Interview with Lucas Klauss

Lucas Klauss

Lucas Klauss was born and raised in Georgia. He received an MFA in writing for children from the New School, and his humor writing has been featured online at McSweeney's and College Humor--but mostly at He lives in Brooklyn, NY.



Everything You Need to Survive the Apocalypse (2012) ◆ My ReviewGoodreadsAmazonThe Book Depository

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Hi and thank you so much for taking the time to answer questions on Confessions of a Readaholic! Everything You Need to Survive the Apocalypse is such an amazing YA contemporary. 

Can you describe your novel in three 3-word sentences for us?

Boy meets girl. Boy meets Jesus. Boy is confused.

What gave you the inspiration to write your novel?

Honestly I was just trying to write *a* novel, any novel that I could actually finish instead of writing just the first fifty pages of it and then getting discouraged. In fact, that actually happened with this one, and then I went back to it, started over an, with encouragement from my MFA thesis advisor, made a whole book-length novel out of it! As far as what inspired this particular story, I was somewhat of an outsider in an evangelical community in high school and that was a significant part of my teenage years. Later, I noticed that there weren't many YA books that took place in such a context or that dealt so explicitly with religious themes, so I felt I had something unique to contribute.

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A life without writing or a life without reading? (yes, I can be evil >:D)
A life without writing, I guess. I would be miserable but informed.

Night Owl or Early Bird?
Night Owl. (But actually I usually go to sleep and get up at reasonable hours.)

Coffee or Tea?
Tea. Coffee is gross. Rabiah: I like coffee...but I won't hold that against you :P

Movies or Television?
TV. At one point (college), I would have said movies (cinema, actually). But TV is my first love. Rabiah: AGREED.

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Philip, the main character in Everything You Need to Survive the Apocalypse has quite a couple of problems: Rebekah, faith, and his past amongst others. How did you come up with his character? Do you see yourself in any of your characters?

Readers will surely be shocked to hear that Philip and I (or, I as a teenager) share many characteristics. I wouldn't say he's me, and the novel isn't autobiographical, but and teenage me both have a lot of internalized anxiety, especially about girls. And of course I drew a lot from my experience as a teen coming from a not-really-religious background and joining a religious community.

Did you always want to be a writer? What and/or who inspired you to become one?

I always wanted to be a G.I. Joe, but that didn't quite work out. Some people do know from a very young age that they're going to be writers. That wasn't how it worked for me, though thanks to my parents I was pretty much always a reader. In middle school and high school, I had this vague idea that I maaaaybe wanted to be a writer but it wasn't something I took seriously. In college, I finally got up the courage to actually try to do it. And then I got into the MFA program at the New School, which gave me a lot of confidence and writing experience.

When you're not writing, what can you be found doing?

Well, aside from writing YA fiction, I also write humor and sketch comedy. I've been on McSweeney's a few times and am part of a sketch group called the Bilderbergers. Doing that stuff takes up most of my time, so I don't really have "hobbies" or "friends".

Are you planning to write another book (or several more!) for YA readers?

I am! In fact, I have written the first draft of another, stand-alone YA. It doesn't have a title and still needs work but I'm excited about it. And hugely relieved to have actually completed it. Rabiah: I'm excited for it too! :D

And lastly, for all aspiring writers out there, do you have any advice?

A big thing I learned during my time at the New School was how important it is to learn more about your writing process. It can vary widely from person to person. Finding (and incorporating into your life) the conditions under which you produce the best (or, at least, the most) work can really help you, or instance, actually finish a novel rather than write 50 pages of it and get discouraged.

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Thank you so much to Lucas Klauss for agreeing to answer questions here on the blog! If you haven't read Everything You Need to Survive the Apocalypse, you need to, because it's such an amazing book– I spent ages pouring over it!

Phillip’s sophomore year is off to a rough start. One of his best friends ditches him for a group of douchebags. His track coach singles him out for personalized, torturous training sessions. And his dad decides to clean out all of the emergency supplies from the basement, even though the world could end in disaster at any moment... and even though those supplies are all Phillip has left of his dead mom. Not that he wants to talk about that.

But then Phillip meets Rebekah. Not only is she unconventionally hot and smart, but she has seriously great boobs. And she might like him back.

As Phillip gets closer to Rebekah, he tries harder and harder to turn himself into the kind of person he thinks she wants him to be. But the question is, can he become that person? And does he really want to?


  1. I really liked this book; not surprised to hear about Klauss feeling like an outsider coming from a non-religious background into a religious community. I had a similar experience and those parts of the book rang very true to me.

  2. A life without writing or a life without reading?? That's such a cruel, cruel question! x) I don't think I could choose between those two at all, so I think Lucas is this super-brave soul for being able to make the decision. I'm just too much of a book-lover to give up reading, but at the same time, I write out my heart too -- I feel like they go hand and hand for me! :') But I agree with both of you about TV being waaaaaaay better than movies!

    Love this interview! :) And I love that you're a teenager too -- it's really nice to meet you! <3

  3. What a great interview; thanks for sharing this :)! Now I wanna check out this book! I just found your blog and will definitely be following it from now on! I recently added some summer reading lists to my new blog if you want to take a look:
    Thanks again!

  4. Just wanted to stop by and say thanks for stopping by and following. Returned the favor via Networked Blogs. Interesting interview. Sounds like a great read :)

    ~Livin' Life Through Books


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