Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Book Signing Report: REACHED by Ally Condie

Ally talking to the crowd!
Last night I was super excited to attend Ally Condie's launch party and signing for the release of book 3 in the MATCHED trilogy, entitled REACHED.

I am so very excited for this book, for the addition and the conclusion of Cassia's story!  Hopefully I will find the time to read it fast and get my review to you ASAP!  But I wanted to share with you the things that went on at the party, and the Q&A session.

First Ally talked to us for a while and here are the notes I got (please remember these are not all direct quotes.  I try my best to write them down exactly as she said them, but it doesn't always happen.)

Loved the stage set up and the bubble!  See below!
  • I may be really emotional because it's the last book. 
  • The one was special to me because it was the end.  I knew it always would be the end.  Even as it got longer and longer I knew there would not be a split to four books. 
  • Xander gets his time on the page in this one. 
  • Xander is a nice guy.  And writing the nice guy is hard.  The nice guys don't get the credit they deserve.
  • My editor said at one point that it was good go see xander suffer, because the good guys always suffer.
  • Xander is a medical official in this and I don't know a lot about medical things
  • It's that moment when you think "Why am I writing about anything other than stay at home motherhood?"

Ally signing books!
  • But I had two neighbor friends one a pathologist and one an immunobiologist that really helped.  They sent me photos and notes on different diseases.  
  • It got to the point that I thought "what have I gotten myself into?, Have we gone too far?"  Especially when the pathologist sent me his great idea for weaponizing fish.
  • Also Greg Burton a BYU professor who does a lot of work and research with the HIV virus helped me a  lot.
  • So many people help me out.  Like a father of a childhood friend sending me picture after picture of himself holding different fish so I could pick just the one I needed for a scene in the book.
  • There is nothing more exciting to an author than something she's written, something she's put out there being wanted. 
  • Sometimes you write all day just for yourself. 
Then we listened to an audioclip of a part of narration from Xander's point of view, that was pretty much made of awesome.  And she did Q&A.  Here were some of my favorites!

The flowers Ally's husband bought her!

Q: The covers are complex and can mean many things, but what do they mean to you?
A: They are complex and I hope you can see something in them for yourself, but for me when I look at them I mostly see the things we talked about.  That they are the colors of the tablets green, blue and red.  That they symbolize her escape from that bubble.  Oh and by the way the model is the same in all the photographs and she is also the photographer, they are self portraits.

Q: Can you tell us about the movie rights?
A: Disney bought the movie rights and there are screenwriters but no cast yet.  People ask me who I would cast and I say I'm too old to know who would be good now, but I have ideas for the dad.  Like Nathan Fillion.  Nathan Fillion needs to be involved somehow.

Q: Did you know where you were going with the entire story before you started writing?
Me and Ally!
A: Yes and no.  I had a vague outline and plan, but as I write I deviate from that plan quite a bit.  For REACHED I had 150 pages of notes of things that needed to happen, be addressed or wrapped up.  I don't think it's the best method, but it's what I did.

Q: Are you going to write more?
A: Yes I am working on another YA that is set in the future/is a dystopia. But that is all I can say.

Q: When did you know you wanted to write?
A: I was always writing and telling stories but I never could finish.  So in High School I decided to become and English Teacher so I could be surrounded by stories but not wrote my own.  After I was done with teaching for a few years I thought maybe I'll try to finish a book finally, and I haven't stopped since.
Me and my friend Sara B Larson stuck in the bubble!

Q: Do you hand write or type your novels first?
A: I definitely type.  But if I do get blocked I pull out paper and write by hand.  It like restarts my brain.  (MPB note -- I loved this answer and how it ties in with words and writing and how that affects Cassia!)
Me trying to bust out of the bubble.

Q: Are there other creative things you like to do?
A: I'm really bad at everything.  But I say I am a great appreciator.  I love art, but I'm a terrible artist.  I love food, but I hate cooking, etc. So I have a lot of interests, but little talent.

Q: What is the hardest part of the process for you?
A: The hardest part for me is always revision.  But it is also my favorite part because revision is where the story becomes a book.

Q: Other than having your books published, what's the best experience in your life?
A:  By far, having my kids.  Even beyond my books they are the most important thing.

And then as you see we had a great time with the bubble cover photo shoot booth! It was so so cool! 

Ally as ever was WONDERFUL!

And now!  As reward for reading through all of that a surprise giveaway!  Ally also had buttons of the bubble photos on the cover, and I have a set of all three buttons to give away!


Sara B. Larson said...

Such a fun night, can't wait to dig in to the book! :-)

Aubrey said...

I'm gonna dig in tonight! Hubby will be late, so kids are going to bed early so I can read! ;)