|Cinder by Marissa Meyer|
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.
Marissa Meyer lives in Tacoma, Washington, with her husband and three cats. She’s a fan of most things geeky (Sailor Moon, Firefly, color-coordinating her bookshelf . . .), and has been in love with fairy tales since she was given a small book of them when she was a child. She may or may not be a cyborg. Cinder is her first novel.
FMM: What inspired the idea of The Lunar Chronicles?
MM: It started when I entered a writing contest in which the host had listed about ten random prompts and writers had to choose two of them to include in their stories. My two prompts: set it in the future and include a fairy-tale character. My contest entry was a sci-fi version of "Puss in Boots" and I had so much fun writing it that I thought I would try to do an entire series of sci-fi fairy tales! (The ironic part of that story is that only two stories were submitted for the contest—and mine didn't win!) A couple months after that I was drifting off to sleep when the lightning bolt struck: Cinderella… as a cyborg! I crawled out of bed and spent about an hour brainstorming and jotting notes. Thus, The Lunar Chronicles was born.
FMM: If you could pick a song to go with one of your novels, which song would it be?
MM: For me, the theme song of the series is "Invincible" by Muse. It's all about banding together to take down a foe that seems unstoppable - "Tonight, we can truly say - together we're invincible." That's become a big theme in the books, too. That only by all the heroes and heroines banding together and setting aside their differences and working as a team can they overcome Queen Levana and the Lunars.
FMM: Would you consider that your characters are part of yourself?
MM: I definitely put a little piece of myself into each character - including the bad ones! I find that I have to have something in each character that I can relate to in some way, otherwise I don't think I could write them authentically. Sometimes it's easy for me to pinpoint that characteristic, other times it's more deeply buried, but it's always there. In the end, though, I tend to think of my characters as very close friends, more than extensions of myself
FMM: What is your source of story inspiration?
MM: Story inspiration can come from absolutely anywhere - whether it's a dream or a some song lyrics, a newspaper article or a picture you see on Pinterest, a snippet of overheard conversation or some experience you had a long, long time. You never know when inspiration will strike or where it will come from. The trick is being open to recognizing it when it does hit!
FMM: Has writing changed you as a person?
MM: I've always considered myself as a writer, even when I was a little kid, so it's difficult for me to imagine myself as any other than a writer. I think writing has allowed me to hold on to and appreciate my imagination in a way that a lot of people lose as they become adults. I'm still idealistic and optimistic. I would think that I'm more accepting and empathetic than I would have otherwise been, too, as writing forces you to see the world through the eyes of many different people, not just your own. But who knows! I do know that I'm living my dream life right now, and I feel lucky for that every day.