Thursday, May 24, 2012

Kiera Cass Author Interview


Book Nerd Interview

I was born and raised in South Carolina, a proud child of the 80's. Also, my dad is Puerto Rican, and my mom is super white. I have neither a Hispanic or Southern accent. No clue why. Growing up, I was awkward. I didn't understand fashion at all (not that I do now) and was never into what was cool while it was actually popular. But I didn't mind it so much because I had a few really great friends and wonderful outlets. By high school, I was a seasoned dancer, diehard theater buff, and in a chamber choir that at one point was tied for third in the nation competitively.

My great ambition when I graduated high school was theatre. I wanted to be a performer in the WORST WAY! I took a semester off, did a bunch of local shows, taught at a theater camp, and went to Coastal Carolina University in the spring majoring in Musical Theatre.


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Why YA? What are some of the challenges of writing for this age group?

I write YA because I’m young at heart. Part of me still feels seventeen. I’m loyal, a bit obsessive, and everything feels epic to me most of the time. I don’t know, that just feels real to me. And if there are any challenges for writing YA, I haven’t hit them yet! So far, it’s been a blast.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m Kiera. I’m a wife and mommy. I like cake and wrecked a car when I was three.

Where were you born and where do you call home?

I grew up in Myrtle Beach, SC, but I went to college at Radford University in VA. My hubby went to Virginia Tech, and he had me imported to Blacksburg right out of school.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Oh gosh, I don’t know. But I have to give a huge thanks to Melissa Marr for her support. It’s incredible to me when the people you fangirl over think your book is good!

You read a lot of YA fiction. Please name a few of your favorite books and tell us why they inspire you.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is a favorite of mine. I would love to write something that lovely and sad.

Congratulations! What were your feelings when your first found out about Selection being picked up by the WB network.

It was overwhelming at the time, and it still is. The publishing world is so slow, so once everything was rolling with the pilot, it just blew me away with how quick it was. I’m so hoping that it goes to air, just so we can all see the hard work the writers, director, and actors put in.

The story of Selection takes thirty-five girls and is given a chance of a lifetime to compete for Prince Maxon. What gave you the idea?

Esther and Cinderella. I just wondered if Esther ever cared about someone before she was shipped off to the palace, especially since she was never coming back, even if she lost. And Cinderella never asked for a prince, she asked for a night off. Was she happy with her prince? I knew I wanted to write a story about a girl who came from a humble background and would get the attention of a prince, but she would already be in love and not want him.

Did you learn anything from writing America Singer and what was it?

I learned a lot about listening to my characters. I self-published a book before The Selection called The Siren. The heroine of that story, Kahlen, was eager to tell me everything, and it made writing so easy! So when I sat down to write America’s story, I just assumed everything coming to the page was fine with her. Not so much. I ended up rewriting most of the story because I’d gotten America wrong. Now I take my time with her, because she’s a little shy.

Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?

The Selection is the first in a trilogy, and I’m working away on the next two books now. I do have a project in mind for once America is done sharing everything, but I can’t really talk about it yet.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.

Connecting with readers. It’s a wonderful feeling to know you’ve made something that makes other people happy or have inspired others to start writing themselves. I love that!

When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?

I’m a terrible liar. I avoid it at all costs.

What are 4 things you never leave home without?

It’s so lame, but my wallet, keys, phone, and lip balm.

Where can readers stalk you?

Kieracass.com
Twitter.com/kieracass
Youtube.com/user/kiercass

Always new stuff on one of those places!



For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself—and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.



The Selection by Kiera Cass is an engrossing fairytale story with a reality TV feel to it. Reality TV always has a solid grip on television viewers and this book carried similar affects to book readers. It is the story of thirty-five girls who compete against each other for the grand prize to escape their less than ordinary life into a world of glitz, glamour, fame, and live in the Palace. And let’s not forget they are also competing for the heart of the handsome Prince Maxon. However, for America Singer, The Selection means she would be hurting her secret love, Aspen, who is a class below her. She’s in a vicious contest for a crown she doesn’t even want. When she meets Prince Maxon, she slowly begins to question and doubt what she has always thought her life would be and the could-be-future ahead of her may be better.

