Friday, June 1, 2012

Author Interview with Sarah Alderson (Hunting Lila)

17-year-old Lila has two secrets she’s prepared to take to the grave. The first is that she can move things just by looking at them. The second is that she’s been in love with her brother’s best friend, Alex, since forever.

After a mugging exposes her unique ability, Lila decides to run to the only people she can trust – her brother and Alex. They live in Southern California where they work for a secret organisation called The Unit, and Lila discovers that the two of them are hunting down the men who murdered her mother five years before. And that they’ve found them. In a world where nothing and no one is quite as they seem, Lila quickly realises that she is not alone – there are others out there just like her – people with special powers -and her mother’s killer is one of them…

Today I have the amazing Sarah Alderson on the blog for a quick interview. 
1) Are you a plotter or a pantser, or perhaps a mixture of both?
More of a pantser. At least now. At first I used to plot a little more (when I say little, I’d just think through a chapter) now I just sit at my computer and start writing and see what happens. I write possessed.

2) Which authors would you list as favourites and which ones as inspirational? Or perhaps you have been more inspired by characters from books?
I love John Green. He’s amazing. He always hits such a raw emotional note. Maggie Stiefvater writes beautiful prose. I loved Graffiti Moon by Cath Crawley too and Daughter of Smoke and Bone for it’s amazing world-building.
In terms of books and character inspiration I’m most inspired by television and movies. I think some incredible writers are today writing screenplays – Mad Men and The Wire are just two examples of epic, intelligent writing. I aspire to write so well and to engage viewers / readers in the same way. That is a true art.

3) I noticed you have a soundtrack for Hunting Lila, do you always compile a list of music before you start writing or do you pick songs to add as you write the next scene? (I'm checking out a lot of the artists, as there are quite a few that I've never heard of and I loved finding new music.)
I usually have a few tracks set aside and then I add as I’m writing. I actually just collaborated with a music journalist on my last book. The protagonist in it is a wannabe music writer and so all the way through the writing of the book I worked with this person to create play lists for the different chapters. It was so much fun and when the book comes out we’re going to do something cool with that.

4) Where is the perfect place to sit and write – outside or inside? Or do you have an ideal place in mind that you one day hope to create for yourself?
It varies, in Bali I tend to write in my studio overlooking rice paddies. I do have a vision of the perfect writing studio but this comes pretty close. It’s too hot to sit outside and work but we have a pool so I tend to sit and read and edit out there.

5) If you were stuck on a Deserted Island, what five books would you want to have with you?
I would want the SAS Survival Guide because I have no idea how to make fire, spear fish, create shelter or collect rainwater so this would be handy to have otherwise I’d die.
Can I swap a book for a person and bring Alex? He’d know what to do and then I could sit back and work on my tan.
I’d probably take Perfect Chemistry for those moments I want to escape from reality and swoon. Then I could re-enact the scenes with my Alex standing in for Alex Fuentes.
I’d want something completely huge – like a tome that I could use to kill snakes with and that would also take several years to get through – probably the complete works of Shakespeare or the collected works of all world religions (does that exist?). Because let’s face it, I’m never going to read all that unless I’m somewhere with no Facebook to distract me.
I think I’d like a book on how to meditate and do Pilates because with all that time to spare I’d want to keep fit and stay sane.
And then I’d need another fiction book – right now I really want the sequel to Daughter of Smoke and Bone so I’ll say that.

6) Do you have a favourite character (from any of your books) that you secretly wish were real? Why?
Alex. Without a doubt. He’d be the most heavenly boyfriend in the world. I’m married though so don’t tell my husband that.

Thank you so much for being a part of my tour stop. I loved learning about  you and your Hunting Lila series. Cannot wait for the sequel, Losing Lila.

About the author:
Having spent most of her life in London, Sarah quit her job in the non profit sector in 2009 and took off on a round the world trip with her husband and princess-obsessed daughter on a mission to find a new place to call home. After several months in India, Singapore, Australia and the US, they settled in Bali where Sarah now spends her days writing by the pool and drinking lots of coconuts.
She finished her first novel Hunting Lila just before they left the UK, wrote the sequel on the beach in India, and had signed a two book deal with Simon & Schuster by the time they reached Bali.
A third book, Fated, about a teenage demon slayer, which was written during their stay in California, was published in January 2012 by Simon Pulse (an imprint of Simon & Schuster).
She is currently working on several exciting new book projects and screenplays.


  1. Great interview! I loved Hunting Lila. Being trapped on a deserted island with Alex sounds pretty much perfect to me ;)

    1. Thanks for stopping by Lisa! Sarah's pick for a deserted island are pretty awesome! :)

  2. Great post! I've been wanting to read this one. Love the interview. It's always nice to see a more personal side of the author!

    Chapter by Chapter

    1. It was quite fun to do as well. :) I think you'll love the book. :)

  3. Totally enjoyed reading the review! Especially the part about the 5 books to bring on a deserted island. A tome? To kill snakes? Wow! I would never have thought of that.

    Oh yeah, I definitely want to be trapped on a deserted island with Alex! <#

    1. Thanks for stopping by Michelle! I never would have thought about using a book to kill snakes, but it just might work. ;)

  4. Haha I love Sarah's answer about which character she wishes were real - that's such a funny response ;) You put together some great questions, Chrystal. Thanks for taking the time to do that :)

    Brenna from Esther's Ever After

    1. Wasn't that a great interview? I loved Sarah's answers too. :)


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