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Features | An Evening With Veronica Roth

 A surprise selection of goodies | My signed copy of Allegiant | Veronica interviews Shailene

A couple of weeks ago I headed off to London for An Evening With Veronica Roth hosted by Waterstones at the Prince Charles Cinema. Here’s a rundown of the event…

After briefly introducing herself Veronica started by reading a deleted chapter from one of the short stories from the Four collection. The chapter was an alternative POV of the scene in Divergent where Tris is the first to jump into the net after choosing to transfer to Dauntless.

Next came the short, and spoiler free, Q&A portion of the evening. The first question asked was - how did the character of Tris come about? Interestingly Veronica said that she had originally tried to write Divergent 4 years earlier, from the POV of Four but felt it just wasn’t working. Deciding she needed to create a new lead, she first found the voice of Tris and ‘shaped the character around the way that she spoke’.

When asked if she had any regrets or anything she would change about the series looking back, Veronica chose her depiction of Erudite leader Jeanine Matthews in the first book. Why? A simple answer: ‘Kate Winslet’s Jeanine is better than mine’. She likened the character she created back in book one to a ‘Disney villain’, lacking a vulnerability that Kate has brought to the role during filming. In regard to the rest of the series she felt she had made ‘the right decision even if it was the hard one’ – perhaps something for those who have criticised the events and bold choices in Allegiant to keep in mind.

After the main Q&A actress Shailene Woodley, who portrays main character Tris in the upcoming film, made a special guest appearance on stage where Veronica posed a few questions of her own. Shailene spoke about preparing to play roles ‘authentically’ and how she doesn’t tend to research for them in advance, but prefers to be observant whilst on set, listening to others and adjusting her performance in the moment. In this case however she did mention how helpful it was to be able to refer back to the book when she was stuck!

In speaking about what attracts her to take on a role, Shailene said she likes to take on characters and scripts that effect her personally and take her on an ‘emotional rollercoaster’. Talking specifically about Tris she discussed how wary she has been in the past about fronting a franchise, but after falling in love with the book knew she had to take on the role. During the last few quick fire questions Shailene stated that if the Chicago of Divergent were real she would choose to be factionless. And if she were at Hogwarts? She would definitely be a Gryffindor!

Before the signing we were also treated to a screening of the trailer for Divergent’s film adaptation which hits UK screens on 4/4/13 (disappointingly a few weeks after the US release date!). The trailer shows sneak peeks of many memorable locations from the choosing ceremony to the Abnegation houses and the Dauntless compound, as well as key moments from the story. It was great to see it on a big cinema screen and I’m looking forward to the film’s release next year!

Post & photographs by Erin.


  1. Great post, Erin! I'm super jealous that you go to go to this! Sounds like it was really great!
    Can't wait to see the movie; I hope they do the book justice! :)

    1. Thanks Anjali :)
      I hope so too! x

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  2. Sounds like a fabulous event! I've never read any of her books but I keep hearing so many good things (apart from maybe the last book, which is a bit more mixed!) that I think I need to see for myself!

    Jennie xo |


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