Today we’re chatting (and doodling) with Anna Carey, author of the new YA dystopian novel Eve. Anna was nice enough to answer a few questions about her novel, share a bit of gossip (pssst, it’s about the sequel) and donate a priceless work of art.
Some of the events in your book touch on some really scary subjects, particularly what happens to the girls after they graduate. Did you find some of the more extreme aspects of their society difficult to write?
Parts of the book are very sad, and I found myself tearing up while writing those moments. It was hard to write the scene where Eve leaves the dugout, or the times when she’s thinking about her mother’s death. I was really on edge while writing many of the scenes that happen while she’s being chased on the road (and the one you mention–where she sees the graduates). In some ways, writing in first person made the whole experience more intense.
I can see the influence of The Handmaid’s Tale in your story, but there’s also a little loooooove happening in the book as well. Is there a romance novel or a novel with a little romance in it that inspired you?
I haven’t read many romance novels, but I’m a lover of love stories. Anna Karenina and Romeo and Juliet both captured me (they’re actually part of the curriculum at Eve’s School). Love in the Time of Cholera and The History of Love are two of my other favorites.
Can you tell us a bit about the sequel? That information won’t leave this blog. Promise.
The sequel is primarily set in the City of Sand–a restored city in the middle of the desert. Soon after Eve is brought there she meets the King and discovers her role in the New America. I better leave it at that–I’ve already said too much!
I hear there’s talk of a T.V. show based on Eve. I’m sure you were ecstatic when you heard the news. Now be honest. When no one was looking…you did a really ridiculously embarrassing happy dance, didn’t you? By all means, feel free to recreate it in a stick figure drawing.
I did indeed! See stick figure reenactment below (I’m known for my very long arms).
A large chunk of YA readers are not actually young adults. We fibbed a little bit, flashed a fake id and now we get to hang out in the teen section of the bookstore. What do you think makes YA books so appealing to ahem…those of us who are a bit more advanced in years than the age group these books are actually aimed at? I’m not referring to myself, mind you because I’m only 21. The same age I was last year.
There’s something inherently compelling about “firsts”. First love, the first time you get into a fight with a friend, the first time you experience rejection or recognize just how cruel people can be. The first time someone close to you dies. These things can feel like the end of the world. It can feel like you can’t possibly survive beyond that moment. Though I no desire to return to high school, I sometimes miss the excitement and terror of it, and I wonder if other adults do too. The character’s in YA fiction are in the throes of their ‘firsts’, oftentimes with life or death consequences. We all remember what that feels like–how can you forget?. Maybe some of us want to go back.
Finally (because it really is the most important thing), what is your favorite Jane Austen novel?
I wish I was more out of the box on this one, but I have to go with Pride and Prejudice (Fitzwilliam Darcy, be still my heart).
Eve by Anna Carey
Eighteen-year-old Eve has grown up isolated from boys, and has been taught to fear them. It isn’t until the night before the graduation from her all-girls school that she discovers what really happens to new graduates. To avoid the terrifying fate that awaits her, Eve flees the only home she’s ever known, searching for a place she can survive. Along the way she encounters Caleb, a rebellious young man living in the wild. Eve knows she shouldn’t trust him, but Caleb slowly wins her confidence and heart. He promises to protect her, but when soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between life and love.
*Special thanks to Alloy Entertainment for providing the prize!