Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Interview Week: Marrissa Meyer, author of CINDER

Welcome to Interview Week!
All this week, I'm interviewing awesome authors--and giving away a copy of their book! Come back each day this week for another author and another chance to win an awesome book.

Quick Stats on Today's Author:

We can read all about your life from your bio in the jacket flap of your book. So, what's a completely random fact about you that most people don't know?
When I was in 4th grade, my class performed Shakespeare’s Macbeth (I was Hecate, the head witch). This began a period of a few years in which I thought I wanted to be a playwright and would force my cousin to act out skits with me in front of our parents. Good times.     

As a kid, what was your favorite book? Have your tastes changed since growing up?
I had plenty of favorites, but I probably read “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” more than any other. I was enchanted with the idea of an entire chocolate paradise. Of course, I’m still enchanted by that idea! I still love Charlie, but these days my reading list typically leans more into young adult, mostly because I’m a big fan of some romance in my reading material.

Your book, CINDER, is a futuristic take on the old classic fairy tale of Cinderella. Is Cinderella your favorite fairy tale? If not—which one is? Why?
Cinderella is definitely one of my favorite tales – largely because it’s a story that everyone, from every time and place and culture, can associate with. The desire to improve our station in life is definitely a universal one. That said, I don’t think it’s possible for me to choose an all-time favorite fairy tale. It seems to change by the hour!

It's the inevitable question: what inspired CINDER? 
I had the idea to write a series of science-fiction fairy tales after entering a writing contest with a futuristic retelling of Puss in Boots. Months later, as I was falling asleep, I had a vision of Cinderella running down the palace steps… but instead of losing a shoe, her whole foot fell off. Cyborg Cinderella! It was too good to ignore.

One of the great things about CINDER is the threat of the Lunars.  This is such a refreshing tale on the “evil queen” of fairy tales, and you did a great job in making her character both realistic and deliciously bad. Can you tell us how you developed the Lunars and where the idea came from?
Thank you! The Lunars developed over many drafts. In the earliest version, they had super crazy powers – like being able to shoot lightning bolts and fireballs out of their hands (no doubt harking back to my obsession with sword-and-sorcery as a teen… or maybe Sailor Moon). After awhile, though, their powers started to change into the more subtle (yet creepier) powers of mind-control and manipulation. Then at one point I thought that maybe I should have some sort of scientific explanation for the Lunar power, so I did some research on military experimentation for crowd control, which is how I stumbled on the idea of bioelectricity and how it could, potentially, be used to manipulate people’s thoughts. And bam! The Lunars were born.

Can you tell us a little bit about the process--particularly the timeline--of writing & publishing CINDER?
I wrote the first draft of CINDER in just two weeks – it was part of a contest, the prize for which was a walk-on role in Star Trek. (I didn’t win.) After that, it took me about two years to rewrite and revise, during which I also wrote the first drafts of Books 2 and 3. Once it came time to start submitting it, though, everything happened really fast. I signed with the first agent I queried. Two weeks later, she submitted the book on a Friday and we had our first offer the following Monday. It was insane. Fourteen months later, the book was published. So it took a little over three years from idea to bookshelves.

If your reader could only take away one emotion, theme, or idea from CINDER, what would you want it to be?
Anticipation for Book 2!

What's the most surprising thing you've learned since becoming a writer?
How hard it is to write when it’s your job! When I was working full time, I got very good at using up every spare moment to write, even if it was only recording thoughts at a red light or working feverishly during my lunch breaks. Now that I’m a full-time writer, though, I too often feel like I have all the time in the world! Which means I use that time very poorly. It can be quite detrimental, but I’m happy to say that sixteen months after quitting the day job, I think I’m finally starting to get a hang of this full-time writing gig.

What do you think are your strongest and weakest points in writing?
Stongest: I’m neurotically goal-oriented. If I say I’m going to write 150,000 words in a month, I’m darn well going to do it! I’m nothing if not determined.

Weakest: Balance. Which kind of goes hand-in-hand with that neurotically goal-oriented thing. When I have it in my head to do something, all the rest of my life tends to fall by the wayside. It seems that every time I finish up a project (say, the a draft on the novel), I have to spend a couple weeks just trying to get my life back in order. Trying to balance writing and promotion and socializing and healthy habits and upkeeping the house… I’m not so good at that.

