Thursday, August 18, 2011

Author Interview: Kiera Cass previews The Selection

For my spotlight on upcoming dystopian/post apocalyptic fiction series, I interviewed over 20 authors with novels coming out in the genre in 2012/13.  These are exclusive first looks at exciting new works.  Enjoy!

Author Kiera Cass is all kinds of cool. THE SELECTION starts a dystopian romance trilogy pitched as THE HUNGER GAMES meets THE BACHELOR.   It comes out Summer 2012 with HarperTeen (HarperCollins).  If I wasn’t dying to read it before, I certainly am after reading Kiera’s interview answers.  Wow.

Here’s the teaser:

17-year-old America Singer is one of the eligible young women selected to compete to become the next queen. She finds herself falling in love despite only wanting to break her family out of the lower castes and leaving her boyfriend at home.

And even though she can’t quite reveal the cover yet, I can show the logo:

And the interview!

Why do you think people are drawn to "dark" stories?
Well, I have to say that for a dystopian, I don't think The Selection is that dark. But I know that one of the reasons I enjoy darker stories is that it's always fun to see people who have it worse off than me, but in a totally safe way. In real life, I would never wish for kids to have to fight to the death a la The Hunger Games. You'd have to be pretty jacked up to think that was okay. But in a book? Wow. All kinds of wow.

If THE SELECTION had a theme song, what would it be and why?
I guess I'll give you the song that I think captures America's feelings about the whole Selection deal: Fairy Tale by Sara Bareillis.

What fictional character from another book would America chose as her best friend and why?
Alas, America isn't the best at making friends. But I think she'd enjoy chatting with Rhine or Jenna from Wither by Lauren DeStefano. Though their situations are completely different, I feel like they'd have fun commiserating.

What are your top 5 Dystopian lit recs and why?
These are solid reads:
Unwind by Neal Schusterman
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
1984 by George Orwell
Delirium by Lauren Oliver

What's on the top of your to-do list before the world ends? (you know, in case it ends next year)
I need Rob Pattinson to give me a hand massage. Other than that, I'm good.  

How does your novel stand out from others in the genre?
I think what sets The Selection apart from other dystopians is that I never set out to write a dystopian novel. The inspiration behind The Selection came from wondering about Esther and Cinderella. I always wondered if Esther ever loved someone before she was taken off to the palace to marry this king. That's a detail the Bible skips over. And Cinderella never asked for a prince. She just wanted a night off. But what if that night off led to this guy who we see as a happily-ever-after, but she saw as a disaster? So I knew I wanted to write about a girl who would get the attention of this prince, but she was already in love and didn't want him. And I knew there would be an event she was curious about, but the effects of being a part of it would be way more than she bargained for. That was all I knew. I had to dream up a backdrop for this story, and it turned out a futuristic monarchy worked the best. I hope that people get into the world, of course, but my dream is that they really love the characters.

Thanks Kiera!

Follow Kiera on Twitter @kieracass
Add THE SELECTION to your GoodReads wishlist


Safari Poet said...

I love hearing how The Selection came to be. When I was younger I always wondered what happened after "happily ever after", so this books sounds perfect for me.

Thank you for the interview and preview. I'm already loving what I see.

Pam (@iwriteinbooks) said...

I love the list of dystopian reads. Thanks for the Q&A!

Kaitlyn (Kaitlyn in Bookland) said...

Ahh! I'm so happy for Kiera! Great interview :)

Alicia said...

This sounds like the perfect combination - The Hunger Games AND The Bachelor. I'm sold!

Stephanie said...

This sounds really interesting! I have always liked the story of Esther, so it is cool that it inspired this book. I am adding it to my TBR list!

Erica said...

I am SO excited for this one! I simply cannot wait.

Elizabeth Briggs said...

Ooh I love the Bachelor. I can't wait for this one.

Zibilee said...

The Esther parallel in this story really intrigues me, as I have read a lot of fictional treatments of that story as well as studied the original story pretty deeply. I also think the idea of not wanting the prince has some pretty interesting implications as well. I do sort of get a Hunger Games vibe from that particular aspect of the book.

I also sort of find it interesting to consider that people might like to read darker stories as a way of indulging their schadenfreude without being cruel to other people, and think that perhaps there is a lot of truth to that.

Very enticing interview!!

Evie said...

This is now on my wishlist for sure! It sounds amazing!

Michelle said...

I am very excited for this book! It looks like a fantastic mash up. I mean, really? HG & The Bachelor? How can you *possibly* go wrong with that!?!

Gabrielle Carolina said...

I loved Kiera back in the Twicurls days.

I'm so glad she's read Wither, I think it's a great, "If you love ___, you'll love my book!" for The Selection.

You picked a good one, Lenore.