The author of the hit New York Times and international book series “After,” Anna Todd, has had quite a bit of success since her short time in writing. Not only does the series have over a billion reads via the online platform, Wattpad, it made over $69 million worldwide with the first film of the franchise, with it’s sequel “After We Collided,” due out in 2020 and to begin filming in Atlanta soon. Although Todd acknowledges that the film will be made in Atlanta, as was the first film, “I can’t say too much because we are making announcements soon, but we are filming in Atlanta again,” and that she “loves Atlanta.”
Todd is a big believer in donating time to organizations that are important to her, especially women’s organizations, specifically, “Step Up Women’s Network. That’s the one I most recently worked with. I hosted a dinner with them (in LA). They’re a great organization, and have a branch here in LA. They have a mentor-ship program where the girls are there four years during high school, they get mentors, and they get trained on things to actually employ them, and not just, “Go to college, get a four year degree, graduate.” So, we have a dinner that I sponsored on the night of their graduation. That was so fun. So I’m getting more, and more involved in their stuff. They have so much going on. I can’t really say yet, but I cannot wait to work with them more. I love what they’re doing, and they do so much.”
The additional charities Todd loves is ran by her friend, “Colleen [Hoover], who has a charity called Bookworm Box, which I love and I donate to them, and love working with, and giving them swag and books. I love organizations that have anything to do with women mostly. Specifically, any kind of under-privileged women in any situation. It’s just something that I feel everyone needs to talk about more and do more for, but it’s such a big fight, and can do a bit for each one.”
Music is a big factor with Todd’s writing and in her books, including the film(s), and she uses music to set the tone for the theme of her books. “Usually I have a playlist in the front of each book that has songs that I either listen to while I’m writing or I think people should. There are some chapters that I can not listen to music. I don’t know what it is, but if I play music, it distracts me too much, and then ninety percent of the time, I have to listen to music or I can’t write. It’s such a weird thing.”
Continuing our conversation about music, Todd claims that “a lot of times what I’m trying to convey is said in a song, and movies kind of work the same way too, but songs are different because it’s such a short version, but you can tell an entire story in three and a half minutes. So, for me, especially with a chapter, it works so perfectly because I can get that exact kind of feeling with the same visuals and the like; not as much detail as word for word is in a book, but it still feels the same because I can visualize it in three and half minutes that I can in a chapter.”
Fun Questions with Anna Todd
What was your first book that you read and what was your first concert?
Anna Todd: My first book I’ve read, that I remember reading, were The Babysitters Club books. I know I read Harry Potter in fourth grade but I feel like I’ve read it even before that. That’s one I remember so clearly reading. My first concert was LeAnn Rimes. It was at a fair, and she was performing, and my mom took me, and my friend.
That’s awesome! Which concert has been your favorite so far or do you have one?
Anna: Probably Harry Styles. It’s such a cliché I’m sure for me. But he honestly just puts on the best show. I recently went to a Shawn Mendes and Alessia Cara show and they were both so great. She’s just such a vocalist, it’s insane but that was fun but nothing like…Harry just puts on such a good show, visually energy-wise; it’s just so good.
What five books and/or artists would you not want to live without?
Anna: Definitely Cassandra Clare as an author. I would say, hopefully, I don’t have to narrow it down more than that because she has so many books that I can not live without. So I’ll use her as an umbrella. All of her books pretty much. So Cassandra Clare… probably, well, Harry Styles. The Bronze Horseman, the book. Probably Twilight books, just because it was like the stem of everything that went to 50 Shades to After, and I know so many women that now have careers from it, so Twilight and the band, The Fray.
Do you have a guilty music and/or entertainment pleasure?
Anna: I would say the new Hills that’s back. I loved “The Hills,” the show, so much. But then now when I watch it, it seems way crazier than before. So that’s kind of my guilty pleasure. I don’t necessarily want to shout from the rooftops that I’m watching it but I can’t not watch it.