You guys! I’m very, very excited about who has stopped by the blog today.
She’s the author of the Shatter Me trilogy ,which I love, and she is one of my favorite people to follow on Twitter because she always makes me giggle. I also got the chance to meet her when I went to Chicago and she is the SWEETEST ever and she needs a shoe cam to follow her every move because she has the COOLEST heels ever. (I’m jealous that she can walk in them so well).
I’m very excited to have the opportunity to ask Tahereh some questions in celebration of Ignite Me‘s release this past Tuesday!!
1. Describe the Shatter Me series in six words or less for people who have no idea what it is about (are there people out there? I give back my blogging card if readers of this blog don’t know about Shatter me)
first of all, you are very sweet! thank you for that! but hmmm..
shatter me can be described in a million different ways, i think. but at it’s heart, for me, it’s always been about a girl trying to find herself.
2. Out of the many series out there, I’d have to say the “Team” debate I hear most often is Team Adam vs. Team Warner. Fans are PASSIONATE about this but also quite divided. What are the most convincing arguments you’ve heard from fans about THEIR ship?
oh man i don’t think i can answer this question. i’ve heard incredibly articulate arguments from both sides, and often the most compelling have been, these, like, massive essays and phd theses. brilliant, really. and fascinating. and i have to say: i’m extremely flattered anyone would take the time to write such complex arguments for characters who live in my head.
3. With creating such a compelling SHIP debate and an amazing story in general (seriously HOW IS THIS GOING TO END?), how hard is it to conclude a series knowing you are going to make one team/fans in general upset potentially? How do you still write the story you know needs to be written with the fan pressure I’m sure you get? It’s been such an interesting phenomena to watch reader’s reactions to series endings and I’m sure you are hyper aware of that as an author.
i’m generally not a plotter with first books, because i like to use those pages to get to know my characters — to hear their voices and understand their needs. but every book after that has to follow the rules of the world you’ve created, so there’s a lot more plotting and outlining and deliberation. after writing the first book — while plotting the second — i knew exactly where the story needed to go. and at the end, i looked deep into the hearts of these characters i know and love — and have lived with for three years — and searched for what was most important to them, to their happiness, to their future. once i found it, i tried to give it to them. they may be fictional, but i love them, and i want them to be happy.
but it’s hard to meet readers’ expectations. it really is. i get heartfelt, heartbroken messages from both sides every day. my inbox, flooded. my twitterfeed, flooded. facebook, tumblr, instagram, everywhere. so it’s hard. how can i not love those who love these books? it’s my heart in those words, on those pages, and the journey of author and reader is so very, very intertwined. but ultimately, i realized that, in the end — no matter what happened — the third book would be very controversial, because it’s impossible to please everyone, no matter my intentions.
4. What has been your most favorite minor character to write? Is there a character who has emerged as more popular than you originally thought they would?
kenji! without a doubt, kenji. he has become more real to me than any of the other characters, because — well, because he’s based on my brothers. i have all these older brothers i adore, and i squished all their personalities into one person. he’s the easiest character to write, and the most fun to write, because a lot of what he says and the way he says it is ripped directly from conversations and interactions i’ve had with my brothers. i’m thrilled people like kenji so much. he’s my favorite.
5. You’ve created one of the most complex villains EVER in Warner. It’s easy to hate him but we also learn a lot about him that makes us sympathize with him and connect to him as a human. Where did your inspiration come from with him/how do you create such a compelling villain? Do you enjoy writing baddies?
i’ve always been fascinated by the way in which human beings judge each other. we’re quick to make assumptions about a person, even with very little information. often this is a good thing — a survival mechanism, instinct we should trust — but sometimes we’re just wrong. this is what’s happened to juliette when we meet her at the beginning of the book. a girl who, in black and white, has killed a small child, and been locked up for it. but was it really that simple? what really happened to her? who is she — really? i ask this same question of adam and warner and kenji, too. there must be more to who they are, and why they are the way they are.
i feel very deeply that there exist entire worlds of feeling and experience in the people we meet every day; it’s just that we seldom get to see any of it. with this series i wanted to explore complicated characters with complicated lives; i wanted to explore the impact of change, opportunity, love, success, self-confidence, and loss. i don’t believe things are ever black and white. in villains, especially.
