November 26, 2012

An Author a (Mon)day: Marissa Meyer

An Author a (Mon)day is my new little feature on the blog, one that will be posted every so often. Every month there's a theme, and I will be asking authors three questions related to it. I'll also tell you a little bit about why I loved their book!


I'm very honored to be able to welcome Marissa Meyer on to the blog today. Cinder is one of my top debuts of this year, as I thought it was a wonderful and unique retelling of a fairytale. The world and the plot are deliciously addictive, and I'm lucky enough to have read an ARC of Scarlet. Of course, this now leaves me wanting to know what happens in Cress...

(And yes, this was carried over from October!)

Alexa: How did you come up with the characters in your books? I'm especially curious to hear how their personalities (quirks and all) came to be. This question is probably most specifically about Cinder, Kai, Iko, Scarlet, Wolf & Thorne.

Marissa: When I'm lucky, they pop into my head rather fully formed. Cinder was this way - from the start, I knew that she was brilliant with mechanics but struggling with self-consciousness over her cyborgness and low social status. I knew she used sarcasm as a defense mechancism. I knew she was fiercely loyal and brave, and that even though she's a tomboy, she's not immune to the prince's charms. It was the same with Wolf and Thorne - two of the leading men who show up in Book 2. They haven't changed much from my original perceptions of them, and it's always fun to start writing a character and feel like you're recording what a real person is saying and doing, as opposed to having to make it all up on my own.

My two struggle characters were Kai and Scarlet. In both cases I was trying to force them to be certain things that they didn't want to be. With Kai, I'd initially expected him to be very arrogant and overconfident around Cinder. But it was never working. Finally I just relaxed and was like, Okay Mr. Prince, what do YOU want to be? That's when his true personality started to shine through - sweet and down-to-earth and snarky and conflicted between his duty to his country and his desire to be a normal boy with a crush on a "normal" girl. Once I let that happen, writing his character became a lot easier.

Similarly with Scarlet, in the first draft she was kind of whiney and depressed (to her credit, she is going through some pretty bad stuff at the start of the book), but she didn't want to be whiney and sad - she wanted to be ferocious and angry and ready to do something about it. So again, once I let go of my preconceptions and let her do her own thing, she became a much more interesting character.

And then once in awhile you get a character like Iko, who I'd THOUGHT I'd had figured out before I started writing the book (boring average robot character), but as soon as she rolled onto the page, she took charge and started doing and saying the craziest things. I wasn't expecting it at all, but I just went with it, and now she's one of my favorite characters! I love it when that happens.

Alexa: Who are your top three fictional book characters?

Marissa: Katsa from Graceling - She's smart, talented, resourceful, brave, and not afraid to be herself.

The Weasley Twins from Harry Potter (yes, I'm grouping them as one character - they cannot be separated!) - Not only are they HILARIOUS, but they're also brilliant businessmen and so loyal to their loved ones.

Scarlett O'Hara from Gone with the Wind - She's a rather horrible person, and yet it's impossible not to admire her strength and tenacity.

Alexa: If you could slip into any character's life for a day, who would it be and why?

Marissa: Elizabeth Bennet - so I could meet Mr. Darcy, of course! (And also wear cute Regency dresses and ride around in a horse-drawn carriage.)


Thank you so much for sharing your answers with us Marissa! I absolutely love what you've done with The Lunar Chronicles, and I'm positively anxious (in a good way!) to read Cress. Also, I completely agree that it would be kind of fun to be Elizabeth Bennet, mostly because of Darcy ;)



Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: January 3, 2012

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.

Why I loved this book

It's a fairytale retelling, but it goes above and beyond any fairytale retelling I've ever read. I love the way that Marissa created these characters that I could fall in love with and root for, and I also think that her plot and her story can only keep getting better!


  1. I really need to read this book! It seems that today everyone is talking about it! I love the idea of Cinder being a Cyborg ... it just sounds so cool!

    And yes! The Weasley twins! Definite favourites. Good pick!

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. I love this interview! Cinder is definitely one of my favorite reads of 2012 :)

  3. I've had Cinder on my TBR list for quite some time and after seeing Marissa speak at the BookFest and reading her amazingly candid interview, I'm definitely more inclined to pick up the book sooner (rather than later). Great job, ladies!

  4. Wow this is JUST what I needed to read! Hooray! Marissa created some fantastic characters with Cinder and I'm super excited to read the next chapter in Scarlet!

  5. Will read this someday (: That's cool that you got the chance to interview her!!
    Little Book Star

  6. I just LOVE Marissa's answer to the first question! I loved hearing how her characters took over just exactly who they wanted to be in her books :)


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