Veronica Roth's Blog

December 17, 2013

There have been a few movie updates (mostly exciting ones!) so I thought I would give you the whole scoop at once, in case you haven’t seen anything yet. So! Three things!
First of all, a clip of the Divergent movie will be premiering tomorrow night on Entertainment Tonight and online at Yahoo Movies! (Check for your local listings here.) Check out a little preview on the Divergent Instagram page here, too: http://instagram.com/Divergent
I’ve seen the clip, and…WELL. You’ll see. It is so good.
Second, Summit Entertainment has set a release date for Insurgent: March 20th, 2015!
And, while we’re on the topic of that date, let’s get to our third item. Because the hope is that the second movie will come out March 2015, that means that everyone is getting to work pretty much right away. And sadly, since Neil Burger is still working like crazy on Divergent, he won’t be able to direct Insurgent (...unless we clone him using Calvin's Duplicator). He will, however, be sticking around as an executive producer, which is awesome, because Neil is awesome and has taken such good care of this story so far, from what I've seen.
And I can’t wait to see Divergent all put together! Ahh! (Can someone also try to borrow Calvin’s time machine?)
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Published on December 17, 2013 15:38 • 7,225 views

December 7, 2013

All right, so it's good news/bad news time.
Everyone always wants the bad news first, so here goes.
Bad News: the three remaining stories from Four's perspective that I've been working on, which were supposed to come out later this year/early next year, have been delayed until July 2014. They'll be bundled together and sold as a hardcover under the title Four: A Divergent Collection, with some fun extra content, and at that time they will also be released as separate e-stories (so, if you've already bought the first one, "The Transfer," you don't have to pay again for it in a collection if you don't want to).
If you are asking, incredulously, "why, Veronica? Why must you do this to us?!" My answer is: the stories turned out much meatier and more substantial than I was originally anticipating when I started them. There’s just so much going on—Tobias’s reunion with his mother, his growing disillusionment with the faction system, and some of his early moments with Tris, to name a few. So I just really, really need more time to get them right. I know it sucks, but I am sure that this extra time will result in better work and better stories for everyone to read.
Okay. Good News:
-If you already pre-ordered the second story, "The Initiate," your pre-order will not be canceled. It will just take a little longer for you to get it.
-The stories are long. As in, they're about seventy pages each, so if you add them together you get about 280 pages of Tobias's story. Which is as long as some novels. So there's more to read!
-The price for the e-stories will not change, even though they're longer than anticipated.
-The stories will be better in July than they would have been if they had come out this winter, because I'm going to work my butt off to make them that way!
Which is what I'm off to do right now, actually. 
<3,
V
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Published on December 07, 2013 06:00 • 5,267 views

October 30, 2013

Today I am packing up my clothes and my lingering sickness (don't worry, fellow airplane travelers, I won't sneeze on you. Unless you hit me in the head with your luggage or something) and heading overseas for some Irish fun. And then some English fun. And then back across the Atlantic for some South Carolinian fun. And then back to my house for some sleep-for-three-weeks-straight fun. Basically, fun all around, is what I'm saying.

I'm especially excited because I've never been to these three places before, unless you count a brief stint at Heathrow Airport on my way to Romania, which I do not.

Here's the info:

Dublin
Sunday, November 3rd, 3PM
Eason's O'Connell St
This event is, to my knowledge, sold out, but I wanted to mention it because I'm excited to meet those of you who are planning to attend!

London
Wednesday, November 6th, 6:30PM
Prince Charles Theater, Leicester Square, WC2H 7BY
Hosted by Waterstones

Charleston
Saturday, November 9th
Info at the bottom of this page. The keynote conversation is sold out, but it looks like you can still pre-order signed books if you would like. [Sidebar: There are lots of restrictions listed there, because of time + anxiety reasons, but I promise I am friendly. And probably won't still be sneezy at that point. (Hopefully.)]

And now, to pet the dog one last time.

-V
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Published on October 30, 2013 15:31 • 1,263 views

October 28, 2013

So, I am back from tour-- all the events last week were wonderful. The lovely Christian Madsen and Ansel Elgort joined me for the New York City stop, I read little pieces from the Four short stories in Dallas and San Francisco, and I sang backup for my brother in Downer's Grove. I met so many wonderful readers with thoughts and insights and stories and T-shirts and marshmallows, and it was a great time.

