We are thrilled to announce Penguin gave us the opportunity to participate in the Crossed Blog Tour
!! This means Ally herself wrote a blog entry to share with our community! We are deeply grateful for this and we want to thank her!!
Ally Condie is the author of the international bestseller Matched, and its newly-released sequel, Crossed. Matched was chosen as one of YALSA’s 2011 Teens’ Top Ten, named as one of Publishers Weekly’s Best Children’s Books of 2010, selected as the #1 Pick on the Winter Kid’s Indie Next List, and received starred reviews from Kirkus and Publishers Weekly. In a starred review for the sequel, Crossed, Kirkus called the Matched series an “addictive, layered dystopic trilogy.”
A former English teacher (who still keeps her license current, just in case!), she lives with her husband and three sons outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. She loves reading, writing, running, and listening to her husband play guitar.Blog Post: What’s in a Name (Ky and Xander)It took me some time to come up with the perfect name for Cassia
(Read this blog entry here at the Matched Department
). The boys in the story were a little bit easier for some reason. Maybe it’s because I have three sons so I have experience choosing boy names!
I came up with Ky’s name first, and it was so easy and automatic that I can’t even remember how I first decided on it. He was just always Ky. The spelling is my own variation on the name (though I’m sure others have spelled it this way too). When it is spelled Kai, it’s Polynesian for ocean. When it is spelled Cai, it’s an abbreviation of Caius (which, according to some sources, means person of earth).
I like this dichotomy, because it reflects the dual nature of Ky himself. He’s very connected to the earth and grounded in that aspect of the natural world, but he’s also the kind of person who has a lot of depth to him (still waters run deep). I also like that the changeable nature of the sea is reflected in his eyes.
It was a bit trickier to name Xander. I wanted something a little futuristic-sounding but still classical. It was my sister (the same one who helped me name Cassia!) who pointed me in the direction of the name Xander. I’ve never watched the television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer (I know, I’m horrible!) and so I hadn’t encountered the name before. I loved the name immediately and the meaning—defender of the people—fits him very well too, although you might have to wait a bit longer in the series to fully understand why. ;)
One last bit of information on the two male leads and their names—in earlier drafts of the book, the boys’ last names were switched, which is why you can sometimes catch me mixing them up now when I’m speaking.
In the final version of Matched, their names are Ky Markham and Xander Carrow. But earlier on it was Ky Carrow and Xander Markham. I had picked the last name Carrow because it means “a strolling gamester,” which I loved for Ky because he’s been on the move and because he could win at the games if he wanted to—and even by losing, he’s playing his own games.
Then my husband pointed out that “Ky Carrow” had a lot of hard c sounds together and so I switched them up. While I am very visual and always think of how a name looks on paper, my husband always thinks of the sound because he is more of a musician. So, I switched them. Because Xander is a bit of a gamester too. And because, since I had based both Ky and Xander partly on my husband, it seemed only fair that he should have a say in what they were named. :)We have one (1) prize pack for you to give away to a winner in the US. The prize pack includes:
• 1 signed, finished copy of CROSSED
• 1 double sided CROSSED/Book 3 poster
• 3 MATCHED buttons
All you have to do is comment on this post to participate. We will use random.org to pick a winner November 16th.
Thanks again to Ally and the awesome staff at Penguin for making this experience possible!CROSSED chapter Sampler
Official MATCHED website
Get MATCHED Facebook App*Wed 16th Nov: Comments are officially closed. We will be announcing the winner tonight. :)