Rick Yancey, author of THE 5TH WAVE and its sequel, THE INFINITE SEA, with Publishers Weekly! He also dished about THE 5TH WAVE movie adaptation and the moment he knew they’d found their on-screen Cassie!
Does knowing which actors are going to play your main characters influence your writing? Are you now seeing Chloe Grace Moretz’s face when you’re thinking about your heroine, Cassie Sullivan?
Not really. One of the joys of reading is being able to create a character in your mind. The author may give you some clues as to what they look like, but you’re in charge. I had a very clear picture of the Cassie Sullivan that existed solely in my head. But when I saw Chloe for the first time I thought, ‘That’s her. That’s my Cassie.” It was surreal.
There’s a point in The Infinite Sea where Ben says of the enemy, ‘Why are they making this so complicated? Why don’t they just kill us all off?’ and, of course, there wouldn’t be any story if the enemy did that but… there’s more to it than that, right?
It is the central question of the entire story, the key part of that unnerving unknown. Vosch [the villain] says at one point, ‘Why not just throw a very big rock? Why go through all of this?’ And that was the fun part of writing this. It’s the literary equivalent of pulling wings off flies to torture the characters like this, but it’s where the tension comes from. Cassie says in the first book, ‘The whole point is to wipe us off the face of the earth,’ but she’s wrong, and she comes to figure out that, no, that’s not the point.
I noticed on Goodreads that many readers are concerned about the possibility of a love triangle in The Infinite Sea.
No! No love triangle, that I will say. I never had any intention of creating a love triangle. How often does that happen in real life? It did flicker through my mind that I might have a love quadrangle, but this is an end of the world sort of scenario. They go to sleep not knowing if they’re even going to wake up, so it would sort of trivialize things for them to be wondering, ‘Which boy will I pick?’ And it’s hard to plan for the future when you’re 98 percent sure there won’t be one. To me, the more dramatically interesting question about Cassie and Ben was how likely it would be that when Cassie and Ben met up again it would amount to “childhood’s end” moment for Cassie. Here’s this guy she’s had this crush on for years that she is absolutely unable to articulate. Will that girl, the one who’s been in love with this boy since middle school, be gone by the time she meets up with Ben again?