Monday, February 24, 2014

Marissa Meyer Book Signing

By Pamela

I've dragged my daughter to at least a handful of book signings in her life. This time she turned the tables on me. On Valentine's Day, Marissa Meyer, author of the Lunar Chronicles, was in town, promoting the launch of her third installment of the series, Cress. My daughter, Mia, had already read the first two books, Cinder and Scarlet, and was about to begin the third. She could not wait to meet Ms. Meyer!

Mia with Marissa Meyer
We met up with three other moms and their girls and eagerly joined the 100 or so fans at Barnes and Noble.

Ms. Meyer was a delight. Not only did she chat for way longer than I anticipated, she was so engaging--taking questions and talking at length about her writing process.

Several years ago she decided to participate in NaNoWriMo--in part because her Seattle chapter was holding a contest: Whoever completed the most words in November would win a walk-on role in an upcoming Star Trek episode. Motivated by the opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream (inspired by her favorite Trekkie--her Uncle Bob), she spent the weeks leading up to NaNo getting organized.

You see, she'd recently had a dream in which Cinderella was fleeing from the ball and, at the point in the Disney version where her glass slipper falls off, Marissa saw Cinderella's entire foot fall off. Cinderella (aka Cinder) was a cyborg! And thus the seed for her first novel was planted.

From there she took her love of Hans Christian Andersen's tales and sketched out futuristic stories featuring Little Red Riding Hood (Scarlet) and Rapunzel (Cress). During NaNo, while working full-time and taking a class, she wrote just over 150,000 words! And yet she didn't win, getting bested by a little more than 100 words. (Her only consolation for not winning was learning the promised Star Trek gig never materialized, either.)

The next year or two would be spent taking those 150,000 words, adding to them and polishing them into drafts for her first three novels. (She admitted her first attempt was pretty bad.) But she said reading Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell taught her the tools she needed to craft her stories into something worthy of being published. She landed an agent, sold the book and is busy (between tour stops with her husband) finishing the fourth and final installment. More books are planned, much to the relief of her devoted fans, and I'm sure we'll see a lot more from this talented, charming author. I know my daughter is eagerly awaiting the arrival of Winter (featuring Snow White and Cinder on the moon) and will be sure to read anything else she writes.

So encouraging to see and hear from a young author who is motivating kids to read--and maybe write!

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