We’ve been fangirling over The Selection series since we laid eyes on that first cover! So when we heard that author Kiera Cass was writing a new series featuring America’s daughter Eadlyn, we knew it was time to catch up with Kiera and get the scoop on this new twist…
The Selection has often been described as Cinderella meets The Bachelor, but what was your inspiration?
Well, Cinderella was part of the inspiration for The Selection, but The Bachelor had nothing to do with it! No, the other half of America’s story was born in the Book of Esther from the Bible. She ends up in a beauty pageant to become the next queen and ends up saving her people and is an all-around rock star! But I always wondered if maybe she liked the boy next store before all of that happened. Very curious about her heart.
And I’m curious about Cinderella’s heart, too! Cinderella never asked for a prince. She asked for a night off and a dress. We assume she’s happy, but what if being a princess was too much for her? Pretty stressful job there. The idea of these two women merged in my head, and I knew I wanted to write about this girl who came from a very humble background who was going to get the atten-tion of a prince, but she didn’t want it because she was already in love. It all kind of grew from there.
Speaking of princes, who is your favorite prince of all time and why?
Probably the musician. Because obvious.
True! The romance in the series is what got us hooked, but there are also some thought-provoking social issues that are touched on. Was there ever a certain scene that was particularly hard to write?
For a long time now, the hardest scene for me was writing the caning scene for Marlee and Carter. I had to research what was going to happen to them and then actually put it down on paper. I was so upset, I pushed my laptop away from me when I finished it!
But I will say there’s a scene in The Heir that was very hard to write. I knew it was coming but it became incredibly personal for me, and I just felt for Eadlyn so much that it was painful for me.
No spoilers here, but we know the scene and it was heart-wrenching for Eadlyn and for us! When you started Eadlyn’s story was there a character that you knew you had to carry forward from The Selection?
May. Forever May. I feel like she and I would be BFFs in real life, and I absolutely had to know what she’d done with herself once she was free to do pretty much whatever she wanted. Honestly, it wasn’t quite what I expected, but good for her!
What was it about Eadlyn that called out for her story to be told?
The continuation of the story was actually accidental. My editor asked if I would write a second epilogue to share with all the long-time, super-loyal readers. I was stoked! But once I sat down to write it, I called her, really angry, saying that this wasn’t an epilogue, this was another book. So… we just made another book! The readers still got another epilogue to bridge the stories, and I got to know Eadlyn, which has been an adventure.
To be clear, Eadlyn Schreave is not her mother, and she has her own voice and way of seeing the world. I love her.
They are different! For readers who haven’t met Eadlyn, how would you compare America to Eadlyn?
Their upbringings made them very different. America was not prepared to be in the spotlight and Eadlyn was raised knowing she’d be in it forever. America faced a lot of class issues, Eadlyn is seeing the aftermath of them. They’re both braver and more generous than they know, but Eadlyn’s edges are harder than America’s, which makes sense considering she was born to rule.
We loved how in The Heir, America and Maxon’s happily ever after is fast forwarded to reveal a new set of challenges that arose from their well-intentioned decisions that Eadlyn is going to have to address under her rule. Was that conscious? If so, why?
With all the history that surrounds my characters, I just try to be honest. Like when I had to create a new country and explain how it came to be, I started with our current government and political situations, and tried to draw a line from point A to point B. That’s all that’s happening here. Sometimes we make laws that sound SO GOOD on paper, but when they’re actually enacted, a whole new issue crops up. We can control policy, but we cannot control people’s hearts. I’m kind of curious to see where it all goes, because I’m still untying that knot!
At the end of The Heir, Eadlyn makes a vow to herself that suggests a second book. Can you give us a sneak peek into what we might expect? Or share how many books we can look forward to in Eadlyn’s story?
Yes, there will be a fifth (and final!) book in the Selection Series. I think it’s fair to say that Eadlyn is a bit spoiled. Moving out from The Heir, she’s going to have to make some tough choices and do some serious self examination. I’m hoping that people will stick with her the way they did with America and see just exactly who she turns out to be!
I think we’ll be among the millions who stick with Eadlyn! Can we close with a Lightning Round? Sure!
Twitter or Instagram? Twitter!
The addiction you’ll never overcome is? Boy bands!
Your favorite of all your book covers is? HAHAHA NOPE
Salty or sweet? Sweet!
The Heir in three words? Selection with boys?