young adult book reviews & more

Once Blog Tour

In both Eve and Once, Eve must face a myriad of tough obstacles. How did you go about making sure that the action and plot felt as fresh in the sequel as it did in the first book?
I’d decided early on that I wouldn’t reveal the City of Sand until the second book. In some ways this made the sequel easier to write—the world Eve experiences in Once is so different from the world of the wild. The way the survivors of the plague have been living is in stark contrast to how the boys in the dugout (or even Marjorie and Otis) lived. Plot-wise, there are echoes of the first book in the third, but Eve has changed so much by that point that the wild is seen through this new lens. Everything is portrayed differently because she is different.

To follow up on that, how does Eve’s voice change and grow in response to many obstacles that she has to face in both books?
I love this question—I’ve thought about this so much as the series ended. In the opening chapters of the first book Eve is well read, has committed the Teachers lessons to heart, and has a firm understanding of the world inside the School’s walls. When she discovers the School’s secret, all of that changes. In much of the first novel she’s trying to reconcile what she’s been taught with what she’s learning every day. She often refers to books she’s read and beliefs she’s held as a way to hold onto her old self. Those references disappear as the series moves forward. Eve becomes more rooted in herself and her present situation. She doesn’t waver or question herself as much. She assesses what’s happening and acts without hesitation.

What is the most rewarding part about being a young adult author?
The readers. It’s extraordinary how the YA audience has grown in the past decade (thank you J.K. Rowling, Stephanie Meyers, and Suzanne Collins). When I was writing the first Eve novel I thought about who would be reading these books. I realized I could be writing for a girl who hasn’t had her first kiss, and a woman going through her second divorce. That feels extraordinary to me. Sometimes I even get emails from two generations of women—mothers and daughters who’ve read the book together.

Can you tell us a little bit about what we can expect from the final book in the Eve trilogy?
There’s a huge twist in the third book that sends the story in an unexpected direction. I don’t think anyone will see this one coming.

What will you be working on next, once you’ve wrapped up the Eve trilogy?
I just finished the final book, Rise. Now I’m reading, writing, and developing my next project. It’s still ‘incubating’ as I like to say, so I’m not ready to share details yet. Stay tuned!

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