Beyond the typical--never give up, believe in yourself--what would be the single best advice you'd like to give another writer?
I don’t believe in writer’s block, but I do believe that there are some days when our brains require extra goading. For that, I think it’s important to have some sort of mental trick that works for you, every time. For me, it’s bringing my laptop into bed with me, lighting a candle, and enjoying a glass of wine. Yes, it’s akin to mental bribery, but it always makes me relax and enjoy the writing process again. For some, it might be playing a mood-music playlist or putting on a special writing sweater or reading the acknowledgments pages of their favorite books. Whatever inspires you to get back to work is a trick worth having in your arsenal!

 And now for a giveaway! Leave a comment with your email address below to be entered to win a copy of CINDER--and it's SIGNED! One winner will be picked next Monday; sorry, but this needs to be North America only. 


Travis said...

Enter me please!
travisp1026 at yahoo dot com

Punya said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Punya said...

I love Marissa Meyer. Cinder was an amazing book. Definitely one of my favorites.

Laura D. said...

Oh my gosh, I loved Cinder.

ledoty1 AT gmail DOT com

Rena said...

OOO, ooo, pick me, pick me.


Kaitlin Stainbrook said...

Great interview and I've been meaning to pick up Cinder for forever!


Anonymous said...

I have seen this cover EVERYWHERE :) Lots of love for it in the blogging world I think.
I would sure love the chance to read it.


Michelle @ In Libris Veritas said...

Great interview! I adored this book and would love a copy!


Melissa/welachild said...

Interviews like tis get me excited to pick up new authors! And all this talk of Sailor Moon is starting to sink in, I may just have to check it out!

itwasemotional (at) yahoo (dot) com

~Courtney said...

Great interview. Love getting insights into the writing process of different people. I have been dying to read this book.

Amanda Morganne said...

I love all the different "how I got published" stories, so drastically different for everyone! Thanks for the giveaway! rednails14 (at) hotmail (dot) com

Anonymous said...

This book sounds exciting! I would love to read this!

sylviasull at gmail dot com


Andrea Mack said...

Thanks for the interview! I think both my daughter and I would enjoy this book.

Kay said...

I loved Cinder and am definitely anticipating book 2! kaymcgriff at gmail dot com

Katie Dunn said...

Cinder has been on my wish list for far too long!
kathleen dot doyle88 at yahoo dot com

Deborah Julene said...

Cinder is one of my all-time favorite books! Thanks for the giveaway!

debzbookshelf at gmail dot com

Amanda D. said...

thanks for the giveaway and interview!

elena said...

YES TO THE CHOCOLATE PARADISE! Man, I can't even watch the films without having an assortment of candy & chocolate near me, so good. I really love the way she answered the favorite fairytale question, I never really thought about Cinderella that way. It's so hard to pick a favorite fairytale! Aw, sorry she didn't win the Star Trek walk-on role. It would have been so amazing! This is a really great interview, thank you.

My e-mail is onpeakhill(at)gmail(dot)com.

Emily said...

Thanks for doing a giveaway!


Tammie said...

I loved Cinder! The part where she leaves her shoe behind with her foot still in it is the best. Tammie@carolina.rr.com

Jill Kaplan said...

I love Cinder! It's so good :) Thanks Beth for the awesome week of giveaways.


Leigh Smith said...

I hear a lot of writers saying they write in bed! How!! I would totes go to sleep.
I especially love that Marissa says she lights a candle and has a glass of wine. It sounds like she's trying to seduce her laptop! So awesome!
Thanks for the interview and the contest.

Leigh Smith said...

Crap. My email is blackeyedsue21 at(gmail)dot com

Tyler said...

This an AWESOME book. So excited for book 2.


Cate said...

Cinder is my favorite book of the year so far. I love the Spanish cover! The detail in the dress is just breathtaking! And how the C is the moon...Its so simple but beautiful. I hope they use this for the paperback edition.

(P.S. Sailor Saturen is the best sailor EVER. I am just saying...)

Ashley @ Ashley Loves Books said...

I JUST read this last week and love it SO SO much - it's so original, which is baffling and impressive since it's a play on a classic tale! I could not read it fast enough, and Book 2 can't get here fast enough, either.

Thank you for the giveaway!
ashleylovesbooksblog [at] gmail [dot] com

Drina said...

I would love to win!


Lexie said...

Lovely interview! I have heard SO many good things about this good book.


Angela Brown said...

Still geeking at the thought of Cinderella turning, her gorgeous dress swishing just above her ankles as one foot falls off, sending her on a wicked hobble-hop to her getaway ride. I can see that as a definite inspiration for a twist on an old fairy tale.

