We recently sat down with Veronica Roth, the author of the Divergent series, to discuss her latest work, Carve the Mark, and learned some interesting and fun facts about the writer in the process. For more on Veronica, check out these Carve the Mark and How To Become A Successful Author articles.
Faze: What was the last television show or movie you watched that made you laugh out loud?
Veronica Roth: Seeing Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer on SNL.
If you could relive a certain age, what age would it be?
V: I would go back and take more classes in university.
How long have you been writing?
V: I’ve been writing, almost daily, since I was maybe, 11 or 12.
What was the first piece you remember writing?
V: The first real narrative story I remember writing was a [The] Lord of The Rings rip-off. The Lord of The Rings movies were coming out and I was like, “Elves on a quest! Hmm.”
Did you ever try any other types of writing?
V: There were some poems. They were really bad. I had them taped to my closet door. I don’t know why. I think that if I thought the poems were good enough, [I thought] maybe my parents would read [them] and realize how brilliant I [was]. There was also really angsty breakup poetry, even though I didn’t have an angsty breakup. I’m not sure where it came from.
What would we be surprised to find on your bookshelf?
V: Graphic novels, religious studies textbooks, and a Calvin and Hobbs collection.
What was high school like for you?
V: I did not break any rules and I was very good at school. My high school boyfriend was the lead singer of a heavy metal band. So, I dressed the part, I was always wearing all black, and I had safety pins everywhere.
Would you say you sported the goth look?
V: I feel like goth has more theatricality to it. I just wore all band t-shirts, all the time, and didn’t brush my hair.
Were you involved in any clubs or sports in school?
V: I played volleyball for a year because I am very tall, and they pretty much make you play [either] basketball or volleyball when you’re tall. But I quit after [a] year in order to join congressional debate, which is a thing we have in the States. It is maybe the nerdiest activity that you can participate in. Everyone dresses up in suits and fancy clothes and they go and pretend they are the US Congress on the weekends.
Was that the end of sports after volleyball?
V: I tried cross-country; I am not a good distance runner, so that was a wash. I also did shot put. Which is where you throw that heavy ball—do I look like the kind of person who can heave a heavy ball really far? No. And then I also did high-jump—you have to be able to arch your back to do high jump and I can’t do that either. I have a lot of fails.
I was in choir. I was a second alto.
What was your favourite book of those you had to read for school?
V: I actually really liked Macbeth when we read it. There’s just this, “Is he going to actually do what these people are telling him he’s going to do?” The sense of impending doom is really thick in that book. And it does not go well.
What was your least favourite book of those you had to read for school?
V: The one I really didn’t like was The Scarlett Letter. Did you know, if you flip to a random page in that book, chances are [good] the word ignominious or ignominy will be on each page. He uses that word so many times. It means sinful, but he can’t just say the word sinful because he needs to use words like ignominious. You’re super smart Nathanial, lay off!
What is your favourite part of being an author?
V: What I really love most is the actual process of writing. I love revising. I love finding the story inside the one you wanted to tell. [But what really surprised me when I became an author was how valuable the feedback was from readers.] . There’s really nothing more amazing than hearing the stories of when people read your book, or what about their reading life changed after they read it. Stuff like that. It was really amazing to hear; I do love that part.
Thanks to Veronica Roth, and our friends at HarperCollins and Kobo for a lovely morning together.