Q&A with Marissa Meyer, author of the Lunar Chronicles
Marissa Meyer is the New York Times-bestselling author of Cinder, which marked her fiction debut and the debut of the Lunar Chronicles. Scarlet, the highly anticipated second book of the Lunar Chronicles, has already been called “another mesmerizing journey” by Publishers Weekly in a starred review. Scarlet introduces Scarlet Benoit, whose grandmother is missing, and whose only help in finding her is a street fighter named Wolf. Meanwhile, Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, is trying to break out of prison and stay one step ahead of the vicious Queen Levana, who has seen the sparks fly between Cinder and the handsome Prince Kai, and will do anything to ruin them both. Scarlet and Cinder must work together to save those they love – and the world.
Amazon.com: What was the most challenging aspect of writing Scarlet?
Marissa Meyer: Scarlet is written in dueling plotlines: One plot follows Cinder as she attempts to stay one step ahead of Queen Levana, while the other introduces eighteen-year-old Scarlet, whose grandmother has recently gone missing. I think the trickiest part for me was keeping these two plotlines balanced, and making sure that each story was suspenseful and easy to follow, so that readers would be invested in the problems facing both characters. I was frequently shuffling chapters around, trying to find the best fit and the best way to reveal certain bits of key information. At times, it was a big headache, but in the end, I think it all came together well, and I hope the book reads as one complete, entangled story.
Amazon.com: What do you think will surprise fans of Cinder the most when they read Scarlet?
Marissa Meyer: A lot of fans have expressed concern when they heard that I’m introducing so many new characters to this series, and yes, some of them encroach on Cinder and Kai’s spotlight. But I hope that readers will be surprised at how much they love these new characters, too, and that they’ll find themselves just as engaged with Scarlet’s story as they are with Cinder’s. Part of the fun for me in writing these books is seeing how these characters interact and play off each other, and I hope readers will get a kick out of that, too.
Amazon.com: In Scarlet, we learn more about Queen Levana and her powerful army. What or who inspired Levana and her empire?
Marissa Meyer: Levana’s character was born out of the Snow White fairy tale, which I knew would be the fourth retelling I wrote in this series. I knew early on that Snow White’s (or Winter’s) stepmother would play the role of the vain and evil queen determined to rule Earth and maintain her control over the people of the moon at any cost. To go back even farther, though, the premise of there being an entire kingdom on the moon was inspired by my love of Sailor Moon and years spent writing fan fiction, which continues to influence me and these books even when I’m not expecting it.
Amazon.com: You’re already working on Book Three of the Lunar Chronicles, Cress (based on Rapunzel). Will Cinder and Scarlet be a part of that book as well?
Marissa Meyer: Absolutely. Each book in the series will build on the last, introducing new characters and subplots while still continuing the stories of the characters we’ve already met and fallen in love with. I know it sounds complicated, but trust me, the stories all intertwine, and it’s going to be awesome!