stout…I’m just making this up. [laughs]

Q: What about Barack Obama?

LK: I think they would be marbled, and very muscular, and very broad… I’m gonna write this question down.

Q: Lady Gaga?

LK: They’ll probably be mirrored, with spikes on them.

Q: Have you imagined what Michael and Gabriel and the other angels… what do they look like?

LK: Gabriel is actually the character Gabbe; she represents Gabriel in the books. I don’t have a Michael. Raphael is Roland, and Cam…Camriel is one of the Archangels.

Yeah, I don’t have a Michael because my agent’s name is Michael, and it’ll be weird if I had that be one of the main characters. [laughs]

Q: Do you have specific visual inspirations for Sword and Cross and Shoreline?

LK: I have specific geographical sites where they will be located. Sword and Cross is supposed to be set in a part of Georgia where there’s an old, abandoned military fort called Fort Pulaski.  It’s sort of out on the edge of the sandbars.

But the fort obviously is nothing like the school; the school was a complete invention in my mind. It’s become such a real thing in the books that it’s hard for me to remember how I came up with the little details. But I know that they were just very organic at the keyboard. Like the cemetery having that concave shape, or the gym…the natatory being a church. All of that was just sort of surprises at the keyboard, like whoa, that would be weird if I did this and it becomes reality.

Same thing with Shoreline. Shoreline, I based it on a site in Fort Bragg, California where there’s actually a winery; it looks over the ocean and it’s such a breathtaking sight. But in my mind, I took away the winery and planted this really beautiful school there.


Next time: Lauren talks about Luce’s temporal adventures

Image Credit:
– Lauren Kate portrait by Gary Mayoralgo

Related Articles:
–  Previous excerpt — Lauren Kate: On the WSJ debacle and writing for teens
–  An epic, romantic journey with Lauren Kate (on GMA News Online)

Lauren Kate: On the WSJ debacle and writing for teens

When I interviewed Lauren Kate last July 15th (thank you, folks from National Book Store!), I asked her a lot of questions to cover all my bases for the article that I’m submitting to GMA News Online, but also to satisfy my curiosity as a fan.

The write-up is already with my editor, but I think it’s safe to post this excerpt from the interview even if that hasn’t been published yet because this didn’t make it on to that piece anyway. Update: The piece, “An epic, romantic journey with Lauren Kate” is now live!


Lauren Kate Question:  You’ve probably heard of that infamous Wall Street Journal article (“Darkness Too Visible” by Meghan Cox Gurdon) about books for teens, right?  Most of the authors I follow online have already said their piece about it.  What did you think about it?

Lauren Kate:  The easiest thing to point out about this story is: whoever this woman is who went to the store and couldn’t find anything obviously didn’t look very hard. She obviously didn’t ask a single bookseller. There are so many different kinds of books.

What’s most disturbing is that the author wrote about a girl who wanted to read dark books that her mother didn’t want her to read…I don’t really know…I think she took the books away instead of asking her “Why are you interested in a book about eating disorders? Is there something that we need to talk about?”

What’s wonderful about the audiences that I have is that a lot of them are mother and daughter. The mothers are reading the books, and the daughters are reading the books, and they talk about them. To have an open dialogue with your mother about issues that you’re having as a teenager is such an amazing revolution; I didn’t have that when I was growing up. My mom is completely supportive and wonderful but wasn’t choosing to embark on the same kind of stories that interested me and were powerful to me so that we can talk about it. And I think that that’s a great thing that parents are doing these days.

It seems silly that the writer of that article, she took for granted that these authors who write dark stories are doing them with teens’ best interests in mind.  Most of us are engaged with our readers and we talk to them about problems. I get letters from people telling me about their broken hearts all the time and I take it very seriously. I think it’s very important that we are open and able to have a relationship with these people. When you write things for this audience, you have a responsibility to them.

There’s a group of YA writers that started an anthology called Dear Bully. I think it was started last fall after a few teens committed suicide because of school bullying. And so now Harper Collins is publishing an anthology, and each [writer] had a little poem or short story or a diary entry or something. I submitted an essay, and it’s coming out this fall [August 2011].

So I think we’re all engaged in a sort of social awareness of what’s going on–what is hard about being a teenager–and none of that was highlighted in this article. It’s just a very stodgy, old way of looking at things.

Q:  Did a reader write you in particular about Fallen having an impact in his or her life?

LK:  Many.  Lots of them do.

There are several different kinds of reader interactions. A lot of them are just like “Love your books. Can’t wait for the movie,” that kind of thing. It’s great when you hear someone who says “I never read before, this book got me reading, and now I’m reading other books.” But then there are the very personal ones that say “This reminds me of my own heartbreak and here’s what I’m going through, and here’s what I’m thinking about.” A lot of times, I’ll write personal letters back to those readers.  But also another thing that I started doing is thinking about the situation that they’re describing with their relationships and finding some way to respond to it in Fallen–writing a scene in the story that addresses the questions and issues that this particular girl or guy is going through.

I just did that with a guy. I got a pretty disturbing letter…a very depressed letter from a guy who is going through heartbreak. I did write him back, but I also wrote a scene about that situation using Luce and Daniel into Rapture.


Next time:  Lauren talks Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, and Barack Obama.  Yes, you read that right. 😛

Meeting Sam

I was fortunate to have had the chance to interview Samantha Sotto, author of Before Ever After, yesterday.  What was supposed to be a 45-minute Q&A became a 2 hour chat!  But wow, that was the most fun I’ve had in an interview. I lost my interview jitters the moment she introduced herself, shook my hand, and gave me a hug.

And now to write the piece, which will prove twice as hard as reading the book for 8 straight hours (I can still feel the physical effects of that effort), or getting over the interview jitters, or getting my brain unstuck from its Slovenian holiday.

On second thought, writing will be easier than leaving Slovenia.  o_0