Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. For the last 6 months or so, social media has been exploding with the Winter Is Coming hashtag and I’m as guilty as the rest.
I was beyond excited for Winter. It was probably my most anticipated book of the year. About 3 months ago, a book tour was announced and there was a stop (relatively) close to me. So I pre-ordered the book at the appropriate store, requested to get off work early, and impatiently awaited Friday, November 13th.
The magical day arrived and I couldn’t get through the workday fast enough. I worked all through lunch (because I can’t afford for my paycheck to take a big hit these days) and counted the minutes until 2:30 arrived. Actually, that’s not entirely true. I was ready to go as soon as I got to work, but after lunch is my busiest time period and trying to squeeze all that work into the hour or two I had didn’t leave much clock-watching time. That magical time arrived and I was out the door. I don’t take time off anymore. I don’t leave early anymore. In fact, I stay late these days, but this was one event I was going to make it to if at all possible.
Anyway, my husband showed up and we were off. Raleigh NC is about 3 hours or so from me, so I made sure we left with plenty of time just in case we hit traffic or got lost or just had to stop for food/bathroom breaks/road-trip shenanigans. We listened to Harry Potter & The Goblet Of Fire for the majority of the ride. We didn’t really hit any major problems. A bit of traffic here and there, but we never strayed from the route we were taking, which is probably a first.
We arrived at the venue a little over an hour before the event started. There were already a few other people there. The shop was just starting to set up the chairs, so we all waited (some helped) as they completed that task and then quickly took front row seats. For an hour or so, we sat waiting for the event to start. The place slowly filled. You guys, there were SO MANY PEOPLE. I mean, I was sorta expecting it. The Lunar Chronicles is a hugely successful series. But I’ve never seen that many people at a small event before. There had to be at least 75 people there. I’m not even kidding or exaggerating.
7 PM rolled around and Marissa was introduced. She was so bubbly and happy. She thanked everyone from coming and talked about her love of fairy tales. She says it all started with a little Disney movie called The Little Mermaid. She saw it when she was 5 and immediately fell in love with it. Her grandmother, seeing her love for fairy tales, bought her a book of fairy tales, containing the Hans Christian Anderson original version of The Little Mermaid. To this comment, she was met with a round of “oooo”s. She went on to explain that, for those who didn’t know, the original story bares little resemblance to the Disnified version. In the original, the Prince marries someone else and the mermaid dies. And that horrified her at first, but also got her wondering what else Disney was hiding. This began her lifelong obsession with fairy tales. Then she proceeded to tell the original Grimm Brothers version of Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs. I captured most of that in the video below. I apologize that the end is missing. For some reason, my camera will only record in 10 minute bursts. I have no idea why. But here is Marissa telling the tale!
The rest of the tale, to the best of my recollection, went like this:
The prince begged the dwarfs to let him take Snow-White back to his castle so he could look upon her when he liked. They agreed and he had men lift the coffin to carry it back to his castle. But one of his men tripped over a tree root and the glass coffin came shattering to the ground. Upon it falling, the prince ran to Snow White. He leaned over her and kissed her and suddenly she was awake….at which point Marissa said “I’m lying. How many of you know that I’m lying? The original tale has no true loves first kiss.” What really happened was the fall back down to the ground knocked loose the chunk of poisoned apple that was lodged in Snow White’s throat, because all she’d really need was the good ole Heimlich. As soon as the apple was out of her mouth, so awoke to find the prince above her. He asked her to accompany him home and become his wife. Snow agreed and their wedding day arrived. But the wicked queen had learned of the ceremony and had attended. Snow White was prepared for this. She had a pair of iron shoes resting in coals all day until they were as hot as they could get. The wicked queen was forced to wear the burning shoes and dance as the evenings entertainment until she feel down dead. THE END.
After story time, Marissa answered questions from the audience. There were A LOT of people with raised hands. I don’t remember all the questions and answers, but here are the things I learned:
- Film rights have sold. It was really exciting when that happened….3 years ago. She has no idea if anything is in the works.
- Easiest character to write was Thorn because he was just so sure of himself. She tried to rein him in sometimes, but it didn’t work. Scarlet was the hardest because she is so different from Marissa.
- She is most like Cress, they have that whole fangirl thing in common.
- Iko is pronounced “EEE KO” like eco, not “EYE KO.” It’s meant to be as the Japanese would pronounce it.
- There will be a Winter epilogue in Stars Above anthology.
- Lunars can never actually see their own glamour as it cannot be captured on film or seen in mirrors.
- She had no input on audiobooks. She did not even realize Cinder would be turned into an audiobook until her author copies arrived.
- She had no input in the covers of the books.
- The font used for the titles on the covers is called Aeronaut.
- The best thing about being a writer is working in her pajamas and meeting fans.
- She used the original fairy tales to inspire character names. If they didn’t have a fairy tale origin, like Jacin, she used baby name websites to search by meaning. Jacin means healer. Thorn is inspired by the original Rapunzel story where the prince falls from the tower in the a thorn bush and gets blinded.
- She is currently behind on the NaNoWiMo
After that, we were lead back to the signing. You got a ticket to the signing line when you pre-ordered, labelled with a letter for each group. I pre-ordered in SEPTEMBER and I got the last A. I know this because I requested two tickets as I ordered a hardback and the audiobook. The second ticket was a B that was officially altered to an A so the tickets could be together! They kept the line moving pretty quickly. I made a Fairest bookcharm necklace for Marissa, which she seemed to like. There was a gorgeous backdrop behind Marissa of the Lunar Castle. It’s the art featured in Fairest. Anyway, Marissa was very sweet, but we didn’t get long to chat because they try to keep the line moving because there were so many people.
I only took Fairest and Winter to be signed. I purchased and pre-signed copy of Cinder years ago and I got bookplates for Scarlet and Cress. I probably used all the ink in my printer to get the Join The Resistance propaganda flyer printed, but it was totally worth it. They were giving out the Winter gloves and tattoos.
We left immediately after that. It’s not that we didn’t want to stick around and see the costume contest and other things, it was just getting late. It was already a little past 8 and we were starving! We didn’t stop for food on the way there, so we needed sustenance ASAP. That was the other adventure of the night, finally eating at a Sheetz. Which is a convenience store that serves food. Amazingly tasty food. They have a fucking cheese-stick BURGER. It’s just as magical as it sounds. Anyway, we got to the car, ate our food and popped the first disc of Winter in. We probably listened about half the way home. We were forced to stop then because I am not an night owl and I was falling asleep. We proceeded to spend the entire weekend bingeing on Winter. And Monday after I got off work. We finished this 23.5 hour audiobook in about 3 days, which is an all-time record for us! It was just as amazing as the rest of the series. Though I’m sad to see it go, I’m happy it ended on a good note.
Since I already had my gloves and tattoos from pre-ordering, I grabbed an extra set for you guys!
I’m making the giveaway super simple this time. Just leave a comment on this post with a good contact email address. I’ll pick a random winner on the 30th of November. US only (Sorry international friends!) and I’m not responsible for prizes lost in the mail. Good luck!