Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Q & A with Ally Condie author of Matched and Crossed Part 1

Today Ally Condie, author of Matched and Crossed, sponsored a Q&A session via twitter (#allychat) for an hour, where she'd answer anybody's questions.

I decided to pipe in on the conversation and asked Penguin Teens and Allyson Condie if I could compile some of the questions people asked her and the answers she gave here on my blog.

And so it is with their permission I share some of her answers. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did! We'll start out with questions about Crossed, her upcoming novel that is released in November 2011.

Why did you decide to write in dual POVs (Cassia and Ky) for Crossed?
There was really no other way to tell the story. And I feel like Crossed is Ky’s turn to tell what happened to him.

Did you have a hard time switching from Cassia’s to Ky’s POV?
Sometimes! I found that I had to either write in Cassia’s voice or Ky’s on a given day to stay in the right mode.
What was your favorite part about writing Crossed?
I loved Ky’s voice/telling his story and the setting of Crossed.

I loved seeing the poems/quotes throughout Matched. Will you continue using in Crossed & book three?
Yes! Some of the same poems, and some new. And paintings play a big role in this one.

Will there be another wise, thoughtful figure, someone like Cassia’s Grandfather, in Crossed?
Not so much. They are on their own a bit in this book.
What can we expect in Crossed?
Two points of view, more action (of both varieties!) ;) and an awesome setting.
Will the love triangle between Cassia, Xander, and Ky continue throughout the rest of the trilogy?
Yes, it will. :)
Will we learn more about Ky’s mysterious background in Crossed?

Why did you choose blue for the cover of crossed?
You’ll see. :) And it has something to do with the tablet, and with water and rivers…

Is there going to be a cliff hanger ending in Crossed?
Yes and no. I think there’s a strong sense of arrival, but everything isn’t tied up yet—we have another book to go! ;)

What color do you hope the cover of book three will be?
When are we going to find out the title of book 3?
I honestly have no idea. But will post as soonas I can!
How did you pick your character’s names?
I look for names that are classical and have meaning for what the characters will do in the story, then tweak the spelling.
Where do you get names for your characters?
I just think of them—or I look in baby name books. I love baby name books.
How did you come up with the names of Cassia, Ky, and Xander?
I loved their meanings and the classical but modern feel of the names.
Was there an influence for the beautiful name Cassia?
My sister found the name for me. I love that it’s a botanical name that’s classical but unusual.
Are you team Ky or team Xander?
Team both. I know it’s a copout, but it’s true. I love them both. I based them both on my husband :)
Who’s your favorite character that you’ve written? :)
I really like Ky, Cassia, and Xander, but have found myself intrigued by Indie. I never know what she’ll do.
Thoughts about Cassia?
I like Cassia. Because she’s just a normal girl making brave decisions and in kind of a quiet way.
Is Cassia based on you?
She’s not based on me. But I did get to choose my own guy, I love to run, and I had really wonderful grandparents.
When it comes to characters, do you usually know their names first or their personalities?
Personalities. I don’t know why that is.
Are any of your characters based on people you know in real life?
Sometimes. The character Vick in Crossed is based on a mashup of my brother and brother-in-law.
Did any of your own children inspire Bram’s character, or others in Crossed?
Not really. My kids are all younger than Bram. But maybe they will grow up to be like him!
Did anyone inspire Cassia’s character?
Not anyone in particular, but I’ve always admired those quiet strong women who just do what’s right.
When writing Matched did you know you wanted the main character to have a long triangle dilemma?
No, I didn’t. That actually came rather late in the game. At first I thought Xander was just her friend. But then he loved her!
Which other YA dystopian novels have influenced you?
The two dystopian novels that have influenced me the most are 1984 and Fahrenheit 451.
What elements in Fahrenheit 451 influenced you the most?
Mostly the creepy feel and the burning of books. The scene at the library in Matched is an homage to Fahrenheit 451.
What is your most memorable experience as an author?
A former student of mine found out I was an author and wrote out I was an author and wrote me the nicest e-mail ever. That was a great one.
How did you come up with the idea of The Society?
I built the Society around the Match Banquet. I thought, “What government would exist for a world like this to take place?”
What part of the Society do you personally find most haunting?
All the stuff Cassia doesn’t know yet. Where are the animals? Why can only certain people mate? Etc.
If you lived in the Society what would your artifact and banquet dress be?
I’d pick my engagement ring and my dress would be blue.
This is it for today's post. Check back here tomorrow for Part 2. Where she'll answer questions like "Is Matched going to be a movie?" and more.
~Danica Page


  1. Great interview..thanks for sharing it with us :)

  2. Thanks!

    It was a blast taking part of #allychat. It was a matter of simply being in the right place at the right time.

    Be sure to check out Part 2 of the interview with Ally Condie.

    ~Danica Page


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