Today on the blog I have the honor of hosting the lovely Veronica Rossi, who's debut novel Under the Never Sky came out on January 3rd. You can see my review here and now let's get onto the interview. Veronica's answers are in bold.
First off, thank you so much to agreeing to do this interview, I loved your book and I’m sure that it will be a big hit!
Thank you, Anna, for all your enthusiasm!
I think it’s customary to start off with a little about your book, so pitch your book in 140 characters, twitter style.
UNDER THE NEVER SKY is a post-apocalyptic adventure story about teens from radically different societies, who are thrown together by circumstance. They embark on a quest that forces them to overcome their differences in order to survive. There might also be a romance in there.
I think that's slightly more then 140 characters but that's okay!
Now that we know your book what about you, how would you describe yourself in 140 characters?
I’m a mother, daughter, wife, writer, painter, reader, sometimes-cook, vegetarian, always animal-lover. I was born in Rio de Janeiro, but I’ve been the US most of my life. I love rainy days, but not Mondays.
Again, more then 140 chracters, but I'm not gonna count them all.
You’re part of a group of 2012 YA debuts called The Apocalypsies, what books would you recommend we look out for in the coming year (no, you can’t pick your own Rossi, I’m watching you)?
This is so tough, Anna! Well, I’m going to make this easy and list the ones I’ve read, or that I have in my hands: BORN WICKED, by Jessica Spotswood, SLIDE, by Jill Hathaway, INCARNATE, by Jodi Meadows, EVERNEATH, by Brodi Ashton, GILT by Katy Longshore, SILVER by Talia Vance, SKINNY by Donna Cooner, SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL, by Trish Doller, TIME BETWEEN US, by Tamara Ireland Stone, IF I STAY, by Corinne Jackson… ok… this is getting ridiculous. I have to make myself stop. But you know what? You’ve just made me realize how amazing this group is. So much talent! It’s such an honor to be part of it.
You’re book, at its heart, is really a dystopian novel. What happened to make the Earth the way it is in your book?
That will be explained in the second book, THROUGH THE EVER NIGHT, so I’ll have to just pass on this one?
Do you think that dystopian is the new vampire?
Ummm…. No? I don’t think we need a new vampire J
There are also what I would call two worlds, inside and outside of the Pods. If you were dropped into the world you created which place would you most likely fit in?
Inside! As much as I think I’m “tough,” I’d prefer the safety and fun of the Dweller world.
If you happened to be a Dweller what would your favorite Realm to be in and why? What about if you were an Outsider, what Sense would you have, if any?
If I were a Dweller, I’d want to live in a Realm of Rome. It’s one of my favorite cities. I love everything about it. If I were an Outsider, I think I’d want to be an Audile.
In the Pods quite a few things have been eliminated, which we happen to learn in…oh I’d say the middle of the book (although not all of those things that are eliminated I would mind), can you name a few for us (maybe even some that aren’t in the book) and why you decided they weren’t needed in the Pods?
In the Pods, humans have been genetically modified for greater efficiency. Certain traits, like nail growth, facial hair, etc., have been eliminated. I didn’t so much decide they weren’t needed… It just made sense that, if you don’t need long nails, the Dwellers would have come up with a way to do away with that, as well as anything else that’s unnecessary.
In my mind there are really three parts of this book, and no, I don’t just mean the beginning, middle, and end. I would say the three parts are “Into the Death Shop”, “Surviving the Death Shop” and “Thriving in the Death Shop” (those are my words though, not yours, I could be wrong). If you had to pick a few songs that reminded you of Under the Never Sky what would they be?
I love the names you’ve given the three parts! There’s a playlist somewhere… Let me see if I can find a link.
Do you listen to music while writing or revising? Were there any songs that you played over and over again?
Here's a link to the playlist, it's on the Facebook page for the book. There are also some other cool features on the page for you to check out!
The title, Under the Never Sky, is, in my mind, the prefect title for this book, as is the tag line. Did you come up with the title and tag line or was that someone else’s idea entirely?
I came up with both, and thank you!
And speaking of titles and tag lines are there any ideas for book two? And the cover, do you think the cover will have Perry on it this time or do you think it will still be Aria (I assume that’s who it’s supposed to be)?
I’m going to have to take the fifth here, unfortunately. I think we’ll be announcing some of this in the coming months. (This just in, Veronica posted today that the title of book two will be, at this time, THROUGH THE EVER NIGHT!)
Perry and Aria have some hot scenes in this book; did anyone at the publishing agency suggest that you get rid of them? Was there something they insisted that you get rid of even though you loved it dearly? Did you fight to keep anything in the book?
I actually expected some of this, but no! My editor was fully supportive from the beginning. We just worked to hone things, sharpen them.
I’m sure you get this question ALL the time, but what was the inspiration for writing UTNS? Was there inspiration or was it all of sudden you were just like “That’s it!”? Were there any authors who inspired you?
The story grew out of a number of different inspirational sources. Non-fiction books, journaling, and just staring at the walls, imagining. I admire Kristin Cashore and MT Anderson’s books a great deal.
Did you always know you wanted to be a writer (because WOW you’re good) or was it one of those things that just hit you?
Thank you J I didn’t always know, but I’ve always been a creative person. I came to writing by way of painting.
There were several parts in your book that hit me like whoa, did you have a favorite scene to write or a quote you just loved?
There are many favorite scenes, but one of my favorites is the rooftop scene, where Aria sings to Perry. I feel like it’s their moment… like something really magical, and almost inexplicable happens between them.
I love that scene, it's great!
What about characters, your characters were so rich and developed (they also developed over the course of the book), did you have a favorite character to write?
No, not a favorite. Roar is lots of fun, but I also adore writing Marron and Cinder. And, of course, Perry and Aria.
I loved Roar too!
It’s been announced that your book has been optioned for film by Warner Brothers (whose movies don’t usually suck), do you have an idea who you would want to play Aria, Perry, and Roar? Or any other characters for that matter? (Actually, not Aria, cause I call her) ;).
J I don’t have any idea… I’d just like to see real artists take the roles. I appreciate that—when someone has a clear vision. When someone takes risks. And I’d love to see an actor take what I’ve written and really go for it, and make it theirs.
I think that’s it. One last question though, Team Jacob or Team Edward? We all know that this is the most important question, which is why we had to save it for last.
Team Finnick. Hah!
Thank you Veronica for answering all of my silly questions! I myself might be switching over to Team Perry, because, whoa, he’s got some moves!
Anna, thank you for having me, and for being absolutely wonderful!
Now, I have an extra copy of Under the Never Sky and I've decided to give it away to one of you in honor of Veronica's interview! All you have to do is fill out the form and answer a few questions based on the interview.