It's not a secret.
One of my favourite Dystopian novels of 2011 was Article 5 by Kristen Simmons.
I adore adore adored it. A Lot.
And Kristen graciously and awesomely answered a few questions for me... have a look at this terrific Q&A!
When did you know you wanted to become an author?
I’ve wanted to be an author ever since I was little. From a young age I was drawing, then writing, the adventures of my dog, cat, and hamster - in one story they even participated in the Olympics! I loved plotting what adventure I would send them on next. Though the characters have changed, I still love that feeling!
What did you do when you heard Article 5 was being published?
Ha. I sat there for a while in shock, and then told myself I’d probably just made it up. I proceeded with my day. It just didn’t actually seem possible. Not until I finally told my husband did it feel real. Then I screamed and jumped up and down and cried and clapped my hands and did all those silly things you do when you’re excited.
Was that your first book, or had you written stories before?
Well, I had the dog/cat/hamster adventures! Ha! I actually completed my first manuscript 10 or 11 years ago. There were four total before I wrote Article 5. They weren’t great, but they were good practice!
What was your very first job?
I sold shoes at Sears, and then at Macy’s, when I was in high school. I spent a lot of time measuring people’s stinky feet.
Are you at all like any of the characters from Article 5? Who are you most and least like? What traits do you share?
I identify with all of them at least a little bit. We all have the capacity for strength and kindness and honor, but also rage and cruelty. That being said, I probably relate most to Ember, because like her, I’m a little tenacious, and also like her, I’m a little in love with Chase. But she’s braver than I could ever be.
Do you have an agent?
I have an amazing agent! Joanna MacKenzie, of Browne & Miller Literary Associates.
What advice can you give to aspiring authors?
If this is what you love, if it’s what you believe you’re supposed to be doing, don’t give up. Write a lot, and read a lot, and find people who share your passion.
In a film version of Article 5, who would you choose to be Ember and Chase?
Well…I’ve got a huge Chase crush on Channing Tatum. I think he’d be a killer Chase.
It’s between him and Puck from Glee! (Mark Salling)
I wasn’t sure who I liked for Ember, but recently someone told me about Sophia Bush and I think she’s great!
Thanks for having me Romi! As always, it’s been fun visiting with you!
Thank you so so much Kristen! I adored asking you questions and reading your answers!
Find Kristen and Article 5...
Article 5 (Tor Teen, January 31)