Goodreads recently had a Q & A with author, Ally Condie. She answers questions about her Matched series and her new standalone novel Atlantia. See what she has to say!
Christine: I felt empowered reading the Matched series. There was some organic way in which it motivated me. What, above all, do you hope young women hear from reading your books?
Honestly, first of all, I want them to enjoy the story. I want them to care about the characters and see themselves in the pages, and for each reader to feel like there was something in the books for them. And I think that, above all, I’d love for them to come away from the books feeling inspired to create, to do whatever it is they love and believe in.
Alyssa: Ever since I first read the Matched series, I wondered about the different meanings behind the colors of the books. Why did you choose these certain colors for the book covers and the pills (green for Matched and calming pills, blue for Crossedand the pills that are said to keep you alive but actually kill, and red for Reached and the pills that erase your memory), and how do the colors of the books and the certain pills correspond?
I chose those colors for specific reasons: Green often represents growth (which is what we see happen with Cassia in Matched), blue represents water and change (which is what we see in Crossed), and red represents blood and battle (which is what happens in Reached). So I wanted each book and each tablet to connect to those symbols. It was great, because even though I don’t get to choose the book covers at all, the cover designer took those colors and made them the covers of each book. Which I loved, of course, and which I think really helped tie it all together visually.
Kelly: Also, did Cassias’s dress being green also have to do with the green pill symbolically?
It did, yes. Green is traditionally a symbol of growth and renewal, and I wanted that for Cassia. I also liked the literal connection to her inner self (her green eyes) and to the world around her (like the greenspaces). There’s a line that Grandfather says in Matched that specifically references that connection. It’s those things—growing, connecting, believing in herself—that give her the strength to resist taking the green tablet.
mckenna_toggs: What’s it like transitioning into a new book/series? Are there still parts of Matched you miss or want to go back to?
It’s actually been great transitioning into the new book (Atlantia is a stand-alone). It was fun to write a story that began and ended in one book and to know that I could put it all on the page and not have to save anything for future books. I loved creating the underwater world, and I loved getting to know Rio, the main character. I do still miss the Matched series, because I spent a lot of time with those characters, and I loved telling their story. But I feel like they all ended up where they needed to be. That said, I do wonder what really happened to Indie now and then… 😉
Cullen: What is the first sentence you wrote for Atlantia? Did you happen to keep it intact or did you rewrite it?
I don’t know if I can remember the first sentence I wrote for Atlantia, unfortunately. But I do remember that I wrote the last line of the book fairly early on, and that it stayed the same. I had to fight a little to keep it that way, but it was very important to me. It felt like that last sentence defined the book and the characters in it.
Raquel: I would love to know what inspired you to write about sirens. What I loved about the Matched series is how it surprised me. I expected a soft love story but got a gritty survival romance. I wonder if Atlantia will surprise us and change the way we think about mermaids. How are the sirens from Atlantia different from our popular (yet still lovely) Little Mermaid? Are they good or evil?
I hope Atlantia surprises you! 🙂 There aren’t any mermaids in Atlantia, but the story was heavily influenced by The Little Mermaid (the Hans Christian Andersen tale, NOT the Disney version). The original fairy tale is dark and beautiful, and the character longs to be above in a way that is extremely poignant—and the story has a very sad ending! (SPOILER: In the real version the little mermaid DOES NOT get the prince! She dies!) I wanted my character Rio to have that same longing and suffering that the original tale had. And then I think the idea of water automatically led me to the idea of sirens and to their voices and to what would happen if someone had to suppress their voice and who they are (as Rio has to do with her voice). The sirens in the book are good and evil. They are complicated. They are very, very human.
For the full interview click HERE