Welcome to Booked!, a feature where we ask authors to share the books that inspired them with our readers. Today’s guest is Lauren Kate, author of the Fallen series.
Though I researched a lot of angelology (in the Bible, in the apocryphal texts like the Books of Enoch and the Dead Sea Scrolls, and in the critical works of Jeffrey Burton Russel and Harold Bloom), my fictional inspirations for the Fallen Novels were rather more terrestrial:
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
This was the first book I ever loved in a high school English class. I’ve read it several times since then and each time I return to it, something new strikes me as marvelous. In high school, I loved this book because of the way Daisy, from her entrance in the sitting room, has the reader completely wrapped around her finger. I empathize with Gatsby! In college, I admired the language and loved the beauty of its doom. Recently, I’ve loved it for Fitzgerald’s plot perfection – because just when you don’t see how it’s possible to wrap up a story like this, Fitzgerald fits all the pieces together like a puzzle. Surprising, inevitable, lovely.
The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
Another book I’ve gone back to several times. I think it took me three reads to make any sense of the story, and three more to really fall in love with its power and complexity. I’m inspired by the way Faulkner sees time, the layers of it interwoven, sometimes indistinguishable from one another. I’ve thought about time – past and past and more past lives – so frequently in the Fallen series. Time’s power over characters is very important to me, probably because of Faulkner. I was also inspired years ago when I saw a photograph of his writing desk at his Rowan Oak house in Oxford. The way the window with the view was so important to him became a standard for me, too. In December I got to go to Rowan Oak and see the typewriter where it all happened! (See it for yourself below.)
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Recently, I’ve been thinking that the link between paranormal and magical realism is undervalued. My own love for the scope and imagination of paranormal is rooted in books like One Hundred Years of Solitude. I especially love the way Marquez moves so seamlessly between reality and the fantastical, making the impossible seem possible and the mundane seem linked to the otherworldly.
Lauren Kate grew up in Dallas, went to school in Atlanta, and started writing in New York. She is the author of Fallen, Torment, and the just-released Passion, and The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove. Her books have been translated into over thirty languages. She lives in Laurel Canyon with her husband and hopes to work in a restaurant kitchen and learn how to surf. She is currently at work on the final book in the Fallen series, Rapture.