All week, people who had read Allegiant were asking me the same question, and people on the Internet were asking, too. I answered it very briefly in a spoilery MTV interview that went up today, but I wanted to post a longer answer that goes a little deeper for those of you who are interested. I'm trying to be very careful about marking spoilers, so hopefully all this works.

Warning: this post will spoil the end of Allegiant for you if you read it. Like within the first three paragraphs. So please proceed with caution. And if you quote this post on any other site, please do your fellow readers the kindness of marking or tagging spoilers well. Thank you!


(Click the "show/hide" button below for the post:)

(I'm going to put a spoiler break here just in case someone is reading this on a feed, like a Goodreads feed.)
ALLEGIANT SPOILERS BELOW
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In my college creative writing program, we had a rule: during workshop, when your story is being critiqued, you aren’t allowed to say anything. This is to give your peers the freedom to interpret your work and point out the flaws in it without you shouting them down; it’s also because your defense doesn’t actually mean anything, though you might think it does. If your explanations and intentions are not clear to the reader, buried inside the text, that isn’t the reader’s fault, it’s the author’s.

Responding to readers' comments about the Divergent books has always felt the same way to me, like it would just be me shouting other people down when I should be letting them speak freely, and as badly as some criticism hurts (and it does, because I’m only human, after all), I never, ever want that.

So that’s not what I’m trying to do here. A lot of people have been asking me why Tris died at the end of Allegiant, and what I do want to do here is answer that question as well as I can. But if you’re concerned about my voice imposing itself over your own, please stop reading this post-- that's the last thing I want. I don’t want to tell you how to read these books or even to tell you there’s one right way to read them. I just want to offer you some insight into how I personally found my way to this ending, if you’re interested in hearing it.
Before I get into it, I'm going to say a few things, though:

1. You are allowed—encouraged!— to continue to feel however you want to feel, or think however you want to think, about the ending, no matter what this blog post says. I’m the author, yes, but this book is yours as well as mine now, and our voices are equal in this conversation.

2. Just because I try to do something with my writing doesn’t necessarily mean that I do it well, so there is also room to say “Okay, I understand what you’re saying, but I don’t think that what you were trying to do worked.”

I’ve said before that this ending was always a part of the plan, but one thing I want to make clear is that I didn’t choose it to shock anyone, or to upset anyone, or because I’m ruthless with my characters—no, no, no. I may have been ruthless with other characters, in the past, but not with her, never with her. And I wasn’t thinking about any readers when I wrote this book; I was thinking about the story, because trying to meet the expectations of so many readers would be paralyzing. There’s no way to please everyone, because that mythical book with the ending that every single person wants can’t exist—you want different things, each one of you. The only thing I can do, in light of that fact, is write an honest story as best I can.

What happened to Tris’s parents at the end of Divergent was in some ways the catalyst for the rest of the series. Before that point, Tris had rejected her parents’ values and beliefs in a very tangible way by choosing Dauntless. She struggled throughout Divergent to reconcile two identities: her Abnegation identity, which Four points out to her, and her Dauntless identity. It’s just before her mother gives up her life that Tris figures out how those identities fit together, combining selflessness and bravery and love for her family and love for her faction all together under one umbrella: Divergent. It’s a moment of triumph followed by a moment of total devastation, when Natalie dies so that Tris can escape. And then Andrew follows soon after.

Tris’s parents’ deaths were revelatory moments, both for Tris and for me. For Tris, they seemed to awaken her to the power of self-sacrifice out of love; she later handed over the gun to Four rather than kill him, essentially giving her life rather than taking his. She said something in that moment about the power of self-sacrifice, but her actions don’t quite apply that power in the best way—letting herself get killed, at that time, was maybe noble from a romantic perspective, but wouldn’t have saved the Dauntless from being simulation-controlled zombies, and wouldn’t have saved Tobias from his own simulation.

For me, Tris’s parents’ deaths made me realize that though Tris had tangibly abandoned her parents’ faction, she was never quite able to separate herself from them, never quite wanted to; that the true struggle of her character, the one she had never been able to let go of, was to figure out how to honor her parents while still maintaining her distinct identity. That was her struggle in Divergent in a more subtle way, but it was also her struggle in a far more obvious way in Insurgent.

Tris spent Insurgent warring with grief and guilt in light of her parents’ deaths and of her hasty actions in shooting Will to save her own life (which is the opposite of what she does for Tobias, further showing that Tris hadn’t quite figured out how to be selfless at that point). The “selfless” acts she thought she was performing in Insurgent—charging upstairs during the Erudite-Dauntless attack unarmed, spying on Max’s conversation with Jack Kang without a weapon, and then handing herself over at Erudite headquarters even when she’s asked not to—were more self-destructive than anything. She rationalized those self-destructive acts by calling them selfless, but when she was about to be executed, she realized that her parents didn’t give their lives for her just so that she could die when it wasn’t necessary. She realized that she wanted to live.

