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!