Author Sara Celi drops by and gives an inside look into how she came up with the concept for The Undesirable.
I am asked a lot about how I got the inspiration for The Undesirable and this YA series set in a dystopian world.
I pulled a little from my real life experiences. Specifically, the 2008 general election. I covered many Ohio political events that year as a journalist. During a presidential election, a few states are naturally a hot bed for political headlines.
Ohio is one of them.
As I sat at rally after rally, I soaked in the energy around me. People get pretty fired up at these things, and that year emotions intensified because of the close primary race and long election. At one point, I covered a political rally/visit/event about twice a week. It was pretty fun—a wild ride that left me meeting people I never thought I would, and seeing democracy in action.
However, I also wondered—what would happen if one day things all went wrong? If what we thought was a tested democratic process, wasn’t really a process at all? If a savvy candidate manage to control everything and everyone?
That became my inspiration for some of the political events in the first half of the story—including Maxwell Cooper’s big whistle stop tour Charlotte remembers from her childhood. I’ve been to similar impassioned rallies where candidates and their surrogates stir up the base and fire up the electorate to grab votes.
Maxwell Cooper uses the mob’s emotions against them. And that’s one characteristic that makes him a formidable villain.
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