I was lucky enough to meet Ally before the signing with bloggers Suey from It’s All About Books, Jenni from Jenni Elyse, Kim from The Broke and the Bookish, and Jessica from Cracking the Cover. Here’s some of my favorite things we talked about in this exclusive blogger interview.
About Reached – Ally didn’t know at first who Cassia would end up with. She tried to stay open to both, but as the story progressed she felt like Cassia ended up with the right person. There is also a plague in Reached and she didn’t know who would make it. She didn’t make any character immune to plague death.
Next project – A YA dystopian, science-fiction thing of some sort that she can’t talk about much right now.
I got the guts to ask questions this time (yay me!)
About Titles (My Question) – In Matched and Crossed, the title was significant with the story through the whole book. Is that true with Reached or is it just significant at the end? Ally said that it was significant throughout. The title Reached comes from the poem I Did Not Reach Thee by Emily Dickenson. (Yay! I love looking for things like that in books. I’m going to keep my eye out for the title as a theme in the book again).
I also asked if being an author is a good job for a stay at home mom. She said she loved it. Her answer made me smile and inspired me to be an author someday. :)
Deleted Scenes – A lot of pages about Xander’s family got cut. (hmm… I wonder if she’ll share some of it in the future.)
Books she is reading– A Tale Dark and Grimm. She said it was a gory, funny, middle grade with beautiful writing. She loved Michael Phelps’ autobiographies and wishes Missy Franklin would write a book.
Changed pen name – She published with a local publisher as Allyson Braithwaite Condie and changed it to Ally Condie because the simple pen name looked better on the simple cover.
Success and symbolism – One blogger asked Ally why she felt the books were so successful. Ally said there has been great marketing and tons of support from schools and libraries because they don’t have a lot of parental complaints. They’re also great for teachers since each book incorporates other works. Matched features poetry, Crossed features art, and Reached features music.
I met my friends at the signing and we got to take our picture in the Reached book cover!! On the left is Amber, I’m in the middle, and Alyssa is on the left. It was really cool and I’m such a great friend to stick my hand in front of Amber’s face.
Here are my favorite highlights from Ally’s signing.
- Ally felt like her series is about the nice guys with Xander as the ultimate nice guy. Her editor said it was really great to see him suffer.
- She thanked a lot of people who helped write the book like her neighbors who thought of good diseases and weaponized fish (which were sadly not used).
- She has an outline that she doesn’t stick to.
- The movie is optioned by Disney.
- She has always written stories. Her 3 year old self wrote a saga of large amount of pregnant unicorns. (OH I need to read that!!)
- Laziness keeps her focused. If there’s an unpleasant task she’d rather do this other thing. If there’s laundry she’d rather write, if there’s dishes she’d rather write. (Oh my heck I thought it was just me)
- Most of the international covers are the same except for one that looks like Cassia is kissing a “ghost werewolf on a bench.” I think she meant this cover??? It’s the Romanian cover.
I have a signed copy of Reached to give away along with some cool swag pins! Enter in the Rafflecopter below. US/Can only because I am dirt poor guys. Good luck!