Angela Brown said...

Sorry. Here's my e-mail addy: tomewriter(at)gmail(dot)com.

Julia K said...

Cinder is such a great book! I stayed up until almost three when I read it the first time. :) Good stuff. However, that might be why I made very little connections to the actual story of Cinderella. I was a bit ashamed of myself when I didn't realize that her foot falling off was like Cinderella's slipper. Haha, oops.


Amanda said...

Oh great interview! I can't wait to read Cinder.


jpetroroy said...

Fabulous interview!

jpetroroy at gmail dot com

hey_there_ness said...

I have been waiting to read this book, love sifi takes!


Katie said...

Ooohh, Cinder was wonderful. Count me in! ilovebooks795@yahoo.com

Susan Light said...

I loved reading Cinder and passing it onto my high school students. I cannot wait to see where the other three books go!

Susan Light
books4susie at aol dot com

fakesteph said...

I loooooved Cinder. realsteph at thefakeseph dot com

Book Flame said...

I absolutely loved Cinder it is by far one of my favorite reads this year. I can't wait to read the second book. Thanks for the giveaway!

bookflamereviews at gmail dot com

Pica said...

I loved Cinder. Can't wait for the next book(s) in the series!

picareads (at) gmail (dot) com

Pica said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roseywinter said...

Too awesome! I have this book in my "to-read" list at Goodreads, and it would be SO awesome to be able to read it... because I won a free copy! :P

Thanks for the interview! I love it~

- Esther

email: inkypaper1 (at) gmail.com (dot) com

Melissas Eclectic Bookshelf said...

Cinder is without a doubt one of the most creative re-tellings out there! I'd love to own a signed copy! Please enter me!

melissaseclecticbookshelf at gmail dot com

Katja said...

Sounds sooo cool and original!
Hannah V.

I hope I win!

Anonymous said...

Been looking forward to reading this one - just haven't got there yet. Help me out will ya? ;)


Jenn said...

I LOVED Cinder! Can't wait to read the next books in the series!

Thanks for the great interview!

Marissa Meyer said...

I'm not putting in a contest entry (although that would be kind of funny), but just wanted to stop in and say THANK YOU to Beth for the interview and to everyone who's commented with their Cinder love! I'm thrilled that so many of you enjoyed it and hope you'll like the rest of the series just as much! <3

Karin Perry said...

LOVE CINDER. Thanks for the giveaway.


Lena said...

Thank you so much for the giveaway!!!
lmarste at yahoo dot com

Cathleen Hays said...

I absolutely adore Cinder! Already have a copy, but would absolutely JA'DORE a signed one! Cinder is so fantastic and I loved Marissa's twist on the classic tale of Cinderella. She did a fantastic, bang-up job of taking the traditional damsel-in-distress of the old fairytale and turning Cinder into a strong, quirky, and relatable heroine. I truly look forward to more of Marissa's work.

My contact info is bibliocat@writeme.com.

Adriana C said...

I love both covers!
Thanks for this amazing giveaway!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the giveaway! I really want to read this book.


Anonymous said...

I would love this! kbradley777 @ gmail . com

Shannon said...

Hiya! Thanks for posting the interview (it was fun to read :)) and for the giveaway!


Unknown said...

This is on my TBR this month! I can't wait to read it. Wish me luck.


Sonnie said...

lol I love that she forced her cousins to do plays with her! How cute! "Cinder" sounds amazing! Def on my TBR list!

-Sonnie (SonnieHogan@hotmail.com)

Kayla Beck said...

This was such a fun interview to read! I love that Marissa wrote Cinder to try to get on Star Trek (they should let her now!).

Thanks for the giveaway, Beth! :-D
pherlaithiel (at) gmail (dot) com

Bleuette said...

Thanks so much for the giveaway! :)


Munnaza said...

Thank you so much for this giveaway and this awesome interview! I absolutely loved Cinder when I read it a few months ago, and I'd love to own a copy, especially a signed copy since I don't think Marissa's visiting the East Coast yet. I also really love how Sailor Moon partly inspired this book. I find the Lunars to be so unique, and I can't wait to see what happens next in Scarlet.


Froggy said...

I've been dying to read this...please enter me


Sonia said...

I love that advice... and a special writing sweater? Maybe I need to get myself one of those! ;) Thanks so much for the giveaway! <3


Gabic said...

Can't wait to read this!


megaavidreader said...

