Veronica Rossi is our last guest on this edition of Dystopian August. Her debut UNDER THE NEVER SKY comes out with HarperTeen on January 3, 2011. Are you excited as I am?! If not, you will be after reading this interview. Trust.
Here’s the teaser summary:
Exiled from her comfortable home, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland – called the Death Shop – are slim. Violent energy storms can strike suddenly, and even the very air she breathes might kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He’s wild, dangerous – a savage. He’s also her only hope.
Because Aria alone holds the key to his redemption, Perry needs her, too. Their unlikely alliance will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky.
The kick-ass US cover:
And the romantic UK cover:
And the interview:
Why do you think people are drawn to "dark" stories?
I think it’s the same reason our fears and failures become ingrained in our memory. We teach ourselves when we come out of darkness. We say, that was terrible, but we survived. Accessing darkness in literature and other art forms allows us to examine and then come to terms with our mistakes and imperfections, and those of the world around us. It’s how we learn, and how we appreciate the bright side of life, by having that contrast. Also, dark is cool.
If UNDER THE NEVER SKY had a theme song, what would it be and why?
There is a song that features prominently in the story, E Lucevan Le Stelle, an aria from the opera Tosca. If you asked my characters, that’s undoubtedly what they would say. If you’re asking me, then the answer is Just Breathe by Pearl Jam or The End by Kings of Leon.
What fictional character from another book would your main characters chose as a best friend and why?
Oh, this is a fun question. I have two main characters, Peregrine and Aria. For Perry, Gale from THE HUNGER GAMES. I was going to try to reach a little further in the memory bank for this, but I suppose the fact that it popped right into my head means something. I think those two are cut from the same cloth. I could definitely imagine them hanging out. Not saying much to one another, but that’s why they’d get along so well. For Aria, it would probably be Lyra, from HIS DARK MATERIALS, despite their age difference. Aria would love Lyra’s spunk and intelligence, and especially her wild-child side.
What are your top 5 Dystopian lit recs and why?
There are so many good ones! If you’ll allow me to include post-apocalyptic works, then the books that come readily to mind are:
ENCLAVE, by Anne Aguirre – for great pace and lots of butt kicking.
THE PASSAGE by Justin Cronin – for incredible scope and detail.
THE ROAD, by Cormac McCarthy – for pure, concentrated literary power.
DIVERGENT, by Veronica Roth – for being as fast and fun as reading a summer blockbuster, but still thought-provoking and emotionally resonant.
THE GIVER, by Lois Lowry – for being the kind of book that can change you.
What's on the top of your to-do list before the world ends?
I love to travel. I haven’t come close to hitting all the places I’d like to see, but if the world were going to end, I would probably stay put and hang with my family. Nothing beats that.
There is one thing… I have this fantasy dinner party I’ve been planning for a few years. I spend an embarrassing amount of time updating and perfecting my ideal guest list. I’d love to make that happen before the end of the world.
Here it is:
Alicia Keyes, Jennifer Aniston, Kathryn Bigelow, JK Rowling, Jada Pinkett Smith, MT Anderson, Will. I. Am, Justin Bieber, James Franco, Robert Redford, and Brian Wilson
There is one empty spot for a female guest, so I’m officially inviting you, Lenore. 6 PM, my house. No need to bring anything. (Lenore's note: OMG! James Franco?! I'm so there! Thank you for the invite!)
How does your novel stand out from others in the genre?
Under the Never Sky is in told in alternating points of view, switching between my female and male protagonist. It's also in third person. (In my experience, it seems that most current YA is in first person.) So the delivery method of the story itself might set it apart a little bit. It's an adventure, but the romance also plays a significant part. Also, I know of no other stories that contain the following elements: opera, cannibals, and artificial worlds.
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