Author’s Note is a short segment where we interview authors in hopes of introducing you to your new favorite book!
This week, we had the pleasure of asking Veronica Roth, the New York Times bestselling author of the Divergent and Carve the Mark series, a few questions about her latest sci-fi novel, Poster Girl, which is available October 18th.
Can you describe Poster Girl in a tweet?
Veronica: Sonya used to be the literal face of an authoritarian regime that controlled its population through mass surveillance. Now she’s a political prisoner. Ten years into her sentence, an old enemy offers her a deal: if she can find a missing child, she can earn her freedom…but the search turns out to be far more dangerous than she ever imagined.
What are 5 emojis that describe your book?
Veronica: 👁️ 🌧️ 💊 🔪
Share a short Tinder bio from your main character’s perspective.
Veronica: Three rules: don’t ask me personal questions. Don’t try to get serious. Don’t call me “Poster Girl.” Follow them, and we’ll get along just fine.
What are 5 songs that encapsulate the vibes of your book?
Veronica: “Exile” by Taylor Swift, featuring Bon Iver
“Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd
“Old Wounds” by PVRIS
“When I Was Done Dying” by Dan Deacon
“Poltergeist” by Banks
Wildest thing you Googled for this story?
Veronica: The “watching-eye effect,” which basically means that if you put up a picture of an eye somewhere, people behave better, as if they’re being watched. This has apparently been studied extensively, and it’s so strange to me that we react to drawings and illustrations of eyes as if they’re real eyes and real observers! In Poster Girl, everyone had an ocular implant under the old regime, so while there are no pictures of eyes, there’s this constant glowing ring around everyone’s right eye, serving as a reminder that they’re being observed. Mass surveillance plays a big role in Poster Girl, so I wound up down a lot of weird Internet rabbit holes about the psychological effects of being surveilled. Basically what I found out is: it’s not great, Bob.
Can you share one quote from Poster Girl that will leave us wanting more?
Veronica: “You think I didn’t see you, then? The way you listened. The faces you made when Aaron talked, sometimes. Like you didn’t like what he said. I saw that. You felt it, but you taught yourself to ignore it, because it was everywhere, because you didn’t trust yourself. Because they told you not to trust yourself.”
What is something interesting that happened behind-the-scenes while writing this book?
Veronica: My spouse, dog and I drove from Chicago to Los Angeles in a rented RV to spend a couple months with family! Our country’s natural spaces are so big and so beautiful. When we drove through Zion National Park and I saw the sun setting on the Watchman, I actually burst into tears. All the stress and sadness of the pandemic and quarantine just fell away for a moment.
Finally, share two comparison titles!
Veronica: If you like Station Eleven and The Minority Report, you’ll like Poster Girl!
Read more like this:
Read more like this: