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ATLANTIA

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I have news! BIG NEWS. Earlier this week, Publisher’s Weekly had the exclusive reveal on the cover, release date, and title for my new book. You can find the full article here.

ATLANTIA is coming out on November 4, 2014.  It’s the story of Rio Conwy, who has been an absolutely fascinating character to write. She is very strong and very different. It’s a story about sisters, and a little bit of a mystery, and there is also a very wonderful boy, and an underwater city, and a world that is beautiful and crumbling around the edges.

Here are some fun facts about the book (and some answers to questions that I know I’ll be asked):

-The cover designer (Theresa Evangelista) is the same person who designed the covers of the Matched Trilogy. She does beautiful work and I’m so pleased with this image. It’s sumptuous and gorgeous and dark and light and wonderful. I love that the shell looks like the earth does from space, as Theresa mentioned in the PW article. I love the reflected letter “A”s at the ends of the word ATLANTIA. I love the shell itself (and it does have significance in the book).

-I also love the tagline–“HUMAN  VOICES WAKE US, AND WE DROWN.” It is a line from a T.S. Eliot poem called The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. I love that poem and I’ve always found that line extremely haunting.

-ATLANTIA is NOT ABOUT MERMAIDS. The story does take place underwater, but in a city where humans have gone to live when the air above became too polluted.

-ATLANTIA is a standalone title, which means that it is NOT part of a series. It’s also not related to the Matched series at all.

-This is the same book that we used to call the RIO book, but we couldn’t name it RIO for obvious reasons (the movie, etc.). So we decided on ATLANTIA, which is the name of the city where Rio lives.

And, to tie it all up, this is what my lovely editor, Julie Strauss-Gabel at Dutton/Penguin Young Readers, had to say about ATLANTIA:

“Along with the rest of the world, I’d been anxiously waiting to see how Ally Condie would follow up her blockbuster Matched trilogy … and she has delivered. An underwater world as complex and surprising as the one Cassia must unravel in Matched, and a heroine who must, literally, gain strength and confidence to find her true voice. Ally’s work is poetry, and I am thrilled to have a stand-alone book to share with the world this fall.”

I appreciate each and every one of you lovely readers for your support. Without it, I wouldn’t get to do this job that I love and I wouldn’t have been able to share Rio’s story with you. I am grateful every day for you and for the time you spend reading the books and caring about the characters. I love meeting you when I travel and do book events, and even though I can’t respond due to time constraints, I read and cherish every letter and email.  THANK YOU!


holiday signing! and book gift guide

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On Saturday, December 14th, I’ll be part of the Orem Library’s Holiday Author Extravaganza. This is one of my favorite events of the year and I love the Orem Library. Books will be available for sale or you can bring them (but please but something on-site to support the library if you can). Lots of other authors and illustrators will be there. We’ll have an author panel from 10:00-11:00 a.m. and then a signing from 11:00 a.m.-noon. This is my last scheduled signing until the spring, so I’d love to see you there.

And now, my annual holiday book-buying post! (Click these links for the 2012 and 2011 versions.) This post is fun to write. I’m actually going to keep adding to it for the next week or so, so please come back and see the updates. I love buying books for the holidays. It is my favorite thing. Happy holidays to all of you, and happy reading!

HOLIDAY BOOK-BUYING 2013

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First of all, buy yourself a gift and pre-order this book–THE END OR SOMETHING LIKE IT–by Ann Dee Ellis. It won’t be out until spring, but you will be very glad you did. I don’t want to ruin anything for you or say too much, but no one writes like Ann Dee Ellis. Her characters are real and have heart and she has a spare, lovely, true style that is nothing else you will read.

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Do you know anyone who loves beautiful art, nature, our National Parks, America? Then ART OF THE NATIONAL PARKS is a perfect gift. “With more than 450 artworks, this glorious, large-format book is a must for anyone who has hiked the trails, watched a sunset, marveled at buffalo herds, or yearned to experience our nation’s mythic and transformative vistas.” Amen. And my mom, a professional studio artist, has pictures in the Zion National Park section.

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This one is for history buffs, world travelers, or anyone who wants to know more about cultures and history around the world: A HISTORY OF THE WORLD IN 100 OBJECTS. I picked it up at the British Museum this spring and loved reading it (and was humbled by how little I knew of the world outside of Western culture). A disclaimer: gory, graphic, difficult things happened in history, so you may not want to hand it to your kids (as I originally thought I would do once I finished it).

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I love to give this book (WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON) to people I adore. It’s such a jewel of a book, both in the writing and the gorgeous illustrations, that I feel like I only want to gift it to people who will truly appreciate it. Luckily, that’s just about anyone who adores good stories–children love it, adults love it.

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My go-to book for those who need a great book club read, or a read for teens that will be a tremendous amount of fun, is ACROSS A STAR-SWEPT SEA. I’ve blogged about this book before, but it’s a retelling of THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL, set in a dystopian world that is based on the Pacific Isles.

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For middle-grade readers (and again, anyone who likes storytelling), I recommend this series by Adam Gidwitz (which I have also recommended on the blog before). I laugh, I cry, I sigh over a perfect line every time I read these books, and so does my ten-year-old (okay, maybe not the sighing, but he does notice that “this author is a REALLY GOOD author”).

I think that’s all for this go-around. 2013 was a great year for reading. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday, and that there are many great reads ahead for you in 2014!


a few faq

The view from our weekend drive. How lucky am I to live where I do?

The view from our weekend drive. How lucky am I to live where I do?

