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venus star
Oh, LiveJournal.

We’ve had some good times.

We’ve had some seriously obnoxious times.

But all those times are officially coming to an end. Because this blog is moving!

Please come bookmark and subscribe to my brand new blog:

And please take a moment to change any web site links you may have to this blog.

This blog will continue to live on as an archive documenting many fabulous years of fanfiction, NaNoWriMos, and my journey to publication. And throughout the entire month of June 2012, the new blog will be highlighting some of my favorite posts from over the years. Come join me!
Cinder 2012
I'll be joining the Fierce Reads Tour this June, and I'm so excited to help celebrate the release of STRUCK by Jennifer Bosworth, the first official Fierce Read from MacKids!

And it is out TODAY!

Mia Price is a lightning addict. She's survived countless strikes, but her craving to connect to the energy in storms endangers her life and the lives of those around her... Read More.

STRUCK has claim to one of my favorite new book trailers. Check it out:

Jennifer Bosworth is also going on blog tour, the complete schedule of which can be found on the MacKids blog.

To find out if the Fierce Reads tour is making a stop near you (and if I'll be there!), check out the Fierce Reads Fan Page.

Congratulations, Jennifer!
Cinder 2012
I had THREE new artists contact me with fanart this week, which is too cool, and inspired me to start a contributor-made fanart gallery for the series.

Please go check out the new Lunar Chronicles DeviantART Group, where anyone is welcome to join and post their work, or just swoon over the awesome creations by everyone else!

This week's featured works:

Cinder and Iko by Alzhorse

Cinder Sketch 4 by Cindi Orr

Cinder Doodles by Ebele

Thanks to the fabulous artists for sharing their work, and to everyone who’s been posting at the new DeviantART fanart group!
Cinder 2012
IMPORTANT NOTE: THE RACE OFFICIALLY BEGINS AT NOON EST ON MAY 2. If you’re reading this early, take a breather, stretch them calf muscles, get a drink of water, and wait for the flag!

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Welcome to the CINDER Stop on YAmazing Race with MGnificent Prizes!

Did you stumble here from aimless internet browsing and have NO IDEA what I’m talking about? Fear not! Just head over to the home base (a.k.a. the Apocalypsies Blog) for an explanation and to get started. Then blog hop on any one of six tracks, learn about OVER FIFTY amazing YA and MG novels, and enter to win books, ARCs, swag, and other awesome prizes!

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CINDER by Marissa Meyer

Sixteen-year-old Cinder is considered a technological mistake by most of society and a burden by her stepmother. Being cyborg does have its benefits, though: Cinder’s brain interface has given her an uncanny ability to fix thing (robots, hovers, her own malfunctioning parts), making her the best mechanic in New Beijing. This reputation brings Prince Kai himself to her weekly market booth, needing her to repair a broken android before the annual ball. He jokingly calls it “a matter of national security,” but Cinder suspects it’s more serious than he’s letting on.

Although eager to impress the prince, Cinder’s intentions are derailed when her younger stepsister, and only human friend, is infected with the fatal plague that’s been devastating Earth for a decade. Blaming Cinder for her daughter’s illness, Cinder’s stepmother volunteers her body for plague research, an “honor” that no one has survived.

But it doesn’t take long for the scientists to discover something unusual about their new guinea pig. Something others would kill for.

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BONUS GIVEAWAY: Grab Bag of Goodness

I know you’re anxious to get to the end of the race, complete your quiz, and be entered for awesome prizes, but wait! Before you go, leave a comment to this blog post with your email address and your favorite fairy tale. One commenter, selected at random, will win a Grab Bag of Goodness! I do not yet know what will be in this grab bag, otherwise I would tell you. But I suspect it will be filled with goodness nonetheless.


* * *

Thanks for Stopping By!

Ready to move on? Next up on the Giant Space Squid track: Jenny Lundquist!

Good luck!
Amy heart
I received an email a couple days ago from the creator of Enchanted Doll (a line of collectable jointed porcelain dolls), whose doll "Cinderella" was used on the cover of CINDER in Spain. There was lots of oohing and aahing over the gorgeous cover when I posted it, and seeing the doll in its entirety, I'm sure there's going to be much more! I've spent the last hour swooning over Cinderella and all the gorgeous dolls in the collection.

