Anderson’s hosted the Chicago leg of the “Dark Days” tour on May 9, 2013. The even featured Kiera Cass (The Selection/The Elite), Elizabeth Norris (Unraveling/Unbreakable), Aprilynne Pike (Life After Theft/Wings) and Amy Tintera (Reboot). I made cupcakes and wrote love notes to the lovely authors. The event consisted of Q&A from a moderator and then they took questions from the audience.
The first question was for Kiera about her character Celeste. For those who don’t know, Celeste is essentially America’s archenemy or the worst. Kiera hates naming characters after people she knows for fear of “ruining” that name. Celeste however, is named after a person she didn’t get along with when she was 9. Kiera said she loves her even though she is a mean girl. She then tells us it’s ok to hate her.
Next question was for Liz; her book is Scifi and she was asked how she came up with the idea/world. She always brainstorms before she writes. She decided she wanted to write aliens. From there she wrote the last scene first (which is common for her). She started writing the ending/story with aliens and it didn’t feel right but she was feeling the other worlds scenario. She is inspired by TV and a big inspiration was Sliders. This was her first exposure to alternate universes. On top of that when writing Unraveling she watched a lot about alternate universe.
Amy was asked a similar question. Her book is semi-zombie and semi-vampire, how did it come about? She started with zombies; they were dead but cute. She kept changing to names of them, such as “risers”. The name reboot came from the idea that after dying they were coming back to life like rebooting your computer. Her agent claims “She sold a zombie book when zombies are over”.
Aprilynne was asked a question about one of the main characters in her book Kimberlee. Kimberlee is a mean girl, you don’t have to like her because she is a main character. Kimberlee needed her to be mean because Jeff needed to be miserable. Kimberlee is fun to write when she is mean, when writing her Aprilynne was able to take what you wish you could say to someone, it’s a place to take out your aggression.
Why do you write YA?
Aprilynne – She started by writing adult. Life After Theft was her first YA book but it was missing plot so she went to work on different books. In the beginning she enjoyed writing in the teen voice and then came Wings because faeries.
Amy – She was a young adult when she began writing. She also said adults are boring. Amy wanted to write romance and she was able to mix genres in YA.
Liz – Started writing as teen as well. She wrote in bio class about what she wanted (i.e. the hot guy in math coming and confessing his love to her). Then she read Great Gatsby and began to write YA Great Gatsby knock-offs. She reads a lot of YA and also wanted to stay connected to teenagers after quitting teaching.
Kiera – Her soul is 17. She feels like she is still that young and feels that she is still figuring out life like a teenager.
Amy was then asked a question about Reboot being set in Texas. She grew up there and therefore it was familiar. She also believes the republic of Texas would be around after the apocalypse. She used Google maps when writing. She also wanted diverse population and Texas has a fairly diverse population. Amy felt that was important to have diversity in apocalypse. Plus they have a lot of guns in Texas.
Aprilynne talked about the romance in her book and how it is not the main plot. She wanted “instalove” in a different tone. Her book is the story of an ordinary guy falling for girl in an instalove kind of way but also in a “guy way” (i.e. I just want her legs to scissor hold me).
Kiera was asked about the caste system and how she came up with it. America is a girl from a humble background. There is a certain amount of rigidness needed. In its simplest form The Selection is a tale about love on the other side of the track with more rules. Love is allowed but what happens when laws restrict PDA.
Liz was asked about her main character Janelle. She feels that Janelle and she are very similar. Her relationship with her parents also helped inspire Janelle’s relationship with her parents. Janelle doesn’t care what people think and Liz did and wished she was more like Janelle.
Aprilynne and Amy were asked about writing about teens coming back from dead
Aprilynne talk about religion and lacking religion. She wanted to write a character who did not know or care about afterlife but it presented with afterlife. Ghosts are supernatural and not connected to religion.
Amy wanted to write about bad guys. She was inspired by Spike (from Buffy!) because there is room to grow. Reboots are thought of as lesser and she wanted her main character to be the “worst of the worst”.
Liz and Kiera were asked if it difficult to write the second book.
Kiera said The Elite was mean to her. She had to gut the second book several times. Writing the last book felt easy after writing the second book.
Liz answered that Unraveling was easy to write. She had intended it to be a standalone but her agent said there has to be a sequel. This was her first book with a deadline. There was also no expectation before the first book and now there is. Unbreakable was more awarding but harder to write.
What is your all-time favorite book?
Kiera – The Book Thief OR Perks of Being a Wallflower
Liz – Jellicoe Road
Amy – If I Stay
Aprilynne – The Giver OR Mistwood
Describe your main character in one word
Aprilynne – Kimberlee/Mean and Jeff/Average
Amy – Wren/Sociopath
Liz – Janelle/Stubborn
Kiera – America/Hotmess
AND this was posted by Kiera on Twitter
I am doing a Rafflecopter giveaway for some signed books from the tour! There is an easy entry as well as extra entries for following/tweeting!