Welcome back to The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe, a recurring series here on Tor.com featuring some of our favorite science fiction and fantasy authors, artists, and others!
Today we’re joined by Marissa Meyer, author of the Lunar Chronicles. She lives in Tacoma, Washington, with her husband and three demanding cats. She’s a fan of most things geeky (Sailor Moon, Firefly, any occasion that requires a costume), and has been in love with fairy tales since she was a child. She may or may not be a cyborg. Fairest, the latest novel in the Lunar Chronicles, publishes January 27th from Feiwel & Friends.
Join us as Marissa shares what it was like writing the story of an evil queen!
Battle to the death, which weapon do you choose: A) Phaser, B) Lightsaber, or C) Wand?
Accio Wand! Some of my best friends and I just got back from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, where we seriously spent four straight days waving our Ollivander-purchased wands at random things at the park and practicing our spell-casting abilities. I’d say I’m primed and ready for battle.
What’s the best Halloween costume you’ve ever worn?
In middle school, my best friends and I went as the sailor scouts—I got to be Sailor Moon, and for years afterward my nickname was “Usagi-chan” (which is her name in the original Japanese).
Generally, I prefer to write the heroes, because they give me something to root for, and I love to put my characters in tough situations and watch them be all heroic and stuff. However, I really loved writing the back story for my evil queen in Fairest, and, weirdly, it was probably the easiest book I’ve written to-date. I opened the floodgates and her story just came pouring out. I think she’d been waiting for years to have a chance to tell her side of things, so the time was right.
What would your Patronus/familiar be?
The white, fluffy cat from the Fancy Feast commercials. My Patronus is spoiled rotten.
What literary or film science fiction technology do you wish existed in our world right now?
Beam me up, Scotty! I mean, really, can we make this happen? I would love to never sit in traffic again.
What was your gateway to SF/Fantasy, as a child or young adult?
Star Wars. My grandparents had the original trilogy and they were the only movies my brother and I would watch when we went to visit them—and we would visit them a lot. Han Solo was my first love, and I remember being Princess Leia for Halloween one year when I was still really little. (Leia with the white dress and buns, obviously. Not gold-bikini Leia. That would just be weird.)
Strangest thing you’ve learned while researching a book?
I had to research the making of turtle soup for my first stand-alone novel (called Heartless, it will be out early 2016), and I learned that with some species of turtle, their heart can continue to beat for up to half an hour after their death. Disturbing! And also, pretty cool.
Do you have a favorite under-read author?
I am obsessed with Rosemary Clement-Moore (Texas Gothic, Spirit & Dust, The Splendor Falls). Like, I sort-of Twitter stalk her and fangirl all the time. She might actually be afraid of me. But her books are fantastic—they’re fast-paced, full of mystery and suspense, hilarious, romantic, and also really smartly researched. There’s nothing about them that I don’t like. I try to force them on every YA reader I know.
If you were secretly going to write fanfic (or, even better, slashfic) about any two characters, who would they be?
A bunch of my friends are not-so-secret Kai/Thorne shippers. I think it’s hilarious… and it sort of works, actually. They’re such opposites, and as we know, opposites attract. Plus I think Thorne has a great amount of respect for Kai that would make him want to prove himself and be a better man and…
Ahem. I swear I’m not actually plotting this. *shifty eyes*
What is your ideal pet (real or fictional)?
I really want a pet wolf. He would be super sweet and cuddly and loyal, but then could also be protective and vicious if needed. I’ve had that fantasy since I was a teenager.
I would also accept a pet tiger, like Rajah in Aladdin. That would be pretty awesome.