Ask the Author: Marissa Meyer

“My hour is up! Thank you so much for your questions and I hope I was able to satisfy some of your curiosity. I'm sure we will do this again in the future, but in the meantime... enjoy Fairest!!” Marissa Meyer

Answered Questions (53)

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Marissa Meyer I'd have to check this to be sure, but I believe Levana literally means "Queen of the Moon."

I try to give most of my characters meaningful names like that, and many of them are inspired by their fairy tale counterparts, too. I will often change a character's name multiple times until I find one that feels just perfect!
Marissa Meyer If I could go back and change something, I would make the Lunar gift less powerful. Winter is mostly set on Luna, so we're in a society surrounded by people with the ability to manipulate and control, and it's really complicated parts of the plot for me! I've been able to make it work just fine, but I could have saved myself a lot of heartache by putting more restrictions on Lunars from the start.
Marissa Meyer Winter will conclude this series, but I do have some ideas for potential spin-offs set in this world. I'm talking to my publisher now. We'll see...
Marissa Meyer No, I wrote Fairest while writing Winter (I was in the middle of Winter's second draft when I decided to take a break and write Levana's story). That's also the order I recommend reading them in, as there are things revealed in Fairest that I think will further deepen readers' understandings of what happens in Winter, though you will still be able to follow the story without having read Fairest first.
Marissa Meyer An aspiring writer, haha! #fakeanswers

No, seriously, I would have kept trying to be a writer my whole life. But when I was working on Cinder I was a freelance book proofreader, which I really enjoyed, so I'd probably still be doing that.
Marissa Meyer I love writing scenes for each of the couples - kissing scenes are always my favorite to write! I also love romantic tension scenes in general, where the characters get to be all awkward and dancing around their feelings...

I don't really have a favorite couple, though. They're all so different and they all have moments that I absolutely loved writing.
Marissa Meyer I love getting to work in my pajamas, lol!!

Although the biggest highlight has to be meeting readers who are so enthusiastic about the series and characters. It's really special to think that my books have had an impact on people's lives and given them the same sort of daydreams and entertainment that some of my favorite books have given me.

I also really love all the fanart!
Marissa Meyer I've never lived in Asia, but I did visit China when I was a teenager. I wish I would have taken better notes when I was there, though! Most of the setting details have come more from research than hand-on experience, though I would absolutely love to go back and visit again. I also desperately want to go to Japan, Thailand, and the Philippines. Someday...
Marissa Meyer In addition to Bluebeard (which I mentioned in an earlier answer), I had thought it would be fun to do Puss in Boots as a part of this series, inspired by a short story that I wrote years ago that first inspired these books. But it didn't fit into the plot, so I cut that idea early on. I do love that fairy tale, though. I also have a soft spot in my heart for Rumpelstiltskin, so maybe I could do something with that tale someday.

I would also love to deviate from your traditional Grimm stories and branch out into folk tales from other cultures, which have always fascinated me. I would have to do more research before heading in that direction, though.
Marissa Meyer In my early, early conceptualizing for the series, I thought Winter would be your typical Snow White as described in the fairy tale: skin as white as snow, lips as red as blood, hair as black as ebony.

However, one day not long into my planning process I was reading through a health and nutrition blog and I came across a photo of this beautiful black model with thick curly hair biting into a red apple. The second I saw that picture I thought - that's her! that's my princess! So Winter became black.

It's not a very scientific approach to character building, but that's the story, lol.
Marissa Meyer Oooooh, let me think. The novels that have stuck with me the most this past year are probably THE WINNER'S CURSE by Marie Rutkoski, SIEGE AND STORM by Leigh Bardugo, and MORTAL HEART by Robin LaFevers. There have been a lot of other great ones, but those three blew me away.
Marissa Meyer Hahaha, what a great question! But also a tough one. I was a pretty good kid. But I do remember prank calling the boys I had crushes on (not nearly as clever as I thought at the time!). And once my BFF and I went on a "double-date" and told our parents we were going to the movies but ended up going to this park and walking around instead, after dark - very spooky - and there were drug dealers hanging around and all sorts of crazy stuff. Not our brightest moment, but luckily nothing happened.
Marissa Meyer I go on a fair amount of book tours - the next will be in November for the Winter tour. I recommend subscribing to my newsletter at marissameyer.com to find out about upcoming travel and signing events. (Plus, you get a free short story when you subscribe.)
Marissa Meyer This is something my copyeditor actually caught! It's Levana's 16th birthday, but her 17th YEAR. (Because the first 12 months of your life are your first year, then you turn 1 and you're in your second year... get it??) I'd never thought of it until she pointed it out, lol.
Marissa Meyer That's funny, I'm actually wearing fuzzy socks right now! They're pink-and-red striped, very Valentine's, lol.
Marissa Meyer The settings have all been set from the beginning, so I've never really considered how they would have changed to be set elsewhere. It is an interesting question though! Hmm....

I've had a couple events in Vancouver and I do TONS of events in Seattle (I live in Tacoma!), so I hope you'll be able to make it down to one of these days!
Marissa Meyer I've long thought it would be fun to do a YA retelling of Bluebeard, but I don't know for sure that I'll ever write it. It is one of my favorite stories, though (weirdly enough). Who knows!
Marissa Meyer Yes! The estimated (not-final) page count is posted on GoodReads at 800 pages, and that's going to be darn close!
Marissa Meyer Winter will release on November 10 of this year. (eep!)

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