Comments on: Author of The Survivors Series Gabs and Gives Away!! Enter to Win! Twilight Series Theories - Your Source for Twilight News and Speculations Fri, 15 Jun 2018 06:06:27 +0000 hourly 1 By: Amanda Havard Fri, 02 Dec 2011 04:08:16 +0000 Hi Michelle! I somehow missed your question when answering yesterday. My apologies.

You know how these things go… no one can say a word until something is signed in blood, etc. But it’s safe to say there have been bites…

By: Amanda Havard Thu, 01 Dec 2011 05:50:38 +0000 Hi Lina,

The Survivors actually opens in the 17th century but mostly takes place in modern day. Though it’s safe to say the past is never too far behind for these characters.

I’m not sure when I’d live. I don’t know if it sounds strange to say, but I really love the time we’re living in now. I like the freedom, the opportunity. I don’t think there’s ever been a time in history when there are so many ways to make opportunity for ourselves, when there are so many ways to pave your own path or to create in the ways I love to. Sometimes I think about a glossier Mad Men-esque life, or a Elizabethan life of royalty or who knows what else. But in the end, I’m always glad to be living in this moment when anything is possible, and I’m as free-thinking and independent as a person can be. I’m grateful for that.

By: Amanda Havard Thu, 01 Dec 2011 05:45:57 +0000 Hi Sarah,

I best love historical fiction because it so fully allows me to live in another place in my mind. (And because I’m a total academic nerd, so I love learning about other times and places.) Though I am not sure historical fiction is the thing I should write and so I have not fully embarked on that particular journey just yet, I can imagine my love of the genre is what inspired the historical basis and opening for this story.

By: Amanda Havard Thu, 01 Dec 2011 05:44:01 +0000 Hi Rhea,

That’s a great question. You know, the concept of this story being about survivors, about surviving, is interesting for it to be told by a girl who spends half the time trying to kill herself. This juxtaposition has forced me to think about what surviving really is and what it means. And what part of that is general and what part is specific to the individual?

To me, Sadie is a survivor not just because she is a Survivor. In the book, Sadie and her family members refer to themselves as “Survivors” because they survived impossible odds that would have killed any regular people and have gone on to live for hundreds of years. But Sadie is different. She is everything from a survivor of her own struggles to a survivor in the sense that she’s had to adapt, time and time again to places to which she doesn’t feel she belongs. Maybe she doesn’t.

One reviewer said it in a way I particularly liked, and so I’ll share that with you here. This is from Emmett at A Book A Day Til I Can Stay:
“What I enjoyed the most about this book was how Havard demonstrates how Sadie has acclimatized herself to modern life after centuries of isolated existence. It is quite telling that a story that begins with the Salem witch trials is preceded by a musical quote from Coldplay. Sadie even has a Twitter account… While Sadie has lived a sheltered – obsessively so – life behind the walls of the Survivors’ colony, Havard establishes that she has managed remarkably to cope with the vagaries of the outside world. She is a true Survivor.”

I think there are many levels to Sadie’s survival, let’s call it. Different readers see differences in it. I wonder what you’ll think.

By: Amanda Havard Thu, 01 Dec 2011 05:35:07 +0000 Hey Vivien,

I have actually done so much research for this series that it would make your head spin. If I could attach photos to these comments, I’d snap a pic of my “research table” in my writing studio that’s covered in stacks nearly ten books high, on topics ranging from maps of Salem 1692 to decoding ciphers. This whole thing is just a result of research.

I’ve learned so many weird things in this process, but my favorite piece I picked up when I was actually in Salem in the Danvers Archival Center below the Danvers Public Library. In the Archives, I found two key pieces of information that were a red flag to me surrounding Abigail Williams, the Reverend Samuel Parris’s niece who first made accusations against their household slave, her accusation starting the hysteria of the witch trials. But here’s the crazy thing: Abigail Williams wasn’t really related to Parris. The term “niece” was used to loosely equate “kinsmen” but there’s no record of how (or if!) the two were related at all. As far as history can tell, she was a young girl living with the Parris family for no reason at all. What’s even weirder? In a town that kept meticulous records of births, deaths (date, place, and cause), marriages, parentage, occupation, and all matter of relation, they have no record of Abigail Williams’ birth parents, birth place, and there is no record of her beyond the time she lived with the Parris family. So… no record of birth or parentage and no record of death for the girl who started the entire thing. Since my fiction exists by filling the holes in history, this gaping hole excites me like you wouldn’t believe.

Research is the key to everything. It makes your ideas better, even gives you ideas when you’re lacking. Start with the truth, and the fiction will come.

By: Lina Thu, 01 Dec 2011 02:05:34 +0000 If you could live in any time period, what would it be? This book takes place in the 1700s; would you choose to live then?

By: Sarah Parker Thu, 01 Dec 2011 01:52:19 +0000 What is your favorite type of story/book to read?

