Why did Lois Lowry write Gathering Blue?

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Lois Lowry is a YA/children's author who is known for her work The Giver, which she originally did not intend to become a series. Gathering Blue and Messenger are in between the The Giver and her latest novel, Son, the fourth book in the series. The Giver is written from the point of view of Jonas, an eleven-year-old boy who lives in a futuristic utopian society that has eliminated fear, hatred, war, and prejudice. Lois Lowry wrote Gathering Blue, the second book following The Giver, several years later. In an interview conducted by The Atlantic, Lowry stated the following after she published her latest book, Son.

When I finished The Giver I said stupidly, publicly, that I wouldn't have any sequels. That was published in '93. In 2000 the second [Gathering Blue] was published. I had not intended it as even related to The Giver ; I was creating another interesting world, to me, where things were different, and as I went along I realized I could answer some questions—in seven years, I had gotten so many...

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