In the early hours of October 22, bookstores held midnight release parties around the country. The hotly anticipated book was Allegiant, the third novel in a dystopian young adult trilogy by 25-year-old author Veronica Roth. The first two books, Divergent and Insurgent, had already sold 5 million copies to date. That day, Allegiant sold nearly half million copies, a publication day record for its publisher, HarperCollins.
Roth was a 21-year-old creative writing student at Northwestern University when she wrote Divergent. When Divergent was published in May 2011, it spent 11 straight weeks on the best-seller list. Readers voted Divergent “Favorite Book of 2011” in the Goodreads Choice Awards.
Roth grew up in Illinois loving books like the Harry Potter series and Lois Lowry’s The Giver. Roth says she started writing at around 12 years old, when she was “too old to play pretend.” In college, she grew an early fan base while writing Divergent by blogging about the writing process on her website. She continues to update her blog, including responding to fan questions, writing about her anxieties, and offering advice to young writers (“Learn to love criticism,” “be persistent,” and “be patient,” she wrote in 2011).
Roth’s completed Divergent trilogy is now on its way to achieving the levels of success reached by fellow YA series Twilight and The Hunger Games, including a Hollywood film adaption. The Divergent movie, starring Shailene Woodley as teen heroine Tris, is scheduled to hit theaters in March 2014. Meanwhile, what’s next for Roth? "I think I'm going to take a little break and just kind of play around with some ideas," she told the Associated Press. "I do love writing for teens, so I don't see that changing anytime soon."
For entertaining and inspiring millions of readers through her fiction, author Veronica Roth is a nominee for TFK’s 2013 Person of the Year.
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