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Hi Dad

It’s late in the day, but I thought I’d take a moment on this Father’s Day to mention what seems to be one of your favorite things about The Selection: the dedication. You’ve all seen it. You’ve taken pics and sent it back to me with smiley faces next to it. I know you dig it.


So let me explain where it came from. A million years ago, we were talking about how all these people— athletes, movie stars, and pretty much anyone winning an award— will get on TV and yell out “Hi, Mom!” So I promised my dad that if I was ever on TV, I would wave and say “Hi, Dad!”

When the book deal came around, I figured this was the closest I’d ever get, so the first book went to Daddy. Without him knowing, which made it so much better! He's a pretty rad guy. Sucked snot out of my nose once when I couldn't breathe, so he pretty much earned it.

Anyway, as it is Father’s Day, I thought I’d get the story out there. Hope all the dads out there had a spectacular day!


The Inevitable 

                So, I feel like this is bound to happen. If you’ve preordered The One, there is a huge chance that it will ship early, or maybe a bookstore will stock it a week in advance. And, because you have waited so long, there is no reasonable way to ask you not to open it up.

                If you come across a copy in the next two weeks, I hope you get a chance to enjoy it. And I also hope that you will allow those who have to wait to have the exact same experience as you.

                I’ve been guarding these secrets for years, guys. YEARS! Please do me the favor of keeping them a handful of days. What would that mean exactly? Well, don’t make plot points your status updates, and maybe don’t tweet your reactions directly at me as lot of readers check my replies. Maybe share the book with your BFF and make them read it really fast so you have someone to gush/rage/whatever with.

                You guys are smart. You’ll figure it out. Just know that this tiny little favor would mean the world to me. Thank you guys for sticking with America and company through this journey. I hope the third book is worth the wait.


Inspiration Week! Day 5!

Now it’s time for my final inspiration post. We started with where the first book began, at America’s house. So let’s close with where the first book ends: the palace.

I also have several pages of notes dedicated to the palace, but the one I’m going with is what we see outside.

I think the picture here is actually of the Spelling Manor. Visually, it’s the closest I can find to what the palace looks like to me. Now, I use the word palace (not castle) intentionally. Castles are typically more war-ready. Palaces are pretty. The staff in the palace have found ways to protect themselves, but they’re not very good at intimidating the rebels to the point that the reconsider their attacks.

The outside of the palace is a lot like this, very bright and with a fountain in the front. But it’s four stories, not two. You would also find things around that look expensive (like statues, etc) on display to impress visitors, but there isn’t a pool in the palace because Gregory thought that was frivolous.

Maxon talks about this being a beautiful cage, and I’m taken back to America’s first time walking up the front steps, with maids escorting her in so she could be prepped. The next time she saw them she was being paraded out to watch her best friend be beaten and humiliated before she was locked inside again.

I think the question you should all be considering now is, will America see those steps again in The One? And what exactly would that mean if she does?


Inspiration Week! Day 4!

Sorry for the delay on this post, but we’re back today with the final two posts for Inspiration Week. Now that we’ve discussed Aspen at length, it’s time to move on to the other boy who is slowly devouring our souls: Prince Maxon Schreave.

I’m going to be honest, I think one of the reasons I was shocked when so many people immediately abandoned Aspen and favored Maxon was because for me (and America, might I add), Maxon didn’t make sense. Maxon was this distant figure, and for how removed he was from America’s life, he might as well have been fictitious. I mean, I know he is, but like… just work with me here.

These were my earliest impressions of Maxon:

I got distinct feeling of isolation and sadness when I looked at Maxon, though, outwardly, he’s very charming. There is definitely a Maxon for the cameras and a Maxon just for himself. But he’s gotten very good at making sure no one can guess at how desperately he wishes he had more friends, or at least a sibling. If you completely missed how giddy he was when his cousins came to visit, let me remind you: that happened. Even with America upset with him, he was chasing the littlest ones around the garden, soaking up the time before they were gone again.

It’s been different since the girls came. If you’ve read The Prince you know how daunting their arrival was for him, but, when he can get past the actual competition of it, he really enjoys the company. Just the sound of other people in the palace is good for him. And it’s different from guards and butlers who are always around but make a point of never being heard. The Selected girls don’t think like that. They want to be noticed, and that mentality has benefited him.

Anyway, this was the original Maxon, the first impression. And while he looks tall, he’s shorter than Aspen, and while he looks lean, there’s more to him under his suit. I also like the image of him with a gun, off to go hunting. It suits him, as does his photography. You don’t need a partner to do either of those hobbies.

It’s hard to imagine that someone who’s been asked to be an adult since he was a child can grow up anymore, but I think he has. I’m hoping you see special things in him and Aspen and America when you finally get to read The One.


Inspiration Week! Day 3!

Today is the day! It’s America’s birthday, and in celebration, I’m looking at my inspiration for her. Now, honestly, there are multiple pages dedicated to America in my inspiration book. Some solely focused on her hair or clothes. So when it came time to choose one, I decided to go the page that had the least.

That probably seems unfair. If I’m supposed to be sharing… then why aren’t I sharing? Mostly because she didn’t.

In the beginning, things with America were sparse. She’s a bit reserved, used to the background. Being in the spotlight, even if it was only in my head, was weird for her. I started writing The Selection between editing The Siren, and it sat for a few months before I knew I had to finish it. By the end of the first book, she was a little bit more assertive, a bit surer of herself. Not by much, but some. And it was about at that point (when she was okay speaking up) that I realized I’d have to rewrite the whole thing to get her right.

And I’m really glad I took the time to do that.

The picture we have up here is how I see America in the palace for the first time. Beautiful, but also kind of scary. Like you’re not sure if you want to talk to her or not (unless you’re Marlee and the sweetest thing on the planet and you don’t care). She’s surrounded by music, but also slightly distanced from it, and, of course, there’s a songbird nearby. And I have to say, the butterflies in the background happened before I knew what she’d be for Halloween. Funny how that works out. She’s lovely, but you’re not completely sure what she’s thinking… and you kind of want to know, right?

I like this girl. So glad she popped into my head and not someone elses.

I’ve known America longer than I’ve known my actual children. There’s so much to her, and there are parts that only I have. That said, I’m so happy that so many of you decided to walk through her story with her. I hope that the final book will have been worth the wait for you. Thanks.

To America, happy birthday, love! Thanks for being a companion for so many years, for trusting me with your words, and, oh yeah, for paying off my school loans. Kisses!