She emerged from that near-execution with new maturity: she valued her own life, she wanted to solve problems without resorting to violence, she sought truth over destruction. That Tris had not quite figured out what selflessness was to her, but she had discovered what it wasn’t: self-annihilation.

That was how Tris was at the beginning of Allegiant. She was no longer risking her life for no reason. She was still struggling with her beliefs about selflessness—but this time, she was wondering whether Caleb, when he volunteered to go on the one-way mission to the Weapons Lab, was motivated by love or guilt. She struggled with whether it was ethical to let Caleb’s sacrifice happen throughout the rest of the book. And while she was struggling with his decision, she was also struggling with her own identity; her constant questioning about what selflessness is was inextricably linked to her sense of self, as it had been for the past two books. This struggle finally came to a head when she and Caleb were running toward the Weapons Lab, and she said this: “He is a part of me, always will be, and I am a part of him, too. I don’t belong to Abnegation, or Dauntless, or even the Divergent. I don’t belong to the Bureau or the experiment or the fringe. I belong to the people I love, and they belong to me—they, and the love and loyalty I give them, form my identity far more than any word or group ever could.” (455)

After that, Tris entered the same role her parents played when they died for her. She loved and gave her life for Caleb even after he betrayed her, the same way her parents loved and gave their lives for her after she left them for Dauntless.

But this time, unlike in Insurgent, the act wasn’t self-destructive. Tris’s peculiar relationship to the serums was that she was able to overcome them (like the Dauntless fear simulations and the Candor truth serum) unless on some level she wanted them to work (like with the Amity peace serum). So when she passed through the death serum outside the Weapons Lab and it didn’t kill her, that suggested she wasn’t seeking her own destruction. She was truly acting out of love for Caleb.

At the end, she had a conversation with David where she told him her beliefs about sacrifice, that it should come from love, strength, and necessity. That was a Tris who knew what she believed about selflessness. Who knew who she was. Who knew what she wanted to do. In each book she tried to emulate her parents’ sacrifice, and in each book she didn’t seem to understand what that sacrifice really was, until Allegiant. And it’s only in Allegiant, when she had a strong sense of identity, when she had a keen understanding of what she (and her parents) believed about selflessness, that her journey was over.

I thought about reaching out with my authorial hand and snatching her from that awful situation. I thought about it and I agonized over it. But to me, that felt dishonest and emotionally manipulative. This was the end she had chosen, and I felt she had earned an ending that was as powerful as she was.

In Insurgent, before she’s “executed,” she screams into nothingness, “I’m not done yet!”

In Allegiant, she asks her mother, “Am I done yet?”

And her mother says, “Yes. My dear child, you’ve done so well.”

I understand being upset about the loss of a character you care about, and I’m so glad you care about her, because I do, too. I am proud of the way this ending mirrors those of the other books, of the way it reflects the realistic (given the dystopian, dangerous setting) losses of those books, the way it shows what Tris is truly made of, and the way it concludes her hard-earned transformation. I think her love for her brother is beautiful, powerful.

I have heard a wide range of reactions to the book, and I accept and respect all of those reactions as valid. But my personal feelings about the ending haven’t changed. I will miss her, that Tris voice in my head. But I’m so, so proud of her strength.Show/hide
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Published on October 28, 2013 07:47 • 7,846 views

September 25, 2013

Hey guys.

I found out earlier today that a very small number of readers received finished copies of Allegiant already, instead of on October 22nd, due to a Canadian shipping error that has since been fixed. I'm disappointed, and I'm sure you are too. I personally have been waiting, pretty much since the trilogy began, for the day when the last book would come out and we would all experience it together--you for the first time and me, with the giddy anticipation of an author who finally gets to watch everyone finish the story that has been so dear to me. That's why I've been so secretive for so long! But accidents and errors just happen sometimes.

If you are one of the people who received Allegiant early: I would love it if you wanted to wait to read it until October 22nd alongside your fellow Initiates. However, I can't blame you if that's just not going to work for you. I do ask, no matter what you decide, that out of kindness and respect for your fellow Divergent readers and their reading experiences, you do not post spoilers or quotes anywhere. I know I can count on you to preserve the mystery with me-- I may be biased, but I think I have the best readers ever.