By: Amanda Havard Wed, 30 Nov 2011 18:05:41 +0000 Hey Rebecca,

That’s a tough one. There are a lot of terrible things people could say, I think, if they were trying to be mean. In criticism I’ve received, the hardest for me to hear are the ones who don’t give me — who don’t give Sadie — a chance because of quick judgments. Like, something I’ve heard from a few particularly prickly reviewers or readers is this: “Sadie is beautiful. She basically looks like a supermodel, which is stupid. Who cares what someone so beautiful and out of touch with reality has to say?” Or “Man, it’s so boring to read about some gorgeous rich girl’s problems. Like I care!” I mean, I’m obviously paraphrasing here, but that’s the gist. This kills me because it means those readers aren’t reading beyond the surface. Yeah, Sadie is beautiful. That was a purposeful choice because she’s also messed up and living in what I could mildly describe as a century-and-a-half state of discontent. Her beauty is ironic. It’s proof that beauty and people lusting after you, or having all the clothes and the cars, and all these things we associate so often with happiness or perfection aren’t actually what make us who we are. So the worst things people can say are the superficial things because it means they aren’t really reading the story, it means they can’t read the story without removing some bias they have, and worst of all, it means they aren’t reading anything ELSE in the story at a more-than-surface level. And I didn’t go to all the trouble to write a story with a lot of subtle depth for no one to try to see how deep it goes! My choices were all deliberate– they aren’t pretty just because I want them to be, or live extravagant lives because that just sounded cool to me. To me, they’re living, breathing creatures who have real pasts, do real things, have real feelings, and make real choices. It kills me when people read books not thinking this way. What fun is it to not let yourself fall into the fantasy world when you read?

That was a long answer… Sorry…

By: Amanda Havard Wed, 30 Nov 2011 17:56:26 +0000 Hey Jessica,

I have had a lot of influences, so it’s hard to pick one or even just the biggest. A lot of the teachers I had along the way had a HUGE impact on my writing process, be it teaching me to research, teaching me to write, teaching me to imagine, and what have you. Collectively, they were probably the biggest influence. Then again, in most interviews, I credit music as being the biggest piece of inspiration for me, so there’s that.

But I’m a dreamer. I’m the kind of girl who looks at the world around me and wonders “what if?” and I start to tweak reality bit by bit until I see the possibilities of fiction that stem from truth. Every person I meet, every song I hear, every word I read, every movie I see, moment I live, note I play… whatever. It all fuels the weird creative force inside of me, and because of it, I’d say everyone and everything plays an influential role.

By: Amanda Havard Wed, 30 Nov 2011 17:52:23 +0000 Hey Crystal,

That’s actually a tough question for me. There are tons of books I think would do fantastically as movies, just as there are many (probably many more, to tell the truth) books that I adore but I don’t crave the movies for. Though I’m sure over my reading history, there are a ton I’d love to see turned, I’ll cheat and just give you the one that’s most on my mind: Right now I’m reading The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, and it’s fantastic and very visual. I like to think this means it would do well as a movie– as well it should since the film rights to it were bought before the book even came out!

I’m also very very excited for The Hunger Games movies too. I devoured that series, and I’m thrilled to see Jennifer Lawrence make Katniss even realer to me.

By: Amanda Havard Wed, 30 Nov 2011 17:47:52 +0000 Hey Katherine,

It’s definitely challenging to write in a time you haven’t lived in. There are subtle challenges you don’t expect, and there are things you couldn’t possibly known. But I’m lucky, most of the story takes place in present day, so most of it isn’t as hard.

By: Amanda Havard Wed, 30 Nov 2011 17:43:27 +0000 Hey Amber,

This series and all of the projects that go with it are definitely my main focus right now, but I’m developing another series along the way. Always have to know the next step!

By: Amanda Havard Wed, 30 Nov 2011 17:42:25 +0000 Hey C,

There will be five books in the series, and they will come out once a year for the next four years. Next up is The Survivors: Point of Origin, which is due out in the spring of 2012. Plus we’ll have a few more cool things coming out between then and now that you’ll be able to read about soon!

By: Amanda Havard Wed, 30 Nov 2011 17:39:34 +0000 Hi Joanne,

I’ve definitely always written stories. When I was a kid, I wrote a story about three witches that seems particularly relevant now. My mom always tells people about this story I wrote called “The Adventures of Dot Matrix” about people living inside a computer. I was 7, and my dad worked with computers, so I always heard all of these terms that meant nothing to me, so I made them people, and wrote a story about them. In fifth grade, my parents got called into school because I wrote a horror story called “The House on Maple Street” that freaked my teacher out– both because it was somewhat disturbing and because she couldn’t believe a ten-year-old had written it. So… I’ve been telling stories forever, since even before I could write them down.

By: Amanda Havard Wed, 30 Nov 2011 17:36:27 +0000 Hey Christina!

The ideas actually came a few places. The longer version of the story is on my website ( but the highlights are this: I wanted to write a YA novel that asked a lot of hard questions. For all the books that come from a human enticed by the supernatural world (which I’ve read and loved), I wanted to think about a supernatural who was enticed by the human world. I knew I wanted to base it in real history and mythology, and I knew I wanted it to take place in the US. That’s how I picked the Salem Witch Trials: the most famous, supernaturally-themed, crisis to take place on our shores. Plus, there’s a darkness to the Salem stories, and there’s definitely a darkness to The Survivors. The fit was perfect.

Oddly, though, I came up with my main character days before the idea for the story hit.

Ever since, the more I learn about Salem’s history, about obscure lore from all of the world, and about so many more REAL things, the more my fictional world seems not so fictional at all.

Thanks for the question!!

By: Rhea Tue, 29 Nov 2011 08:52:05 +0000 In what way can you justify Sadie, the rogue daughter is a survivor?

By: Vivien Sun, 27 Nov 2011 23:50:05 +0000 Did you have to do any research for this novel? What’s the craziest thing you learned if so?

deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

By: rebecca gillatt Sat, 26 Nov 2011 20:36:27 +0000 What would be the worst thing that anyone could do or say about the series?

By: Jessica Hack Sat, 26 Nov 2011 05:40:54 +0000 What/Who would you say was your biggest influence to write?

By: Crystal Thu, 24 Nov 2011 15:57:09 +0000 What book do you want to see get made into a movie?