1. WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST FEAR?
It has something to do with heights. I have a love/hate relationship with them. Turbulence in an airplane makes my heart race. I hate very steep downward slopes when I’m hiking or skiing. But I love being at the top of tall buildings and huge rollercoaster drops, and I really want to go skydiving.
2. WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT STATE OF MIND?
Energetic. About spring. About starting my next book. About the half-marathon I’m training for with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Having a new puppy to keep up with also requires a lot of energy.
3. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE OCCUPATION?(WAY OF SPENDING TIME)
Cooking. I read cookbooks like they’re novels and follow a bunch of different food blogs. At the end of a long day of writing, cooking something fun is my favorite way to mentally decompress.
That, and eavesdropping. At restaurants, in airports, walking down the street, a writer must always eavesdrop!
4. WHICH LIVING PERSON DO YOU MOST ADMIRE?
This is a nameless admiration, but I really admire scientists who are working on environmental innovations like renewable energy and water purification systems. I have so much respect for their work, which is becoming more and more important, and it’s also something I don’t think my brain could ever do.
5. WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE FICTIONAL HERO?
Maybe Jack Gladney from ’s White Noise. He’s hero and anti-hero, he’s absurd and also entirely reasonable. The intricate specificity of his neuroses make him so universal. And he’s funny. I’ve always had a literary crush on him.
6. WHO ARE YOUR REAL-LIFE HEROES?
My parents, Harriet and Vic, for the way they devoted their entire selves to our family. When it comes to family, I do think the quality of selflessness is close to heroic, and I hope to mirror that in my own family someday.
7. WHAT IS YOUR MOST TREASURED POSSESSION?
The fact that I left this question until the end and still can’t think of anything makes me wonder whether or not I have one. I don’t think there’s any one physical thing I have that I couldn’t live with out.
Recently, my husband and I framed a huge blown-up photograph of the olive tree that was split cleanly in half on our wedding day when my husband’s car rolled off a cliff and landed at the entrance to our reception. It’s a long, wild story; don’t worry, no one got hurt. The photograph is beautiful and strange and it’s very special to me, but it’s an emblem of something intangible that I treasure, rather than the thing I treasure itself.
8. WHEN AND WHERE WERE YOU HAPPIEST?
Recently, it seems like each day gets better than the one before it. So I suppose, right here, right now.
9. WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST EXTRAVAGANCE?
Going out to eat. I love finding new restaurants, revisiting old favorite restaurants, traveling to places just to visit their restaurants. I want to work in a restaurant, sometimes I want to open my own restaurant. So I spend a lot of time (and too much money!) in them.
10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE JOURNEY?
My husband and I spent two weeks in Brazil for our honeymoon last summer. We spent half the time in urban places—Rio and Salvador—and half the time in almost totally empty beaches. It was incredibly beautiful, romantic, and unlike any place I’d ever been.
11. WHAT DO YOU MOST DISLIKE ABOUT YOUR APPEARANCE?
Sometimes people stop me on the street and say things like, “Smile! Life ain’t so bad!” I hate it! When I’m not paying attention to my expression, I think I can look like I’m frowning, when most of the time, I’m smiling inside.
12. WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO LIVE?
All over the place. Actually, I recently sat down and made a list. It was loooong. And included big urban cities and little rural towns all over the world. My favorite places that I have lived in are Manhattan, Paris, and a farm in rural northern California. I would love to live in , New Mexico, and southern Italy someday.
13. WHAT DO YOU VALUE MOST IN YOUR FRIENDS?
A sense of humor. I think I seek out people who make me laugh, who can laugh at themselves, who naturally find humor in the world. My husband has one of the greatest senses of humors I have ever known.
14. IF YOU WERE TO DIE AND COME BACK AS A PERSON OR AN ANIMAL, WHAT DO YOU THINK IT WOULD BE?
I think I’d come back as a bird. Bird has always been my family’s nickname for me, and I wish that I could fly.
15. IF YOU COULD CHOOSE AN OBJECT TO COME BACK AS, WHAT WOULD YOU CHOOSE?
In keeping with my answer above, I think I’d come back as a restaurant. Imagine how many conversations you’d get to eavesdrop on!
16. WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO (WORDS YOU LIVE BY OR THAT MEAN A LOT TO YOU)?
Our family motto has always been, “Epstein’s never crash.” (That’s my mother’s maiden name.) It doesn’t mean you never screw up or that things never get really bad; it means that if and when they do get bad, you have your family to lean back on.
~*~*~*~*~A Special recipe from Lauren Kate~*~*~*~*~
Lauren Kate grew up in Dallas, went to school in Atlanta, and started writing in New York. She is the author of Fallen and The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove. She lives in Laurel Canyon with her husband and hopes to work in a restaurant kitchen, get a dog, and learn how to surf. The sequel to her bestselling novel Fallen is due for release September 2010. Since Lauren is not only a talented writer but a kitchen diva as well, we asked her if she would share a recipe with Paperback Dolls…she politely agreed.
“Arriane’s Crazy Salad”
I’ve been fine-tuning this salad for the past couple of months and I think this version is the ultimate mix of crunchy, sweet, tangy, and salty. The secret weapon is the crunch mix of garlic and ginger on top. I’m naming this salad after Arriane because it combines a lot of wacky ingredients, and Arriane always seemed to have access to life’s most random necessities.
1 large bunch arugula or spinach, roughly chopped
3 medium carrots, diced
½ stalk of celery, diced (about 5 large ribs with the leafy, inner ribs included)
1 small red or orange bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeño or red Fresno chili, diced (optional, for those who like it spicy)
1 mango, diced
½ cup dried tart cherries
½ cup shelled pistachios
2 cups cooked farro*
2 tbsp. finely chopped ginger
5 cloves finely chopped garlic
¼ cup olive oil
juice of half a lemon
1 tbsp mirin (optional)
1 tsp kosher or sea salt (or to taste)
black pepper to taste
*I love farro’s chewiness and nuttiness, but you can also use couscous, quinoa, orzo, or any small grain of your choice.
1. Combine the first eight ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
2. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat and added finely chopped ginger and garlic. Add a couple pinches of salt. Cook, stirring regularly, until the ginger and garlic are crisp and golden brown, taking care not to burn them. Use a slotted spoon or a mesh strainer to remove the garlic and ginger bits and drain them on a paper towel. Reserve the oil.
3. When ready to serve, toss the remaining warm oil, lemon juice, mirin, salt, and pepper with the ingredients in the mixing bowl until thoroughly coated. Top with crispy garlic and ginger bits.
Great as a side dish at a barbeque, or on its own for lunch. Serves a small crowd (6-8).