The Compulsive Reader: Dark Days With Anna Carey: Week One

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Dark Days With Anna Carey: Week One

Hey everyone,

If you don't know about the awesome Dark Days events that HarperTeen puts on, you really ought to! Dark Days: Pitch Dark is a series of online and offline events celebrating some great supernatural and dystopia reads from HarperTeen, and I'm excited to be presenting some awesome features for the next month about Anna Carey's debut novel, Eve, which comes out October 4th! You can read my review of it here. You can visit the Facebook page to see what books are included this fall, and if the authors are coming to a bookstore near you!

Today, I have an interview with Anna Carey about her inspiration for the book, her writing process, and a glimpse at the next book in this riveting trilogy!

TCR: How did the idea for Eve evolve?

AC: When I started writing Eve it was in an attempt to answer certain questions. Specifically: What happens when your world as you know it, the world that you have been so certain of, is exposed as a lie? What if the world, as it actually was, was so much more beautiful and terrifying than you ever could’ve imagined? Would you have the courage to explore it?

TCR: What was the hardest part about writing the story? The easiest?

AC: I loved writing the chapters when Eve is out in the world for the first time. It came very naturally to me. I loved exploring how her expectations come up against reality, how she’s taking it all in and trying to reconcile what she’s learned with what she’s experiencing. The trickiest part were those chapters shortly after she reaches the dugout. She’s afraid, and still so uncertain about the rest of the boys, but she’s also beginning to trust Caleb. It was a hard dynamic to capture—her falling in love while still holding onto what she’s been taught.

TCR: What were some of your inspirations for Eve?

AC: There’s a lot of grey, bleak post apocalyptic worlds out there, and I knew I wanted Eve to be different. I wrote Eve in the wake of a major move, from New York to California, where I now live. The landscape is naturally gorgeous here and people, for the most part, are very environmentally conscious. At the time I was fixated on the idea that the world might thrive without us in it—that the sky might be bluer, the ocean clearer. Ugly strip malls would be covered over with ivy and roads would disappear under layers of moss. I wanted Eve’s world to look like California on steroids—a natural paradise.

Another big influence was my family. I visited New York three months after I had moved. I hadn’t known anyone those first weeks in California, and had grown used to everyone being a stranger. I got home at ten at night and my mother had a whole feast waiting for me. She sat down next to me with this smile on her face and watched me eat the homemade apple pie and macaroni and cheese she’d made (my favorite). It might seem silly, but I remember never being more grateful for anything in my life—for a meal that was made especially for me, for no reason at all. Just because. A lot of Eve’s understanding of love and sacrifice comes from her memories of her mother, who, for so many of us—is the person who loved us first and best.

TCR: How long did it take you to write the book?

AC: I thought about the book for a long time before I wrote anything. Eve was stuck in my head, this character who at eighteen is so certain of the world, who can’t know that the future she’s imagined is nothing like the one she’ll have. From the moment I actually started writing until it was finished was about nine months, though I was looking at final typeset pages and whatnot for long after that.

TCR: What’s the one thing you hope your readers will take away from Eve?

AC: I think most people who’ve been in the world have experienced some sort of heartbreak—an unrequited crush, someone rejecting them, infidelity, or perhaps (in the case of older readers) a divorce. Sometimes life teaches you to fear love—that making yourself vulnerable to someone else is dangerous and wrong, and others might wield that power against you. Though I didn’t initially write Eve as a metaphor, I quickly realized that her struggle is a universal one. She’s trying to love someone despite everything she’s been taught, despite the huge risk inherent in caring deeply for anyone else.

TCR: Can you tell us anything about the second book in the trilogy?

AC: It’s hard to say anything without revealing something, but the majority of the second book takes place in the City of Sand, the nickname used for a restored city in the New America. Eve learns of her role in the restoration and develops a very complicated relationship with the King. Better leave it at that—I’ve already said too much!

Awesome, thanks so much, Anna! I am so excited to read the sequel.

You can come back next Tuesday to learn a little more about the characters in this awesome book!

In the meantime though, check out this Dark Days trailer!


katy h said...

I SO want to read this! Why do I have to wait until 10/4???

Liss Martz said...

OMG! I want to read this book so badly! The interview was great. I'd love if she could sign a copy for me :D