We love Divergent. If you follow the blog or twitter, you probably know that. Veronica Roth's debut rocks and I think it's better than The Hunger Games. Set in a future Chicago where society is rigidly divided into five categories and factions are stronger than blood, Divergent asks serious questions about courage and authority and what being selfless really means.
So when we starting thinking of authors for the Teen Summer Reading Series, it was like "We HAVE to ask Vernoica Roth!" And it was a good thing, too, because Divergent has been fighting for top spot in the Teen Summer Reading Poll!
Indigo Teen Blog: What books are you looking forward to reading this summer?
Veronica Roth: I’m looking forward to reading Absence of Mind by Marilynne Robinson, Catch-22 by Joseph Heller, Liesl and Po by Lauren Oliver, and East by Edith Pattou. I think it’s important to have variety!
ITB: What's been your most memorable summer read and why?
VR: I remember the summer I read Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. My mother had given me one job: water the plants every day. So the days I was reading the book, I would hold the book in one hand and the hose in the other and completely lose track of what I was doing. I’m pretty sure I drowned half the plants. But that’s how those books are—they consume you and convince you that they’re real, or at least make you long for them to be real. They’re amazing.
ITB: Summer eats/treats you can't live without?
VR: I love those popsicles that are essentially colored sugar water in a clear plastic tube. You know, the ones you buy unfrozen and stick them in the freezer? I could eat 10 of those in one day.
ITB: I was really impressed by Divergent, because you did so much in one book—and now with INSURGENT, the stakes have got to be higher. Is it harder to write a second book?
VR: Thank you! Writing a second book is definitely harder. I wrote the first book without knowing if I was going to let anyone read it, so I felt comfortable playing around and taking my time and making huge mistakes. With the second one, I put a lot of pressure on myself because I knew people would be reading it. It took me a long time to figure out how to take that pressure off, and to feel free to write like I used to. Thankfully I seem to have found that freedom again.
ITB: I've seen mention of how "young" you are when they talk about the success of Divergent. How do you feel about this attention on how young an author is?
VR: I don’t really have a problem with people mentioning it, because I am young and I am extremely fortunate to have a book published at all, let alone at this age. But I prefer for the attention to stay on the work itself. My age will change, but the book will still be what it is, so that is what’s really important.
Big thanks to Veronica for taking time out of her writing time to answer our questions and HarperCollins Canada for arranging the interview.***************************************
Follow our Teen Summer Reading Series:Libba Bray