Wednesday
December
17
2014
3:19 pm
Weather

  Home
  Local News
  State / National / World
  Sports
  Opinion / Letters
  Business
  Arts / Entertainment
  Lifestyle
  Obituaries
  Calendar
  Submit Event
  Comics / Games
  Classifieds
  DJ Designers
  Archives
  Advertise With Us
  About Us
 
 
 
 
Veronica Roth: A YA novelist actually under 30
March 19, 2014, 05:00 AM The Associated Press

BEVERLY HILLS — “Divergent,” the latest young adult novel poised to become a blockbuster movie, meets all the criteria for the YA genre: The movie is adapted from a best-seller; the story is rooted in sci-fi; and the cast consists of hot, young stars-to-be. But unlike the “Twilight” and “The Hunger Games” series, this one was actually written by someone under 30.

In 2011, writer Veronica Roth was just 22 years old when her book hit shelves. Based on a future dystopian society where people are segregated by their values, her debut landed on the New York Times children’s best-seller list, where it remained for 11 weeks. She followed it up with the sequel “Insurgent” and completed her trilogy with “Allegiant.” Her books have sold over 11 million copies.

Summit Entertainment, the same studio behind the “Twilight” franchise, acquired the film rights before the first copy of “Divergent” was sold. “It’s been surreal,” Roth said during a recent interview. “When I found out Summit wanted to make a movie, I was like, ‘They want to do what?’ I was really nervous, but I was relieved when it started doing well. That they were interested was really encouraging.”

Starring Shailene Woodley, Theo James and Kate Winslet, the film opens Friday.

During an interview with The Associated Press, Roth talked about letting the studio take her book and run with it, the inevitable comparisons with “The Hunger Games” and how she’s grown as a writer:

————

AP: The first time you saw the film adaptation of “Divergent,” did it look the way you’d envisioned it?

Roth: Not until I saw the shot of the Sears Tower (now Chicago’s Willis Tower) and the characters going into the choosing ceremony did I really go, ‘Oh that’s really it.’ I got really emotional. And I was happy because I didn’t want any sleek or super polished future and it does look kind of destroyed. You can’t micromanage the movie adaptation of your book. First of all, they won’t let you. Second of all, I didn’t want to.

————

AP: Your stories have been compared to writer Suzanne Collins’ “The Hunger Games” series. Both focus on heroines in dystopian societies. Feel any pressure to match the box-office numbers of those adaptations?

Roth: I think it’s a double-edged sword. I try not to think about it, but I don’t succeed most of the time. “The Hunger Games” did something remarkable. So in that sense, it’s a flattering comparison. But you can’t hope to replicate that experience. It was unique.

————

AP: What are your thoughts on the casting choices of Shailene Woodley as the character Tris and Theo James as Four?

Roth: (Shailene and Theo) transported me right away. They had great chemistry. That is what I was most concerned about because that has to carry the story.

————

AP: What was the inspiration for the story?

Roth: My freshman year of college I learned about exposure therapy, which is a method of treating anxiety and phobia. Someone is repeatedly exposed to the thing that makes them afraid, so they become habituated to it. I wanted to use it in a sci-fi context.

————

AP: Writer Stephenie Meyer was 31 when her first book from the “Twilight” collection came out. Suzanne Collins was 46 when the first novel from her “The Hunger Games” trilogy released. How does it feel to be a young adult generating young adult material?

Roth: I feel acutely aware of how young I am. In a way that is good. It’s productive. It makes me realize that I should be growing as a writer and a person.

————

AP: How have you grown as a writer?

Roth: I take things that I am putting on the page more seriously now. In the subsequent books I thought more about violence and young people. It’s very serious. That doesn’t mean I’m limiting the content. I just handle it different. In terms of writing skill, I think more detail and less repetition.

————

AP: Does the pressure to produce a good follow-up weigh on you?

Roth: It depends on the day. The only time I’m able to write is when I can let that go. It’s been helpful to have a series finished and think that whatever I do next just gets to exist between me and my screen for as long as I want it to. It’s a way of coaching myself into relaxing.

————

AP: Have you finished your next book?

Roth: I wrote a collection of short stories that’s coming out in July. (The collection is told from Four’s perspective.) It’s kind of a prequel to “Divergent.” I’m just finishing them now.

————

Follow AP Film Writer Jessica Herndon on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/SomeKind

 

 

Tags: writer, young, hunger, about, games, really,


Other stories from today:

 

 
Print this Page Print this Page  |  Bookmark and Share
<< Back
 
Return To Archives
 
  


 
 
 
Daily Journal Quick Poll
 
What do you think of Cuba and the United States re-establishing diplomatic ties?

It's about time
We'll see how it goes
Makes sense
Don't like it
I guess the Cold War is over
Does this mean Cuban cigars will be cheaper now?

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
US, Cuba seek to normalize relations
WASHINGTON — The United States and Cuba have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations and open ..
14 charged for roles in meningitis outbreak
BOSTON — Fourteen owners or employees of a Massachusetts pharmacy were charged Wednesday in connec..
Fed pondering change in rate hike signals
WASHINGTON — The U.S. economy is finally doing better, and the Federal Reserve may be ready to ack..
More >>  
 
 
  
 
  
 
©2014 San Mateo Daily Journal
Redwood City news