Marissa Meyer was born and raised in Tacoma, Washington, home of Almond Roca and Stadium High School, which was made famous when Heath Ledger danced down the stadium steps in 10 Things I Hate About You. Marissa didn't actually go to Stadium High School, but she did attend Pacific Lutheran University, where she earned her bachelor's degree in Creative Writing. She still lives in Tacoma, now with her husband. Cinderis her YA debut.
Amazon: What was your inspiration for Cinder? How did you come up with the idea?
MM: In early 2008, I’d entered a short story contest with a futuristic retelling of Puss in Boots, in which Puss was a robotic talking cat trying to convince a plain schoolgirl that she was really a lost princess. I had so much fun writing it that I thought it would be fun to write an entire series of futuristic fairy tales, so I started brainstorming different sci-fi twists on my favorite stories. Then, as I was drifting off to sleep one night, I had the lightbulb moment: Cinderella, as a cyborg! The plot for the entire series started to click together after that.
Amazon: Why a young adult novel, and why now? (as opposed to an adult novel, etc)
MM: I just really love YA—I feel like the books coming out in the YA genre hold my interest better than most adult novels. I love the rush of first love and self-discovery and the idea that even society’s “weakest links,” as children and teens are often thought to be, can still change the world. There’s also just so much exploration happening in YA right now, from sci-fi and dystopian to horror and thrillers and fantasy, and the audience seems to be really open to reading and experiencing new types of fiction.
Amazon: What made you decide to make Cinder a mechanic?
MM: Cinder’s character just came to me as a mechanic, I think it was part of that initial lightbulb moment. It made sense to me that a cyborg would understand the inner workings of machines, and it made for a believable twist on the fairy tale: instead of doing her stepmother’s chores to earn her way, she fixes things. In the very first draft of the book, though, she wasn’t a professional mechanic, she just fixed things around the house for her stepmother. The market booth and city-wide renown came during revisions.
Amazon: And, just for fun, princess or mechanic? (as in, which would you rather be?)
MM: A princess.
Amazon: Prince or mechanic? (as in, who’s more attractive to you?)
MM: A mechanic. I like men with useful skills. Running a country? Psh. Fixing that weird sound in the engine? Yes, please!