Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Author Interview: Veronica Rossi previews Under the Never Sky + Giveaway

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!

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.

Thanks Veronica!

Visit Veronica’s website
Follow Veronica on Twitter @V_Rossibooks
Add UNDER THE NEVER SKY to your GoodReads wishlist
Veronica is part of Brave New Words, a group blog for YA sci-fi 2012 debuts

ALSO - I have an ARC of UNDER THE NEVER SKY that I can send anywhere in the world! To enter to win, fill out this form by Sept 3, 2011 at 11:59 pm CST.  Good luck!


Jamie said...

This one of the books I'm most excited for in the Winter/Spring 12 catalogs!! Eeeeep January is a long time away!

Anonymous said...

E Lucevan Le Stelle, interesting choice of song. I like the character's name because they're usually, but easy to pronounce. Looking forward to this. Thanks again Lenore for another great interview and the chance to win an ARC.

Theresa Milstein said...

I enjoyed Divergent and The Giver too. What an excellent giveaway. Thanks for giving away an ARC.

Unknown said...

Opera and cannibals? Interesting mix!

This gives me yet another reason to read Divergent, once my copy finally arrives.

Pam (@iwriteinbooks) said...

Wow, the UK cover is REALLY different, eh? I like them both but they say very different things to me, I think.

Heather Anastasiu said...

Squeee, so fun seeing the UK cover too! Every lit bit more I hear about this book makes me so much more frickin' excited to read it!!!!

Brodie said...

LOL I very much hope she gets to live out her fantasy dinner party before the world ends. Given the fact that's totally about to become internationally famous with a number of bestsellers to her name, I say it's a very real possibility! ;)

Opera, cannibals and artificial worlds? As if I wasn't already drooling to get my hands on it. Fantastic interview! I am so, so, SO freaking excited for Under The Never Sky! One of my most hotly anticipated 2012 titles. So thanks for the amazing giveaway!

Precious said...

This sounds absolutely intriguing! I love the covers too! :) Fun interview! Thank you for the giveaway!

Anonymous said...

This souns like a great book. Too be honest the title alone sold it for me.

danya said...

Opera, cannibals, and artificial worlds? Wow that does sound different! Love the US cover for this one. Thanks for the chance to win!

Anonymous said...

The tagline on the UK cover's really similar to the Starcrossed tagline.

I'm looking forward to this one!

Evie said...

Those covers are gorgeous!
Thanks for the chance.

ArtemisG said...

The both covers are very beautiful. THE ROAD, by Cormac McCarthy, i love this book.
Thanks for the giveaway!

Zibilee said...

Oh Lenore, can I be your +1 at that dinner party? Loved this interview. I think that I am learning so much about the reasons that people gravitate towards darker stories, and consequently, I am feeling myself want to explore those types of stories more fully. I love dystopian August!

Anonymous said...

Ahem, can I come to that dinner party too? Surely there's room for one more. SURELY.

Really looking forward to this one. I love both covers, but the US one is definitely kickass. ;)

Ezmirelda said...

I loved reading the interview. I can't wait for Under The Never Sky to come out. It's one of the books I'll be anticipating the most. Thanks for the contest Lenore!!! :)

Emy Shin said...

I love both of the covers -- so gorgeous. And I'm excited to read a YA dystopian written in third person!

Bookish in a Box said...

"Accessing darkness in literature...is how we learn, and how we appreciate the bright side of life, by having that contrast." Spot on! I love delving into something so different from my own life (and I'm glad that's not my life!).

Amie Kaufman said...

Oh, I love the best friends question (AND the answer -- tells me straight away I'll like these characters), and thaaaaaaaank you for going international!

Anna said...

cannibals!? count me in! that's probably a little creepy sounding...but they make everything more interesting. :D

M.A.D. said...

I love these survival type books and have immediately put this on my wish list lol

Thank you for such another awesome giveaway :D

Melliane said...

Thanks for this great interview ! I didn't know the books but I'm curious to read it !

Dani @ Refracted Light said...

Cannot wait to read this one! Thanks for the giveaway! :)

Michelle said...

I'm excited for this book! Definitely one I'm looking forward to.

Danmark said...

Under The Never Sky is a wonderfully written story of survival and endurance . The characters are well developed and the worlds they live in are vividly described .The plot is gripping and very original and exciting.