So this post is a bit later than promised–oops! I’ve been getting some of the same questions in my email inbox (although I can no longer respond to email, I do try to read all of it). So I thought I would answer a few of those questions here:

What are you working on now that the MATCHED trilogy is finished?

I posted about this back in April, so click here to read the full account. The short answer is that I signed a two-book contract with Penguin (how I love Penguin and my editor, Julie Strauss-Gabel), and the first book on that contract will be out in Fall 2014. It doesn’t have a title yet but it is written and we are in the revision process. I am SO excited about this book. It is set in the future, in an underwater city. The main character is named Rio. It’s a story about sisters, and has a bit of a murder mystery. And also, a very nice and cute boy, who I imagine looking something like a teenage version of Nathan Adrian (doesn’t he have the kindest eyes)?

There’s also an additional project in the works that I can’t say anything about yet.

And, of course, I have four kids and so that keeps me pretty busy too.

Do you have any movie news/can you help me get a part in the movie?

I don’t have any movie news, but I promise I will post about it if/when I do. As far as getting you a part in the movie, I’m sorry, but I have absolutely no control over that. I likely won’t even know who they’ve cast in the movie until they make the formal announcement.

Will you please write a fourth book in the Matched series? I want to know more about (insert character name here).

I feel like Cassia’s story is complete–I want to leave some of it up to the readers to interpret and imagine. I also feel like Ky and Xander were both where they needed to be at the end of REACHED. Right now, I have no plans to write any more novels in the MATCHED world. But, I would never say never. If a story in that world came to me and I felt compelled to write it, there are directions I could see it going. There are a few people/plotlines that I can imagine exploring someday. But again–there are no plans to do this right now.


five things

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Sometimes I can’t think of one big thing to say–like a theme for a post–but I can often think of lots of little things. Like this. So here they are:

1. I haven’t traveled at all in September and October will be nice and quiet as well on the travel front (the home front is, of course, always noisy and crazy). Then, in November, I get to go to Kalamazoo, Michigan to present at their 2013 Youth Literature Seminar, and to Charleston, SC for Yallfest (there may be more travel added later, but that’s it for November for now). If you’re anywhere near Kalamazoo or Charleston, I’d love to see you.

2. I think this idea for a 5K is the best ever. The Orem Library (one of the best in the country) is hosting it. They are giving away books for prizes and there is a one mile kids’ run and you can dress like your favorite character.

3. Comic-Con SLC was amazing. So many people! Such enthusiasm! Salt Lake City did itself proud and I can’t wait to see what Comic Con is like next year.

4. I am writing something new. Newer even than this project, which will be my next, out in Fall 2014. I love writing something new in every season but I think maybe especially in the fall.

5. I found these tiny bowls and they changed my life. You can store things in them, microwave things in them, serve things in them, and they are such a nice little size and you can see right through them. Is this a very writerly thing to post about? Probably not. But anything that makes my life easier as a mom gives me more time to write so maybe that can be the connection.

And that is all for now. I’ll be trying to post more regularly. Next Monday, a few of the FAQ filling my inbox lately…


september events

photo taken last week in Boise, ID--Cassia Street!

photo taken last week in Boise, ID–Cassia Street!

I had a wonderful time speaking, signing, and meeting with readers in Boise. And I was so pleased to get this picture of Cassia Street (don’t worry, I wasn’t the one driving when I took this). It was an awesome trip.

Since I don’t have a new book coming out this fall, I have less travel/events than I have had the past three years (which is good, since I need to work on the new books). BUT, I am very excited to announce that I’ll be at Comic Con Salt Lake City! Here’s the info:

Here’s the info:

Saturday, September 7th
Salt Lake Comic Con
Salt Lake City, Utah

1:30 p.m
Signing
Deseret Book Booth
I’ll be signing copies of the Matched Trilogy and would love to see you there!

3:00-3:50 p.m.
Panel
Women in Writing, A Discussion between Young Adult & Middle Grade Writers
Ally Condie, Laura Hickman, Heather Ostler, Lisa Mangum, Rhiannon Paille, Mettie Ivie Harrison, Jenni James

Summer is winding down (kids back in school, days getting cooler) and I’m in denial. I love fall, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t love winter. Winter has my number, especially since I’ve always lived in places with brutal winters (Utah, upstate NY). I hope you are all having lovely ends-of-summer. And I promise, as always, to post any time I have news about the books, etc. Thanks so much for reading!


branching

photo taken by me at the Angel Oak this summer

photo taken by me at the Angel Oak this summer

This past week, I haven’t written a word (as far as book-writing goes). This is unusual for me, because I may be slow, but I am steady. I’ve been at a family reunion and getting kids ready for back to school (HOW did that happen so soon?) and tending to their health care needs and clearing out my office and going through paperwork and waiting to hear feedback on projects on submission.

Yes. I said projects, plural. Hopefully I will have news for you soon. 🙂

As this week has happened, with no writing and lots of reading and thinking and being with my family, I have felt myself branching. It is the strangest and most interesting thing, that when you are NOT looking for stories or working on stories and just living, you often end up feeling more creative.

It wasn’t a relaxing week, so to speak. I was driving hundreds of miles in a car with four small children, and turning closets inside out, and making dinners and breaking up arguments and feeling scared and anxious about things (not work-related) that are out of my control but not out of my sphere of influence/responsibility, and, and…

But still I have had new ideas, and I’ve felt fresh, new things, and deep, old emotions too. And this is very good for me as a person, and as a creative individual, and those things are not separate, no matter how much easier I sometimes think that would be. But I am very grateful for all of this, the opportunity to be alive and the enormous role that creation plays in my life.

I hope you are all having wonderful last-months-of summer, and that you are able to be with the ones you love and make new things.