Kiera’s character development is truly amazing. The characters, especially America, are simply marvelous. The name America may come off as uncertain but it suited the character very well. While trying to figure out what she wants, she remains strong and stays true to herself. She stood her ground firmly and didn’t budge for what people expected her to be. Prince Maxon is purely adorable. His best qualities are his honesty, caring, being straightforward, and the fact he genuinely loves America for who she is. Aspen is likable from the very beginning. His feelings for America are very real and authentic.

The way Kiera submerges her readers into the story and making them care for the characters is truly wonderful. The character interactions are fully engaging and entertaining. The very interesting love triangle that materializes stays clear of being a cliché. Kiera is an entertaining storyteller of this light-hearted fairytale-like book. The writing style is rich and vivid. When Kiera describes the Palace, it genuinely feels like you are in it. The ending’s cliffhanger is one for the ages and will have readers waiting in vain for the next book in this series.

You can purchase The Selection at the following Retailers:
    


And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you Kiera & HarperCollins for making this giveaway possible.


1 Winner receive one ARC copy of The Selection & Bookplate by Kiera Cass.
3 Winners will receive one Signed Bookmark by Kiera Cass.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

83 comments:

  1. I think all class have some use to someone or the other. What is useless to one may be useful to the other. So instead I'll answer this with the class I disliked the most. I disliked Math. A lot. Till today I have difficulty doing simple multiplications. Lol. Oh and gym class too. I was the fat kid who sucked at anything athletic.

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  2. I don't think any class is completely useless. They are all useful in one way or another and give you some kind of understanding of the world around you. But I guess a high school in the US is different from high schools here in (Central) Europe.

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  3. I find history pointless. Wow I sound ignorant. But right now, I find history very boring and I will never use history in my life.

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  4. I think the most useless class in High school had to be technology. Man I hated that class!!

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  5. We had a class called Freshman Express where incoming Freshman would come in and learn about the morals of high school and how to "fit in"...worst 90 minutes of my day.

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  6. Study Hall is the most useless

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  7. I think all classes were pretty usefull even though I didn't like them all. Like math. Hated it wit a passion but it isn't useless.

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  8. I haven't been to high school yet! I'm going to be a freshman next year :)

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  9. I feel like Chemistry was one of the stupider REQUIRED classes. If you want to major in Chemistry, by all means take the class. But for the rest of us who want to do engineering that doesn't involve Chemistry, we'll pass :D

    Thanks for the giveaway!
    Alyssa Susanna

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  10. P.E. because all we did was sit in the bleachers and talk.

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  11. I guess it would have to depend on what you wanted to do later on in life... For me, I HATED gym class! I was never very athletic so I didn't like participating in the games and whatnot...

    Gym = useless

    Thanks for this awesome giveaway, as always Jean!!

    I am sooooo looking forward to reading this book! (:

    GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!!!

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  12. Definitely gym class. If people want to work out they can go to the gym on their own time.

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  13. Foreign Language (it should be an elective... I mean they already make you take it in middle school).

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  14. PE. No one ever did anythign except walk around the track.

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  15. No class is useless, but I struggled with sewing class! I was totally useless at it! LOL!

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  16. Oops, I should mention that I don't think taking a foreign language class is useless because it is useful in life, but it really should depend on the person if they want to continue learning after middle school.

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  17. I dont know, maths maybe, chemistry, language.
    Thanks for the giveaway.

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  18. I have to say they are all good to have there really is not a useless one, i think!! Thanks a million for the giveaway and the blog loved the interview!!;) thanks a million to the Author as well!!;)))

    bella

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  19. I guess all the classes are good for one reason but I have to agree with everyone who said Gym class. Boo. No I've never been physically fit and it was awful to have my GPA ruined because I couldn't run as fast as they thought I should have!

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  20. Physical Education. If I had wanted to run i would have signed up to run on the Organized athletics team.

