26 ianuarie, 2012

Interview with Veronica Roth

Heei am gasit interviul pe Goodreads si mi s-a parut destul de interesant. Cum Divervent este noul hit in materie de carti distopice m-am gandit ca ati vrea sa aruncati o privire in spatele cortinei. Enjoy it!

P.s.: Maine voi mai posta  cateva interviuri, de data aceasta luate de mine ! :)

Interview with Veronica Roth

The future is upon us in young adult literature, and it's not pretty. Teenage readers—and plenty of adults, too—are immersing themselves in bleak dystopian worlds with postapocalyptic problems and oppressive governments. One of the most-read authors on Goodreads in 2011 is newcomer Veronica Roth, a debut novelist who started work on her manuscript during winter break of her senior year at Northwestern University. Divergent is the first of a planned trilogy about a heroine named Tris, who is raised in a crumbling, near-future Chicago ruled by five factions. Tris's faction, Abnegation, values selflessness above all else, but when she is asked at age 16 to choose which faction will be her permanent home, she must make a decision based on what is right for her, not others. Now 23, Illinois native Roth shared with Goodreads her thoughts on utopian societies and revealed a few clues about her next book, Insurgent.

Goodreads: What attracted you to the dystopian genre as a storyteller? If dystopian lit is the new vampire, how do you think young adult literature will continue to evolve?
Veronica Roth: I've always loved the dystopian genre. My introduction to it was The Giver by Lois Lowry, which is a powerful book, and then 1984 by George Orwell and Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. But I never sat down and thought, I want to write a dystopian YA book. When I was writing Divergent, I didn't know it was a thing. I just had this story and this world and this character, and as luck would have it, it hit the market at the right time. I can't predict how YA will evolve now, but I'm seeing a lot more sci-fi, in addition to dystopian, and I am so happy and excited about that. I hope it continues.

GR: Divergent can be interpreted in many ways: political, philosophical, and spiritual. When you began writing, was there a certain message or theme you wanted to communicate?

VR: I think it's too easy to be heavy-handed or preachy if you set out to communicate a message in books, so I don't. To me, at least, the books I write are just an exploration of things I'm thinking about, and my hope is that they make people think about them, too. What I was exploring in Divergent is human nature and the ways in which it warps our best intentions and, on the flip side, how people sometimes rise to do good acts in the midst of chaos. I was wondering what it means to be virtuous—specifically, what it means to be brave—and if that's really important. And if it's not, what is? So those are my questions. I hope readers have a few of their own.

GR: Tris's society has five factions: Abnegation (the selfless), Amity (the peaceful), Candor (the truthful), Dauntless (the brave), and Erudite (the intelligent). Goodreads member Becky Webster asks, "When you were 16, what faction would you have chosen? How does that compare with the faction you would choose today?"

VR: When I was 16, I would have chosen Candor. I found it difficult to trust people when I was younger, for various reasons, and I think I would have seen Candor as a place in which it is safe to trust, because everyone is so transparent. Now, I would choose Dauntless. I struggle with fear on a daily basis, and sometimes it makes me feel like I'm trapped—sometimes it even keeps me from doing what's best for the people around me. I think bravery makes you selfless, it makes you honest, it makes you trust people. Brave is something I want to be.

GR: Goodreads member Sarah Spiegel asks, "How did Ms. Roth choose the qualities that defined the factions? Do the sum of the five factions describe a person who inspires her (or someone society should strive to be like)?"

VR: The world of Divergent is basically what I would come up with if someone asked me to create a utopia. A world in which everyone is focused on becoming good people? Sounds good to me. So I asked myself, what qualities would I pick if I were making this world? And I came up with the five factions. It was only as I wrote that I was able to see how my so-called utopia was actually a dystopia, because it forced people to become narrower, twisted versions of themselves, and they ripped each other apart. It was a really strange experience, to realize that I would be a terrible God. Humbling, definitely.

GR: The futuristic society and deteriorating world you've created are rich in detail. How do you strike a balance between world building and grounding the story in character development?

