Last night, Ally Condie gave a presentation about her book, Matched, as well as some teasers for her next book, Crossed, at the Salt Lake City Library. (This post is written from my notes that I took at the event)
She got the idea for the book in Fall 2008 when she was having a conversation about marriage with her husband and how the government constitutes a lot of what marriage means and her husband suggested, “What if they controlled everything?”
Another inspiration for Matched was a high school dance where she was a chaperone. She had a gorgeous city building picture in her slide show where the dance was held and she talked about how it was a tradition at the school to make sure every junior girl got asked to junior prom. They went all out for their prom with red carpets and everything and it was clear to me that she used this as the inspiration for the matching ceremony at the beginning of the book. She also mentioned her serious sweet tooth and how that influenced the feast, too. :)
I liked how she pointed out that when you write something on a screen, someone else has access to it and she wondered what would happen if handwriting became a lost skill. She wanted Ky and Cassia to be able to communicate in private and she also showed an article of how cursive is becoming obsolete. I found this so interesting. Would you learn cursive if you didn’t have to?
Cassia’s name was not the original name of the main character, but Ally talked about the meaning of the name. Cassia is an essential oil that is a remedy for shyness and it’s also a cinnamon plant. I thought that was pretty cool. I also learned how to say her name – Cash-a. I said it Cass-e-a in my head the whole time. Well, dang. Her and Herm-e-own are just two examples of my bad pronunciation.
Then she got into some Crossed inspirations. She mentioned Capital Reef National Park, slot canyons and other landscapes that are important in the second book. I love that she uses Southern Utah geography in her books because I’ve been to them all! She also talked about a character named Vic who was inspired by her brother. Vic is a survivor and didn’t mind “putting animals to death for his purposes,” as Ally described it. And then she jokingly mentioned, “How did I end up writing Hatchet?”
Ky is going to come up more in Crossed as well as his parents. She mentioned that Ky’s mom was based on her mom who would hike canyons and then paint them.
I got the nerve to ask a question at the end. I asked how she chose what the society would control with technology. Her answer was that she wanted the society to be nice or why would anyone buy into it? She talked about her life being cluttered by little things – like her son’s legos (which I can very much relate to) – and came up with things she would want like your food being made and delivered to you. It also makes them dependent on the society if they don’t know how to do things like cook for themselves.
She signed everyone’s books at the end and since I’d already met her at the Book Festival in Provo, and I had her ebook, I figured why not have her sign a book and give it away on my blog? Yay for you and yay for my first giveaway ever!
Giveaway ends August 31.
Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway! It was so much fun!
End of the Summer of the Superhero with Ally Condie
When: Wednesday, August 17, 2011, 6:00-9:00 p.m.
Where: Salt Lake City Public Library
What: Commemorate the end of The City Library’s Teen Summer Reading Program with a Matched-themed celebration! Nationally-acclaimed author Ally Condie will speak in the Main Library Auditorium at 7:00 p.m., preceded by fun activities based on her book Matched.