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  21. maths and religon definitly, those two classes sucked at school
    thannks for the giveaway :)

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  22. well, shorthand was the most useless for me. I don't know how other people feel about it. Or even know what it is!

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  23. I don't remember much from high school but I don't think any class is completely useless. It really depends on what you're going to do in life whether you are going to use the things you learn. Great post and thanks for the giveaway!

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  24. I don't think there are any useless classes in high school, they all serve there purpose. However. I was no good at math

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  25. I hate to admit it, but I feel like they're all pretty useful. In one way or another. :)

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  26. Gym class, every other class I had in high scool was necessary.

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  27. Hmmm...geometry! I have never used it in real life! :)

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  28. Foreign Language, I think it shouls be an elective.

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  29. Christina R. in the rafflecopter

    Gym - and study hall. Both useless.

    Christina Rita Condomaros on facebook (there was no space in the rafflecopter to put the name)

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  30. We had something in high school called an AVID class. It is a total waste of time and effort and a grade. It's just a stupid elective to help you in anything and well, it was useless to me. I learned nothing. LOL

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  31. I think the most useless class I took was a course on Basic because it just had no relevancy to my life. In general though I don't really think that there are useless courses in high school.

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  32. seriously Study Hall we never used it to study and the teachers all used it to sleep at the desk LOL

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  33. Ummm...geography class! Gosh! It is horrible since my teacher was retiring and he just didn't teach us anything! USELESS!

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  34. Thanks for the giveaway.
    I vote P.E. we never did much in class but waste time.

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  35. Personal Fitness was so stupid. All we did was walk around the track all period. Stupid.

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  36. I am going to vote PE. We did NOTHING there basically. Our teacher made us do silly things too...

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  37. For me its p.e im no good at sports and would love just to read my books!!!!

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  38. Math!!! I hated that class sooo much! But I don't think is useless, I feel in love with a geek when I was at highschool! He was so cute everytime he helped me with homework :3

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  39. I only think some are useless *after a certain point*. I think it's important to get acquainted in all subjects. Like you need to know basic math, basic grammar/writing, basic history, etc. But once you start learning about insane historical details - that's excessive. Or once you start learning advanced calculus if you have no intention of doing anything math related - that's excessive.

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  40. Religon for sure, doesnt help us in life with anything.

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  41. Oh jeez, the most useless class? It was so long ago, how am I supposed to remember??? LOL! I'm gonna say Anthropology.

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  42. I don't think any classes are necessarily useless, but the one I find I could easily do without is gym. But honestly, that's just cause the teacher kind of sucks... Thanks for the giveaway :D

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  43. Math! I only say that because I suck at it. LOL

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  44. It'd Math... 'till today.. hahha.. hate it.. hmpffth...
    Thank's for this Giveaway... ^^

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  45. Physics! Love the Giveaway! krisz_fanfic@yahoo.com

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  46. I think they're all supposed to be useful. Personally I found art and drama pretty useless, and I really disliked phys ed!

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  47. All of the classes were useless in high school, in my opinion. I got my GED at 16 and I'm in college.. you don't need ANY of it for the "real world".... but I guess it's good to know.

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  48. No classes are useless but if I could have gotten rid of any classes from when I was in school, it would have been Textiles and Drama =/

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  49. P.E! We just sat around doing very little....

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  50. I would say study hall or free period as some call it because most of the time the kids just sit around and goof off.

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  51. Study Hall, after having it for some reason in my freshman year I made sure I never had it again! I was able to graduate early because of that. :)

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  52. Well to where I went... I think it definitely is Psychology...
    I do love it and did love it but in high school it can tend to be quite... tiresome and bore-some...

    OMG!!!!!!!
    SHE wrecked a CAR when she was 3????'
    HOW is THAT even possible????????
    ~I'm sorry if I'm the only one who didn't know this up until reading this interview~
    BUT seriously! I'm freaking out right now!