6. We’ve all seen your new collab Youtube channel with Ransom (you guys are the cutest and my most favorite ship ever) but I’m curious, besides that, what’s up next for you? Can you give us any hints on what you are working on next? Shed any lights on your plans for further world domination?
yes! (and thank you for the kind words about the youtube channel :D) i’m working on something new that i can’t talk about yet — but will very soon, i hope — and it’s my favorite thing i’ve ever written. that’s really all i can say at the moment, but yes, yes. new books! more soon!
I decided to bring my readers in on the fun instead of hogging all the questions for myself because YOU, lady, are in demand so here are some GREAT questions from my readers.
1. Where did the shoe hobby/obsession start? What are the craziest pair of shoes you own? (From @novablogder & @smokeandbone13)
i’m not sure! i’ve always loved shoes, but i quickly found i was never quite satisfied with a simple pretty pump or a normal, practical boot. but i love fashion in general; it’s real, live, wearable art. i find it fascinating. and i’m not sure, re: the craziest pair of shoes i own. i don’t really think i own any “crazy” shoes (at least not in my own estimation), though someone else might look in my closet and think all my shoes are crazy. haha. but i like my heels high, i do.
2. Do you feel a sense of loss now that your first series is done or are you overwhelmed with excitement for your next work? (From @lilreflects)
i gave these characters an ending that i feel really, really good about, so it’s easy for me to move on. i feel like they’re exactly where they need to be now, and ready for a world of adventure on their own. so i am definitely overwhelmed with excitement for the next thing.
3. I LOVE THIS QUESTION SO MUCH. Would you ever consider writing a book with Ransom? Why or why not? What type of novel do you think it would be? (from @jennadoesbooks)
maybe! we’ve definitely talked about it. but ransom and i have very, very different writing methods (he’s a big-time plotter and i’m more of a pantser) so i’m not sure how that would work out. haha. but maybe!
Rapid Fire Questions:
1. I do this with all the interviews I do…kiss, marry, kill time!! Adam, Warner, Kenji
i really wish i could play this game, but i’m afraid people will think my answers are indicative of the end, so i will have to abstain!
2. If Shatter Me had a theme song it would be….
Can’t Touch This.
3. If you could do a mashup of any tv-show/movie with a book what would it be? (example: Twilight meets celebrity death match)
Gilmore Girls meets Anne of Green Gables
4. When I need to have a dance party I turn on this song:
hmmm.. you know, mostly i listen to pandora, but recently i’ve had a soft spot for The End Has No End by The Strokes. it always makes me want to run around the house and dance with the cat.
5. Ransom’s most annoying habit is:
i say this at the risk of making everyone throw up in their mouths a little, but honestly, he does nothing to annoy me. he’s really quite exasperatingly wonderful.
6. Last book I bought:
Hyperbole and a Half, by Allie Brosh
7. One of my most favorite books is:
The Sky is Everywhere, by Jandy Nelson (mine too, Tahereh!! God that book is perfection)
8. A movie that made me cry is:
12 Years a Slave. i sobbed like a baby.
9. Favorite place I traveled:
ahhhhh.. this is hard! i don’t know if i can choose! my three favorite places so far have been santorini (a greek island); cappadocia (in the countryside of turkey), and palawan (an island off the coast of the philippines). magical destinations.
10. If this food stopped existing I’d be grumpy:
persian food. i can’t live without it.
Thanks for stopping by the blog, Tahereh! And thank you for bringing life to such a wonderfully complicated characters and taking us on their journey! Cannot WAIT to see what is up next for you!