The first I heard of Marissa Meyer's debut book, Cinder, was from a bookseller at Third Place Books. She recognized me from the signing I did there in August and knew I liked YA books. She told me she'd just finished Cinder and loved it. So I looked up Marissa on Twitter and we started chatting.
News flash: She's really nice! And she's from Tacoma. Woot!
I asked if she was going to do a signing at Third Place Books, but she had one scheduled for the Lynnwood Barnes & Noble instead. So you know I was gonna be there! When she first appeared, I was thrown, since I don't think she looks at all like her author photo on the poster.
She talked about how she wrote fan fiction for several years, then got the idea for a futuristic fairy tale for a contest the fanfic site was running. She didn't win that contest, but the seed of an idea germinated into more futuristic fairy tales, the first of which is Cinder. There are three more books coming in the series, each based a different fairy tale (Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Snow White).
She wrote the first draft of Cinder AND the Little Red Riding Hood book AND the first part of the Rapunzel novel during NaNoWriMo, clocking 150,011 words. Wowza! All while holding down a full-time job and working on a Master's degree. Holy moly, this woman is a super hero. Either that, or she has one of Hermione Granger's clocks that turn back time. Either way, I was impressed.
She's got a degree in publishing and worked in the industry for six years, so when she went out to query, she was ready for the long haul. Lucky for her, she didn't have to run the gauntlet as many do. She got an agent within 2 months (her top pick after receiving three offers), then spent 2 weeks packaging up the presentation for publishers. The package went out on Friday and she had an offer for publication on Monday.
Wowza! You go, girl!
Now she is on a nationwide tour, stopping at a number of different sites across the US to promote the release of Cinder, to sign books and take pics with peeps like yours truly.
It was a fun event and I wish Marissa much luck with Cinder and the rest of the series!