Interview with Marissa Meyer, Author of Cinder and Giveaway!

Marissa Meyer is the author of Cinder, a fun twist on Cinderella. Marissa dropped by the virtual offices for a chat, and she also brought presents! One winner will score a copy of Cinder, as well as a Cinder mirror!

[Manga Maniac Café] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Marissa Meyer] I’m a diligent optimist who’s always wanted to be a writer and am now UNBELIEVABLY ECSTATIC to see my debut novel come into the world.

[Manga Maniac Café] Can you tell us a little about your book, Cinder?

[Marissa Meyer] Cinder is a futuristic take on “Cinderella,” in which our heroine is re-envisioned as a 16-year-old mechanic who’s part-human, part-machine. Cinder’s innate ability to fix things brings her in contact with the handsome Prince Kai, and soon she’s caught in a political battle of wills between Earth and the cruel Lunar queen who wants to rule it.

[Manga Maniac Café] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Marissa Meyer] A few years ago, I entered a writing contest with a futuristic retelling of “Puss in Boots,” and that gave me the idea for an entire series of futuristic fairy tales. A few months later, I was drifting off to sleep when I had a flash of inspiration: Cinderella, but as a cyborg, with a prosthetic hand and foot. I saw her fixing androids and hover cars, as opposed to the more traditional vision of her mopping floors and serving tea. Other characters started to fill in the story gradually, some inspired by their fairy tale counterparts, such as the wicked stepmother, and others entirely my own making, such as Dr. Erland who offers lots of insights and twists in the book.

[Manga Maniac Café] What was the most challenging aspect of writing the book?

[Marissa Meyer] I struggle with villains, and there are two main ones in this book—Adri, Cinder’s stepmother, and evil Queen Levana. My imagination always wants to make them pure evil, and I have to really work to give them dimension and back story, asking myself what made them this way and how they see themselves.

[Manga Maniac Café] Which of your characters are you most like?

[Marissa Meyer] In Cinder, probably Peony, Cinder’s younger stepsister, who is chipper and boy-crazy and afraid of creepy-crawlies, which describes 14-year-old me in a nutshell.

[Manga Maniac Café] What are your biggest creative influences?

[Marissa Meyer] I’ve definitely been influenced by those writers that have done so many amazing fairy tale retellings, and keep them from ever feeling stale, such as Shannon Hale and Gregory Maguire. I also really admire Scott Westerfeld and how he’s been able to seamlessly switch between such varying genres, which gives hope to a girl who has book ideas for every YA genre out there!

[Manga Maniac Café] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Marissa Meyer] A beverage (doesn’t really matter what it is), my fingerless gloves, a quiet mind.

[Manga Maniac Café] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Marissa Meyer] The Chronicles of Narnia—they were the first novels I can remember reading, and I was enchanted by them.

[Manga Maniac Café] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Marissa Meyer] Read, obviously! I also like going wine-tasting and having games nights with friends and family.

Thank you so much for being a part of the Blog Tour, Julie!

[Manga Maniac Café]  Thank you!


You can learn more about Marissa by visiting her website.  Follow her on Twitter here.

Click here to see the entire schedule for Marissa’s Cinder Blog Tour!

You can read chapters 1 – 5 by clicking this widget:

And, Cinder is available in both print and digital formats.  You can order a copy from your favorite bookseller, or by clicking the widget below:

 

Contest Time!

Ready for a chance to win a copy of Cinder and a Cinder mirror?  Fill out the form below!

You must be 13 or older to enter.

I am not responsible for lost or damaged shipments.

One entry per person.

Open to US/Canadian mailing addresses only

Contest ends January 22

 

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Review: Cinder by Melissa Meyer

 

Title: Cinder

Author: Marissa Meyer

Publisher: Feiwel and Friends

ISBN: 978-0312641894

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a 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 a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Review:

I love reimagined fairy tales, so I was delighted to learn about Marissa Meyer’s Cinder. The first book of the Lunar Chronicles launches the series with a bang, and kept me reading late into the night.  Set in the future, in the streets of New Beijing, the world building makes this dystopian Cinderella story a fun, interesting read.  The citizens of New Beijing live in fear of a deadly plague that kills indiscriminately.  There is no cure, and it is always fatal. To give Prince Kai even more heartache than watching helplessly as his citizens succumb to the disease, he must also watch his father, a plague victim,  slip ever closer to death.  He doesn’t feel that he is ready to assume the throne, and he frets about the Lunar Queen and her ambitions to rule Earth as well.

Cinder is a mechanic.  She’s also a cyborg, and in her society, she has fewer rights than a vid screen.  She is only a possession, and worse, she is at the mercy of her stepmother, a woman who has no love for her.  Cinder’s skill at fixing things keeps her busy at her repair shop, but all of her earnings go directly to her stepmother.  When disaster befalls Cinder’s younger stepsister, the only person in her family to show her any kindness, Cinder is handed over to the government for medical research.  Yeah, I said her stepmother wasn’t very nice, right? This heartless act was proof beyond believe that the woman had a heart of stone.

I don’t want to delve too deeply into the plot, because it was a lot of fun following along with Cinder as she discovered the truth about her past, as well as learning more about her world.  As she learns more about who she really is, she also learns about the plague and the cruel ambitions of the Lunar Queen.  Just when things start to get overwhelming, Cinder’s relationship with the handsome Prince Kai deepens and grows to friendship, and quite possibly more.  I loved the soft pacing of this story thread, as Cinder and Kai slowly got to know each other.  From totally different backgrounds, they discovered that they had a lot in common, and their romance bloomed very convincingly.  They needed each other, someone to lean on and confide in, and since both of them were isolated due to their relative positions in their society, it seemed natural that they would gravitate toward each other.

Cinder is a cyborg, and she doesn’t want Kai to know what she is, so she keeps it a secret.  She is afraid of how he will react to the knowledge, and fearful that their friendship will change.  At the same time, she knows that  a future with him isn’t possible, so she attempts to keep an emotional distance from him, something that is easier said than done.  Forbidden romance is a trope that I love – how is it possible for them to ever have a happily ever after, especially with all of the other disruption occurring in their lives?  There are so many forces at play to push them apart, and yet they still kept drifting back together.  I enjoyed that aspect of the story very much.

The only reason Cinder didn’t get a slightly higher grade is because of the ending.  Once again, it’s not so much of an end as it is a stopping point to be continued in the next volume of The Lunar Chronicles.  That is my biggest pet peeve about publishing right now; all of the series and all of the cliffhangers drive me nuts.  I usually can’t remember what I read yesterday, let alone what I read last year.  When new installments of series that I am following are released, there is an uncomfortable adjustment period when I start reading the new adventures.  With all of the unread books surrounding me, I don’t feel that I have to time to re-read any, so sometimes the magic doesn’t re-ignite when I pick up a new volume, especially one where high expectations are involved.  End rant.

Cinder is an engaging story with touches of fantasy, science fiction, and romance.  The setting is richly imagined, and the characters and their situations are compelling.  This is a fun read, and I am eager to see what happens next.

Grade: B+

Review copy provided by publisher

Cinder is available in both print and eBook

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