Allison's Book Bag

Interview with Marissa Meyer

Posted on: August 31, 2012

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

Thanks so much for having me on your blog!

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