Everyone else: I think we're still going to have a great October 22nd (and weeks immediately following). Be very wary of what you read online, and we'll come out of this just fine.

Author out.

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Published on September 25, 2013 11:09 • 7,908 views

September 12, 2013

The first Allegiant quotes have been released!


(original here)

(original here)
Just forty days left until the book comes out! I can't wait. 



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Published on September 12, 2013 13:02 • 4,230 views

August 22, 2013


There will be some Divergent movie footage featured before the MTV Video Music Awards this Sunday at 8pm ET! The video above is just a little sneak peek.

So excited!

In other, probably less exciting news, I will be at the National Book Festival in Washington D.C. this year on September 21st. More info about what exactly I'll be doing, and when, and where, here: http://www.loc.gov/bookfest/author/veronica_roth


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Published on August 22, 2013 18:23 • 4,537 views

July 23, 2013

Starglass, book of amazing writer and human being Phoebe North, is out today! I read this a long time ago and pretty much immediately sent in a blurb (FYI, blurbs = those quotes from other authors that end up on book jackets and websites and so on). It is a wonderful, fascinating, well-written book.

Here is the cover:


Here's what it's about:

Terra has never known anything but life aboard the Asherah, a city-within-a-spaceship that left Earth five hundred years ago in search of refuge. At sixteen, working a job that doesn’t interest her, and living with a grieving father who only notices her when he’s yelling, Terra is sure that there has to be more to life than what she’s got.

But when she inadvertently witnesses the captain’s guard murdering an innocent man, Terra is suddenly thrust into the dark world beneath her ship’s idyllic surface. As she’s drawn into a secret rebellion determined to restore power to the people, Terra discovers that her choices may determine life or death for the people she cares most about. With mere months to go before landing on the long-promised planet, Terra has to make the decision of a lifetime–one that will determine the fate of her people.

***

And here is my blurb about it:

"Starglass is a richly imagined, beautifully written book. It’s science fiction, mystery, and coming of age story all wrapped into one; creative but also firmly grounded in a real human experience, with all its loss, pain, and disillusionment—but also beauty, hope, and belonging. A wonderful story."

***

If that sounds like something you're into, there's more info about where to get it here (under the synopsis). Happy Book Birthday, Phoebe!
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Published on July 23, 2013 10:12 • 2,747 views

July 16, 2013



Image by: Jaap Buitendijk, courtesy of: USA Today

First of all: check out this article about Kate Winslet as Jeanine Matthews in USA Today!

I was able to see a little bit of Kate’s Jeanine while on set, and she was incredibly good. I feel like this should shock no one, considering her level of talent, but still: wow. And even better? As a person, she is so warm and lovely.

All’s well in Divergentland! I'll be at San Diego Comic-Con this week, and here is my schedule, if you're going. I'll try to post some updates during the Con on my Twitter feed: twitter.com/veronicaroth

So. Excited.

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Published on July 16, 2013 18:46 • 2,283 views

July 8, 2013


First of all, I woke up to wonderful news from my editor this morning that Allegiant is going to the printer today! That means that it is OFFICIALLY DONE, and is right on track to hit shelves on October 22nd of this year. I have only one thing to say about this:
WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Second, I am pleased to announce the official tour stops and dates for the release of Allegiant! They are:
Tuesday, October 22nd @ 8:15PM 92nd St. Y1395 Lexington Ave.New York, NY 10128
Wednesday, October 23rd @ 7:00PM Barnes & Noble – Store 28847700 West Northwest Hwy. Ste. 300Dallas, TX 75225
Thursday, October 24th @ 7:00PMThe Castro Theatre, hosted by Books Inc.429 Castro St.San Francisco, CA 94114
Saturday, October 26th @ 2:00PMTivoli Theater, hosted by Anderson’s Bookshop5021 Highland Ave.Downers Grove, IL 60515
I will also be the keynote speaker at YALLfest in Charleston, South Carolina, along with the fabulous Rae Carson, on Saturday, November 9th!
A few notes:
*All of the events listed (with the exception of YALLfest) are ticketed, which means you have to get a ticket in advance, so you should check each location’s website for more information about when tickets go on sale and what they include.
 *You can read my post about event guidelines this year here. Other things to expect: strange faces (I make them), lame jokes (I make those, too), and GOOD TIMES.
It’s going to be a good autumn, guys. I can’t wait.
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Published on July 08, 2013 12:00 • 3,175 views