We’ve already told you how much we love Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me. But since it’s Dystopian Week, and you’ve had a chance to hear from the likes of Delirium author Lauren Oliver here, Divergent‘s Veronica Roth on NextMovie.com and Legend mastermind Marie Lu on Hollywood Crush, we thought it was only fair to let Mafi tell you a little bit more about her dark vision of the future and what she hopes it does for people in the present. Also, we just really, really wanted to talk to her.
Shatter Me takes place in a world under military rule following a series of environmental disasters, but that world doesn’t come from a very dark mind. “I’m not a pessimistic person by any stretch of the imagination — I do have high hopes for our future — but I do wonder sometimes if we’re going to be OK,” she told TheFABlife. “I definitely would say that I’m concerned about the environment. I’m definitely concerned about what we’re doing to it and what’s happening to society.”
After watching “a lot of documentaries,” especially one that described how male fish have started to develop female reproductive systems due to estrogen polluting the water, Mafi relished the idea of using her fiction to show others where this could lead.
“In fiction, we’re given this opportunity to take things to extremes and to examine life in hyperbolic situations and to really ask questions about what might happen,” she said. “I just imagined a world where things had gone badly. It’s a not-too-distant future. It’s not a world that is incredibly unfamiliar to us.”
But Shatter Me, book one in a planned trilogy, is more about its superheroine Juliette than any conservationist message. Then again, maybe Juliette’s ability to kill people with a single touch is the result of some kind of nuclear disaster.
“At its core, Shatter Me is a story about a girl who is trying to figure herself out and trying to understand who she is in a society trying to tell her who to be,” Mafi explained. “Your average teenager feels sort of ostracized and isolated and differentiated, maybe disenfranchised by society. Juliette has been isolated in the same way except for this supernatural power/ability/curse/gift. It’s about her learning to accept herself. It’s about her learning how to utilize what she’s been given.”
While Mafi said she’s so excited for the Hunger Games movie that she’ll be “curled up in a fetal position until March,” she’s cautiously optimistic about her own book’s movie adaptation by Fox 2000. She’s met with execs at the company, including VP of Production Peter Kang, who assured her that they want the movie to be as much about character development as it is about action.
“There’s so much that still would need to be done before this can ever be turned into a movie, so I’m not holding my breath,” she said. “But it is exciting.”
More from Dystopian Week:
Watch Out, Katniss, Legend’s Formiddable Dystopian Heroes Are On Your Heels
How Will Delirium’s Love Cure Translate To The Screen? Dystopian Week Begins!
5 Questions With ‘Divergent’ Writer Veronica Roth
Marie Lu Imagines A Teenage, Dystopian ‘Les Miserables’ In ‘Legend’
‘Delirium’ Author Lauren Oliver Talks Sequel ‘Pandemonium’