This past summer, my younger sister Shekinah shared with me the latest book she had read: Cinder by Marissa Meyer. She clearly loved it. After I finished it, so did I. We began talking about reviews, signed copies (available from Garfield Book Company), and interviews.
I promised to review Cinder. She agreed to come up with the questions for an interview. This interview then is dedicated to my sister. Thanks also to Marissa Meyer for squeezing time in between wrapping up Book 3 and starting promotion for Book 2 to answer my sister’s questions.
Sis, a signed copy of Cinder will be headed your way on your birthday. Thanks again for this summer!
Shekinah: What’s the best thing about being an author?
Marissa: There are a lot of great things about being an author, but probably my favorite is the simple act of being able to tell stories that entertain people. I grew up an enormous book lover and there are so many books that have touched me over the years, and now it’s a huge honor to think my book could have the same sort of impact.
Shekinah: What kind of career would you have if you couldn’t be an author?
Marissa: I always knew that I wanted to work with books. Before I sold Cinder, I worked as a freelance typesetter and proofreader and would probably still be doing that, although I also had thought at times that it would be neat to be a literary agent or an editor or a publicist. Anything to be involved with getting books into the hands of readers.
Shekinah: Which of the characters in Cinder is your favourite? Why?
Marissa: Probably Iko, Cinder’s android friend and sidekick. When I started writing the book, I expected Iko to be a pretty boring robot character, but then she wheeled herself onto the stage and starting saying hilariously off-the-wall things. Her personality really took me by surprise and it’s been so much fun to write her–especially when she’s fawning over the prince!
Shekinah: Which of the characters in Cinder is the most or least like you?
Marissa: Cinder and I share a sarcastic sense of humor, but that’s probably about where the similarities end. I guess I feel like I’m most like Peony, or that I was like her when I was fourteen-years-old. Peony is Cinder’s younger stepsister, who is giddy and flighty and obsessed with Prince Kai. Yes, I think that would have been me, too.
Shekinah: Are any concepts in Cinder based on real life experiences or is it all from your imagination?
Marissa: Oh yes, have I told you about the time I went to the fancy ball and had a prince fall madly in love with me? Just kidding. Although inspiration can come out of the strangest places, I don’t think there are any situations in the book that truly mimic real-life. It’s pretty much all from my head.
Shekinah: What was the hardest part to write in Cinder?
Marissa: Sad scenes are always difficult, because I feel that it’s necessary to put yourself into the place of the characters, and who wants to be sad on purpose? So they can be emotionally draining. But on a craft-level, scenes in which there’s a lot of information shared can be hard, such as when Dr. Erland is telling Cinder about her cyborg operations, because it’s important information that the reader needs to know, but you need to convey it without being boring.
Shekinah: Will Cinder’s story continue in the rest of the lunar chronicles or will each novel be based on a different character’s story?
Marissa: Both! Cinder will continue to be the main hero throughout all four books, but beginning with Book Two: SCARLET she’ll share the spotlight with other fairy-tale inspired heroines (Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Snow White), and they each have their own unique story to tell.
Shekinah: Now that you are a published author, do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Marissa: I often tell writers not to forget why they’re writing in the first place. The road to publication can be long and arduous and frought with high emotions–some good and some bad. But if you can always ground yourself by remembering that you’re in this because you love to write and you have stories in your heart that you want to tell, then you’ll find a way to get through the tough times and come out stronger. We write because we’re passionate about it– it’s an awful thing to lose sight of that!
Shekinah: What question would you like to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
Marissa: Being a book lover, I’m always eager to share my favorite reads or book enthusiasm over new titles, so I like it when interviewers ask things like, What’s the best book I’ve read recently, or What upcoming book am I most looking forward to? Right now the answers would be:
Recent favorite: MONSTROUS BEAUTY by Elizabeth Fama
Most anticipated: THE SUMMER PRINCE by Alaya Dawn Johnson
Américas Award for Children’s & Young Adult Literature
CLASP founded the Américas Award in 1993 to encourage and commend authors, illustrators and publishers who produce quality children’s and young adult books that portray Latin America, the Caribbean, or Latinos in the United States.
The Caldecott Medal was named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott. It is awarded annually to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.
The Carnegie Medal is awarded annually to the writer of an outstanding book for children. It was established by in 1936, in memory of the great Scottish-born philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie.
The Christy Awards are awarded each year to recognize novels of excellence written from a Christian worldview.
Coretta Scott King Award
The Coretta Scott King Book Award titles promote understanding and appreciation of the culture of all peoples. It is given to African American authors and illustrator.
children and young adult blogger literacy awards
Dolly Gray Children’s Literature Award
The Dolly Gray Children’s Literature Award was initiated in 2000 to recognize authors, illustrators, and publishers of high quality fictional and biographical children, intermediate, and young adult books that appropriately portray individuals with deve
Hans Christian Anderson Award
The Hans Christian Andersen Awards is given to a living author and illustrator whose complete works have made a lasting contribution to children’s literature. The award is the highest international recognition an author can receive.
Kate Greenaway Medal
The Kate Greenaway Medal was established in 1955, for distinguished illustration in a book for children. It is named after the popular nineteenth century artist known for her fine children’s illustrations and designs.
Middle East Book Award
The Middle East Book Award recognizes quality books for children and young adults that contribute meaningfully to an understanding of the Middle East and its component societies and cultures.
Mythopoeic Fantasy Award
Honors fantasy books for younger readers, in the tradition of The Hobbit or The Chronicles of Narnia
Newbery Medal Award
The Newbery Medal was named for eighteenth-century British bookseller John Newbery. It is awarded annually to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.
Pura Belpré Award
The award is named after Pura Belpré, the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library. It is presented annually to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino experience.
Red House Book Award
The Red House Children’s Book Award is a series of literary prizes for works of children’s literature published during the previous year in England.
Sydney Taylor Award
The Sydney Taylor Book Award is presented annually to outstanding books for children and teens that authentically portray the Jewish experience.