Sylvia & Me
Ally Condie: Author #1 NY Times Bestselling Matched Trilogy, Dystopian Trailblazer

This past November marked the 10 year anniversary of the release of Utah author Ally Condie’s Matched, #1 New York Times bestseller. Matched was on the list for more than a year. And the first in what would become a trilogy.

Last week marked the 1 year anniversary of the beginning of the pandemic lockdown. It didn’t seem possible that a year later we would have a chance to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Dystopian and The Pandemic

What do they have in common? The word ‘dystopian’ comes to mind: ‘relating to, or being an imagined world or society in which people lead fearful lives’.

The difference: The last year was real and full of fear. Matched was imagined.

Matched, a dystopian young adult novel has been read by a wider readership than the young adult population. The first in a series of three, it has been compared to ‘The Hunger Games’ and ‘Twilight’.

This week’s conversation is with Ally Condie

How did the idea for Matched come about? And why the young adult audience? I had the  privilege to talk with Ally recently. Our conversation covered these questions and so much more:

  • Chaperoning a high school prom
  • Best dresses, red carpet and the dark side
  • Experiences of teaching and inspiration
  • Society and choices
  • Building a society around a character
  • Good intentions taken to extremes
  • ‘A nice girl’ wakes up
  • Teenagers, women, choices and waking up
  • The Pandemic – and yes there’s one in the 3rd book, written over 6 years ago
  • ‘Suburban dystopian romance’
  • What’s next?

Meet Ally Condie

The author of young adult and middle grade fiction, Ally’s novel Matched was a #1 New York Times and international bestseller. The sequels to the trilogy, Crossed and Reached, are also on the NY Times bestsellers list. Matched was chosen as on of YALSA’s 2011 Teens’ Top Ten and named one of Publishers Weekly’s Best Children’s Book of 2011.

Ally is also the author of Atlantia, a New York Times bestseller, and Summerlost, a finalist for the 2017 Edgar Award for Best Juvenile Mystery.

She is the founder and director of the WriteOut Foundation, a non-profit 501 (c) (3) foundation that runs writing camps for rural teens.

Born in Cedar City, Utah Ally has a degree in English Teaching from Brigham Young University. Ally lives with her husband and four children in Pleasant Grove, Utah. In 2017,  Ally graduated from Vermont College of Fine Arts with a Master’s in Fine Arts Degree in Writing for Children and Young Adults. You can follow Ally on Twitter and Instagram (ally.condie).