Friday, February 19, 2016

Marissa Meyer STARS ABOVE book signing

I was lucky enough to attend Marissa Meyer’s PA signing for her collection of Lunar Chronicles stories, STARS ABOVE, on February 8th. When they announced her list of tour stops, I was on Twitter in the gym and almost screamed! Marissa is from Washington (state, not D.C.) so I never thought she’d come all the way to Pennsylvania.

She brings her own Luna tapestry (the art from FAIREST) on all her tour stops!
The STARS ABOVE tour stop is the biggest book event I’ve been to so far. The Barnes and Noble put a ton of effort into planning activities (themed food and drink specials in the café, dance lessons, crafts), partly because Marissa’s books attract a younger audience, I think. There was plenty for everyone to do while they waited for Marissa.

Marissa’s bubbliness is infectious! She’s someone you want to go out to lunch with and chat for hours. She talked about the short story she wrote before CINDER’s release, and each of the companion stories for the books that followed. STARS ABOVE kind of snowballed into existence when, instead of writing one new story for a bind-up of the previously released ones, she wrote four others…not to mention an epilogue to WINTER!

Then she told us a fairytale, oral tradition-style. She let us pick (from Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, Snow White, and The Little Mermaid), and Rapunzel won by a landslide. Marissa was happy about that, because she’s been telling The Little Mermaid all tour, and she confessed it’s her least favorite. She said she loved the movie growing up (it was the first movie she saw in theaters) but then her grandmother gave her a book of original fairytales, and she realized the ending was less than happy (“Thanks, grandma. What else has Disney been hiding from me?”). She told the Brothers Grimm version with her own snark woven in (“One day, a prince was wandering through the woods…which, if you read fairytales, seems to happen a lot.”), and it was so fun to listen to!

Lastly she took some questions:
  • If she ever did another fairytale retelling, she’d be interested in writing about Rumpelstiltskin.
  • She loves her book covers, but she didn't have any input on the designs for the first three books. "It was pretty much like, 'This is your cover. YOU LOVE IT.'" But FAIREST was the first cover her publisher asked her opinion about, so she's had more input lately.
  • Her next projects include a story in the anthology A TYRRANY OF PETTICOATS and two Lunar Chronicles graphic novels starring Iko. Not to mention HEARTLESS, her Queen of Hearts retelling, coming in November. She raffled off an ARC at the event!

Marissa’s people and the B&N staff had the signing line down to a science. One person stacked your books on the table, another opened each and passed them to Marissa, and a third person took photos. The line went pretty quickly; I was number 36 and met Marissa at 7pm, probably 20 minutes into the signing. She took her time talking to everyone and signed any books you brought…so naturally I brought all of them! I told her how satisfying the end of WINTER was for me, and how clear it is that she treats her characters with love. Then we talked about writing every day, which she said she tries to do when she’s drafting (and not in book tour mode), but she takes weekends off for family time.

And that’s that! Marissa’s talk/presentation might be my favorite of any author I’ve seen so far. She was well-prepared and so enthusiastic! A huge shoutout to the Neshaminy Mall Barnes and Noble staff for a calm, organized, and enjoyable event. Just like the Sarah J. Maas event I attended last fall, there was no stress, and everyone seemed to have a wonderful time. I know I did!
She really did luck out with her covers...GORGEOUS!

Marissa could personalize one book, so I picked my favorite - the grand finale!

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