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Bestselling author Veronica Roth visits Granger High School

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ON JANUARY 24, New York Times Bestselling Author Veronica Roth came to Granger High school to market her new sci-fi book, “Carve the Mark”, with the assistance of Sarah Enni from the podcast “First Draft.” Enni’s job is to interview young adult and middle grade writers, and she talked with Roth in front of the audience for the majority of the hour.

Many were excited to see Roth in person. According to the ranker.com website, she is the fifth best YA author in the United States, standing between Rick Riordan, author of the “Percy Jackson” series and J. R. R. Tolkien, who wrote “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit.”

Her books are popular, so popular that Jessica Neilson, who came to Granger all the way from Provo, read the first “Divergent” book in one night. “I couldn’t get the second one, it was so popular and had just come out. I’d read the first one on the flight to visit my parents for Christmas. One of my presents was the second book, so I read that one on the way back.”

Jen Ogden from Salt Lake wasn’t a die-hard fan. “I’m just excited,” Ogden said. Though she’d read “Divergent” a few years ago, she still felt it was a momentous occasion to be sitting in the same room with an author whose books she’d read.

They started the talk by pulling up Megan Fonseca (11) to play a game of MASH with them. Fonseca had won a ticket in her general fiction class and decided to go because she’d heard of the Divergent series and wanted to meet the author of said series. The first hand up, Fonseca was pulled onto center stage and made into the subject of a game of MASH.

“It was very intimidating at first,” Fonseca said, “but when they went along with the joke of the game, I figured that they were just ordinary people doing extraordinary things and that I shouldn’t have been nervous at all.”

According to Amanda Mortensen, a high school student, Roth is very dedicated to her fans. “She was sick, and after the meet-and-greet, she’d been at Granger talking for almost four hours,” Mortensen said. “But she was still happy and cheerful, even though her voice was mostly gone.”

Roth was born in New York City and raised in Illinois. The youngest in her family, she was very creative growing up. She indulged herself in fanfictions and some stories of her own. Roth typically writes about strong women who do good things that inevitably cause them to be unliked. It’s a recurring theme in Divergent.

Roth’s new book, “Carve the Mark”, is a sci-fi fantasy set on a planet where violence is commonplace and everyone develops a talent of ‘currentgift’ to improve the future. The main characters, Akos and Cyra, however, have currentgifts that make them vulnerable to others and allow them to be controlled.

Even though this event was organized to market the new series, it was more about celebrating the amazing fandoms such as “Star Trek”, “Star Wars”, and “Harry Potter” that influenced her writing heavily. Attendees to the event also learned that Roth’s favorite color is gray because it is associated with rain and that she made a voice for her private network, Drobo.

By the end of the evening, Roth and Enni had most of the audience laughing along with their conversation. For the last twenty minutes, Roth answered questions written on papers by fans and visitors. When asked what it was like to be a writer, she explained: “Writers are like cats that have run underneath the car. You have to coax them out and get them to socialize.”

After the initial event ended, four rows of people were randomly selected and allowed into the Blackbox Theatre, where Roth had a small meet-and-greet and signing with some of her fans.

 

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Bestselling author Veronica Roth visits Granger High School