Anonymous asked: I don't know if you've been asked this but, out of all your TDM kids, who do you think would survive the Hunger Games, and who'd be the first to die? They can use abilities. Also, if they were in Divergent, what factions would each of them belong to?
Oh gosh… I think Liam would probably be the first to die, don’t you? Either he’d sacrifice himself in some stupidly noble way and/or his lack of hand-eye coordination would get him in the end. If you remove abilities from the equation, I think Vida would ultimately win The Hunger Games. She can close off parts of her humanity far more easily than the other kids, and, unlike Clancy, she’s a trained killer. I honestly have no idea re: the Divergent factions. I can’t neatly assign them to any one category, the messy humans they are.
beatrisepriors asked: I just saw your post about the character's birthdays and i was wondering if it was too much to hope for that you took astrology into consideration? Like i could see chubs being a virgo and i love the idea of zu as a gemini
I did indeed :)
Anonymous asked: is the third book called "ya know"?
Close! It’s “Ya Know What I Mean, Bro?”
chickpeasbee asked: I made an account just for this. Cole: Coal, Coal and Fire: Orange/Red. Coincidence or...? Because I saw Cole being a Red coming because of that and I was just wondering if it was planned. Also, is Jude really dead? I fell in love with his character and... why? And finally, thank you for writing this awesome series and creating these awesome characters. Especially Cole. ;)
Actually, I picked Cole’s name only because I was continuing with the trend of picking names related to colors, which in his case would be black. Alban comes from the Latin word Albus which means white. This is more of an inside writer’s joke, but I wanted to subtly set up three different/contrasting examples of leadership over the course of books 2 and 3: President Gray, Alban (white), and Cole (black). You’ll see more of Cole’s leadership style in book 3.
Anonymous asked: Is IAAN still affecting the kids being born?
Yes, see pages 404-407 in NEVER FADE for a not-so-subtle explanation of how it’s handled.
Anonymous asked: Is Liam's full name William? Or is it just Liam?
Just Liam, actually. :)
See, you look exactly like a friend of mine, Ruby, but I haven’t seen her in ages...
Anonymous asked: do you ever use the site nameberry? 'tis my favorite name site and thought why not share it!
Yes! Though my favorite name website is Behind the Name. That one has stolen hours of my life! They have most popular name lists by country and year, namesakes, potential nicknames, etc. It’s really interesting to read the comments on each name, too.
Anonymous asked: When will the title of the latest darkest minds book come out?
Next spring sometime—maybe February or March? It all sort of depends on when the pub date is, since you tend to work backwards from that with the various reveals. (Marketing timelines!)
P.S. I still don’t know the final release date!
Liam Lee Stewart’s way
Anonymous asked: How old is Clancy? I always thought of him being 18 but my friend asked me and I said "I don't know, 18 maybe" now I really really want to know!!!
Anonymous asked: Hi! I was wondering if you considered Clancy an absolute negative force in the series or if there is more to the character? Happy Thanksgiving!
I think of Clancy as a complicating force (as well as him being a complicated person). He throws a wrench in everyone’s plans, and he’s constantly trying to get Ruby to see things from another side (namely, his side). He’s a bit of a troll, and is super into himself, but he’s not always wrong about the world and the people around them. If you strip away the hurt he’s caused and what he’s done to Ruby & Co. they actually have the same mission: to get his father out of office.
blueparrot24 asked: Hi Alex! Of late I have decided to explore in my writing ability but i'm in high school so finding time to study and keep my grades up while devoting time to write a story while developing characters and their names and personalities is a lot to do. So my question I guess is how long did it take you to write TMD and Never Fade?(which are both really good, like Chubs and Vida's kid is me) And also how much time do you think you actually spent thinking and planning the story rather then writing?
