Sunday, May 4, 2014

Interview: Kiera Cass, Author of 'The One'

by Joyce Lamb)

(Photo: Harper Teen)

Kiera Cass, author of The One, book three in The Selection series, chats with HEA about, well, The One, how the series changed from her original conception and being a theater buff. And, hey, notice how the books in the series (The Selection, The Elite and The One) are red, white and blue? That's in honor of heroine America.

Joyce: Welcome to HEA, Kiera! Please tell us about The One.

Kiera: The One is the third installment in The Selection series, and it follows America and company as they all make some hard choices. There's pressure on everyone from inside the palace, outside the palace, and outside the country itself to make several things fall into place. At the center, of course, it's a love story, but there are lots of little strings to tie up along the way, and I think we've done a good job at bringing it all together.

I'll also share something that gets asked a lot: Yes, there is an epilogue.

Joyce: Is the series ending up the way you expected it to from the beginning or has it surprised you?

Kiera: In the beginning, I thought I knew America pretty well, and I made lots of choices for her based on that. But by the time I got to the end of the first book and had spent enough time with her to truly know who she was, I realized I'd gotten a lot of things wrong. I went back and rewrote the book, and with that I knew the end of the whole story would change as well.

It's only changed that one time, and ever since I knew how it would be.

I have been surprised by how some characters have been very vocal, like Kriss. And I've been surprised by how many background characters people have fallen in love with. Just recently I was asked about the girl in The Elite with the flowers on her jacket. She doesn't even have a name, and people are still really excited about her! I love things like that.

Joyce: What is it, in your opinion, about YA dystopian fiction that readers find so appealing?

Kiera: I'm not sure. Personally, I didn't even set out to write a dystopian. I think The Selection reads more like a fairy tale, and that was the original intent. But I couldn't find a place in the past that I thought worked, so I just made up my own country and set it in the future.

Maybe it's that we're so curious about the future that keeps us reading. I mean, I was promised flying cars. Where is my flying car?

Joyce: Yeah, I'd like to know that, too!

You've been a huge theater buff, starting in high school (me, too!). What was your favorite show back then? (Mine was a tossup between A Chorus Line and Pippin.) What about now? (Mine would be Chicago, though I, sadly, haven't seen much newer stuff.)

Kiera: Yes! In high school, I was all about Rent. I wanted to be Mimi so bad I could taste it, but I seriously don't know what I was thinking. I'm an OK singer/dancer/actor, but I don't think I have what it takes to be on Broadway. Also, living in the city would have destroyed me! I like it here. With the cows.

It's been awhile since I've fallen in love with anything new. I think the last one was The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and I still think that's a fantastic show.

Joyce: What do you miss most about the '80s?

Kiera: The Snorks.

Joyce: Ha!

Is there anything you'd like to add?

Kiera: I'd just like to give a big hug and a thanks to everyone who's read my books over the years. I really hope The One is worth the wait!

Joyce: Thanks, Kiera!

Find out more about Kiera and her books at You can also connect with her on Twitter (@kieracass).

HEA curator and contributor Joyce Lamb is a USA TODAY best-selling author of romantic suspense and three-time RITA finalist and has been a professional journalist for 25 years. You can reach her at and follow her on Twitter (@JoyceLamb). You can also follow HEA on Twitter (@HEAusatoday).