Victoria Aveyard sold her debut novel almost two years ago. Until now, the dream of becoming a published author was “always on the horizon.” But with Red Queen releasing earlier this week, Aveyard is a mixture of excitement and nerves.
“Back when I was originally writing Red Queen, I definitely fantasized about getting it published and [holding]the actual book in my hand. And somehow, the reality has completely outshined the dream!”
Red Queen is about a world in which humans with Silver blood rule over humans with Red blood. When poverty-stricken Red commoner Mare discovers she has a powerful ability that only the Silvers have ever possessed, she becomes a threat to their rule. The idea came to Aveyard while she interning for Fox Studio.
“One of my assignments was to try and find good self-published stories on Amazon, and while searching, something just clicked,” said Aveyard.
Though she had never finished a manuscript before, she had written several screenplays and thought it would be a good time to try writing a book again. She knew she wanted to tell the story from a YA perspective. Inspired by both her schoolteacher parents and the current climate of the US, she focused on the staggering division of wealth and power within the population.
“From there, the world of Red Queen came forth little by little. I pitched the idea of writing a YA novel based on a world ruled by superhumans. It was seriously a one sentence pitch and [I] was told to pursue it.”
The first thing people will notice about Red Queen, though, before they even have a chance to open the book, is the cover.
“[It’s] perfect,” said Aveyard. “I had a simple idea and HarperTeen turned it into something fantastic. My favorite part is the blood, of course. On the hardcover, it’s embossed and kind of glimmers, and I always end up petting it. It definitely represents the story, not just book one, but the series as a whole.”
The entire story is something Aveyard has been focusing on a lot in the past year. Caught between preparing for the publication of book one and planning and writing book two, the majority of 2014 was calm for Aveyard. Only in the last couple of months did things get a little crazy.
“I don’t like to start outlining or planning the next book until the one before is at least through one round of edits […] but knowing that two exists is such a comfort. The series is more than half over, and I’m proving to myself that I can actually do it.”