Dear fiction-fans, we end our Lost in Young Adults event a little late (read here why) but with a BANG!, since we are offering you an interview with Marissa Meyer, the New York Times best- selling author of ‘Cinder’. Now, I have to say I read this book and really enjoined it.
It had mixed reviews, some readers and critics pointed out the story was a little bit too superficial and didn’t keep its promises ‘wasting’ its potential. Well, I beg to differ. Meyer’s only purpose was to produce a fun read, was to simply entertain for a few hours. I really didn’t have the impression she wanted to go in depth or anything, her goal was just to bless her readers with a lot of fun, at least this is my opinion. And you know why? As far as I’m concerned, she has succeeded. This is the perfect book to read after a long day at work, so that you forget for a while about that bitch/bastard who’s your boss.
This is a book to be read in the garden, while your husband is watching the game and your children are finally out of your way, at a sleepover or something. No, wait, even better: read this on some exotic island while on a well-deserved holiday after a crazy year working in London (just a random example, not that it has anything to do with me…) . Anyway, the story is set in the distant future in New Beijing, a place where humans and androids walk along in the streets. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, the 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 very under appreciated by her mother and one of her step-sisters, while the other step-sister adores her. As a cyborg she doesn’t have the same rights as a normal person and her step-mother goes out of her way to remind Cinder this whenever she can. One day Prince Kai requests her services to fix his android. And in true fairy tale fashion he begins to fall for her not knowing she is a cyborg. But this isn’t just a love story. Oh no! The world has been suffering from a deadly disease that kills in a matter of days and it starts to become painfully obvious that Earth’s only hope for a cure depends on an alliance with the evil Lunar Queen. And as you may have guessed it, she has plans for Earth
As I have already mentioned above, the story was interesting. It was engaging. It was just plain old fun! And I haven’t had this much fun reading a book in a while.
I loved all the characters in Cinder, especially the heroine. Cinder was independent, feisty, and relatable. She didn’t always make the right decision, but she learns from her mistakes
It is, of course, a re-telling of Cinderella where Meyer does twist a few points, and gives the story some shades of grey rather than formulaic black and white, but there aren’t really any major surprises. To this end the foreshadowing throughout Cinder is not always particularly subtle. I’m unsure whether the last big revelation of the book was intended to be a surprise, or whether Meyer wanted us to have guessed it in advance, but I can’t say I batted an eyelid at its exposure.
Despite this, I still found Cinder inventive and engaging, and there is a lot of fun to be had within its covers.
Below, you can read an interview of the author herself. Enjoy!
1) Why young adult? Did you choose this genre or were you ‘chosen’ by it?
I guess the latter, as it wasn’t so much a conscious
decision. I’ve been in love with YA literature since
before I realized what it was called, and though I did
read “adult” fantasy and sci-fi, romance,
classics, and general literature when I was a teen,
I always found myself drawn back to YA.
Particularly these days, with so much attention
being put on the genre and publishers putting so
much out there,it’s a really exciting place to be.
I also find that teenagers are willing to try just
about anything – they don’t get caught up in
genre-biases like a lot of adults do – so YA authors
have a lot of freedom over what they can write and
the risks they can take. That appeals to me.
2) Is there an author, living or dead, who inspired you particularly?
Oh, plenty! There are authors whose craft I admire,
such as the wayGregory Maguire and Marcus Zusak can
turn words into gold. There are authors whosecareers I admire,
like Scott Westerfeld who has written in multiple genres and
done each of them brilliantly.
And there are writers like J.K. Rowling who has touched countless
lives and created something truly magical, and yet has remained
ever poised and charming.
3) Please, tell us about your last book and, if you can,
about your future projects.
Cinder is not only my most recent book, but also my first book!
It gives a sci-fi twist to the classic Cinderella tale,
and throws a lot of new stakes into the mix,
including a deadly plague and an evil queen with
powers of mind-control.
Plus, my heroine, Cinder, is a cyborg – part human and part machine.
Cinder is the firstof a four-book series called The Lunar Chronicles,
so I’ll be continuing to work on this series for a long while,
and I’m very much enjoying it! Each book continues Cinder’s
story and also introduces readers to a new fairy-tale inspired heroine:
Scarlet (Little Red Riding Hood), Cress (Rapunzel),
and Winter (Snow White) as they join forces against
the evil queen.
4) How was your writing journey?
Was it difficult to find an agent and get published?
For me, the writing was the hardest and longest part.
I spent about ten years learning the craft and working on novels
that I never finished, then two years writing Cinder.
But once it finally came time to seek publication, it all happened
very quickly! It took about two months after sending my first query
to sign with my agent (who was, in fact, the first agent I’d queried).
She and I tweaked the submission package for about two weeks, and she
went on submission to publishers on a Friday.
We had our first offer the following Monday. About a week later the series
went to auction between two publishers, before we signed with
Macmillan’s Feiwel & Friends. From first query to book deal was
just under three months.
5) What’s your opinion about this E-book revolution?
Would you consider the indie route?
I think e-books have a role to play in the reading world and are only
going to continue to gain in popularity over the coming years.
(I personally love them for travel, although I frequently end up
buying the book twice so I can still keep a copy on my shelf!)
As an author, it’s important to me that readers have access to my work
and that I get paid fairly for it – whatever is the best way for a reader
to get my book works for me! That said, I do think that independent
bookstores play an important role that can’t be filled by online
retailers or even many chain stores.
They are a part of a community, they are almost always
owned and run by smart, passionate book lovers, and many
bring authors and literary events into their neighborhoods.
I love my local indie and many of the stores that I’ve been to
on tour, and I hope that readers will recognize their importance
and continue to support them. Now that I’ve rambled on about that – no,
I can’t see myself going the self-publishing route in the near future.
I’ve had amazing support from my publisher and know I couldn’t
have done a fraction of the marketing and publicity they
did if I were on my own.
6) Nowadays many publishers expect their authors to use social media
a lot to promote their books.
Many authors, on the other hand, would prefer to write only,
without being distracted by digital trivialities: what are your thoughts?
Although I sympathize with authors who want to write without all the
distractions, and no doubt there are days when I think I can’t possibly
write another blog post or reply to another tweet, for the most part I’m
happy to be writing in a time when we have so much connectivity and interaction.
I love hearing from readers and being able to talk with them directly.
I also think social media provides an amazing online community that allows
people to share ideas and recommendations in a way that can be independent
from traditional media and corporate decisions. I know that much
of Cinder’s success has been due to the support it’s gotten from
online bloggers and people talking about it on social media, and
I love being a part of that.
Info about the author:
Marissa Meyer lives in Tacoma, Washington, with her husband and their three cats.
She’s a fan of most things geeky (Sailor Moon, Firefly, color-coordinating her bookshelf…)
and will take any excuse to put on a costume.
To know more, please visit her social media:
To buy her latest book, please click on the cover below: