It’s a grey ol’ Monday here at Penguin HQ, and it’s snowing (or it was when I went to get lunch) and you know what? We need some awesome news because spring has not yet sprung in our part of the world and we’re tired of winter. So can you imagine how excited we were that Ally Condie’s new book deal was announced today? (Linking you to Ally’s site so she can tell you about it herself!)
(Photo: Shi Cheng, China, photo by Chinese National Geography. I mean, I can’t with that picture. It’s one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. I did the work of Googling it for you.)
Ally Condie, author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Matched trilogy, is going to be doing a live Twitter chat THIS WEDNESDAY, February 27, at 8 PM EST! Use the #allychat hashtag in your tweets to ask Ally all your burning questions about the Matched trilogy, writing, etc. and you could win fun prizes, including Matched trilogy posters and buttons! We love chatting with Ally, and we know you do, too, so put the date in your calendar and get your questions ready.
Anna recommends…REACHED by Ally Condie!
Though there were so many wonderful books published by Penguin this year, and frankly I find it incredibly hard to choose just one favorite, the first thing that came to mind when we conceived of this project was Reached by Ally Condie. Penguin acquired Matched in 2009, right about when I started working here, and I read it earlier than almost anybody in the world, which is such a crazy thing to think about a book that has blossomed into a genuine literary phenomenon! So in many ways, I’ve been with Cassia, and Cassia has been with me, since the very beginning, and I was both sad and excited when the manuscript of Reached finally landed in my inbox—sad because it was the last book, but excited because I knew that Ally was going to blow me away with her gorgeous writing, fascinating characters, true romance, and amazing plot revelations. And I was right! (As always.) If you haven’t had a chance to dive into this amazing series yet, there’s no time like the present—you have some time off for the holidays. USE IT WISELY!
Today we have a special Friday edition of the Penguin Teen Author Spotlight! We’re excited to welcome the amazing author of the Matched trilogy, Ally Condie! The third and final Matched book came out this Tuesday, and we’re sure many of you have already raced through it to find out what was in store for Cassia, Ky, and Xander in REACHED. So whether you’re looking for more from Ally after finished REACHED or still anxiously waiting for your copy to arrive, we’ve got just the thing. Welcome, Ally!
Name: Ally Condie
Novel: Matched Trilogy
Who’s your favorite author, living or dead? This is a really hard question, but if I can really only choose one, I’ll have to say Agatha Christie. I love her dialogue, her settings, and the twistiness of her plots.
What’s your favorite thing about your book? I like the endings of each of the books in the series. It’s fun to take a character to a specific point in their journey and have that sense of arrival…and also that something new might be on the horizon for them.
If you could spend one year on a deserted island with one character from literature, who would you choose? That’s a great question—a lot of people who make great characters would be really uncomfortable to actually spend time with! I’d likely choose Ramona from Beverly Cleary’s books. If I’m on a deserted island, I wouldn’t want to be bored. And Ramona has a good heart.
Where do you write? I write in my office (which is new and exciting—I’ve never had my own office until recently). I have a little table where my kids can color and draw where I’m working, and lots of books.
Who is your favorite hero or heroine of history? I’m fascinated by Mother Theresa, because of all the good she managed, because of her selflessness, and because of her complicated and very human faith.
Do you tweet? What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever tweeted? I do tweet. I’m not sure what the funniest thing I’ve ever tweeted is—but recently I tweeted a picture of my dad with his lucky garden gnome. That was pretty cute.
What is your favorite season? *Either spring or fall! I love sun after snow and leaves in the rain.
If you could teleport anywhere in the known universe right now, where would you go? Is it sad that I would stay on Earth? Because I would. There are so many beautiful things to see here! I would want to go to Prince Edward Island. I’ve wanted to go there since I was a kid and I haven’t managed it yet.
Do you have any writing rituals? I like to listen to a few songs to get me in the mood for writing, and I drink a lot of water while I’m working. Other than that, I’m pretty easygoing.
What is your idea of earthly happiness? My idea of earthy happiness is for my family to be safe, happy, and healthy. I’d like that for the rest of the world as well. On a more achievable level, I love reading snuggled up with my kids.
What is the best concert you’ve ever been to? I love true singer/songwriters, so I’d have to say Bruce Springsteen. I love it when music and lyrics come together so well.
What are you currently working on? I’m playing with an idea for a new dystopian novel. It’s a lot of fun in these beginning stages, when I’m getting to know the world and the characters.
Thanks, Ally! We love REACHED, and we can’t wait to see what you write next!
This week is GET MATCHED week! Relive your love for MATCHED by watching the MATCHED book trailer and read an extended excerpt from MATCHED (or send it to your best YA-loving friend who hasn’t yet read MATCHED!). Don’t forget to tag everything #getMATCHED!
Let the CROSSED Facts begin!