Puyallup Public Library welcomes author Marissa Meyer on July 9

The HeraldJuly 7, 2014 

Marissa Meyer, the young adult author of the popular Lunar Chronicles series, is a Pacific Lutheran University graduate and lives in Tacoma.

JULIA SCOTT — Courtesy photo

If you’re a young adult and love a good retelling of a classic story, then Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles series is a collection that’s likely to have a reserved spot on your bookshelf.

 The 30-year-old author, who calls Tacoma  home and graduated from Pacific Lutheran University in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in creative writing, will visit the Puyallup Public Library at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, July 9.

Bonnie Svitavsky, the young adult librarian, said Meyer fits nicely with the summer teen reading program theme “Sparks a Reaction.” It was the League of Teen Advisors who collectively wanted Meyer to visit and discuss her experience as an author.

“We have a waiting list on Marissa’s book series,” Svitavsky said. “All copies of ‘Cinder’ are out. None of Marissa’s books are checked back in and all have a lengthy waiting list, which is a good sign.”

“Cinder” is Meyer’s first book in her Lunar Chronicles series. It’s a mashup of science fiction, fantasy and fairy tale. The central character is Cinder, who is a lot like Cinderella, but in this story she is a cyborg.

“I’d known I wanted to be a writer since I was a kid,” Meyer said. “I’ve been writing stories since I was a teenager. I started working on ‘Cinder’ in 2008 and a couple years later I had a novel finished.”

Meyer said the first step for her – like it is for most writers – was to find an agent.

“I sent out query letters to a number of agents I was interested in,” Meyer said. “My agent and I put together a submission package to Macmillan on a Friday, and Macmillan made an offer to purchase the following Monday.”

Meyer’s central idea was to create an ensemble cast of different fairy tale characters and have them all have different science fiction twists.

Meyer said she is a huge fan of “Star Wars” and the cult-favorite science fiction series “Firefly,” created by Joss Whedon.

“I’m often asked what my literary science fiction passions are,” Meyer said. “I was all turned off by science fiction jargon. But I liked how ‘Firefly’ and ‘Star Wars’ focused on a great cast of characters. I wanted to create this other futuristic world but wanted people who aren’t familiar with the science fiction tropes to get into the characters.”

Meyer said she takes inspiration from Grimm’s Fairy Tales, not Disney fairy tales.

“I don’t quantify my books as dark or creepy, but there is definitely more of an edge than a Disney movie,” Meyer explained.

The two books following “Cinder” were “Scarlet,” about Little Red Riding Hood, and “Cress,” retelling the fairy tale Rapunzel.

Publishing in January will be the fourth book in the series, “Fairest,” a prequel to “Cinder.” And in November 2015, the fifth and final book in the series, “Winter,” will be released. This is a retelling of Snow White, Meyer said.

Each book in the series builds on the last one.

“The cast of characters gets larger with each book,” Meyer added.

Following the Lunar Chronicles series, Meyer will publish “Heartless,” in February 2016, a prequel story to “Alice in Wonderland.”

And what comes after that: Meyer might delve into something dealing with super heroes.

Meyer’s novels are published in more than 20 languages and hundreds of thousands of books have been sold.

She said she is excited to attend the Puyallup Public Library. She plans to talk about the path she took to becoming a published author, writing fan fiction at a young age, and how she managed to work a full-time job while writing books and getting them published.

“The most important thing is to write what you love, especially when you’re just getting started and getting to learn the craft,” Meyer said. “A lot of aspiring authors can get caught up in publishing, the market, trends, the audience. So it’s important to focus on creating something you love, and that will carry you through the world of publishing, which can be a very trying place to be.”

If You Go

What: Author Marissa Meyer will visit the Puyallup Public Library. A selection of books by the author will be available for sale, courtesy of King’s Books. Book signings will take place. The free program is sponsored by the Friends of the Puyallup Public Library.

When: 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 9

Where: Puyallup Public Library, 324 S. Meridian

Andrew Fickes: 253-552-7001
Twitter: @herald_andrew

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