Cinderella by Marina Bychkova, Enchanted Dolls

Doesn't she have the most darling face?!

I also adore how the publisher decided to photoshop one of her legs in the final cover image to make it look more human. Do I sense SYMBOLISM?


CINDER, Spanish Edition, from Mondadori

Cinderella by Marina Bychkova, Enchanted Dolls

You can read more about the artist on her blog, including her own thoughts on her doll being chosen for the CINDER cover.

And if you think Cinderella is pretty, you really must go peek through her gallery. So much gorgeousness!! Including other fairy tale favorites, such as the Princess and the Pea, Beauty and the Beast, and Alice in Wonderland.

The Enchanted Doll Gallery

What do you think of this cover inspiration?
Penny for your thoughts
Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who responded to my request for CINDER discussion topics and questions. I’m waiting for the final, edited list from my editor (which will eventually be posted on my web site), but here’s the preliminary list of questions that I pulled together using all of your fantastic suggestions.

You are, of course, free to respond to any of the questions in the comments, should you so desire. ^_^

CINDER Discussion Questions

1. What parallels can you draw between CINDER and the Cinderella fairy tale? What is the symbolism behind the glass slipper, the pumpkin carriage, the ball? Is there a fairy godmother in CINDER, and if so, who is it?

2. What does it mean to be human? Is it primarily physiological? Cultural? Emotional? What do you think could have led to cyborgs being perceived as less than human in Cinder’s world? What about Lunars, who evolved from a human colony? What real-world parallels can you draw between the discrimination against cyborgs and Lunars to that of race, disability, and class?

3. Cinder has many unique abilities—the ability to detect lies, to download information directly into her head, to overlay her eyesight with helpful diagrams, etc. What kinds of abilities might we want to develop from future technology? What cyborg skill would you like to have today?

4. In Cinder’s future, Earth has been conglomerated into six countries who have formed an alliance called the Earthen Union. Though Cinder lives in Asia (the Eastern Commonwealth), there is much evidence of western influence (ex., the ball gowns that are made for Peony and Pearl). Do you think this mixing of cultures is a believable result of the Earthen Union? How do you foresee cultures changing (or not) as a result of the increased communication and travel we have access to today?

5. Propaganda is used as a political tool both by Luna (ex., Sybil’s claim that the history of peace on Luna is a result of the totalitarian regime) and the Eastern Commonwealth (ex., being selected as a cyborg draft subject is an “honor”). When is it justified for a government or institution to use propaganda? When should the people of a society question what information they’re given?

6. Dr. Erland compares the arrival of Lunars and the spread of letumosis to rats carrying the bubonic plague to Europe and the Spanish conquistadors bringing smallpox to the Native Americans. Do you think these are accurate comparisons? Why or why not?

7. What is the importance of beauty (real or deceptive) in Cinder’s world? Compare the perceived beauty and/or ugliness of Queen Levana and Cinder and how this has effected how they’re treated by those around them. How is this similar or different from the way beauty is treated today?

8. In chapter 24, Prince Kai asks Cinder, "Imagine there was a cure, but finding it would cost you everything. It would completely ruin your life. What would you do?" Both Kai and Cinder face decisions that could result in sacrificing their own lives for what they perceive as a greater good. Do you believe that a person is obligated to sacrifice themselves for the sake of many? How does self-sacrifice compare to the imposed sacrifices made by cyborg draft subjects?

9. Was it right for Cinder to try to deliver the antidote to Peony first, even though there were others who also needed it? Was it right for Dr. Erland to offer her first access to the antidote? What would you have done in either situation?

10. Marissa Meyer got the idea for implanted ID chips when she saw a religious propaganda flier warning people against imbedded computer chips that would signal the coming of the apocalypse. In Cinder’s world, ID chips are so necessary to everyday life that to be without one is to stop existing on some level. What would be some of the benefits of having such an ID chip implanted in your body? What are some potential dangers?

11. What are your thoughts on Kai’s reaction when he discovered that Cinder is both a cyborg and a Lunar? How do you think he would have reacted if Cinder had told him the truth earlier in the book? Can you speculate how his feelings might change (toward Cinder, Lunars, or the cyborg draft) after the shock has worn off?

