The last post had a couple of great questions in the comments, so I thought I’d answer them here, since I couldn’t address them in just a sentence or two. And I’m going to throw in another couple of questions that I’ve been getting a lot via e-mail.
Diane asked: I got a galley of Matched… I have read it, and loved it! I can’t wait till it is officially is released and I can booktalk it to our teens–I am preparing a booktalk now! But…but…but…I am going to ask the question all the people above will start asking when they read it too. When is the next book due to come out?
We’re planning on having the books come out about a year apart, so it will be in Fall 2011 if all goes well. (And thank you for liking MATCHED! I was so, so happy when I read your comment, and I hope your teens like MATCHED too.)
Enna Isilee asked: Do you finish the entire draft before you take a break? I would assume so. But usually when I write, I’ll take a break half-way through the draft and when I come back to it I think it’s crap and I just scrap it. Ever had that problem? I think that if I actually FINISHED an entire draft, I might feel more comitted to take the time to edit it.
Yes, I finish the whole draft before I take the month-long break. And yes, I have had that problem (coming back to a partially finished draft and hating it and giving up). That’s why I make myself finish the first full draft. Because, by then, you come back and find crappy parts but you don’t give up as easily because it is THREE HUNDRED PAGES LONG AND YOU SPENT SO MUCH TIME ON IT AND YOU ARE GOING TO WRESTLE THAT WHALE INTO SUBMISSION IF IT KILLS YOU. And, also, I always like my finished books more because they have a sense of arrival, of completion, of a story told. So I have a little more faith that they can become something good than I do the half-finished drafts.
Did you know MATCHED would be a series when you wrote it?
No, I did not. I actually thought it was a one-book thing. And it has the same ending now that it did when I queried it. I felt like the character had become who she needed to be and so I ended the story where it felt right. I definitely was thrilled that Penguin saw series potential, though!
Are you worried about all the hype MATCHED is getting?
To some extent, yes. I’ve written six books and I’ve never really had hype before. And can any book live up to a ton of hype? And sometimes I think people think that this book is an “action” book, because of the Hunger Games comparisons, which it is not. To me, this book is the story of a girl named Cassia who learns to choose. So, in a lot of ways, I feel like it’s a quiet book. And I wonder if people expect that.
But, to another extent, no. Penguin is doing a killer job of generating buzz about the book, which means they believe in it, which means the world to me. And what that also means to me is that MATCHED has a better chance of being read by the readers who will find something in it. Who will see themselves in it. And nothing means more to an author than that.
I have this list called the “Books of My Life” which is, obviously, a list of the books that have been the most important reads of my life. (Crossing to Safety, the book at the top of this post, is at the top of that list and has been since my grandmother gave it to me when I was thirteen.) And I know MATCHED will not be one of the Books of everyone’s life, of course. But if it could be on even one person’s list?
Well. That would make my life.
I won’t be posting next week because I’ll be on vacation, and when I vacation, I vacate. But I’ll be back.