SLIDESHOW: Divergent Trilogy Author Draws More Than 1,000 Teens To Framingham

New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth autographed more than 1,300 books and spoke to more than 1,100 fans in Framingham in the first stop of a 4-city national tour Tuesday, July 8.

Divergent trilogy author Veronica Roth told more than 1,000 teens in Framingham that "one good" teacher can "change the course of your whole life."

Roth, 25, speaking to a sold out crowd at Nevins Hall in Framingham said she started writing at age 12 and "always knew" she wanted to write.

She said she "wanted to write all the time" and a high school teacher recommended she enter writing competitions. That push is one reason why millions of copies of the Divergent trilogy have been sold.

Roth, who graduated with creative writing degree from Northwestern University, wrote the her best-selling Divergent novel while on winter break her senior year.  In fact she sold the movie rights before she even graduated from college.

The Trilogy based is a post-apocalyptic Chicago, in which survivors are divided into five fractions.
Abnegation, for the selfless
Amity, for the peaceful
Candor, for the honest
Dauntless, for the brave
Erudite, for the intelligent.

In the trilogy,  16-year-olds take an aptitude test that describes the faction for which they are best suited. After receiving the results, they can decide whether to remain with their family's faction or transfer to a new faction. 

The trilogy, written about young adults, is extremely popular with teens, but also adults.

A movie based on the first book was released earlier this year and the second movie, being filmed in Georgia now, is due to be released next year.

Roth's visit to Framingham was the first stop on a national 4-city tour to promote her lastest book Four. Four was released the same day she spoke in Framingham, July 8.

The event was hosted by Barnes & Noble Booksellers of Shoppers World in Framingham, but was moved to Nevins Hall due to the expected crowd. The event was sold out with more than 1,100 wristbands sold/given out.

Roth pre-signed more than 1,300 books. Admission to the event required a wristband, which cost under $20, and included an autographed copy of Four.

Fans began gathering at the Memorial Building six hours before the event began. Some flans flew in from Philadelphia, New Jersey and New York to hear Roth. Others drove from every state in New England.

The first three fans in line at 1 p.m. were from Rhode Island and Colorado.

Fans read Four, played cards and even ate pizza while waiting to gain admission to Nevins Hall. Doors to the event did not open until 5:45 p.m.

Fan Angela Putnam of Nashua, N.H. arrived in a book-designed skirt even Lady Gaga would wear. On the front and the back of the black dress were mini books, including Roth's trilogy, but also the Twilight and Hunger Games sagas. Inside each mini book were her favorite quotes. 

Roth was spoke to fans while sitting on the Nevins Hall stage, She spoke for about an hour answering questions, including 10 submitted by fans at the event. All fans were asked to write questions on an index card upon entering the hall. Ten questions were selected and those fans received an autographed poster from Roth.

Roth was funny and entertaining inside the very hot hall.

She told fans she is a "book hoarder."

She said she does not start a book unless she can finish it.

She said the last book she stayed up late reading was Bitter Kingdom. She said she finished it at 5 a.m.

She answered questions about how the movie based on her book Divergent was different than the book, specifically about the change in who says I love you first.

She said who says 'I love you' first does change the dynamic. She said it does change the relationship. She told the audience "she loves that she does not say it back, and he does not pester her about it."

She told fans she doesn't believe in "fraction before blood." But also said she does not believe in "blood before fraction."

One question posed to her was if she could have a superpower, what would it be? Her response - "I would want to read people's emotions. She said it would give her more awareness of people and be more sensitive to their feelings and emotions.

Roth said she has not stopped writing Divergent since 2010.

During the event, Roth read a journal entry from Tris' mother on why she selected her fraction. (Watch the reading in the attached video clip.)

Ten lucky fans, who had taped business cards under their seats, were invited to a private reception with the author after her hour-long event. These fans posed for selfies, asked Roth to personalize their autographed book and chatted with her about her characters and the craft of writing.

Roth told the audience she would have a hard time picking a favorite author.

She said she loves writing for teens and loves writing "genre fiction" - specifically sci-fi and fantasy.

Another questions asked about "if and when" she writes. She said there is "no if. I write books. That's my job."

That should keep her fans happy.

Originally posted at 5 a.m. Updated with more photos.

Cheryl Tully Stoll July 09, 2014 at 07:35 AM
It's great to see so many young people excited about reading.
Gina Fishman July 09, 2014 at 11:24 AM
Great event!
Marcy Maiorana July 09, 2014 at 11:37 AM
Thanks for the great photos, Susan. Much kudos to Barnes and Noble of Framingham for bringing such a prominent author to Framingham. And as a librarian, it thrills me to see so many teens getting passionate about books!


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