Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Insurgent Hardcover Sneak Peek (Also: "Author Gets a Little Emotional")

I got a package today. As is always the case when my editor sends me packages, I stumbled downstairs without shoes on, in my pajamas, with my hair piled on one side of my head, and gave the UPS guy a don't say a word about my pajama pants look. Is this because I just woke up? No. I woke up two hours ago. Does that mean I am dressed and ready to go? Absolutely not. Who do you think you're talking to, a responsible adult?

I saw the box, and I knew. I KNEW that it contained an Insurgent hardcover. (Before you ask: I only get the book early because I wrote it. IT'S ONLY FAIR.) And I thought, okay, NBD, I'll just rip open the box now. This proved to be more difficult than you might think, because that box had an impenetrable layer of packing tape around the outside. It was like the box was dystopian Chicago and the tape was a giant fence around it. That sounds familiar...

I finally conquered the tape with my apartment keys, and ripped open the box, and this is what I found:


Little Avi was excited, too, but probably for different reasons:

And then there they were: the hardcover and the International paperback:

If you're wondering when the whole "bestselling author" thing actually sank in, I can tell you it was at about...this moment:


And this is the title page where I will be signing your copies:

There are two books!:

Okay. Now I'm going to try to reward you for your patience with my teasing you incessantly. Here are a few things that you haven't seen yet. The back cover copy:

The naked book:

And the epigraph (quote that comes before the book starts):

(That's a little blurry, so let me tell you what it says:

Like a wild animal, the truth is too powerful to remain caged. 

-- From the Candor faction manifesto.


And now the boring stuff, aka my thoughts.

It was quite a remarkable thing, to hold my first book in my hands last year, and to know that years of idle dreaming had in fact become a reality. Sometimes people ask me what it's like to be published at a young age, and I always sort of frown at the floor and say something like "It feels...awesome," because I don't know how to explain it. When incredible things happen to you, they become a part of your normal life, and they themselves start to feel normal. That's just how human beings are-- we adapt. It's how we survive.

And I never react the way I'm supposed to, in big moments. Big moments are always stressful in some way, and I don't mean "stressful" in the "OMG I HAVE TO FINISH THIS PAPER BEFORE MIDNIGHT" way, I mean it in the neutral way-- big moments are spikes in the otherwise relatively flat line of life, even if they are positive, and as such, they are a form of stress. And the way I react during stress, whether good or bad, is with calm.

Story time: when I was upside down in my mom's car on the road outside my parents' neighborhood at the age of sixteen, I very calmly turned the car off and fumbled in my purse-- which was next to my head-- for my cell phone. Then I called my mom and said, "Hi Mom. I'm upside down in a car on Miller Road. Can you come get me?" in a perfectly normal tone of voice. (Her response was: "WHAT?!")

I'm not telling you this because I think I'm awesome. I'm just saying, you can't control the way you react to big moments. And yeah, I am Chronically Cool-Under-Pressure. But because of this, it's also damn near impossible to get me excited about anything, so you know, there's a dark side to every good quality.

So this is why I constantly weird out my agent and my editor when they call me with Big, Good News, and I'm like "Wow, that's great!" like they just told me that it's unseasonably warm outside, or that they got me a coupon to DSW or something. What they don't know is that at other times, like when I'm writing the acknowledgments, or looking at the ISBN number, I just break down into happy tears at my desk. Or when I see the book in a Romanian grocery store when I just went in to buy some cheese and paper towels, I freak the hell out and take a picture with my phone camera.

These are the moments when my brain decides to say, "Oh hi. This is not, contrary to what I have persuaded you to believe, normal."

One of those moments was this morning, not as I was looking at the cover or the back or the naked book, but when I saw the page that says: Also by Veronica Roth: Divergent.

Writing one book can feel sort of like an accident, like you just got lucky and it might not happen again. But if you've written two, suddenly an author is what you are. Seeing this meant realizing that throughout my life, I will be writing books, and sometimes, if they are good enough, someone will want to publish them. I am, as I've said before, blessed beyond comprehension that this is my normal, my job.

I reread my acknowledgments this morning, and I think writing those is by far my favorite part of this process. Because flaky and scatterbrained and neurotic and moody as I can sometimes be, particularly in stressful times, I would not have been able to get to this place by myself. There is a huge array of people who have carried me when I couldn't carry myself-- I'm not just talking about the book writing process here-- and when I think about all of them, I can't help but get emotional. I'm so grateful for the people who carry me. And sometimes, lovely readers, you are those people.

Anyway, this has been a really freaking awesome morning. Just three weeks until you guys can all hold this book, too.


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