Book Nerd Interview
VERONICA ROSSI was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Growing up, she lived in several countries and cities around the world, finally settling in Northern California with her husband and two sons. She completed undergraduate studies at UCLA and then went on to study fine art at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. When not writing or painting, she chases after her boys, who make her laugh every day, and who teach her about love that's a million gazillion times bigger than the ocean. UNDER THE NEVER SKY is her first novel.
Was there a defining moment during your youth when you realized you wanted to be a writer?
This is a tough question! I don’t think there was a defining moment, because I was always writing and sketching. For me, the two went hand in hand from the very beginning; I can’t recall a time when I wasn’t writing and doodling stories.
Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
Stories bring us together. They show us how we’re all alike. They teach us and entertain us. What’s better than that?
What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
Two things popped into my mind. The first piece of advice, given to me by a writing instructor years ago, was “Every scene has to have a heart.” For some reason, that really resonated with me. When I write I often ask myself what the emotional truth is. It’s a great question to keep in the back of your mind.
The second thing was said to me recently by Kimberley Derting, author of THE BODY FINDER and THE PLEDGE series. She told me to finish a book and move on and don’t look back. I’m getting to the point now where I have written a few books and I don’t want to spend any time wondering what I could have done better or different. I want to keep my sights focused on the next thing—on getting better and having more fun with each project. I don’t Kim has any idea how helpful that piece of advice has been for me.
In your new book, Under the Never Sky, can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it and why they should read your novel?
UTNS is a post-apocalyptic story about two teenagers from very different societies. Aria comes from a technologically advanced enclosed city, where there’s no pain or illness. Peregrine comes from the outer world, which is the exact opposite. It’s a harsh and violent existence and survival is the only rule.
The story begins when Aria is accused of a crime she didn’t commit, and she’s thrust to the outer world. She doesn’t have the immunities to survive on the outside for long, so it’s the journey she makes in trying to clear her name and return home. Perry has a parallel storyline—the book is told from both of their viewpoints.
There is plenty of action and romance, so readers who enjoy that should pick it up! UTNS is the first in a trilogy about Aria and Perry and their world. The second book, THROUGH THE EVER NIGHT, will be released in January of 2013.
What part of Aria did you enjoy writing the most?
I enjoyed writing her transformation, both emotional and physical. She grew a lot throughout the book. She inspired me.
If you could introduce Perry to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
I have to say, I’d love to introduce Perry and Gale from The Hunger Games. They are both young men who had to grow up too quickly. They’re both loyal. They’re both hunters. I think they’d hit it off.
What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?
I’m working on a short story about Roar and Liv (secondary characters from UTNS) right now, which will be available this fall. It’s been so much fun to write in Roar’s point of view! Details on that will be on my website soon.
I’ve also started working on the next project, after the UTNS trilogy. I’m very, very excited about it, but I can’t provide any details yet or my agent will be displeased with me.
When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?
How tall are you?
(I’m only 5’4” and I always say 5’5”. I don’t know why. Like that extra inch propels me into being considered “tall.” I just wish I were taller, I guess.)
What’s the best advice you can give writers to help them develop their own unique voice and style?
Write. Read. Repeat.
Seriously. There are no shortcuts. Just practice, practice, practice and you’ll get closer every day.
Who is the first person you call when you have a bad day?
My husband. He’s my best friend. My mom would be a close second.
Who was your first boyfriend?
Whoa. This feels sort of private. Ummm…. Tyler Stewart. He was a nice guy. We went to the movies with his parents.
What is the one, single food that you would never give up?
Cheese. Pizza. Pasta. Fish tacos. I’m sorry. I can’t come up with a single answer for this question. I love food too much. And now I’m getting hungry…
Where can readers stalk you?
I’m on facebook and twitter. (Veronica Rossi, Author and @V_Rossibooks)
And you can also reach me through my website: www.veronicarossi.com
Thank you so much for having me!
Since she’d been on the outside, she’d survived an Aether storm, she’d had a knife held to her throat, and she’d seen men murdered. This was worse.
Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland—known as The Death Shop—are slim. If the cannibals don’t get her, the violent, electrified energy storms will. She’s been taught that the very air she breathes can kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He’s wild—a savage—and her only hope of staying alive.
A hunter for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile—everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he needs Aria’s help too; she alone holds the key to his redemption. Opposites in nearly every way, Aria and Perry must accept each other to survive. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky.
In her enthralling debut, Veronica Rossi sends readers on an unforgettable adventure set in a world brimming with harshness and beauty.
In Under the Never Sky, author Veronica Rossi definitely delivered a worthy dystopian novel with very unique sci-fi elements. Readers are thrown into a world where the Earth is literally falling apart. “Aether” storms are consuming the grounds and leaving it unfit to live for the survivors. To protect their world and their sanity, a portion of the population determined it would build a giant dome to shield them from the destructive storms. To keep their mind occupied, they developed ways to interact with others by using virtual reality technology.
The main protagonist, Aria, has always lived a sheltered life away from the dangers of this crumbling world. When her mother goes missing, she discovers things the hard way. On the other hand, there is Perry who is an “outsider” that learned the basic requirements for survival outside of the dome. When these two meet, it is like two worlds colliding. Veronica provides readers with skillfully detailed descriptions of their relationship. Their steady development felt realistic and helped with the already intriguing story.
There is more to this story that is noteworthy. There are secrets that are just jaw dropping. Veronica’s writing etiquette is laced with style and care. She is an expert of writing the unimaginable and makes readers think twice that they can possibly happen. Her approach with the “Aether” storms is brilliant and provided a highly captivating concept with the civilized vs. savage variance. Under the Never Sky is excellently crafted. Great world-building, awesome character development, and a story that is truly thought-provoking.
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