Last month at WonderCon 2014, New York Times best-selling author Kiera Cass – the woman behind “The Selection” book trilogy – took to the stage to talk to folks about her experience as a writer and her successful book series.
With her editor Erica Sussman from HarperCollins alongside her, Kiera talked about the anticipation of the final book in the trilogy – “The One” – that would be released two weeks after the last day of WonderCon 2014. She joked that she was “super nervous” about book three coming out and shared that “she might hide from Twitter that day” just in case.
The first book in the trilogy “The Selection” came out on April 24, 2012 and focused on a futuristic world that Kiera described as “The Hunger Games meets The Bachelor, but not as bloody”. She shared that the trilogy is a love story at heart; and during the process of writing the books she “was surprised by how forceful the characters were” as they would “tell me what to say”.
The basic premise of the trilogy focuses on 35 girls who are given the chance of a lifetime. They are given the opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth: to live in a palace and compete for the heart the prince of Illea, Maxon Schreave. Among those 35 girls is America Singer, who is not happy to be one of the chosen, as it means she has to turn her back on her secret love with Aspen.
When asked if she is at all like America, Kiera shared that she is actually more like America’s younger sister May, who is “boy crazy and a bit of a fan girl” especially where Prince Maxon is concerned. When asked if she herself could choose between Prince Maxon and Aspen, Kiera could not, but she did share that both characters have features of her own husband Calloway Cass. She also shared that the character of America wasn’t really based on any particular person, she “just showed up in my head”.
Kiera loves fairy tales and love stories and those were the genesis of “The Selection” trilogy; in fact she shared during the panel that she didn’t know about the world of “dystopian stories” when writing her books. And with the final book The Elite now out on bookshelves, she shared that she “wouldn’t count it out” if there were spin-off stories about some of the minor characters in the trilogy. She couldn’t, however, delve too deeply into what she has planned next despite the fact that “she hates keeping secrets”, but there are “things in the works” that she could not yet discuss.
The second book in the trilogy entitled “The Elite” came out on April 23, 2013 and the 35 girls have now been dwindled down to just six girls, all competing for the heart of Prince Maxon with America needing to decide where her heart truly lies. And the final book “The One” has been out since May 6 with the focus being on the winner of the competition for Prince Maxon’s heart being chosen and America having to make a decision, too, between the two men in her life.
Personally, I read the first book in the trilogy, finding it to be an entertaining read and I look forward to reading the rest of the books soon. Readers can also check out the novellas for which Kiera has written in relation to “The Selection” trilogy including “The Prince” and “The Guard”.