12. Each book in The Lunar Chronicles will be inspired by a different fairy tale. Can you spot references to any tales besides Cinderella within CINDER?

Inspiring Nail Polish for Writers

senshi colors
A few years ago, during NaNoWriMo, I decided to paint my nails a gorgeous flaming red, as opposed to my usual boring clear. I thought it would have some sort of psychological "magic flows from my fingertips as I write" vibe to it. Mostly I think it just frustrated me as the paint started chipping about two hours into the month-long writing party, BUT it was still more fun to watch flashes of red on my keyboard than, you know, not.

So when I came across a nail polish last year called "Ink Splatter," I started keeping my eye out for nail polishes that could inspire in their names as much as in their colors. Finally I've collected enough to share!

Inspiring Nail Polish for Writers

“Well Red” by Essie

“Muse” by Revlon

“On the Same Paige” by OPI

“Happily Ever After” by Essie

“Razzle Dazzle” by Deborah Lippmann
(Probably makes more sense if you’ve read my guest post on how the song “Razzle Dazzle” inspires me to be a better writer.)

“Secret Story” by Essie

“Poetic” by China Glaze

“Ink Splatter” by Sally Hansen

(Side note: After writing this post, I checked Google Reader to find that I wasn't the only one with nail polishes on the brain this weekend. SurLaLune Fairy Tale blog also had a post about nail polishes inspired by Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Fun stuff!)

Does anyone else feel like manicures this morning?

Fanart Friday: Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress

Amy heart
YAY, more CINDER and Lunar Chronicles fanart is starting to pop up on the Interwebs! I have three character drawings to share today, featuring our first three heroines:

The Lunar Chronicles - Cinder by ~XxXTwixXxX on deviantART

The Lunar Chronicles - Scarlet by ~XxXTwixXxX on deviantART

The Lunar Chronicles - Cress by ~XxXTwixXxX on deviantART

XxXTwixXxX says she'll be working on Queen Levana and Princess Winter next. Looking forward to it!

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I love seeing fanart from The Lunar Chronicles! If you have some to share, please let me know!


My First Tattoo, Revealed!

Cinder 2012
If you missed the excitement on Twitter, I got my first tattoo a couple weeks ago!

The inspiration behind my tattoo came a few years ago when I was chatting about tattoos with some friends and what we might get if we ever took the plunge. I'd always kind of wanted one, but it was important to me to wait until I had an idea that I knew I would never tire of and that would never lose its meaning. One of my friends suggested getting a tattoo to celebrate my first book if/when I finally got published.

So that's what I did!

My tattoo was OFFICIALLY REVEALED in this interview with Danny Marks (@DannyMarksYA on Twitter) of the YA Rebels over the weekend. It was great fun, despite the poor lighting and echoey noises from the next-door cafe.

No time to watch the video? See the tattoo and my mini-explanation beneath the cut!Collapse )

Anyone out there have any geeky, book-loving tattoo stories to share?
venus star
Except not really, because here I am writing a blog post about it! I just couldn’t resist the clever-yet-misleading blog post title.

Moving on.

I’ve been officially finished with my first book tour for almost two months now, so I figured it was high-time for me to let you all in on my experiences, before I forget about them! Like most authors, I went into the book tour experience with plenty of fantasies about what book tours were all about. Some of them proved to be very accurate; others, not so much.

Fantasy #1: I will be surrounded by book lovers and YA fans and I will win them all over with my zealous charm and I will sign a gazillion books and it will be awesome!

Assessment: Fairly True! People who come to book signings typically want to be won over, and many have already read the book and enjoyed it. Meeting so many book people was fantastic!

My event turn-outs ranged from 10 people to 125 people (the latter in Vancouver, B.C., and yes, I officially L-O-V-E Canada). Most of my events were in the 25-40 attendees range, which is amazing for a debut novel, and I was thrilled and flattered by every single person who took time out of their lives to come see me.