VR: I've never thought of those two things—world building and character development—as being opposed to each other. The world affects the character. The character gives you ideas about the world. The more you weave those two things together, the better they will both be. Now that I think about striking a balance, I'm sure I didn't get it exactly right, but I did the best I could.

GR: Midwesterners will recognize many Chicago landmarks featured in Divergent. How did you decide to use Chicago as your setting?

VR: I chose Chicago for a few reasons: first, I'm from the Chicago area, so I love it there, and I'm more familiar with it than any other city. Second, the trains! The 'L' trains in Chicago run almost constantly, like a force of nature instead of something man-made, just like the trains that are so important in Divergent.

GR: Goodreads Author Carlyle Labuschagne writes, "I would like to know if she and Tris have anything in common."

VR: Tris and I have a lot in common. We both feel a little awkward in social situations, we're a little too serious for our own good, we tend to be straightforward and assertive, we both feel this overwhelming need to face our own fears. She's braver than I am, but then, I'm a little more compassionate. I think she helps me to figure out some things about myself while still being different enough that I feel like each decision she makes is a new discovery.

GR: Tris's mother, Natalie, is a particularly poignant character. What was your inspiration for her? Will we get to learn more about her story in future books?

VR: Thanks! Divergent's dedication says, "To my mother, who gave me the moment when [Tris] realizes how strong her mother is and wonders how she missed it for so long." So, definitely, my mother was my inspiration for Tris's mother. They are both selfless, but even more than that, Tris realizes more and more that her mother's selflessness comes from bravery, and I have realized the same thing throughout my life about my mother. It's a powerful revelation to have about one of your parents. And I hope that you will find out more about Natalie in future books, but I'm not sure how much, yet.

GR: Goodreads member Mary asks, "What was the most inspiring writing class you took in college, and what did you learn from it?"

VR: I was in my school's writing program, which had 45 people, 15 in each section (fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry), enrolled in three separate yearlong classes. The yearlong fiction class was incredible, especially the second half. We had to critique each other's work, and there is nothing quite like hearing 15 smart, thoughtful reactions to your work at once. It hurt a lot, actually. But it made me and my writing so much stronger. It taught me how to see flaws in my work but not to be too discouraged—to just pick up the pen, or the keyboard, or whatever, and keep writing, keep working. And it started to teach me to learn from reviews, but not to be crippled by them, something I'm still working on.

GR: Describe a typical day spent writing. Do you have any unusual writing habits?

VR: It goes like this: Wake up. Blink a lot. Eat breakfast. Drink tea. Attempt to start writing. Get distracted. Take a shower. Get dressed. Attempt to start writing. Get distracted. Eat lunch. Attempt to start writing. Actually start writing! Write until 5. Get exhausted. Stop writing. Hang out with the three-dimensional people.

GR: What authors, books, or ideas have influenced you?

VR: Oh, man. Books: The Giver by Lois Lowry, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, 1984 by George Orwell, Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card, Dune by Frank Herbert, the Animorphs series, Harry Potter, anything by Flannery O'Connor (she has a way of making you hate a character and then realize that you are like that character that is just incredible), I could go on forever.

Ideas: Psychology! Exposure therapy, Milgram's experiment on obedience and authority figures, anxiety disorders, phobias, group dynamics. My faith shapes how I see the world, so it inevitably shapes my work, but that's not so intentional. "The Hero's Journey" (learned about it in sixth grade, and I've never forgotten about it). And writing ideas: coming of age, character agency. I'm going to stop there.

GR: What are you reading now?

VR: I just finished The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab. I'm about to start The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. I'm in the middle of The Cloister Walk by Kathleen Norris. And I'm looking forward to The Pledge by Kimberly Derting.

GR: Are there any details you can reveal about Insurgent?

VR: Spoilers, if they can be called that: Insurgent delves deeper into the factions that Divergent didn't (Candor, Amity, Erudite), and there's no love triangle. Other than that, I'm keeping my lips sealed.

Source : Goodreads

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