I can’t tell you how thrilled I was when I found that I was interviewing Veronica. Since reading UNDER THE NEVER SKY – I’ve been completely head over heels for her character Perry and having by “dying” to ask questions about him. If you didn’t get a chance to read my review yesterday, please check it out.
What inspired you to write UNDER THE NEVER SKY?
UNDER THE NEVER SKY had several inspirations. I knew I wanted to juxtapose two different societies, one advanced and the other primitive, and I wanted to blend action, adventure and romance. I also wanted to explore our growing dependence on technology. The story came out of thinking about all these things, researching, journaling, and blind inspiration!
Who is the inspiration for Aria and Perry?
I didn’t base them on any real person. They sort of… materialized! I got a feel for their essential nature first. I knew Perry would be a very physical creature, very loyal, and an old soul, as he basically raised himself. And Aria’s curiosity and tenacity appealed to me from the outset. From there, they both just evolved!
Music plays an important part of who Aria is and we all know you are an amazing artist. Are you musically inclined as well?
I have been very vocal about my love of Perry. You created a character that should be seen has a savage, yet he is caring, sweet and protective. Did you see Perry as this type of character before you put in on paper?
I’m so glad you like Perry! When he came to me as a character, I did see all those sides of him. He’s rather ferocious and hot-tempered, but he has a gentle side, too. And because he’s lost so much, he’s deeply attached to the people who are close to him. He’s a blast to write because when he succeeds or fails, it’s big. When he loves or hates, it’s big. Most of the time, he’s quiet and reserved but when Perry’s true nature comes through on the page, it’s the best part of my job!
You touched on a subject that is rarely written about in YA – did you have any reservations writing about when Aria becomes a woman?
Oh, yes. I wrestled with whether to include it for months. Ultimately, I had to stay true to the story. Aria’s journey is one of self-discovery. She learns to inhabit her true physical form through the course of the book, and it felt like an essential part of that growth. So it stayed.
Was there any particular scene/chapter that was your favorite to write?
One of my favorites is the scene on the rooftop at Marron’s, when Aria and Perry are alone, and she sings to him. For the longest time, I got chills when I worked on it. When I read that scene, I feel like I’m eavesdropping. Like it’s their moment, and I’m just watching it happen.
What can we expect for Aria and Perry in the sequel?
Tough one to answer without getting spoilery! Ummm… problems. Solutions. Some truly heart-pounding moments.
Which books are you reading right now?
I’m about to start CATCHING JORDAN by Miranda Kenneally, who’s a friend of mine. It’s about a girl who plays quarterback for her high school football team. I can’t wait to get into it. I’m sure it’ll be awesome.
What’s next on the agenda?
Revise Book Two, write Book Three, and then turn to the super-secret project that keeps beckoning me from the wings.
Tell us one thing about Veronica Rossi that we won’t be able to find on the Internet?
For a long time I did martial arts pretty seriously. Savate (French kickboxing) and Jiu-Jitsu were my two favorites.
Thanks so much for having me on The Readiacs, Heidi, and Happy New Year!