The Revolution of Ivy author Amy Engel is a TDQ favorite, and we were thrilled to have the chance to ask her a few questions about completing The Book of Ivy duet and what she has coming up next. The Revolution of Ivy is available now, so if you’re itching to find out what is on the other side of Westfall’s fence, be sure to pick up a copy…and keep reading for our interview with Amy!
The Daily Quirk: Welcome back to TDQ, Amy! Last time you visited we were celebrating the release of The Book of Ivy, and now it’s time for the sequel, The Revolution of Ivy. Now that Ivy’s story is complete, how are you feeling about the series ending?
Amy Engel: I feel both happy and sad about the series ending. On the one hand, it was such fun to write the rest of Ivy’s story and I can’t wait for readers to be able to see where it all goes. But on the other hand, Ivy (and Bishop) have been a part of my life for so long that it’s a little hard to let them go.
TDQ: You’ve said you don’t write using an outline and like to go where the story takes you. Were there any surprises for you in terms of the plot direction in The Revolution of Ivy?
AE: I can’t really answer this without giving away some major plot points. I will say that the book went to some darker places than I originally thought it would. I didn’t necessarily see some of that coming, but it felt right so I went with it.
TDQ: Throughout the series, Ivy is open-minded but stays strong in her moral convictions; an exceptional example of a strong female character. Can you tell us a little bit about how you developed Ivy as a character? Did you draw inspiration for her from anyone else, real or fictional? Did you consciously set out to create her as a role model?
AE: First of all, thank you, I’m so glad you see Ivy as a strong female character. I actually didn’t model her after anyone, real or fictional and I wasn’t specifically trying to write her as a role model. But I did think about the way girls are sometimes portrayed in YA fiction—as dependent on a boy character or needing validation from a boy and I knew I wanted to steer away from that. I think more than anything, I love Ivy’s ability to learn from her circumstances and to grow as a person while at the same time remaining true to herself. I think that’s such an important skill to cultivate in life.
TDQ: In The Revolution of Ivy, Ivy struggles for survival in the wilderness outside Westfall’s fence. How do you think you would fare if you were in Ivy’s situation?
AE: Maybe it’s wishful thinking, but I think I’d do pretty well. I have a pretty strong survival instinct and can be sort of detached and pragmatic when necessary. If my survival required it, I wouldn’t have trouble eating disgusting things or defending myself.
TDQ: What is the strangest Google search you’ve done in the name of research for the Ivy books?
AE: Hmmm…I can’t think of anything particularly strange. I had to research old-fashioned ice boxes, shoulder dislocation, a few other things, but nothing really weird. Sorry!
TDQ: What has been the coolest thing to happen you as an author since the release of The Book of Ivy last year?
AE: Probably the coolest thing has just been connecting with readers and book bloggers. So many people have taken the time to send me emails (from all over the world) and I love reading them. I try to respond to every single one, even if it takes me a little while.
TDQ: Do you have any upcoming projects you’d like to tell us about?
AE: I have an adult gothic suspense novel called The Roanoke Girls coming out from the Crown imprint of Random House in early 2017. I’m working on edits for that book right now. It’s a bit of a departure from YA, but I hope some Ivy readers will give it a try. Once those edits are done, I plan to begin something new. I have the germ of an idea, but haven’t actually started writing it yet.