Welcome to Author Interview Thursday hosted by the Never Too Old for YA and NA Books group on Goodreads.
Today we welcome author Marissa Meyer to the blog and group!
Do you know Marissa's AMAZING series: The Lunar Chronicles?
You haven't? Well What are you waiting for????
Did you always know you wanted to be a writer or did you want to be something else?
Yes, I knew that I wanted to be a writer from the time that I learned such a job existed. I grew up an avid book lover, and I always had a crazy overactive imagination as a kid. Because of that, I was always making up stories – sometimes my cousin and I would act them out for our parents, other times I would tell them to my mom and she would type them up for me so I could illustrate them. So as soon as I realized that making up stories was something that you could do as a career, and that maybe someday I could have a book sitting on the shelves beside my favorites, I knew that’s what I wanted to do. I did have a few periods of other dreams—Broadway singer, fashion designer—but writing is the one dream that never went away.
How long does it take you to write a book from start to finish?
It varies by book. Cinder took me just under two years, although I was working on some other writing projects during that time, as well as working full-time. Alternatively, Scarlet took about 9 months, Cress about a year, and Winter will clock in around 15 or 16 months by the time it’s done. These are strict working-on-that-project months, ignoring the week- or month-long breaks I often take in between drafts.
With my next book, Heartless, I’ve actually been keeping a time-log and recording how many hours I spend working on the project, breaking it down into researching, writing, revising, and editing tasks. I’m very curious to see what it all adds up to by the time I’m done!
Do you have a schedule of when you write?
Not usually. I do set myself weekly goals, and then try to break down how much I need to complete every day. But there will be days when I write all day long, and there will be days when I’m doing lots of promotional or marketing work, or traveling, or giving school presentations, and don’t write at all. Most days will be a mixture of the two. For an “average” day, if there were such a thing, I’d spend my morning answering emails and checking off some promo tasks, my afternoon writing, and the evening reading and relaxing.
Where do you write?
Until recently I had a home office, but we’ve just converted it into a nursery (my husband and I are adopting our first child this year!). My husband has now started building me a detached writing studio in our backyard to replace the office, which I am very excited about.
I also love to get out of the house to write, and spend a fair amount of time at different cafes and restaurants.
Do you have any go to people when writing a book that help you with your story lines as well as editing, beta reading and such?
Yes, I have three amazing beta readers who have all been with me since I was writing Sailor Moon fanfiction! I usually send them the manuscript once I feel like I’ve taken it as far as I can and I can no longer see the strengths and weaknesses—usually this is around the third or fourth draft. Then they read it and always offer up invaluable feedback and help me see the book in ways I never would have seen it otherwise. The books are infinitely better because of them—I actually dedicated Cress to them, because I just don’t know what I’d do without their help.
Are you working on anything now?
I have a few projects going on right now! One is top-secret (to be announced this June!). I’m also finishing up the last round of revisions on Winter, the final book of the Lunar Chronicles, and working on Heartless, a stand-alone prequel to Alice in Wonderland. Then there are a couple short stories that I’m working on and I’m starting to outline my next series, as well—a trilogy inspired by superheroes. So many fun things to look forward to!
Thanks so much for being here today. It was a pleasure having you on the blog! We are looking forward to Winter and your other future works!
One of my first spoken words was “story” (right along with “bath” and “cookie”), my favorite toy as an infant was a soft, squishable book, and I’ve wanted to be a writer since I first realized such a job existed.
When I was fourteen my best friend introduced me to anime and fanfiction—over the years I would complete over forty Sailor Moon fanfics under the penname Alicia Blade. Those so inclined can still find my first stories at fanfiction.net. Writing fanfic turned out to be awesome fun and brought me in contact with an amazing group of fanfiction readers and writers. As Alicia Blade, I also had a novelette, “The Phantom of Linkshire Manor,” published in the gothic romance anthology Bound in Skin (CatsCurious Press, 2007).
When I was sixteen I worked at The Old Spaghetti Factory in Tacoma, Washington, affectionately termed “The Spag.” (Random factoid: This is also the restaurant where my parents met some 25 years before.) I attended Pacific Lutheran University where I sorted mail that came to the dorm, carted tables and chairs around campus, and took writing classes, eventually earning a Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing and Children’s Literature. Knowing I wanted a career in books, I would also go on to receive a Master’s degree in Publishing from Pace University (which you can learn more about here). After graduation, I worked as an editor in Seattle for a while before becoming a freelance typesetter and proofreader.
Then, day of days, someone thought it would be a good idea to give me a book deal, so I became a full-time writer. CINDER is my first novel, though I have an adorable collection of unfinished ones lying around too.
I now live with my husband and our three cats (Calexandria Josephine, Stormus Enormous, and Blackland Rockwell III), who go in and out, in and out, about eight hundred times a day. My favorite non-bookish things include Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, re-watching episodes of Firefly, and playing all manners of dress-up.