    OH!! Good, lying not lying answer! >.<
    I had heard that it was picked by WB!! So congrats!!!!
    >.< I'm really really hopping to get to read this book sooner rather than later!!

    I own The Book Thief in both english and spanish and I'm planning on reading it in both languages >.<
    Thanks for the interview&giveaway Jean and Kiera!

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  53. Sport; but then, I was able terrible at it. Although I understood that my school was trying to keep us all healthy and whatnot, I always ended up cringing whenever we played basketball because I was afraid I was going to get whacked in the head.

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  54. I always found spanish to be a useless mandatory class in school. I always thought it should be an elective.

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  55. Religion here. We learn... Nothing. And it's mandatory oO

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  56. Well, honestly for me it was English class, cuz almost anybody speak that language!

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  57. English if you don't know it by high school your not going to.

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  58. uhh, Algebra! or any other Math subject that involves letters, I mean seriously I can live with addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication plus it's so hard D:

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  59. Definitely gym class and religion!

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  60. Project work. It's actually a subject here in Singapore..:(

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  61. I think the 'Life Skills' (CALM) was darn useless. So did my teacher!

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  62. The most useless class in high school would be....hmm, I have no clue really. I hated my language class so maybe that one.

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  63. I think it will be History (so hate this lesson).

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  64. Uhhhhh. It's been awhile so I'm trying to think. I'm going to say P.E. That's not something anyone needs to do unless it's geared towards their major.

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  65. Foreign languages I don't think you should have to learn another language unless you want to.

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  66. I took a Sociology class that was a complete joke and waste of time.

    Thanks!

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  67. LOL MATH! I know it's not useless, but I'm so useless in it!

    By the way, I couldn't wait for this giveaway to finish so I got the book!! The cover is gorgeous!! I read the first chapter and was very impressed yesterday!!

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  68. Phys Ed. Enough said. :))

    Thanks for the giveaway!
    -Ellie @ The Selkie Reads Stories

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  69. We had a class which was completely pointless. All we did was watching videos and talk about celebrities.

    It was just a filler because they didn't know what to do with us :)

    That said, as useless as it was, it was probably my favourite class :P

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  70. Science. I'm not saying it's completely useless, it's just am I really going to become a scientist? No. Do I know that I shouldn't touch electric wires? Duh, we've gone through that. Do I want to remember the periodic table? NO!!

    - Sam

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  71. Statistics. I didn't use it at all, now I have to take it again in college and there's a de-emphasis on algebra in this one. I don't understand how that's going to work, but alrighty. So excited for this book, thanks so much for the opportunity!

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  72. I would really love to win this and to get to read this book because I heard only awesome things about it.

    Thanks for this giveaway.

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  73. That's hard! I think any type of science for sure. I mean sure, people can use it, but I think that should be something people choose to study. As most things that require science on the job I think requires more training anyways?

    Maybe they should teach a valuable class, like how to run a business, or prepare for the real world, you know? haa

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  74. I think Math is. I honestly don't see myself using all those stupid formulas in my everyday life haha. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  75. I would have to say study hall, students should study at home. That time should be spent academically, besides we all know from experience that most students dont use study hall for what its meant and I think they should put Home Economics back in cuz here in ohio they have taken it out of the schools.
    Thanks for the awesome giveaway!!

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  76. Definitely regular phys ed. I went to an international high school, so after a two years of horrible team sports, dodgeball, and terrible fears that I would get clobbered, I got to choose from a huge range of PE activities. I did sailing, sea kayaking, rock climbing, adventure learning, and yoga. Suddenly, I felt like I could be active, and I could be fit without feeling like I was being bullied.

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  77. i do hate math class !!! :(

    anyway...thx for the giveaway...really apreciate it :)

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  78. Awesome giveaway thanks can't wait to read the book its looks good, i would say math because it is so hard to know and to understand

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  79. Looking back - PE is the worst - although maybe not useless!
    love the book cover!
    Erin

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  80. No class is useless. I think they all have their role, though at my school (in Brazil) has not much difference, since most of these people get together ^.^

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