Blogoversary Day 4: Lauren Miller

Aaaaand welcome back to day four of my blogoversary celebration! Again, I really hope you're enjoying the posts with/by these fantastic authors, because I have another incredibly fun one for you all today--by Lauren Miller, author of the debut PARALLEL! Lauren's been awesome enough to share with us quite a few different things--ten random facts about her, five things you should know about PARALLEL, as well as a delightfully cliffhangery excerpt from PARALLEL! I haven't read PARALLEL myself, yet, but I've heard beyond amazing things about it, so I can't wait!

10 Random Facts about PARALLEL and Lauren Miller!

1.  PARALLEL started as a television script about a 27 year old girl on the brink of marrying the wrong guy.  The entire plot changed when I turned it into a YA novel, but none of the characters did!  They just got younger.

2.  I don't carry a purse.  I have an oversized wallet that doubles as a clutch, but I carry my laptop and phone and everything else in a reusable grocery bag.  In my defense, it is a very cute reusable grocery bag that looks sort of like a purse.

3.  I have never eaten a Twinkie.

Blythe: *gasp*

4.  I got hit by an air conditioning truck with I was 13 while riding my bike to the gas station to buy magazines.  I had so much asphalt embedded in my left arm that the doctor told me my skin would always have a grayish tint. I proceeded to tell him I had the eighth grade dance to think about, so he had to scrub every bit of it out!  (He did)

5.  You know how some people put ketchup on everything?  Well, I put avocados on everything, including my face (it's a great mask!)

6.  I get up (to write) very early in the morning, but I don't use an alarm clock.  Every night when I go to bed I assume I'll oversleep, but I always wake up at the same time, at 4:55 a.m.  I call it my internal alarm clock, and I've had it every since I was a kid.  I just tell myself what time I want to wake up, and almost invariably, I do.

7.  I once flew to Rome for three weeks to see a guy I'd never dated and hadn't seen in more than a year, just because I dreamed about him and felt like I should.  I haven't seen him since.

8.  When I was in 8th grade, my cheerleading team won a national cheerleading championship and our routine was on ESPN 2.  Go Hornets!

9.  When I was in elementary school, my parents told me I wasn't allowed to read THE PRINCE OF TIDES by Pat Conroy because of its mature subject matter.  So I ripped off the cover of my mom's copy of BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES by Tom Wolfe and glued it on top of the PRINCE OF TIDES cover so I could read it in front of her.  Why she considered BONFIRE OF THE TIDES appropriate reading material for a 10 year old, I have no idea, but I'm glad she did because it was the only book I could find with a thick enough spine to be my fake cover.

10.  My favorite book of the moment is THE SEA OF TRANQUILITY by Katja Millay.  If you haven't read it, stop reading this post and go buy it right now!  My favorite book of all time is MADAME BOVARY by Gustave Flaubert.

5 Things You Should Know About PARALLEL

1. PARALLEL is NOT a time travel story.  

2. My main character, Abby, does not wake up in a parallel universe.  She wakes up to a changed reality, but she's still here, in our world.

3. Abby and Parallel Abby are two completely different people.  

4. The chapters in PARALLEL alternate between our world and a parallel world that's a year behind ours in time (i.e., in the parallel world, "today" is March 31st, 2012). 

5. The dates at the beginning of each chapter are important.  Pay attention to them.

Excerpt from PARALLEL
Here is a short excerpt from PARALLEL!  It's the moment Abby first wakes up to a changed reality, the morning of her 18th birthday.

I’m jolted awake by a bright, searing light and a blast of cold air. Shivering, I open my eyes, then immediately close them, wincing at the brightness. It takes me a few seconds to realize that the blinding light is the sun.

Shit, shit, shit.

If the sun’s up, I either slept through my five o’clock a.m. wake-up call or the front desk never made it. I feel myself start to panic. How late is it? I was supposed to be in hair and makeup at 6:05. Alain will be livid if I’m late. Please don’t let it be past six, please don’t let it be past six, please don’t let it be past six. Eyes still adjusting to the light, I roll over toward the nightstand and force myself to look at the clock. But there’s no clock in sight. Where the nightstand should be is a wall. A poorly painted white one.

Fear grips my body. The walls of my hotel room are covered in textured gold linen. And the bed isn’t this close to the wall. Heart pounding, I look down at the blanket I’m holding.

A blanket that should match the pale ivory upholstery of the Victorian chair by the window.

The blanket is blue.


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Abby Barnes had a plan. The Plan. She'd go to Northwestern, major in journalism, and land a job at a national newspaper, all before she turned twenty-two. But one tiny choice—taking a drama class her senior year of high school—changed all that. Now, on the eve of her eighteenth birthday, Abby is stuck on a Hollywood movie set, miles from where she wants to be, wishing she could rewind her life. The next morning, she's in a dorm room at Yale, with no memory of how she got there. Overnight, it's as if her past has been rewritten.

With the help of Caitlin, her science-savvy BFF, Abby discovers that this new reality is the result of a cosmic collision of parallel universes that has Abby living an alternate version of her life. And not only that: Abby's life changes every time her parallel self makes a new choice. Meanwhile, her parallel is living out Abby's senior year of high school and falling for someone Abby's never even met.

As she struggles to navigate her ever-shifting existence, forced to live out the consequences of a path she didn't choose, Abby must let go of the Plan and learn to focus on the present, without losing sight of who she is, the boy who might just be her soul mate, and the destiny that's finally within reach.

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Lauren's Website | Twitter | Goodreads
Author of PARALLEL, published by HarperTeen and a still-untitled book #2. I heart yoga and coffee and movies starring Emma Stone.


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