Lauren McLaughlin talks about her debut YA novel CYCLER

Sybil's Garage magazine has an interview with Lauren McLaughlin, a new young adult writer whose debut novel, Cycler, will be published in September. I've known Lauren for some years now and she inevitably says the smartest stuff about writing in any conversation around the table. I've enjoyed her short fiction and the films she wrote immensely, and can't wait to read this book.
Storytelling is the foundation of any good novel and I think it's actually a very rare talent. Plenty of writers get by on killer premises and witty style. But effective storytelling is all about structure. It's very mechanical, almost architectural. When you can marry that structure to a framework of ideas, then the novel can transcend pure entertainment. The trick, in my opinion, is to weave these ideas invisibly into the story so that they are discovered, unraveled by the reader. My goal is to seduce my reader into a compelling narrative that whittles away at some preconceived idea and leaves them with an uncomfortable but somehow intriguing gap in their sense of the world. I want them to close the book and have a head full of questions. I'm not interested in merely diverting them for a while or helping them fall asleep. Nor do I want that from the books I read. I want to be unsettled, challenged. I want to close a book and say “I never thought of that before.”
Link (Thanks, Matthew!)


  1. They say that bad art copies, good art creates, and great art transcends. I see any art as transcendent so long as it shakes up the status quo within. McLaughlin seems to approach her own work with that in mind, thanks Cory. Also because I’ve never done this before… 1st!

  2. For any Australian readers, Lauren’s book is coming to Australia in September – and it’s absolutely stunning. Look out for it.

  3. Is there a chance you could interview Lauren on some of her favourite books and authors? Her description of good writing made me crave a really good read…(until September comes)

  4. That book sounds fascinating. I will definitely put it on my list of books to read. Books that handle trans or genderqueer issues in any kind of decent way are hard to come by; I’m really interested to see how she does it (the interview implies to me that she does it well).

  5. Like, @4 Caroline, I think this book sounds fascinating.

    But will I actually remember it by the time Sept. rolls around?

    With my memory, the answer is probably a sad no.

    Which brings me to an idea/plea…Cory, or any other Boinger reading this, is it possible to have a BoingBoing Book email list?

    Basically a mailing list those of us who appreciate the mentions of upcoming books can join where when these books come out get an email shot to them with link(s) to the previous postings about them on BoingBoing and an Amazon link?

    Or maybe something even more specific, like a “Remind me of this!” link with these posts where if logged into our account upon clicking it we get put on a list of folks to get the previously mentioned kind of reminder shot to them when the book comes out?

    Well that’s my wish! And thanks to you and the others for always making me aware of a heck of a lot of neat things/people/happenings as well as always keeping me up to date on things like FISA and sneaky government/corp attempts to grab our rights from us.

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