Veronica Roth took the time to answer some fans questions on Tumblr. Veronica answers questions about the Divergent movie, songs she was listening to while writing Allegiant and what part of her personality she shares with Tris. Check out her answers below:
literaryvice432 asked: How much say have you had in ensuring the movies stay true to the book (or at least the spirit of the books)?
I have good relationships with the people who worked on the Divergent movie— they were (are!) very kind and welcoming and respectful of the source material. They asked me questions when they had them (which they did on a fairly regular basis), they showed me the script, and they kept me well informed of what was going on. They also cracked jokes with me, chatted with me, brought me fruit-by-the-foots from craft services, got to know my husband, and were super nice to my whole family. Extra mega bonus points for lovely human beings, all around.
I had many opportunities to communicate what was important to me to the people involved, but most of the time, I didn’t have to say anything at all. The people at work on this movie were very familiar with the source material (one of the people working in the costume department explained the factions to meperfectly while showing me the costumes, for example), and they almost never needed to be reminded of it. Their decisions reflected that familiarity. Basically, this is what kept happening:
Movie People: Neil Burger!
Movie People: Shailene Woodley!
Movie People: Chicago, for realz!
Me: HELL YES.
Movie People: Here, check out this screen test of Theo James and Shailene Woodley.
Me: Wow. That’s Tobias.
Movie People: Kate Winslet!
Me: *faints dead away*
Movie People: …Are you just an unfailingly positive person?
Me: No, I’m actually a pretty staunch defensive pessimist, it’s just that this is working out really well.
Movie People: Great! What do you think of this set?
Me: It’s awful.
Movie People: …
Me: HA HA. Gotcha. It’s incredible. *resumes flailing internally*
But basically, what I’m telling you is that I’m an author and I love being an author and I had the level of involvement that I wanted. Sometimes I think this confuses people, but to them I say, trust me— if you are lucky enough to find the one thing that you LOVE and that you are passionate about and that makes you feel purposeful and steady in yourself, you will want to focus on that thing, too, even if you could try to do other things that are also cool and interesting. That’s how I feel about writing.
The movie isn’t finished, obviously, but what I saw on set was wonderful, so I feel pretty good about how things are going.
recurringcharacters asked: Were there any particular songs or artists you especially enjoyed listening to while writing Allegiant? (Ridiculously excited for it to be released, by the way!)
Four words for you: Florence and the Machine. There were maybe some other songs that I listened to every once in awhile, but 99% of the time it was all Florence, all the time.
crashingbattles asked: Because of the growing success of Divergent, do you think you will write anything else (such as something completely different) or will you just stop where you are, and as a writer did you ever believe you would have this much success?
You know, I get this question a lot, and I’m always a little confused by it until I realize that people don’t actually live inside my brain (obviously!) so they don’t just assume the answer. The answer is, I was a writer before Divergent and I’ll be a writer for a long time afterward, if I have anything to say about it— it’s been my passion since sixth grade and I’ve never found an activity I enjoy even half as much. I’m not sure what I’ll write next or how long it will take me to finish it and polish it, but yes, I’m going to keep working and trying to get books published until they don’t let me do it anymore.
No, I didn’t think that my books would take off the way they have, and I’m incredibly grateful for it and amazed by it daily. But mostly what I focus on is trying to become a better writer and create better stories, characters, and worlds every time I sit down to work, not what’s happening to the books that are already finished. (I mean, obviously I pay attention to what’s happening to the books, but I’ve found that I’m saner and happier when I’m focused on the craft of writing, not on the business of writing.)
pansyserum asked: Hey Veronica, you are so amazing and inspirational and I want to just say how Divergent was the book that triggered my reading obsession and my question is: is there an aspect of/in Tris’ personality that you share with her?
I think we share a similar obsession with figuring out what the “right” thing to do is even in minor situations— and similar levels of guilt when we fail to do it, which is often. I’m not sure there are many other aspects of her personality that I share— she’s pretty different from me. I guess I also have a fairly strong personal bubble? I’ve never been the kind of person who casually hugs or sits on laps, or something, and Tris is similar.
Edit: And I forgot to say THANK YOU for the kind words! (Sometimes I get stuck in ANSWER MODE and forget my manners.)