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Between Two Lockers with Ally Condie

An interview with the charming Ally Condie, author of Matched.

Between Two Lockers with Ally Condie

It's time for another riveting entry in our Between Two Lockers series! Today we get to dish with Ally Condie, author of Matched! If you haven't read it, or my review, you can check out the latter here.

In the meantime, read on to find out this awesome lady's secret power, (it's one you'll wish you had, or at least want to invite her over so you can casually ask her to use it while you're making a nice hot beverage.) AND find out what actor she finds ridiculously good-looking!



Your writing style really took me back to the days when I read classic sci-fi. Are there any authors who inspired you when you were writing this story?

Yes! I am a huge Ray Bradbury fan---I loved reading him as a teenager and then teaching him to freshmen/sophomores when I taught high school for a couple of years after I finished college. There is one scene in particular that is an homage to Fahrenheit 451. If you've read the book, you can probably guess which one that is.

I'll admit, when I first started reading Matched, I pulled what we like to call around here a 'Fred Savage' (i.e. is this a kissing book? Or in this case, is this a book about a girl who only cares about getting matched?) but was delighted by how realistically Cassia grew into womanhood in the pages. What inspired you to write her in this way?

I'm totally laughing at the Fred Savage. And I think I was inspired to write Cassia this way because the love story, while important, was not nearly as important as the story of her coming into her own, independent of either boy. And in the end, this story was always about one girl learning to choose (and not just learning to choose boys, but learning to choose, period).

I loved that Matched didn't have the typical love-triangle (i.e. bad boy/good boy). How do you feel about love triangles in YA in general, and what made you decide to write yours about three individually good people?

I think love triangles are fine when they're well-done. I think I decided to write mine about three individually good people because those, to me, are the hardest choices---when the decision is between good and good. And I am also drawn to really nice people in real life.

Which is obvs why you agreed to do this interview, right?

This lady looks so nice, I'd want to invite her over, even without the benefit of her secret power!


If your real life adolescence was a YA book...What would you, the main character, be like? Who is your secret crush? What is your number #1 source of angst? At what point would the reader pump his/her fist in victory? And who would play you in the film adaptation?

Ooh, great questions. My real-life adolescence as a YA book would have a slightly neurotic main character who really, really liked Neil Diamond. My secret crush would be the boy next door (who would not actually live next door, but you know the type). My number one source of angst would be my very loving but incredibly strict parents. The reader would pump his/her fist in victory at the moment that my cross country team, coached by the awesome Coach Corry, won their (and his) first state championship. And I would be played by Emma Stone in the film adaptation. Ha! I can dream, right?

Ally is the one in the middle. Can I just say, those cheeks!!! I want to squeeze them!


What is your secret power?

My ability to find teeny, tiny Lego pieces in places in the house where no Legos should be, thus restoring order the universe of my three very small boys.

I hope your boys realize that you are, indeed a super-hero.

What is your #1 favorite food?

Caramel popcorn. I'm making some now. The excuse this time is Halloween, but really any occasion will do.

Tell me about your area of expertise.

I'm awesome at organizing baby clothes. It's the only thing in the house that's organized and I haven't had a baby in two years. (Maybe that's why.) I love me some tiny socks.

If you could assemble your own Ocean's 11 of fictional characters, who would you pick?

I love these questions. How about: Ian Bedloe, Hercule Poirot, Olive Kitteridge, Douglas Spaulding, Flavia de Luce, Precious Ramotswe, Leo Gursky, Leah Price, Harry Potter, Scout Finch, and Minli.

Tell me something scandalous!

I am the least scandalous person ever, but how there is this: I had my second baby while I was living in a sorority at Cornell University. (I was the house mom and my husband was the house dad.)

What is your favorite adult beverage?

I don't drink, and I also avoid soda, so I guess it's ginger ale or hot chocolate. I'm a really fun person. Can't you tell?

Hot Chocolate is one of the most fun things in this world, so yes!

Who is your "freebie"?

I'm not totally sure what this means, but if you mean celebrity that I find ridiculously attractive, that would be Nathan Fillion.

Whooh! I mean, yes, what an attractive actor!

YA authors are so cool. Who would you give a BFF charm to?

Ann Dee Ellis. She's a great writer and an even better person.

Out of all of the characters you've written, which one do you most wish you could be?

I think I'd like to be Xander, from Matched. While he's human and flawed, he also has an innate confidence that I would love to have myself.

And I would totally want to be your friend, if you were Xander!

If you were invited to the FYA slumber party (and obvs, you ARE), what pajamas would you wear, and what is the most crucial snack food and/or movie you'd bring?

I would wear my Adidas track pants and a really old 5K t-shirt and my favorite pink hoodie (I have to sleep in a hoodie). And I would bring caramel popcorn (of course) and also this really cheesy movie called Shag (which, contrary to how it sounds, is actually about dancing).

And now it's time for the life-changing game of MASH! Ally gave us three choices for each category, and we picked one each for the 'bad' choices to predict her future! The random number was 14.

Mansion Apartment Shack House

Scott Condie
Nathan Fillion
Neil Diamond

Draco Malfoy

Hurricane, Utah
London, England
Dallas, TX

# of Kids

Bookstore owner
Newspaper delivery girl



Cedar City, Utah
Ithaca, New York

Seattle, Washington
Oklahoma City, OK

Fat slow dog

Honda Odyssey
Mini Cooper

Pickup truck

Um, well, it isn't all bad, right? At least Ally has a pickup truck to throw her 4 Malfoys in when she goes to town...

Thanks so much to Ally for stopping by our site! Matched will be available November 30.

Jenny Bird's photo About the Author: Jenny grew up on a steady diet of Piers Anthony, Isaac Asimov and Star Wars novels. She has now expanded her tastes to include television, movies, and YA fiction.