If you aren't motivated enough, here's a guest post from the amazing Ally herself!! Stop by Friday to see her answers to my questions (and for a chance to win a shiny new copy of Matched!)
Andrea, thank you for letting me visit your blog! And hello, Andrea’s readers! It’s very fun to be posting here.
There were many, many things I loved about Nightshade, but one of the things I adored was the setting. I loved the way the physical world informed what happened to Calla and her pack. I loved that she was such a part of her environment and that territory was so important.
I am a sucker for a good setting. For atmosphere. Particularly for an atmosphere that can both scare me and make me feel at home. This was what I was aiming for in Matched. A place that felt real but also had undercurrents of something wrong, something strange.
I think part of the reason I’m so intrigued by setting is that I’ve had the good fortune to live in places that have influenced me deeply. I spent the first eighteen years of my life in the red rock country of Southern Utah, a place that to me is still the most beautiful on earth. I spent a semester abroad in London, which is, to my mind, the most perfect big city in the world (with, perhaps, the exception of Seattle, my husband’s hometown). And later I lived in Ithaca, New York, which is lush and green and full of rolly hills. Now I live in northern Utah, which has mountains that take your breath away. I know I’ve only lived in a handful of places when compared with other people—but I’ve loved every place I’ve lived.
And I think, in a way, that’s what we’re looking for in stories. To make a place where people want to live, even if it’s just for the time that they’re reading the book. Even if the place is eerie or strange or different, it’s where we want to be for a little while, watching, learning. Of course, without characters to care about (like Calla! And Shay!) a setting is still just a setting.
So, I hope the characters in Matched are ones that draw you into their somewhat creepy world—and I hope you are able to root for them the way we all root for Calla and Shay! (We are all rooting for Calla and Shay, right? I know, I know. Ren is pretty hot.) ;)