Hey everyone! I thought I’d share with you about my adventure of the week, meeting Veronica Roth! If you don’t know, Vernoica Roth is an author best known for her Divergent series. Her new book Carve the Mark was released this past Tuesday, January 17th and I got to see her the next day, Wednesday, January 18th when she had a speaking engagement in Glencoe. Her tour has just started so if you’re interested in seeing where else she’ll be at, I’m linking her website so you can check it out!
By the way, I did reviews on her books and compared them with the movie adaptations recently for Divergent, Insurgent, and Allegiant. I had a blast reading the books, watching the movies, and then writing all about them, so feel free to check them out if you’d like!
Note: Originally I was going to do a full post on a certain event happening in Washington D.C. today that I am NOT happy about but I feel like I have written a lot about this already in my previous posts. Because of this I didn’t want my blog to feel like I was harping on the same subject but that is not to say that I will not voice my opinion in the future. I will not stay silent on this, but I just didn’t feel like writing about it today. Thank you for your understanding both today and in the future!
Onto the story!
I was originally going to go to the signing in Naperville, IL next month, but I then saw that there was an event in Glencoe, IL which is a lot closer to me. And during this time in northern Illinois I don’t make plans too far in advance because there could be snowstorms or freezing rain or something equally as terrifying, so I waited until the day before to reserve two spots for myself and my sister.
The event was hosted by the Winnetka, IL bookshop The Book Stall, although it was held in a school auditorium in Glencoe. The talk itself was free to attend, and 100 people were going to be randomly selected to meet Veronica Roth. Otherwise pre-autographed books would be on sale there as well.
Once we arrived we picked up tickets at the table set up outside the room. The woman at the table handed me two tickets with green stickers on them and told us to hold onto them. Looking around I noticed that there were red and yellow ones as well so I figured they were likely color coded to see who would get to meet the author. After that we went to the table with the books and bought copies of Carve the Mark. They actually came with shoe laces!
My sister also picked up pins for a podcast, First Draft with Sarah Enni which is a podcast hosted by Sarah Enni, an author, who interviews authors who write for the young adult genre. I subscribed immediately and I’ve already listened to the latest episode, one with Veronica Roth, which was really fun! I’m excited to hear more.
The event started a bit late, but it was fine. The auditorium wasn’t huge and it wasn’t really full so it was a nice and more intimate setting than other signings I’ve attended. Veronica Roth and Sarah Enni started the night with a game of “mad libs”. Since the book had just been released the previous day they knew lots of people wouldn’t have had the chance to read it yet and they didn’t want to spoil anything.
Essentially the main characters Akos and Cyra are fighting the evil dictator with radioactive punting or something along those lines in our version. It was fun!
The women chatted about writing, partronus-es, cats, Veronica Roth’s previous series and the movie adaptations, and more. It was clear that Sarah and Veronica are friends and they are both from the Chicago area, so they had an easy conversation. They compared songs and playlists that they use when writing (lots of Sia), as well as debated over the best kind of goldfish (plain vs. rainbow). Audience members had a chance to submit questions before the talk and if the question they asked was picked, they got a prize.
One thing that Sarah brought up that I found resonated with me was when she said that the hardest time to do something was the first time. After you do something once, the next time it’s easier to do because you’ve already done it. I thought that was very true, and so did Veronica as well.
Veronica mentioned the movies her previous series had been adapted into. She let the audience know that she liked the first one and then she liked each subsequent movie less than the previous one. As I mentioned in my Allegiant review, there may or may not be a fourth movie that may or may not appear on tv rather than in the theaters, as Veronica said she wasn’t really informed and often found out about this kind of stuff just as her readers did. Online.
We all laughed when she said recalled one conversation with the director of the first film, Divergent. During the first book Tris has to chose between a knife and a block of cheese, and the director called to ask if it was okay if they substituted the cheese with beef. She and the director proceeded to have a twenty minute conversation about this decision although she reported that she had responded with a “yes, that’s fine”.
Apparently the director called less for the second movie and was replaced entirely for the third, and the new director didn’t call at all for any advice. Of course, the directors weren’t obligated to do so but I think that it showed, and not in a good way.
After a few more questions Sarah and Veronica finished up and left the room, although they did ask everyone to stay in their seats. The main host from the bookstore approached the stadium and asked everyone to check their ticket colors. He asked everyone with a green ticket to stay, and bid everyone else a good night and thanked them for coming (nicely, of course).
My sister was at this point very, very confused. I hadn’t even mentioned that there was a chance to meet Veronica! She was also going to be personalizing our books as well. I quickly let her know that it was my suspicion that that’s why we were asked to stay. After a few more minutes the man came back and confirmed this, asking everyone to head out and up the stairs where Veronica would be waiting!
My sister and I weren’t at the very front of the room, more towards the middle but it wasn’t full in the back so we were able to be pretty far in front of the line. Sarah actually walked a bit through the line and was pleased to hear that we already had subscribed to her podcast. I let her know that I had scrolled a bit through her episodes and I had seen so many authors I loved and couldn’t wait to hear the interviews. She thanked us and we thanked her and she moved on as well. After a tiny bit of waiting we got to meet her!
Our conversation went something like this:
Veronica: How are you guys?
Sister and I: Good!
Me: I recently re-read your Divergent series and we just watched all the movies so we were super excited that you were coming; it was perfect timing!
Veronica: Oh really? What did you think of the movies?
Me: Oh um, well like you I also liked the first movie the most and then it diminished from there… I really didn’t like the last one. It felt like they took all of the character’s decisions from the books and made them either irrelevant because it didn’t ultimately impact the story or took them away entirely.
Veronica: Hmmm, yeah! I like that! I’m totally going to use that and tell people I came up with that!
Me: Hahaha! Go ahead! Thanks for coming!
So if she says this to you just go ahead and pretend you don’t know she didn’t come up with that! 🙂 My sister also got to ask a question and we took a quick photo after she finished signing our books. We then left afterwards, moving past the long line still winding through the building.
It was really a great time and Veronica and Sarah were both so sweet and amazing! I’m very glad the weather cooperated and we were able to go, and super thrilled that we got the lucky green tickets! I can’t wait to read the book, it sounds so awesome! Let me know if you’re interested in a book review once I’ve read the book. 🙂
And there you have it! The time I met Veronica Roth! If you’re in the Chicago area and missed her this time, she’ll be in Naperville next month. Otherwise autographed books may still be available with the store, The Book Stall. I only noticed the Divergent series listed on there but they might not have gotten around to putting up the Carve the Mark book (or might be sold out but I would call to ask). Otherwise, Carve the Mark is out for sale now!
Let me know if you’re going to an event for Carve the Mark or anything else coming up! And until I’ve read the book, no spoilers pretty please! 🙂
Thanks for reading!