Soon after we finished Pandemonium, we had the extreme pleasure of interviewing Lauren Oliver, the brilliant author behind the Delirium trilogy! Besides being an amazing writer, it turns out that Lauren is also a super sweet (though we’re sure you already could have guessed that!)
Part 1 of the interview is spoiler-free when it comes to Pandemonium, however the last question discusses the details of Lauren’s five chapter e-novella Hana. If you’re still looking read the novella, please avoid that last question!
You chose to structure Pandemonium much differently than the chapter-by-chapter set-up of Delirium. What brought that about?
I think I was just confronting a very broken Lena at the end of Delirium—and I needed, for my own sanity, to project forward, to know that she would turn out to be okay. So I began writing about her future self, and then I just continued alternating back and forth.
Were there any certain governments or organizations in history that inspired the political themes Pandemonium takes on?
This year was a landmark year for public unrest. In America, I was inspired by the Occupy movements, and I was deeply inspired by the so-called Arab Spring, and the demonstrations of a furious public in the streets of various repressive and fundamentalist regimes. All that was a big influence, yes.
You’ve introduced us to several members of the resistance, a few of which have amazing backstories. Did you invent backstories for all the characters? Will we hear more of them in the future?
I do have a sense of the backstories of the characters in the Wilds, yes—I find it helps to know more about your characters than you can put on the page. And we do learn more about certain members of the resistance in Requiem, although unfortunately, there simply isn’t room to speak about everyone.
We’ve heard lots of fans say that while Delirium is about love, Pandemonium is about anger and resentment. Would you agree?
Oh, wow! I hadn’t heard that. Pandemonium is a much more explosive book, it’s true. It deals with a lot of things—grief, anger, prejudice, and also, perhaps, healing.
***HANA SPOILER BELOW***
Lena cannot fully trust the government nor the resistance by the end of Pandemonium. In Hana, the eBook novella from Hana’s perspective, we learn that she reported Lena and Alex. Is there anyone in Lena’s life who is innately good and trustworthy?
There are many people in Lena’s life who are exceptionally good—including Hana. People are not “innately” one way or another. We must choose, over and over again, day by day, to act in a way that is in accordance with our values. Good people do terrible things sometimes. Terrible people do good things sometimes. We must be defined by our continued choices.
If you’ve already read Pandemonium, keep checking back for Part 2 of our interview, in which we discuss all the spoiler-y, in-depth details of the book! If you haven’t read it yet… GET READING!