Happy, happy Wednesday, good people of the blogosphere! This is my official utopYA con 2015 post for the month of January. I’m excited to be bringing you one of the female authors tearing up the book market right now, Marissa Meyer! That’s right, the author of The Lunar Chronicles is gracing you with her presence. *grin* So exciting! She’ll be at the conference in June, and she’ll be speaking on two panels: ClockWise World Building and Gender Roles & Stereotypes. If you haven’t added those to your schedule yet, do that now.
For this month, the official bloggers are bringing you amazing utopYA panelist interviews, information, and awe-inspiring stories. Be sure and visit the other wonderful utopYA blogs:
Week 2 – A Book Vacation
Week 3 – The Paisley Reader
Week 4 – Book Junkie: Not So Anonymous
Remember, I'll be bringing you snippets of those posts with links every Friday so you'll remember to head over and check them out.
Let’s get to the interview! I know you’re all eager to hear what I’m going to ask.
Jo: Welcome to the blog, Marissa. You’re such an inspiration to so many female authors out there, and I’m honored to have you for a few questions. I can’t wait to meet you at utopYA. That being said, for my first question, I’d like to know what the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten on writing was and who it came from.
Marissa: Thank you so much for including me in your utopYA blogger coverage! I’m not sure where I first heard this advice (it’s certainly not unique), but I think the best advice is to write what you’re truly excited about, and what you love. It can be tempting to try and write to the trends or follow the market, but writing can be a long, exhausting process, and you need love and passion to get all the way to the end. And that passion will show through in the final product!
Jo: You’re so very welcome. We're stoked you had the time! That’s awesome advice, and I know a lot of writers will benefit from it. Hear that, everyone? Write what you’re excited about! Question two: Did you expect the wild success of your series, and how did you feel when you realized it was taking off the way it did?
Marissa: Oh, never. When I was writing Cinder I thought it would be a miracle if anyone else ever read it. There were many days when I thought I must be crazy, thinking that anyone else in the world would be interested in reading about a cyborg Cinderella! But that goes back to writing what you love – I was so excited about Cinder’s story from the moment it popped into my head, so I knew I had to write it and try to publish it. Once I started submitting to agents, though, things started to happen fast and I began to think that, okay, maybe I’m not crazy after all! The series ended up going to auction between two publishers, and Macmillan sent us a preliminary marketing plan, which was very extensive and enthusiastic. I think that was the first point when I realized that maybe this was going to be a Big Thing. (Though to this day it doesn’t feel entirely real!)
Jo: I can’t imagine how you felt. Must’ve been one heck of a high! You’re living the dream so many authors have. Congratulations! How awesome. Question three: What fuels your creative process?
Marissa: Ever since I was a kid I’ve lived my life half in reality, half in daydreams. I just constantly have little fantasies going through my head, and over time those start to crystallize into stories, complete with characters and adventures and little snapshots of different scenes. I long ago realized that if I didn’t write those stories down, they would haunt me forever. I might go through periods where I’m not “inspired” or excited about a particular writing project, but that need to write never goes away entirely.
Jo: I’m with you there. So many words, so little time! *grin* I have to know: Did you plot out your entire Lunar Chronicles series before you started writing? If yes, how long did it take you and what were some of the road-bumps you had to navigate through? If no, what’s been the biggest drawback to not having a set plot?
Marissa: I did – I’m big on outlines, and I knew early on that I wanted this series to overlap and intertwine in a way that felt really airtight. So I outlined all four books before I started writing, which probably took a couple of months, and then I drafted Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress all back to back. It was really helpful for getting a feel for the plot and characters and being able to foreshadow some events in the later books. That said, things always change, no matter how much forethought I put into them! So while I may have drafted the first three books early on, they all ended up having to be rewritten once I really started figuring things out. It was worth it, though—having so much written at the beginning of the process gave me a lot to work with.
Jo: I bet that helped when you were shopping book one. I know I’d like to see an author with their stuff together if I were a publisher. That’s quite an undertaking. Fantastic job! Last question! Since time travel is the theme of utopYA con 2015, I like to ask about past and future choices. So, is there anything you’d go back and change in your writing career? What impact do you think it would have?
Marissa: Oh my, good question! There was one novel that I’d started writing before Cinder about a teenage girl who was secretly an assassin. I ended up setting that novel aside for various reasons, but it still has a special place in my heart and I sometimes wonder what would have happened if I’d finished and tried to sell that book first, especially now with the success of assassin books like Grave Mercy and Throne of Glass. This isn’t so much a regret—obviously things have worked out pretty well with The Lunar Chronicles!—but it’s one of those things that I think about sometimes. Who knows, maybe that book will make a reappearance someday!
Jo: Well, if it does, I’m sure it’ll be as amazing as your series! Thank you so much for gracing us with your presence. I know you’re a very busy lady, and I appreciate you taking the time for my interview. I’ll see you at utopYA!
Now you know what kind of amazing people you’ll get to meet at the con. If you don’t have tickets yet, get them here while they’re still at early-bird prices.
Want to read Cinder? Pick up a copy on Amazon here for $2.99 (as of the date of this post).
Already read Cinder? Interested in Fairest? Pre-order it on Amazon here for $9.99 (as of the date of this post). Releases Jan 27, 2015.
Let’s give Marissa a follow on social media, shall we?
Facebook: Marissa Meyer Author
Thanks for reading the interview, and I do hope you pick up a copy of Cinder, book one of the series!
Well, that’s all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!