September 19, 2014

In the Spotlight w/ Marissa Meyer

at 9/19/2014 12:00:00 AM

~*~Marissa Meyer~*~

1.      How did you get the idea for sci-fi-esque fairy tales?

The idea started with a writing contest I entered years ago in which the host had listed ten random prompts and writers had to choose two of them to include in their stories. My two prompts: set it in the future and include a fairy-tale character. My contest entry was a sci-fi version of Puss in Boots and I had so much fun writing it that I thought I would try to do an entire series of sci-fi fairy tales!

A couple months after that I was drifting off to sleep when the lightning bolt struck: Cinderella… as a cyborg! I crawled out of bed and spent about an hour brainstorming and jotting notes. That would, of course, eventually grow into Cinder and The Lunar Chronicles.

2.      How did you pick which fairy tales to center around?

I started by making a list of my favorite fairy tales and stories that I thought would be fun to retell—there were maybe 10 or 12 on the list—then I started brainstorming different ways I could update them for a futuristic story. What science-fiction tropes could I bring into that tale? What new twists could I give it? The four that I ended up choosing (Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Snow White) were the four that I felt like I had the best ideas for, and from early on I could begin to see how the stories would intertwine.

3.      As a writer, are you a plotter or a winger?

Definitely a plotter! I start every project with an outline. Not a very detailed, scary outline, but enough that I have a general idea of where the story starts and where it ends and what important thing happen in between. I also love the science behind “plot structure,” and I’m constantly analyzing my stories for things like the “inciting incident” and the “black moment” and these very writer-y terms, to make sure I’m building the strongest story I can.

4.      What is your intention with Fairest? Is it to garner sympathy for Queen Levana?

Not really, although I will be interested to hear if that’s a side effect of the book. (So far, of the handful of people who have read it, the reactions have been split pretty 50/50 between those that felt sorry for Levana at the end and those that want to stab her with a fork.) My intentions with Fairest are simply to tell her story. I think she has a fascinating tale, and a lot of things that happened to her in her teen years and at the beginning of her rule heavily impact the things that happen in Winter, so I hope it will give a new layer of dimension to the series as a whole.

5.      With Winter being the last book for the Lunar Chronicles, will you write a Scarlet and Wolf novella? ;)

Oh gosh, maybe! I don’t have any plans for one right now, but never say never. :)

6.      If the zombie apocalypse occurred, what would be your weapon of choice?

The lamp on my bedside table, lol! I’ve spent many sleepless nights thinking about how it will be the first thing I grab if a zombie comes in through the window (our bedroom is on the ground floor). But, you know, hopefully I would have a chance to upgrade a little more effective after that!

7.      Have you ever have a fan girl moment? (Do go into embarrassing detail)

I fangirl all the time on Twitter, but in real life I try to play it pretty cool, haha. I remember right after Cinder came out I was invited to a book festival and I was waiting in the hotel lobby for the van to come pick up the authors and take us to the festival and I realized I was sitting next to Holly Black. Holly Black! I felt like such a dork trying to talk to her like “a peer,” but she was so incredibly nice, and I did feel like, after a while—hey, I’m an author too now. I can do this!

8.      Which one of your heroines (Cinder, Cress, Scarlet, Winter) do you find most relatable?

I personally relate most to Cress. I wish I was resourceful like Cinder and brave like Scarlet, but I’m just not! This is part of the reason they’re so much fun for me to write, though. Whereas Cress is shy and awkward and nerdy, just like me, plus we both have these overactive imaginations. I think any writer could relate to that. And then there’s poor Winter. I relate to her on a lot of sympathetic levels, but she’s been through so much and seen so many awful things in her life that it’s put her on a plane all her own.

9.      As for “Captain” Carswell Thorne, will we get another bonus short story from his past?

I did write a short story called “Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky”—right now it’s only available in the special Target edition of Cress, but I hope to make it available on the internet soon. I don’t have any plans for writing another short story based on his character, but again, who knows? I’ll write anything I’m inspired by!

10.  Regarding Jacin Clay, a mystery in himself, will his role on Luna be explained more thoroughly in Winter?

Oh yes, Jacin becomes a really central character in Winter, and I’m happy to say that my three beta readers all gave him the thumbs-up. I hope readers will feel the same!

