Goodreads asked Lisa McMann:

Where did you get the idea for your most recent book?

Lisa McMann I got the idea for The Unwanteds series from my children when they were 9 and 12 (they are now in college at the time I of this writing).

They came home from school one day with a letter that said that the arts classes at school would be canceled because of budget problems.

I knew my kids would be sad, because my son loves art. My daughter loves to sing and act. To sympathize with them, I said "I'm so sorry, kids. It kind of feels like you're being punished for being creative."

And then I thought about that, and I asked out loud, "What if there really was a world where children were punished for being creative?" and my son (who was 12) said, "Not just punished--sent to their deaths!"

And that is how The Unwanteds began. :)

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