You got a degree in History at Radford University. How did you end up becoming a writer?
Accidentally. I did a few random jobs after college, including being a substitute and a dance teacher. The end goal was being a stay-at-home mother, but after going through some difficult times, I started writing as a form of therapy. It gave me a lot of positive mental space, and I knew I wanted to keep going. I thought what I was working on was good enough that it might be worth sharing. I'm so happy I did! It's made so many people happy!
How did your degree in History contribute to the creation of the political environment we see in The Selection series?
I think studying real-life stories helped me see how things don't always unfold in ways that are possible to plot, and I had a wealth of information on different types of governments and how they sometimes lord over people and how sometimes people tear them apart. But I still ended up doing tons of research to make sure the Selection had one foot in the real world. Luckily, studying history made me a great researcher.
So far you’ve published four novellas of The Selection: The Prince, The Guardian, The Queen, and The Favorite. Why did you decide to write them? Did you want to take a closer look at these characters from the very beginning?
That was another accidental thing. My editor wanted to know why Maxon didn't know any of the girls' names when they arrived. She also wanted to know why Aspen responded so recklessly when he showed up at the palace. So I thought, “Hold on, let me go look." So I started writing things from their perspectives to understand how Maxon was afraid and Aspen felt foolish. When the fandom started to grow and wanted more of the world, we decided to simply expand on those scenes.
In your opinion, what have been the key factors for The Selection’s success worldwide?