With her bestselling Divergent trilogy still wowing readers and a hit movie adaptation of the first book in the series blowing up the box office, Veronica Roth is doing rather well for herself — and readers are eager to see what she does next. Today, Melissa Marr sat down with Veronica at the RT Convention in NOLA to discuss everything from the books to the movies to future projects.
Melissa Marr and Veronica Roth
Let’s dive into what you missed if you weren’t able to attend the lively discussion. Melissa guided the discussion with ease and began the event by asking Veronica to talk about what it was like writing Divergent while still in college. Veronica mentioned she wasn’t a big partier and instead stayed in her room to write, and that it was a psychology course that inspired the novel and series. She also talked about how aspiring authors shouldn’t feel confined to any one style or genre by the creative writing courses they may be taking. Though, she still believes creative writing classes are important because they “give you a toolbox to pull from.”
The discussion then moved onto the series itself and the characters. Veronica talked about how the original draft of the first book was more about Four and his story, but she quickly found “his story wasn’t all that surprising” because “we’re used to reading about young men going out to claim their destiny.” She added that his story changed for the better when she realized Tris was a more exciting leading character.
Regarding Tris, Veronica admitted her heroine really isn’t that likable in the first two books because of her need to throw herself into danger without thinking — and then there's Tris's lack of compassion. She said her one piece of advice for Tris would be to first develop compassion for other people.
Later on, the focus shifted to the recent movie adaptation of Divergent and Veronica talked about her cameo and how respectful director Neil Burger was of the novel. She admitted she didn’t linger on set often because “anything that takes time away from writing I’m not too keen on.” She also discussed the ferris wheel scene and how it played out exactly how she imagined. The ferris wheel in the movie is actually the one she originally envisioned!
But what did the actors think about climbing the wheel? Veronica said, “Shailene Woodley was totally game to go higher and higher, but Theo James was like, 'Um, that’s enough.' "
After telling the audience that she probably would have grown up Candor, but would leave to be a “rebel Abnegation,” Veronica and Melissa drew the conversation to a close. Attendees were left excited and overjoyed to have had the chance to hear Veronica talk about one the most beloved YA series around today.
We'll be covering the RT Convention in New Orleans all week long, for more on the exciting happenings, click here!