Hi! So I get this question a lot—a very similar one came up at YALLFest, though that teen was asking for general advice on becoming a bestselling author ASAP. Here’s the thing that I don’t think teens really want to hear (I know I wouldn’t have): take your time. Take time out to practice writing, but don’t impose strict deadlines or benchmarks for yourself that’ll force you to start sacrificing time with your family and friends in favor of you sitting alone in a room for extended periods of time. Right now, school is your priority, and it should be. Squeeze the most out of that experience as you can, learn as much as you can, interact with as many people as possible. All of these things will help you develop your stories later in life because you’ll be able to look back and reflect on those times in a meaningful/critical/reflective way.
*steps off soap box*
I think it took me about 6 months to draft TDM—but then I spent pretty much a year revising it. Like, I finished it in October 2010, revised with my agent from October until February when it sold to my editor… and then I revised with her on and off pretty much through most of the rest of that year. NF took about eight months (which is really long for me—my dad was sick and passed away during this time, which made focusing on work very hard) and then we revised from the time I turned it in in August to April of this year. I mention both drafting and revising because both are critically important to a story’s development. With book 3, I think it took me five months to draft it, likely because I had a tighter grip on the plot.
Brainstorming/planning depends totally on how much research I need to do before I can start writing. I generally don’t start figuring things out until I start the whole drafting process (or, really, problems start showing up and I have to shift gears and re-brainstorm). I honestly brainstorming and reoutline the entire time I’m drafting. I’ll find out something about the characters I’m working with that I didn’t know at the start, but it only comes out through the writing. I think I generally spend a month or two really thinking about the story, the characters, and the plot before starting, though.
Anonymous asked: I know you probably won't respond to this message and that's ok but I'm begging you to give us a happy ending between Liam and Ruby. When Allegiant came out, it was so sad, I regretted to read the all serie, like everyone did in fact, everybody hated that last book. It was like treason. When a book is sad, there's so much death in it and all, we need a happy ending, we need a little hope at the end, like Mockingjay. I'm so scared I shouldn't have read your book before knowing the end :(
I’m really sad that you guys have felt let down by ALLEGIANT. I read Veronica’s explanation of why she ended it the way she did and I understand it in a whole new way, and I see why she made that decision. (To be fair, I also had a feeling one of them was going to die, because you generally don’t split the POV away from the MC after not doing it for two previous books unless your main character can’t finish telling the story.)
I really believe that it’s the kind of ending that’s 1) realistic and 2) that readers will come to peace with eventually. I will say that a lot A LOT A LOT of people hated both the epilogues of Harry Potter and Mockingjay when they first came out because they felt like too much after the story had already ended in a way that was appropriate (even though Mockingjay in particular was soul-crushingly sad). I haven’t read past DIVERGENT so I can’t really comment on whether or not the ending was appropriate, beyond knowing Veronica’s explanation for it. There’s a really tough line to walk between reader expectation and authorial vision. People get upset when things don’t go the way they think they should (ask yourself: is this necessarily fair to the writer who can’t really know what you’re hoping for/expecting?), and I understand that there is somewhat of a contract between the reader and the author, but… the author generally has something they’re trying to say, and sometimes this is only accomplished through a sad/bittersweet ending. I’ve said this before, but I would have been totally happy leaving TDM as a standalone, with that exact same ending. So I guess what I’m saying is that I’m disappointed on behalf of everyone—for the fans who wanted a happy ending and for Veronica for having to deal with a lot of vitriol for ending the series on her own terms.
In terms of TDM series… I won’t say. If you know the tone of the ending, it ruins the experience of stressing out whether or not the characters get there. ;) It’s the same reason I won’t post the playlist until the day it comes out—I don’t want to give a sense of how the emotions ebb and flow throughout the story, if that makes sense. I don’t want to tell anyone ANYTHING about it until much closer to when it comes out next year! There’s a lot those two have to figure out: how to get out of California, if Liam forgives her decision, helping Ruby through the severe PTSD she has after the end of NF, etc. I’m a big believer in “appropriate endings” over “happy endings,” and I think the end of book 3 reflects that.