Recognize these books? That's right! I was super lucky enough to go to the book launch on Tuesday night for the fabulous Ally Condie's CROSSED second book in the MATCHED trilogy!!! I have been waiting for this one literally for years. Ever since I met Ally before MATCHED was even sold to the publishers back in gosh was that 2009?
Like most of the events I attend at this FABULOUS indie bookstore The King's English in Sugarhouse (a super cute neighborhood in Salt Lake City), Ally spoke for a little bit about her book and how she got there. Here's what she said! (as close as quotes can get from taking furious notes.
- MATCHED was the fastest book I've written, CROSSED was perhaps the slowest and hardest.
- The setting is very important to me in this book because it is someplace I have been and loved, the wilderness of Southern Utah
- From the beginning I knew this would be Ky's book, but that was hard because he keeps things close to himself. He doesn't open up, sometimes he doesn't even admit things to himself.
- There are some new characters in this book that you will meet early on. Vick was easy to write because I knew who he was, part my brother-in-law and part my brother
- My BIL is one of those guys that if you're out in the wilderness and you need food, he'll say okay, grab a big gun and say "let's go"
- my little brother knows a lot about wilderness survival and fishing. I do not. So I made a lot of phone calls.
- At some points with all the survival stuff I thought to myself "How did I end up writing HATCHET?"
- The there's Indie. Cassia needed someone to go on her journey with.
- Indie is a loose cannon. She's like a tiger that people keep in their backyard in a cage and everything is okay...until it's not. She's like that Tiger. She's very unpredictable.
- There is a painting in MATCHED that's important to Cassia, a landscape by Thomas Moran. Xander gave it to her at the end of the book as a "I know you" good bye present. There's a moment in CROSSED where Cassia experiences a landscape very similar to that painting (and Ally read that excerpt to us)
- My mother was a painter and so was Ky's. I took a lot of her character from my mom. My mom used pastels. And I remember asking her once why she didn't use a medium like oils or something else that lasted longer. Her response was something I never forgot "I don't care how long they last, I just want them to be beautiful while they're there."
Then Ally took a few Q&As
Q: Can you talk about the inspiration for the covers?
A: They're awesome, and I can say that because I had nothing to do with it. (She went more into depth about the process of getting the cover)
Q: Why is the "R" backwards?
A: They wanted something to be off about the font of each cover. So the "A" in Matched is missing the line across it, and the R in Crossed is backwards.
Q: Is the third book finished? If so, which is your favorite?
A: That's like asking me to pick a favorite child, but the third book is newest and has had less time to misbehave, so right now it's my favorite. The draft is done, and needs editing and it doesn't have a title as of yet.
Q: If the first book was more Cassia's story, and this is more Ky's then is the third book more another character's story?
A: One might assume...I'm nodding significantly, but I can't say more.
Q: Which national park is your favorite?
A: Zion because that is where we went growing up.
Q: There's an event mentioned in this book that happened in Matched that everyone forgot. Do we find out what it is?
A: Without giving anything away all I can say is at some point you will find out.
It was SUCH a pleasure to see Ally again and support her! Her books truly are amazing, and I am not just saying that cause I know her and love her smiling face! Please check these books out! As soon as I finish reading CROSSED I will give you my review. I am trying to do NaNo and read at the same time (and take care of my 1 month old and 3 year old!) So I will try to hurry!