A typical signing would look like:

- Someone from the bookstore or library introduces me to the audience.
- I get up and talk for 10-15 minutes about my writing history/how I got the idea for Cinder/writing it and getting it published, etc.
- Sometimes I’d give a short reading, depending on the bookstore’s preference. (I personally HATE doing readings, so I would try to avoid it when possible. Yes, I realize I should probably get over that.)
- Q&A that lasted anywhere from 20-40 minutes.
- Signing! Books were available for sale at every event for people to buy, and I would often sign whatever stock was left also so the store could continue to hand-sell it.

My first-ever tour event! Joseph Beth Booksellers in Cincinnati.

Fantasy #2: I will have tons of FREE TIME in between signings and I will explore new cities and see cool sites and become a brilliant world traveler!

Assessment: Bwahahahaha, how quaint and adorable of Younger Me to think this.

Often, any “downtime” in between events was spent driving around to every bookstore in a 30-mile radius and meeting their staff and signing their stock. (Tip: Have plenty of pens and bookmarks handy!)

Signing stock at a Barnes & Noble.

Sure, there is some real downtime between events, but it’s very little, and I was usually exhausted during those times. My husband and I (yes, I was lucky enough that my husband got to travel with me!) ordered room service many a-time during the tour, because we were too tired to even venture out to the hotel restaurant. (However, see also Fantasy #4.)

Because I was never sure when we’d be doing stock signings or how long they would take, I was never exactly sure when I would have free-time—it would just sneak up on me and I’d be looking at my itinerary and thinking, oh, wow, I have four whole hours with nothing to do right now! Which was usually too late to make plans or buy tickets to anything, so that time was normally spent just wandering around whatever town we were in. Which was lovely too, but not exactly “seeing the sights.”

Fantasy #3: School visits? What are school visits?

Assessment: School visits are things that you will get very good at because you do a lot of them. Even more than regular bookstore signings.

I had never heard an author talk about doing school visits, and I can’t remember authors ever coming to my schools growing up, so this was news to me. It turns out that on tour, children’s and YA authors go to a lot of schools. We give presentations. We answer questions. We become very adept at working around strange audience layouts and technology failures. We appreciate awesome teachers and librarians EVEN MORE than we did before.

When I learned that I would be giving school presentations, it was easily the most nervous-making part of the whole tour for me. Because if there is one audience that can be difficult to impress, it’s teenagers!

However, for me, the school visits became the most rewarding part of the tour. 95% of my visits were great, with the students being very curious and enthusiastic about my book and the life of a writer, and I almost always got a few laughs during my presentation. Afterwards, there was at least one student at every school who came up to me and confessed that they, too, want to be a writer and/or are working on a novel and/or write fanfiction. I <3 those students so much.

The two things I learned in doing the school visits, for authors who expect to be doing them in the future:

1) Have visuals. I used a picture-heavy PowerPoint Presentation, and followed with my book trailer when technology allowed. It gives the students something to look at and holds their attention.

2) Have giveaways for the Q&A part. It can sometimes be difficult to get the students started on asking questions because nobody wants to go first. So I started offering 3 signed bookmarks to the first 3 students to ask questions. After that, Q&A usually went very smoothly. I plan on putting together “swag grab bags” for future events, which I think will work even better.

My very first school visit! I eventually learned that if they laughed at my first Sailor Moon joke, the rest would go well. If not… it was going to be a long presentation. Luckily, this group laughed!

Signing at one of my many school visits.

Fantasy #4: I shall be wined and dined and gain 8 pounds on all the amazingly delicious food!

Assessment: I’ve been told that this is a laughable fantasy for most authors, but… for me, it was kind of true. We went to lots of lunches and dinners and even a couple breakfasts with booksellers and librarians and bloggers. We were more-or-less treated like Very Important Guests. It was all very lovely!

However, there were those days when food wasn’t even factored into the schedule and you’d just have to grab a snack at whatever bookstore café you passed. Many of our media escorts (the people that drive authors around during tours) would also have snacks and bottled water on hand. So finding food never felt like an issue.


And that’s pretty much what my book tour was like! Any questions? :D

About Me

THIS BLOG HAS MOVED. Please update all links and subscriptions to

New York Times bestselling author of CINDER and The Lunar Chronicles, in which Cinderella is re-envisioned as a teenage cyborg. I'm represented by Jill Grinberg.

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TWITTER: @marissa_meyer




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