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'Matched' author Ally Condie on national book tour

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 8 2011 6:00 a.m. MST

While Utah author Ally Condie has been busy with book signings and interviews, her book "Matched" has received a cache of awards and been reviewed in a variety of publications, including the Wall Street Journal.

"It's been really fun," Condie said in an interview with the Deseret News of all the media attention and responses "Matched" has received.

"Matched," which explores a dystopian society and follows a 17-year-old as she learns to make her own choices, has been on the New York Times bestseller list for young adult chapter books for the past eight weeks. It's No. 9 this week.

This week, Condie heads to New York City for her first national book tour. Condie, along with four other authors of young adult books, will be stopping in five cities this month, including Salt Lake City on Feb. 12.

And among the five of them, Condie says "there's something for everyone."

"I'm excited. The tour cities are everyone's hometown," Condie said. "I just think they are going to be blown away (by Salt Lake City).

"We have such an amazing strong community of YA authors and readers around here … that I think that the other authors are going to love it."

Condie, Andrea Cremer ("Nightshade"), Brenna Yovanoff ("The Replacement"), Kirsten Miller ("The Eternal Ones") and Beth Revis ("Across the Universe") will be signing books and meeting fans in New York City on Feb. 9; Minneapolis on Feb. 10; Denver on Feb. 11; Salt Lake City on Feb. 12; and Raleigh, N.C., on Feb. 25.

When the tour comes to Salt Lake City, the authors will be at the main branch of the Salt Lake City Public Library at 2 p.m. Free tickets are available at The King's English bookstore.

"Writing can be this solitary pursuit," Condie said. "It's fun that we can do this together."

Their schedule is pretty tight as they go from city to city, so she might not get to do a lot of sightseeing.

"We're all book geeks, so if all we see is the inside of a bookstore and readers, we're going be totally fine," Condie said.

"Matched" is the first of a trilogy by Condie. The second installment, "Crossed," is scheduled to be out in November. For now, Condie is working on revisions of "Crossed," which she was doing this time last year with "Matched."

And she's gotten a lot of feedback on "Matched."

"My favorite e-mails are the ones from high school students," said Condie, who previously taught high school. But she still has to tell them no when they ask if they can read "Crossed" early.

Condie is also the author of "Being Sixteen" and "Yearbook," which were published by Deseret Book and Shadow Mountain and are geared toward a more Mormon audience.

To other aspiring authors, she says to not give up and believe that you have a story to tell.

"It took me seven years of writing every day to get an agent," Condie said. "I liked spending time creating something."

e-mail: rappleye@desnews.com

IF YOU GO:

What: Breathless Reads national book tour book

Who: Ally Condie, "Matched"; Andrea Cremer, "Nightshade"; Brenna Yovanoff, "The Replacement"; Kirsten Miller, "The Eternal Ones"; and Beth Revis, "Across the Universe"

When: Saturday, Feb. 12, 2 p.m.

Where: Salt Lake City Public Library, main branch, 210 E. 400 South, Salt Lake City

Tickets: Free tickets are available at The King's English bookstore, 1511 S. 15th East, Salt Lake City (see www.kingsenglish.com)

 

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