Q: Was there a reason that you chose your hometown as the setting for TFIOS?
My best friend Chris just read The Hunger Games, and he was like, “I really loved the world-building in that book. Panem just felt so real, you know?”
And I was like, “Yeah, I totally agree.”
And then he said, “I mean, the worldbuilding in your books feels real, too, but you just have stuff happen at, like, the Speedway at 86th and Ditch.”
I wrote about Indianapolis partly because I know Indianapolis, and I wanted to ground the story in a place I know and love. But there were other reasons, including:
1. Indianapolis is a very typical, very American city. This is a stark contrast to Amsterdam, a city that lights up the romantic imagination with images of canal boats and the red light district.
2. Indianapolis, like Amsterdam, is a canal city. They are both places that live amid water, just like Hazel does.