11.  In your books, cyborgs are treated like pariahs and second class citizens. Was this intentional and meant as a topic for reflection?

This was definitely intentional. My initial thought was to make it parallel the original Cinderella story, where she’s treated as a lower-class servant by her family and society. One of my favorite parts of the Cinderella story is the “rags to riches” theme, and the idea of how a girl can go from being a no-one to being a princess, so making Cinder a cyborg and second-class citizen was how I accomplished that. I like that it’s given the series a lot of depth as far as our human prejudices against people who are “different,” but I don’t usually give those themes a lot of thought while I’m writing. I’m just trying to tell a good story, and if it makes readers think about our real world, then it’s a bonus!

12.  How do you manage your time with so many different projects going on at once?

Haha. Hahaha. Ha.

Okay, seriously. This is a constant struggle! It’s definitely a challenge balancing not only multiple different writing projects, but also all the non-writing tasks that come with a writing career. (Book tours, school visits, media interviews, social networking, blogging, newsletters, responding to fanmail, reading contracts, and on and on.) I have to be very strict with myself. I make a weekly to-do list every weekend and break down the things that I have to accomplish and the things that I want to accomplish for each day. Then, in the morning, I’ll often schedule my  day down to the half hour. (From 9:00 to 10:00 I’m answering emails, from 10:00 to 11:30 I’m writing a  blog post, from 11:30 to 3:00 I’m revising the next two chapters of the current WIP, and so on.) Having it broken down for me like that helps to stay on task and not feel so overwhelmed… but then there are days when things take longer than you expect and it all falls apart. Oh well! Just be nice to yourself and keep moving forward.

Lightning Round Questions

Favorite food? Peanut butter

Favorite drink? (alcoholic or etc.) Champagne

Favorite guilty pleasure?  Champagne!

Favorite kind of music? Alternative rock

Favorite fictional boyfriend? Sturmhond from The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

Celeb you’d like to meet? (male, female, or both) Nathan Fillion

Most overused word in your vocabulary? Totally and awesome.

Yoga or jogging? Yoga

Ice cream or gelato? Why choose just one?

Cats or dogs? Cats

Favorite day of the week? Any day where I feel on top of my life.

Absolutely go-to candle scent? Lemon 

~*~Author the Author~*~

Marissa Meyer is the New York Times-bestselling author of The Lunar Chronicles. She lives in Tacoma, Washington, with her husband and three demanding cats. She's a fan of most things geeky (Sailor Moon, Firefly, any occasion that requires a costume), and has been in love with fairy tales since she was a child. She may or may not be a cyborg.

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~*~Giveaway~*~


Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless Lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl…

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.


Cinder returns in the second thrilling installment of the New York Times-bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother and the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she has no choice but to trust him, though he clearly has a few dark secrets of his own.

As Scarlet and Wolf work to unravel one mystery, they find another when they cross paths with Cinder. Together, they must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen who will do anything to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner.



In this third book in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and prevent her army from invading Earth.

Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker – unfortunately, she’s being forced to work for Queen Levana, and she’s just received orders to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue goes awry, the group is splintered. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price than she’d ever expected. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai, especially the cyborg mechanic. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.




OPEN TO RESIDENTS OF USA ONLY. GIVEAWAY ENDS ON OCTOBER 3RD 2014. THERE WILL BE 2 WINNERS. THE GRAND PRIZE IS A SET OF HARDCOVER COPIES OF THE LUNAR CHRONICLES ALONG WITH A MISCELLANEOUS SWAG AND A  RAMPION POSTER.

THE SECOND WINNER WILL WIN AN EBOOK COPY OF CINDER WITH A SIGNED RAMPION POSTER. FOR THE EBOOK PRIZE IF YOU ALREADY HAVE EBOOK COPIES OF THE LUNAR CHRONICLES, THIS PRIZE CAN BE SUBSTITUTED FOR THE PRE-ORDER OF ANY OTHER MARISSA MEYER EBOOK THAT HAS YET TO BE PUBLISH (i.e. Fairest or Winter).

ALL WINNERS WILL HAVE 5 DAYS TO RESPOND TO MY EMAIL. IF WINNERS FAIL TO DO SO, I RESERVE THE RIGHT TO PICK A DIFFERENT WINNER AS DICTATED IN MY POLICIES.

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