Interview with Veronica Rossi, author of <em>Under the Never Sky</em>
[box type="note"]Sooz here! Today, we are SO pleased and SO honored to share an interview with the lovely Veronica Rossi today. Not only does she have a fabulous book out (Under the Never Sky, HarperTeen), but she's a pretty fabulous person too![/box]
Under the Never Sky
WORLDS KEPT THEM APART. DESTINY BROUGHT THEM TOGETHER. Aria has lived her whole life in the protected dome of Reverie. Her entire world confined to its spaces, she's never thought to dream of what lies beyond its doors. So when her mother goes missing, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland long enough to find her are slim. Then Aria meets an outsider named Perry. He's searching for someone too. He's also wild - a savage - but might be her best hope at staying alive. If they can survive, they are each other's best hope for finding answers.
[hr] 1. MAN, that sounds enticing...When did you actually start writing the story? Was there any sort of inspiring moment behind Under the Never Sky?
I started writing Under the Never Sky in April of 2009, and yes, there were many sources of inspiration behind it. I had just received a rather painful critique on a story I'd been working on for years, and I decided to set that aside. Under the Never Sky came out of the slump of that experience. I began to think very seriously about what I wanted to write, and what my interests were. I read nonfiction books and spent weeks just journaling. I was so upset to leave behind that other project (which I'd spent seven years on) that I ended up in front of the laptop every day, frustrated out of my head, and just writing in an almost stream of consciousness manner. I read and read and thought out loud on the page, and little by little, I began to see the world and the characters. When I pull up those journal entries now, it brings me right back to the ache I was going through, but it's surprising to see how fully formed the idea for Under the Never Sky emerged to me. There weren't too many missteps.
2. Um...kinda jealous here. If only all books were so easy! So when you sat down to actually write this fully-formed-idea (or any other novel), were you a plotter or pantser?
I'm a bit of both. I like to try to know, generally, where the story is going before I start writing. But the best material always comes when you go off the map. So I guess I'm a plotter with strong pantser tendencies.
3. I guess very few people are complete plotter or pantster... And then once you had a finished book, what was your journey to publication like?
My journey to publication was very, very fast. In the span of three months, I got an agent, an editor, international deals and a movie deal. It's still unbelievable to me. Really. At least once a week, I turn to my husband and say, "Did that really happen? I mean... I didn't imagine all of that, did I?" Of course, that was all once the book was written. There were eight solid years of dedicated writing before that, in which I agonized every day about whether I'd ever get anywhere as a writer. So if you look at it that way, it really wasn't that fast.
4. Eight years--that IS dedication, Veronica. Good for you for not giving up (and for dreaming SO big!). And now that you're all published (squeeee!), what are you working on?
Right now, I'm revising Book Two of the Never Sky trilogy. Next is Book Three, and after that, I'll be working on something that I am so excited about. I'm a long way from talking about it, though. It's in the top secret vault right now, but it's going to be awesome.
5. Oooh, top secret and awesome? I'm in! Now, when you're working on this secret project (or any writing), what does a typical day look like for you?
My typical day starts early and ends late. I write in the morning, during the day, and most of the time, at night, too. If I'm not taking care of my sons, I'm writing. It's a busy time, but it's been fun.
6. I'm always impressed with the people who balance kids and writing--both are so emotionally (and physically) draining. Kudos to you! Finally, do you have any big words of inspiration or advice?
Read voraciously. Write voraciously. And if you can, find people you can trust who will support you, challenge you, and cheer you on. It took me years to settle on a core team comprised of mentors, fellow writers and friends. Each and every one of them is invaluable to me.
7. Same here--each and every writer friend in my life is invaluable (and all in their own special ways). Now, for something totally different: if you could spend a night at the pub with any 3 authors (alive or dead) who would it be and why?
This is so tough, but I think I'd opt for a Girls Night out with Kristin Cashore, JK Rowling and Jane Austen. I admire each of them so much as writers, and I have a feeling our conversation would be both fun and intelligent. Plus I have sooo many questions I'd like to ask each of them. It would be amazing! Can we please make this happen somehow? Pretty please?
You can only make it happen if you invite all the Pub Crawl ladies too! ;) Sounds like quite a fun evening to me! [hr] Now, to celebrate Veronica's fab interview and the release of her even more fabulous debut, Under the Never Sky, we're giving away a copy! All you have to do is leave a comment, telling us about your favorite dystopian or sci-fi. Then, fill out the form below! The contest is opening internationally, and we'll contact the winner a week from now! a Rafflecopter giveaway [hr]
Veronica was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Growing up, she lived in several countries and cities around the world, finally settling in Northern California with her husband and two sons. She completed undergraduate studies at UCLA and then went on to study fine art at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. When not writing or painting, she chases after her boys, who make her laugh every day, and who teach her about love that's a million gazillion times bigger than the ocean.