Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Interview with Marissa Meyer

Marissa Meyer, author of the highly-anticipated CINDER, was kind enough to drop by and answer some questions on her past stint as a popular fanfiction writer, overcoming writing obstacles, and fictional love interests.

1. You started out as a fanfiction writer under the name Alicia Blade. Tell us about the first fanfic you ever made public.
I think I was 13 when I posted my first fanfic. It was called “Remembering Love,” it was about 5 pages long, and it consisted of major angst. It was pretty awful.

2. You’re still one of the most popular Sailor Moon fanfiction writers online, which certainly helps with spreading the word on CINDER. How did you go about building that following?
I’ve made a ton of friends and met so many amazing people through the online community! I’m very lucky to have so many people supporting CINDER right off the bat. I don’t know that it was a conscious effort to build “a following”—I enjoyed writing fanfics, so I wrote a bunch of them (more than 40). I also tended to stick with one genre (we’ll call it romantic comedy) within the Sailor Moon storyline, so readers knew what to expect when they read one of my fics. If it was the type of story that pleased them, they kept coming back, and I kept writing them!

3. CINDER is due out in January and we’re all so excited for it – I’ll bet you are too. What are you going to do on the release date?
Ooh, that’s an excellent question! I haven’t the faintest idea! There will be a release party a week or two after the book comes out, which I’m really excited for. But I’ll have to start planning my day-of celebration soon. I’m sure it will involve champagne and a trip to my local bookstore. And probably squealing.

4. What was the hardest writing obstacle you had to overcome with CINDER?
This might be on my brain because you and I were just talking about it, but it was really difficult to be patient with CINDER and not settle for the “it’s good enough” mentality. This was the first novel I’d ever queried and I knew I would only have one chance at that first impression with agents, so I forced myself to take my time and make the book as strong as I could, through two rewrites and numerous revisions. It wasn’t until one of my beta readers emailed me and said, “This is done, send it out now,” did I let myself think it could be ready.

5. You’re brilliant at creating sexy, desirable men. Tell us more about Prince Kai, the love interest in CINDER. What are his best and worst traits? What makes him different from the normal fairy tale princes?
Why thank you! I’m glad that I’m not the only one who thinks they’re sexy! Prince Kai is probably the closest thing to “Prince Charming” you’ll find in the series. He’s smart and gentlemanly and even chivalrous at moments, but he also has a bit of rebelliousness in him that comes out more and more as he’s forced into a position of political power. Sometimes I think poor Kai has the hardest role in the books, being constantly forced to choose between what he wants or what’s best for his country.

6. Finally, CINDER is the first of a series of four, with the following books also based on fairy tales – Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Snow White. What made you choose these particular fairy tales?
When I first started brainstorming the series, I made a list of some of my favorite tales, then started thinking up ways they could be futurized. Something about the four tales I chose just started falling into place. The glass coffin became a suspended animation tank, the tower became a satellite orbiting Earth, the wolf became a genetically engineered mutant. Initially I’d thought they would each be a stand-alone story, but the more I thought about them, the more one overarching story started to fall into place. Writing this series has been kind of like putting together a huge puzzle, which has been both fun and challenging.

Thank you so much for the interview, Tamara!

And thank you for answering my questions, Marissa!

CINDER is due out January 3rd, 2012. You can preorder it here. Make sure you check it out!


  1. Great interview! One of your next books is based on Rapuzel? One of my favourites!! It never seems to get any love :-)
    All the books in the series sound great. I'm looking forward to them as well as Cinder.

  2. A satellite orbiting Earth, and a suspended animation tank are SUCH great sci-fi translations of elements in the tales. Very unexpected twists.