Sounds wonderful! I've been looking at Cinder since it came out, but my library doesn't have a copy, and alas, I am a poor teenager.
megaavidreader (at) gmail (dot) com

Stephanie Diaz said...

I've heard awesome things about this book! I'd love to read it. :)


A.J. said...

I have yet to read Cinder, but I've heard so many good things about it. :) Looking forward to reading it!

Christina said...

I just learned so many awesome things.

Most wonderful of all is that this book began in an attempt to earn a role on Star Trek. That is nerd cool. LOVE IT.

Meyer should definitely incorporate a play into the series, maybe even a play within a play as a nod to Shakespeare. Just a thought.

cynicalsapphire at gmail dot com

wellreadinya said...

What a great interview!! I can't wait to read the book.


Anonymous said...

Yes! I can't wait to read this book!

starryeyedjen said...

I can't believe I haven't read Cinder yet. I've heard nothing but good things.


Lea (YA Book Queen) said...

Lovely interview! I like her answer for the final question. Sometimes you do need to trick/bribe yourself into writing on those off-days ;)


Emily Blake said...

So excited to read this! Thanks for the giveaway!!! :)

emscrammedbookshelf at yahoo dot com

Lisseth Torres said...

YAY Giveaway. I LOVE the cover & premise for Cinder. I have wanted to read this book for a while, but school has definitely slowed me down.

Nice interview, I too was obsessed with Sailor Moon when I was younger. =)


Sarbee said...

I've been dying to get a hold of a signed copy of Cinder Since the Breathless Reads tour. I haven't read it yet and i guess I could always check it out from the library, but reading your own SIGNED copy is even better right? :) This would be awesome to win!


J said...

I've heard good things about Cinder! Thanks for the interview and the giveaway!

Jes3tc at gmail dot com

Sandy said...

Wow this book sounds so cool. Mind control and a Cinderella mechanic who also happens to be a cyborg very different from the usual stuff :)


Jillian Schmidt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jillian Schmidt said...

Cyborgs + fairy tales? Yes, please! I am so excited for this book and the chance to win it - thanks!

(Forgot my email last time: writingonalimb [at] gmail.com)

Jessi (Geo) said...

Ooohh I would love to snag a copy!!


Brandon Scott said...

I love reading retellings of fairy tales and such... though, I don't believe I've ever read a futuristic retelling... I HAVE TO READ THIS! I hope I win! My e-mail address is:

Celeste said...

I really want to read this one.


Bethany said...

I've been wanting to read this for a long time!! Thanks for the giveaway!
bethany0728 @ gmail dot com

Texas Book Lover said...

This book sounds amazing! I love the cover too! It is so unique!

mmafsmith at gmail dot com

Emily R. King said...

I really want to read this! Thanks for the giveaway.

erittelking at gmail dot com

shialo said...

Thanks for the give away.

bookworm105 said...

I have read Cinder and i thought it was awesome! But i would LOVE to hae my own copy of it!

Thanks for the giveaway! =D


Megan said...

Great interview! Thanks for this awesome giveaway! :)


JEK said...

Awesome contest! This is definitely on my to read list.

spacecadet570 at hotmail dot com

blanshire said...

Thank you for this awesome contest!


Anonymous said...

I really want to read this !Thanks for the giveaway!

Anonymous said...

Oh almost 4got me e-mail! hopenoellewalker@gmail.com

I really want to read this! Thanks for the giveaway!

Anonymous said...

I LOVED Cinder I though it was amazing and I'd love to win a copy!!
Thanks for the Giveaway :D


StacyUFI said...

Cant wait to read book 2. Thank you for the giveaway


StacyUFI said...

Great book. Thank you for the giveaway


Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

I absolutely loved Cinder and to be able to win a SIGNED one is amazing! Thank you so much for the giveaway!


Lyla said...

Thank you for this opportunity!

Anonymous said...

Love this such an awesome story!

Marie O. said...

This book looks so cool! I love fairytale retellings.

Thanks for the giveaway!

ako4eggs(AT) comcast (DOT) net

Anonymous said...

Enter me please :) I haven't read Cinder yet, but I've ben hoping to get a copy soon.
Thanks for the opportunity :)

Anonymous said...

I'd love the opportunity to read Cinder :)


VRainwater said...

I can't wait to read this book!!! vfrainh20@gmail.com!!!

Mary Shoemaker said...

I would love a copy of Cinder. It has been on my Goodreads to-read list for some time now. Good luck to everyone. Thank You for the interview with Marissa and for the giveaway.