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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Lauren Roberts On TikTok, Tropes, And Her Debut Novel Powerless

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Lauren Roberts On TikTok, Tropes, And Her Debut Novel Powerless

Hello again, book bees! If you’re on BookTok all day like we are, you may have heard of Powerless by Lauren Roberts, a romantic fantasy that has swept TikTok off its feet. Well, it has definitely swept us at THP off our feet, and we’ve had the thrill of reviewing Powerless and its official US release today!

And if the book review isn’t enough Powerless content for you, we even had the pleasure of interviewing Lauren Roberts! (*cue the fangirling*) Yes, we couldn’t believe it either! We finally get to share our chat with all of you, so we’ll get right into it.

Cover: Powerless by Lauren Roberts
Image Source: Simon & Schuster

Welcome to The Honey POP! To start, can you share three fun facts readers should know about you?
– I recently adopted the silliest of cats, named him Mango, and now refuse to eat the fruit in front of him. He actually helped write my next book by walking all over the keyboard. He told me to give him credit for all his hard work. 
– When microwaving something, I always have to set the time to the most random numbers. For example, 38 seconds. Don’t ask. 
– I have an obsession with tattoos and recently got the Forget-Me-Not flower from the chapter pages of Powerless forever inked onto my hand.

Her Debut Novel Powerless

Congratulations on the upcoming US release of your debut novel, Powerless! What is the most important thing you want readers to take away from this book?
As a fellow fantasy reader, it is very important that I am swept away into another world when I’m reading — so much so that it ruins my sleep schedule. That being said, I obviously hope that Powerless can be an enjoyable escape from everyone’s busy lives. But more importantly, the dedication at the beginning of the book says it best. I wrote Powerless for every girl (or anyone else for that matter) who has ever felt powerless. My hope is that readers feel seen, feel connected to these characters and all they have dealt with.

From when you first self-published Powerless to working with Simon & Schuster, can you describe your experience publishing your first novel?
This year has been an absolute whirlwind—in the best way possible! Overall, the publishing process from start to finish has been nothing short of thrilling. Deciding to leave college and pursue my dream of writing was a risk that likely wouldn’t pay off. But learning to self-publish was an incredibly rewarding journey. Powerless was more than my baby — it was my life. I was juggling both my job at the time (scrubbing toilets at a cleaning company) and the pressure of attempting to create a career for myself.

After deciding to publish Powerless by the end of January, I managed to reach that goal after overcoming dozens of hiccups along the way. But it was the overwhelming support I received over the next three months that got me to where I am today. Powerless was #4 on Barnes and Noble after a single day of being published. Thousands of copies were sold over the next several weeks, all leading to the life-changing call with Simon & Schuster. Before long, I signed with one of the Big Five and suddenly had a team of people behind me. Working with S&S is truly a dream come true, and I could not wish for a better group of people to bring my writing to life. That being said, I wouldn’t trade the chaos of this past year for anything, and I hope every experience after is just as thrilling.

If Powerless were a movie or TV show, who would you cast as your main characters?
You would think that I would have an answer to this question by now. But for whatever reason, I cannot decide who I would want to cast for Paedyn and Kai. My excuse for this is simple — I’m not sure anyone in real life is as hot and sexy as the characters I’ve pictured in my head. 🙂

TikTok Journey

You have quite the TikTok following, as many people who have reviewed your book have also followed your journey since the beginning. What made you want to get started on TikTok?
Growing up, I would record myself doing the most random things with a digital camera (which I still have). So, it is safe to say that I have been acting strange in front of a camera for a very long time. When I finally decided to start on TikTok, it was actually as a joke. I had every intention of posting my first video and deleting it once it inevitably got zero views. But for whatever reason, people started following me. Before I even knew what was happening, I had reached 10k in two days. It was truly by chance that I got to where I am today, and I am immensely grateful for everyone who watched that first video and thought I was entertaining enough to stick around.

How did TikTok affect your journey as a writer?
TikTok definitely plays a large role in the way that books are now being written — and I think that is for the better. The platform has truly allowed so many people to pursue their dreams in an “unconventional” way. If I were not so immersed in the huge community of readers online, I would not know what it is they want to read. Having the opportunity to directly listen to what people want is not only a huge advantage but also a great way to build a following who is excited about your work. Filming my journey of writing Powerless is truly how I gained the momentum to have the incredible opportunities I have today. And I love that more authors are beginning to connect with their readers through TikTok.

Writing And Reading

What do you do when you need motivation to write?
As cheesy as it sounds, my biggest motivation is knowing that there are people waiting to read what I write. Another way that helps me overcome writer’s block is by rereading a passage of work that I am especially proud of. This reminds me how much I love to create and what I have accomplished before.

Which trope is your favorite one to read and write?
This may be the most difficult question I’ve had to answer yet. But if I had to choose, my favorite trope to read may have to be the arranged marriage concept. I love reading about a commitment of convenience and how they must act in front of the public. As for my favorite to write, the nightmare trope truly has my heart. Getting to craft a scene where competitors comfort one another despite their differences is just too fun.

What kind of books did you enjoy when you were younger? Do you aim to write the same types of stories?
Even as a young girl, fantasy has always had my heart. You could find me curled up reading Magic Tree House or Peter and the Starcatchers for hours. Books like those really shaped what I love to write today, and I hope to continue writing fantasy so long as people will read it.  

What other books or authors do you recommend to your readers?
Those who have followed my TikTok journey know that Dance of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson has my whole heart, and I recommend anything written by her. But my favorite author of all would have to be Olivie Blake, with her poetic writing style. She is truly an inspiration and the queen of pretty prose.

What’s Next

Congratulations also on announcing the official release date for Reckless next July! Compared to the first book, how is the sequel similar or different?
No one warns you how difficult it is to keep from spoiling your own books when becoming an author. So, I will try my best to keep this brief. Reckless will most definitely have a different feel than Powerless did. Perhaps that feeling is due to darker themes, a new relationship, or because we venture from Ilya. This is my attempt to leave you guessing. As for similarities, I like to think that our main characters stay true to themselves throughout the series. Though, that is the exact reason for the tension between the two of them. All that being said, Reckless will definitely take Paedyn and Kai out of their comfort zones—and perhaps, even the reader.

Can you give us a few hints for what we can expect from Paedyn and Kai in the second book?
Oh no! Another question that gives me the chance to blab spoilers! Alright, all I will say is that Paedyn and Kai will find themselves very close together in book two. So, prepare yourself for the close proximity trope. 

See Also

What goals or plans do you want to accomplish before the end of the year?
There are several goals that are top secret at the moment but will be revealed in the near future. As for personal writing goals, it has been a dream of mine to compile enough poems for a pretty book full of pretty prose. Accomplishing that would be incredibly rewarding as well as particularly intimate, as it is a glimpse into my mind.

I wrote Powerless for every girl (or anyone else for that matter) who has ever felt powerless. My hope is that readers feel seen, feel connected to these characters and all they have dealt with.

Lauren Roberts

You can order the new edition of Powerless by Lauren Roberts here!

We had an incredible time chatting with Lauren Roberts on her debut novel Powerless! Are you adding it to your TBR? And if you’ve read it already, what are your thoughts? Let us know on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram!

Interested in reading more bookish interviews? You’re in luck!

Want to hear about some of our audiobook recommendations? Here’s the latest!


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