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‘Divergent’s’ Veronica Roth hopes to lure more authors to Chicago

Veronica Roth (center) poses with "The Divergent Series: Allegiant" actors Ansel Elgort and Miles Teller at the movie's New York premiere. | Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

“Divergent” author Veronica Roth won’t have to travel far to attend this year’s BookCon.

Roth is a native of Chicago, the setting for the third annual fan-based, pop-culture publishing event, the book world’s version of Comic-Con. BookCon will be held May 14 at McCormick Place, with featured speakers also including Samantha Bee, Sherman Alexie and Richelle Mead.

“I’m fierce in my love for Chicago, and it’s a great place for books, so hopefully my author peers are seduced by its wonderfulness and decide to move here,” she said during a recent email interview, adding that it’s “doubtful” anyone will move “but a person can dream!”

As in previous years, BookCon immediately follows BookExpo America, the publishing industry’s annual convention and trade show. Thousands of young people attended BookCon in 2014 and 2015 when the event was held in New York, and Roth said she was excited to meet some of her fans.

“For me, it’s important to connect with the people who are reading my books, particularly the younger ones,” she wrote in an email. “It reminds me why it’s important to write stories for them, and about them. They are wonderfully complex, enthusiastic people, and what they share with me in person — whether it’s just their excitement, or something more personal — is an essential part of what makes writing meaningful to me.”

The film version of “Allegiant,” the third of four planned adaptations of her million-selling “Divergent” trilogy, comes out Friday and again stars Shailene Woodley. Roth’s next series, currently untitled, is expected to debut early next year.

“The story is set in space, and it’s about a young man named Akos who, along with his brother, is kidnapped and taken into an enemy country,” explained Roth, who last year told the AP the new books would be in “the vein of ‘Star Wars.’ ”

“While he’s there, the dictator of that country threatens his brother’s life, and Akos has to work with an enemy to save him. I’m still working on it, but getting pretty antsy for people to read it!”