An Open Letter to Veronica Roth
by Angela Dahl (@AngelaDahling)
I went to your panel at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, and upon walking away an hour later, I’m convinced that we should be best friends.
I realize this is a little awkward – proposals for best friendship are usually done casually over coffee and not online- but allow me to explain.
You’re one cool nerdy chick. Your hair is rad, and your Divergent series is equally as rad. There were some nights when I stayed up way later than I should’ve just to find out what happens to Tris, the “dauntless” heroine. I kind of want to name my next pet Four because of you (but it’ll have wait in line after Bazinga and Mrs. Featherbottom). At the Young Adult panel I went to, you nerded out over Game of Thrones during an answer, and that’s when I knew we should be BFFs ASAP.
When I got home after the panel, I may or may not have looked up your blog and scrolled through it a bit. Okay, I did. On top of giving great advice to writers, you express your various emotions about writing through Conan, Friends, and Doctor Who gifs. Those shows are basically how I, and many other nerds, frame my life (We would have so much to talk about! Are you caught up on the new season of Doctor Who? What are your theories about the new companion?). And I know nearly all nerds love Harry Potter, but you make me feel unashamed about always getting sorted into Hufflepuff. I’ve never read about someone in the public eye identifying even partially with the badger. I now feel much more pride for the yellow and black.
The origin story for Divergent is so inspiring! Writing it in bed your senior year of college? I know you went to Northwestern, so you’re clearly academically accomplished, but I’m amazed you had the time and dedication. My senior year in college was dedicated to beer. Your major piece of advice for writers, “Just write more,” is also incredibly helpful. And I will write more! In this letter especially.
You’ve discussed your experience with anxiety, and, oh my god girl, I think so many of us can relate. Since graduating with my MA, I’ve had severe anxiety about my future that’s lead to many a sleepless night. With the exception of when I was reading Divergent – that sleeplessness was purposeful. But still, it’s good to know that you’re human, even if you do have ridiculously rad hair.
Okay, so because you’re so awesome, I shouldn’t selfishly hog you in best friendship. I mean, obviously you already have best friends. But seriously, you’re like the best friend every nerdy girl who has anxiety about her future and expresses her emotions through sitcoms and scifi/fantasy references could want. If we can’t be best friends, can you at least introduce me to Theo James, who’ll be playing Four in the Divergent movie? I think that’s a fair trade.